4 Pandemic-Fueled Home Remodeling Trends

Boy looking at grandparents doing carpentry in yard

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Sprucing up the home has become a favorite pastime during the pandemic. Home renovation spending has increased by 15% over the last year, reaching a median outlay of $15,000, according to the 2021 Houzz & Home report, an overview of renovation in 2020 and 2021.

Frequency of renovations in 2020


The main motivation to renovate over the past year, cited by 44% of survey respondents, is that they “wanted to do it all along and finally have the time.” The second driver, cited by 36% of respondents, is that they finally have the financial means. Decreased activity away from home during the pandemic has prompted more homeowners to put greater focus on their homes.

Outdoor Projects Grow More Popular

While interior room remodels have been the most common projects, outdoor areas have surged in popularity to become a remodeling focus. The most popular improvements to outdoor spaces were the addition of beds or of borders to lawns as well as exterior upgrades, such as the addition of decks, porches, and balconies.

Smaller Spaces Get More Luxurious

Homeowners are investing more in upgrading smaller areas in their home, notably the home office. Demand for home office projects climbed by 4 percentage points and were 10% more expensive in 2020 ($1,100). Also, the median spend on closet upgrades saw an increase of 43% to $1,000.

Smarter Home Add-ons

Smart-home technology purchases have been increasing: Streaming media players and TVs saw the largest increases. More renovating homeowners also purchased smart technology to outfit their outdoor spaces, such as security cameras, light fixtures, and speakers or sound systems.

Large Kitchens Get Upgrades

Kitchen projects are the most popular projects among renovating homeowners. Fancier kitchen redos are seeing the most growth. Investment in major remodels of large kitchens—larger than 200 square feet—increased by 14% to $40,000 in 2020 compared with $35,000 in 2019.

2020 top interior room renovations