New hardwood floors and home offices bring the most joy

WASHINGTON (April 6, 2022) – In US homes, homeowners and families have embarked on a variety of renovation and remodeling projects over the past year. That’s according to new findings from the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, a joint study by the National Association of Realtors® and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

This year’s report analyzes a range of home improvement aspects, including why people choose to remodel, the overall cost of specific remodeling tasks, and what is fulfilled upon completion of a successful project.

“Our study showed that homeowners are prone to undertake a remodeling project for a number of reasons,” said Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavior at NAR. “In some cases, homeowners were content to upgrade a room with a simple coat of paint, while in other cases families decided to take on the task of renovating an entire attic or basement to add additional living space to their home.”

The report finds that Americans spent $420 billion on home remodeling in 2020. Ninety percent of NARI members cited greater demand for remodeling contracting as the pandemic progressed. Three out of five NARI members – 60% – said the scale of projects had grown due to the pandemic, either through a larger project or through the remodeling of more than one space.

“This report is the first to measure the impact of the pandemic on the price and relative value of various remodeling projects,” said Chris Egner, MCR, CKBR, CPRM, UDCP and President of NARI. “We are pleased that NARI members, who are among the most experienced remodelers, were able to provide realistic estimates of remodeling costs according to the criteria set out in the survey.”

Although 83% of consumers said they would have remodeled regardless of the pandemic, 86% said remodeling one area of ​​their home then inspired them to remodel other areas of the home.

The exact reasons why homeowners decided to transform their living spaces have varied. 35 percent of owners said the most important result of their remodel was better functionality and livability. After completing their project, 22% said they had permanent and long-lasting results, materials and equipment. Fourteen percent reported beauty and aesthetics as a result of their makeover.

“The pandemic has changed the way we use our homes, and many of those changes will remain,” Lautz said. “As a result, homeowners have had to reconfigure or remodel the way they use their home and maximize space.”

More than a third of owners (35%) hired a professional for their entire project, while 28% said they hired someone to do the job but bought the necessary materials. Twenty-two percent of homeowners completed the entire project themselves from start to finish.

The NAR/NARI report aimed to calculate consumers’ views on their projects after completion. Projects that compelled renovators to stay home or remodeled workspaces that elicited an increase in happiness from residents received a high Joy Score, with 10 being considered a perfect Joy Score. Some tasks that scored 10 points included: painting the entire interior of a home, painting a room, adding a home office, refinishing hardwood floors, renovating closets, and improving insulation.

Hardwood Floor Refinishing received a Joy Score of 10 because the homeowners were happy and content in their home after the renovation. 64 percent of those surveyed stated that they felt more comfortable when they were at home after installing their parquet floor. Another 64% said that just thinking about the completed project gives them a “great sense of accomplishment.”

Adding a new home office is another task that earned a perfect Joy Score based on homeowners’ feelings. Ninety-one percent of consumers said they have a greater desire to be at home now that their office is in place. 73 percent said they feel an increased sense of happiness when they are at home.

The NAR/NARI report also examines numerous remodeling projects and provides a cost recovery estimate for the projects. The actual cost of any remodeling project and cost recovery is affected by many factors including project design, quality of materials, location, age and condition of the home, and homeowner preferences.

“Often an added benefit of home renovations is the possibility of an increase in the value of the home, which is one reason some people remodel,” Lautz said. “This is particularly beneficial for homeowners who are considering selling their home or converting the home into a rental property.”

Realtors® provided an estimate of the likely dollar value each project would add to a home during resale. When comparing this dollar value to the estimated cost of each job provided by NARI members, a percentage of the project cost recovered was tabulated. For interior design projects, the highest percentage of reimbursement came from refinishing hardwood floors at 147%. New wood flooring was 118% and improved insulation was 100%. For the exterior projects, new roofs and a new garage door each recouped 100% of the project cost.

Kitchen upgrades were also popular with homeowners, with the task earning a Joy Score of 9.8. The top reason (32%) for a kitchen renovation was a desire to upgrade worn surfaces, finishes or materials. The second most common reason (20%) was to add features and improve livability.

According to NARI Remodelers’ cost estimate, the average kitchen remodel would be around $45,000. Realtors® estimated that $30,000 of that amount could be recovered as a result of the renovation. That would be a recovery rate of 67%.

About the survey of NAR and NARI

In the fall of 2021, homeownership site HouseLogic.com surveyed consumers about the most recent remodeling project they completed. A total of 1,182 respondents took part in the online survey. The Joy Score was calculated by combining the percentage of people who were happy and satisfied when they saw their completed project and divided the percentage by 10 to create a ranking between 1 and 10. Higher Joy Scores indicate greater enjoyment of the project.

In addition, NARI emailed a cost survey to its 5,778 members in the fall of 2021. A total of 210 replies were received. The survey had an adjusted response rate of 3.6%. Respondents were asked to consider certain parameters when assessing costs.

In February 2022, NAR emailed remodeling project surveys to a random sample of 95,921 members. A total of 4,792 responses were received (see report for full methodology).

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industry.

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