The Most Popular Home Renovation Projects 2021
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Here's How Much Homeowners Are Spending on Renovations

Plus, what's trending, indoors and out!

Written by Jana Studelska
Home Renovations
Photo by Konstantin Evdokimov on Unsplash
If you spent the pandemic swinging a hammer on an addition or creating spectacular new gardens, you were in good company. Turns out the long months of pandemic isolation were busy ones for many of us.
According to the tenth annual Houzz & Home Report by Houzz, homeowners said they finally found that they had time to tackle dreamed-of projects and delayed renovations. The big takeaways? Renovation spending is up 15% in the last year to a median of $15,000, and the money is going to kitchens, smart home installations and outdoor living improvements.

Photo by Milivoj Kuhar on Unsplash


From kitchens to smart homes to bathrooms, interiors remain the most popular area of focus for renovations with 68% of renovating homeowners reporting plans for the inside of their home. The report notes that, "Consistent with the last two years, homeowners chose to renovate an average of three interior rooms at a time."

Cooking Up New Kitchens

Houzz reports that the kitchen really is the heart of the home and kitchen renos are the most popular project that homeowners take on. The report details investment on major remodels of large kitchens jumped 14% to $40,000 in 2020 compared with $35,000 in 2019.

Smart Cabin Solutions

Smart home technology has been a game-changer for cabin owners who can now gain peace of mind by monitoring thermostats and smoke detectors for afar, and even turn the lights on in the minutes before arriving at the lake. In fact, one in five people interviewed installed security systems in 2020, following a steady increase since 2015.

Photo by Arcwind on Unsplash

The Outdoors Heats Up

While interior room remodels were the most common project (68%), outdoor area improvements got a lot of attention. A full 57% of respondents said that’s where they focused their attention and money. Decks, patios and porches, irrigation systems–you name it, and people were building it.

Outdoor Entertaining

Since 2018, outdoor home renovation projects have been gaining popularity. While the most common projects were painting, roofing and window replacement, many people are moving beyond upkeep and maintenance projects and really diving into the creation of living spaces on decks and porches, increasing their spending by 25% over the previous year.
Outdoor kitchens continue to rise in popularity. Moving the party to the patio for an evening of cooking and entertainment can be as simple as a grill and a cooler, but might also include outdoor refrigerators and TV screens for watching the game. Outdoor cooking options such as open-wood flame pizza ovens are popular, as are plumbing in a simple sink

Design to Light Up the Night 

Interestingly, the demand for outdoor lighting is increasing. In just four years, owners have increased their spending 21% as they install both wired and solar-powered units. Lights are being used for adding drama to landscapes and architectural features, but also for creating comfortable communal areas, such as defined seating or task lighting at the grill.
New products designed to withstand deep winters and watery environments have made illuminating the cabin steps a tempting weekend project. Finding outlets is no longer an issue with eco- and budget-friendly solar fixtures.

Fireplaces and Firepits

It wasn’t all lumber and wires. People spruced up their outdoor spaces with rugs, pillows and furniture. Easier than building, redesigning an outdoor space with texture and comfort goes a long way. The most common purchase? Fireplaces and fire pits are warming up home gatherings more than ever before.

The Challenges

It’s probably no surprise that many renovations were hobbled by a shortage of labor and materials. Supply chain issues have driven material costs up, and skilled trades are having a hard time keeping up with projects. Houzz found nearly one-quarter of renovators had a hard time staying on budget, more than previous years, with most people hiring professional help.   

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