7 Home Improvements That Have Jumped in Cost

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Many of us have been spending a lot more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic, and that puts a magnifying glass on things we want to upgrade both inside and outside the house.

For a variety of reasons — scarcity of materials, tariffs, rising wages, demand for sustainable products — many remodeling projects are costing significantly more now, according to HomeAdvisor, an online marketplace that connects homeowners with prescreened home service professionals.

For its 2021 True Cost Report, HomeAdvisor took a look at home improvement projects that were popular in 2020 and how much more expensive they became in 2020 compared with 2019.

Their findings show that in 2020 the following projects saw year-over-year price inflation of 10% or more — a lot more, in some cases.

7. Home office

Man working from home
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Year-over-year price inflation: 10%

Despite the cost increase of this home improvement project, it still ranks as the second-cheapest out of the 20 most popular projects of 2020. The popularity of this upgrade seems likely to only grow in the future, now that more people got used to working from home during the pandemic.

6. Bathroom remodel

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Year-over-year price inflation: 13%

Fixing up bathrooms was the second-most popular home improvement project in 2020 — completed by 31% of households that did such a project last year — according to HomeAdvisor.

And why not? The National Association of Realtors found that a bathroom renovation is among the remodeling projects that bring homeowners the most happiness, as we detail in “19 Home Renovations That Give Owners the Most Joy.”

5. New siding

House siding
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Year-over-year price inflation: 16%

Despite its increased cost, taking the plunge on siding offers one of the best bangs for your exterior-project buck, according to a 2020 analysis by Remodeling Magazine. On average, fiber-cement siding and vinyl siding replacements provided 77.6% and 74.7% in recouped costs, respectively.

4. Landscaping

Landscaper working in a yard
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Year-over-year price inflation: 17%

This was the fourth most popular home improvement project in 2020, and also one of the cheapest, with an average cost of $2,389 — a “sweet spot of affordability” that blends low cost with big visual impact, HomeAdvisor says.

3. Home addition

Workers building a home addition
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Year-over-year price inflation: 30%

The average cost of a home addition was $52,157 in 2020. HomeAdvisor attributes the 30% hike from 2019 to dramatically increased costs of materials like plywood and framing lumber in 2020, stemming from the pandemic. In fact, lumber prices remained steep well into 2021 for the same reason, as we detailed in “17 Everyday Products Now Facing Shortages.”

Before you even think about it, try HomeAdvisor’s handy calculator to estimate how much adding that room, floor or bump-out could cost.

2. Pantry or closet

Kitchen pantry
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Year-over-year price inflation: 33%

Installing a pantry or closet also became more costly in 2020 as materials became more expensive in relation to the pandemic, HomeAdvisor found. However, despite the cost, a pantry of the walk-in variety is one of the most desirable features of a home in 2021, as we have reported.

1. New cabinets

Couple cooking at home
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Year-over-year price inflation: 56%

Perhaps unsurprisingly, installing new cabinetry also saw a steep price increase in 2020 due to the rising cause of materials like lumber during the pandemic. If you decide to go for it, first check out “4 Kitchen Cabinet Brands Earn High Marks From Homeowners.”

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