Remodeling Regret Is Growing

An array of home remodeling tools.

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Interest in home remodeling has surged during the pandemic. But homeowners may not be happy with the results of all their house projects, pointing to the high expenses and strain on relationships.

One-third of about 600 respondents recently surveyed said they regret their remodel, according to the survey from Lantern by SoFi, a personal finance resource. The most common regrets were using a credit card, spending more time or money than expected, and remodeling the kitchen, the survey found. Also, 53% of respondents said their relationships were strained by a remodel, the survey found.

A graphic showing the four most likely factors leading to remodeling regret.

In the survey, 14% of respondents spent between $20,000 to $30,000; 20% spent between $10,000 to $20,000; and 39% spent $10,000 or less. Fifty-one percent of respondents dipped into their savings to pay for the remodeling projects, but 32% used credit cards.

With both supplies of materials and labor prices on the rise, many homeowners faced unexpected higher costs, especially those remodeling for the first time. A majority (77%) of those who went $50,000 or more over budget said it was their first time remodeling, the survey found.

Due to rising costs, many experts now advise remodelers to include a 50% buffer for both completion time and budget when tackling home remodeling projects, according to Lantern.