The new State of Home Spending report by HomeAdvisor provides a treasure trove of information regarding the habits and behaviors of homeowners relating to home improvement spending, home maintenance spending, and home emergency spending.
Mischa Fisher, Chief Economist for ANGI Homeservices (which owns HomeAdvisor), provides insight on the report.
Homeowners spend more on home improvement than home maintenance
When taking out their wallets, homeowners are more likely to spend money to improve their space, rather than tackle a maintenance project. “For every dollar they spend on home maintenance, homeowners spend an average of five dollars on home improvement projects,” Fisher says.
In 2018, homeowners spent an average of $7,560 on home improvement projects. “They spent an average of $1,105 on home maintenance projects, and $416 on home emergency projects,” according to Fisher.
States spending the most and least on home improvement
Residents in Massachusetts, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Maryland are among the states that spend the most on home improvement projects. “On the other hand, West Virginia, Wyoming, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Maine are some of the states that spend the least amount on home improvement,” Fisher says.
Home improvement spending is up by 17.5% from 2018. Fisher attributes some of this to an increase in consumer wages, and a cultural focus on design aesthetics. “Also, the cost of skilled tradespeople is rising, and there are better (but more expensive) home improvement tools,” he says.
What are homeowners improving?
Rooms are the most popular home improvement choice. “Among these remodeling projects, bathrooms remain the overwhelmingly popular choice across all generations, likely in part because of their comparatively cheaper cost relative to kitchens,” according to Fisher. Many homeowners are incorporating 2019 bathroom technology trends. “A bathroom renovation usually costs $10,352, and most homeowners spend between $5,957 and $14,832.” While a small or medium-sized bathroom ranges between $3,500 and $7,000, he says that a master or large bathroom could cost more than $13,000 to remodel.
Besides remodeling rooms, other popular projects include installing new appliances, replacing the roof, and refinishing hardwood floors.
Motivation to complete projects
Among generations, millennials are more likely to complete a home project to increase the home’s resale value. “Also, while baby boomers and Gen X are more likely to want to ‘modernize” their homes, millennials and the Silent Generation say they want to improve aesthetics and design,” Fisher explains.
When homeowners turn their attention to fixing parts of the home, they’re replacing or repairing areas that are damaged, decaying, or defective. Fisher says they’re most likely to focus on the following projects: a new roof, a new HVAC, new fencing, building a deck, new gutters, replacing windows, and new siding.
Emergency home projects
One out of every five homeowners reported the need to complete an emergency home project. Examples of home emergency projects include fixing hail damage to the roof or replacing a failing hot water heater. “Homeowners who live in areas prone to extreme weather events spend the most money on emergency projects,” Fisher says. Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana lead in this area, as a result of tropical storms, thunderstorms, flooding and hail.
However, you might be surprised to find out that an older home doesn’t necessary mean you’ll spend more in the event of an emergency. “The owners of a 100-year-old home spend an average of $370 less on emergency home repairs than the owner of a brand-new home,” Fisher says.
How homeowners research costs
When researching home improvement costs, there are stark generational differences. For example:
- Millennials: 77% use the internet, 64% check big box stores, 30% ask a previously used contractor
- GenX: 74% check big box stores, 70% use the internet, 23% ask a previously used contractor
- Baby Boomers: 60% check big box store, 58% use the internet, 35% ask a previously used contractor
- The Silent Generation: 50% check big box stores, 32% ask a previously used contractor, and 25% use the internet