US Home Remodeling

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US Home Remodeling

When looking at specific projects that qualify as home remodeling, there were 56,793 projects undertaken in the US in 2017. Using a broader definition, expanding to interior painting and other small projects, that number jumps to 88,738,800. Remodeling outdoor spaces and bathroom renovations were two of the most popular projects to undertake.

Remodeling Projects in the US

  • The HUD American Housing Report claims to be the most comprehensive report on housing in the US. Due to site reconstruction, the ability to download and manipulate certain data points was impossible. The report was then located at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University where they had analyzed the information. The information has been compiled and added into the first tab of this spreadsheet.
  • According to this study, there were 56,793 remodeling projects undertaken in 2017. The average project cost was $10,605. $232,666,000 was spent on remodeling in this HUD survey.
  • The projects are broken down by type and average expenditure here.

Realtor Survey

  • In order to verify if these numbers were a complete picture of the remodeling market, the Realtor Housing Survey was used. They state that 73% of homeowners were planning a home remodeling project in 2019.
  • According to census data, there are 121,560,000 housing units in the US. This includes rentals, mobile homes, boats, RVs, and detached housing.
  • Using this information and applying the premise that 73% of these homes would undertake some sort of remodeling, 88,738,800 would have been remodeled in 2017 (the most recent HUS statistics).


  • The numbers from the HUD survey most likely do not represent every home remodeling project that was completed in 2017. On the other hand, using the Realtor estimate of 73%, provides a significantly larger number of remodeling projects that would have been completed in 2017.
  • It is most likely that the HUD numbers are representative of the larger projects completed. Additionally, they do not take into account very minor projects like painting a room, etc, which would raise these numbers significantly.
  • Therefore, we are left with two very different numbers. The HUD numbers, which are representative of select remodeling projects, and the estimate triangulated from the Realtor survey, that used a very general definition of remodeling. It can be safely said there was a minimum of 56,793 projects undertaken and a maximum of 88,738,800 remodeling projects undertaken, depending on the definition and data set desired.

Insights From Harvard's Improving America's Housing

  • Almost 80% of the nations homes are now at least 20 years old ant 40% are at least 50 years old. This has helped the remodeling market immensely, with $425 billion spend in 2017. $50 billion was spent on improving rentals.
  • Remodeling spending generated 2.2% of the national economic activity in 2017. Some of the recent strength of the remodeling market reflects a significant increase in spending by rental property owners.
  • The aging population is another factor attributed the growth in the market. This group has higher home ownership rates, more resources, and are investing in home modifications to improve accessibility. This trend is expected to rise significantly in the future.
  • Most homeowners spent, on average, less that $2,500 on their projects.
  • Owners that completed large projects accounted for $233 billion of the market.

Insights From Home Advisor's State of Home Spending 2019

  • Consumer spending on home improvement projects rose 12% from 2018 to 2019.
  • Homeowners are spending more on home improvement projects than home maintenance projects. For every $1 spent on home maintenance, homeowners are spending an average of $5 on home improvements.
  • Room remodels have been the most popular remodeling projects, with bathrooms at the top of this list. They are followed by new flooring, landscaping, exterior painting, and new appliances.
  • Replacing worn, damaged, or decayed items is the top reason cited for taking on a project.
  • Millennials are more likely than other generations to complete home projects for increased home value. Baby boomers and Generation X are motivated to “modernize” their homes while millennials and the silent generation are motivated to “improve aesthetics and design.”
  • Homeowners report completing an average of 6.7 home maintenance projects in the last 12 months, and 2.2 home improvement projects.
  • The average cost was $1,206.

Realtor Remodeling Impact Report 2019

  • When consumers remodel, it is to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials (34%); because it is time for a change (18%); and to add features and improve livability (15%).
  • 32% of owners report the most important result they achieve is better functionality and livability. 21% report durable and long-lasting results, materials, and appliances, while 16% report beauty ans aesthetics.
  • 36% of homeowners did the project themselves, 35% hired a professional, 14% hired labor but purchased the materials themselves, and 12% contributed some DIY labor.
  • Many find the idea of taking on a remodeling project too overwhelming to attempt. 35% of U.S. homeowners would rather move to another home than remodel their current home.
  • 55% of owners in suburban areas and 52% of owners in urban areas say they would be willing to remodel their home. This jumps to 70% for owners in rural areas.
  • Realtor ranked projects in order of their appeal: complete kitchen renovation, kitchen upgrade, HVAC replacement, new wood flooring, bathroom renovation, hardwood flooring refinish, new master suite, add new bathroom, basement conversion of living area, attic conversion to living area, insulation upgrade, and a closet renovation.

Lightstream Survey

This information was discovered in the initial research block, but was included for a cohesive research document.
  • 73% of homeowners say they plan to renovate this year, up 26% from a year ago, according to a survey conducted by LightStream, an online lending division of SunTrust Bank. Homeowners plan to spend more on projects, too—an average of about $9,000. That marks the highest amount since the survey began in 2014, and it’s 32% more than last year.
  • The most popular remodeling projects include outdoor space (41%), the bathroom (37%), and the kitchen (31%). Survey respondents say that if money wasn’t a factor, they would remodel their kitchen (42%), followed by replacing carpet with other flooring (41%), and then remodeling the bathroom (39%), according to the survey.
  • The majority of homeowners say they are paying for their home improvement projects by tapping into their savings (60%), credit cards (32%), or a home improvement loan (10%).