National Association of Realtors Survey on Remodeling

Homeowners and renters remodel, redesign, and restructure their home for a variety of reasons. The National Association of Realtors issued a report that takes a deep dive into the reasons for remodeling, the success of taking on projects, and the increased happiness found in the home once a project is completed.

The report contains the following:

  • The typical cost of 20 remodeling and replacement projects, as estimated by members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)
  • How much appeal each project is likely to have for buyers, according to REALTORS®
  • How much REALTORS® estimate that homeowners can recover on the cost of the projects if they sell the home.

Americans spent $340 billion on remodeling in 2015. However, many find the idea of taking on a remodeling project too overwhelming to attempt. Thirty-five percent of U.S. homeowners would rather move to another home than remodel their current home. Fifty-five percent of owners in suburban areas and 52 percent of owners in urban areas say they would be willing to remodel their home. This jumps to 70 percent for owners in rural areas.


When consumers remodel, it is to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials (35 percent); to add features and improve livability (16 percent); and because it is time for a change (13 percent).

Taking on projects is often worth the investment and time.

  • After remodeling, 75 percent of owners have a greater desire to be in their home.
  • Sixty-five percent have increased enjoyment in their home.
  • Fifty-six percent feel happy and
  • 39 percent feel satisfied when they see their completed project with a typical Joy Score of 9.6.
  • Seventy-seven percent feel a major sense of accomplishment when they think of their completed project.
  • Thirty-six percent of owners report the single most important result from remodeling is better functionality and livability,
  • 17 percent report durable and long-lasting results, materials, and appliances, and
  • 17 percent report beauty and aesthetics.
  • Thirty-two percent of the owners did the project themselves,
  • 32 percent hired a professional for all of the job, and
  • 21 percent hired the labor but purchased the materials.
  • Fourteen percent contributed some do-it-yourself (DIY) labor.

The report covers both interior and exterior home improvement projects. This report provides a cost recovery estimate for representative remodeling projects. The actual cost of each remodeling project and cost recovery are influenced by many factors, including project design, quality of materials, location, age and condition of the home, and homeowner preferences.


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