Homeowners Misjudge Costs of These Renovation Projects

man working on home improvement project in garage

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With growing demand for home remodeling and construction material shortages, budgeting accordingly for house projects has been unpredictable. Many homeowners may be getting sticker-shocked at how much certain house projects and repairs are costing.

HomeAdvisor surveyed more than 900 consumers to learn about their outlook on home improvement and how accurately they estimate specific projects.

Interior painting has been one of the most popular home improvement projects ever since the pandemic began. Yet, more than 25% of homeowners underestimate interior painting costs, the study found. About a quarter of homeowners underestimate interior painting costs by about 50%.

A DIY paint project costs between $100 to $300; a professionally paint job of an average-sized room costs between $200 to $800, HomeAdvisor notes.

Homeowners, however, are most underestimating landscaping costs, the survey finds. About a quarter of survey respondents underestimated the cost of a landscaping project by 67%.

Landscaping—even seemingly small--can quickly add up. Planting a single tree could cost between $150 to $300. But landscaping installation expenses when grouped together could help bring that per tree rate down, such as planting five small trees usually range between $300 to $700, or $60 to $140 per tree, HomeAdvisor reports.

Forty percent of Americans underestimate the costs of window installation. “Installing insulated, energy-efficient windows is a popular way to improve home function and lower utility bills,” researchers note. “However, material prices for window installation increased 5% to 10% in 2021 due to high demand.”

In 2021, installing a single thermally insulated, energy-efficient window could cost between $120 to $1,200 or more; having one professionally installed adds $200 to $800 in labor costs per window, HomeAdvisor notes.

HomeAdvisor experts recommend that renovating homeowners should decide on a budget before they start a project—and budget higher. In 2021, prices rose 5% to 10% for materials involving projects like roofing, siding, installation, and window installation. In general, they recommend adding 5% to 10% to initial project estimates to account for price fluctuations.