Key Takeaways from the 2024 Houzz Home Study

The look, pace, and cost of home renovations have been changing over the last few years. Each year, Houzz performs a study to try to keep up with these changes, helping the home improvement industry better understand the landscape. In this guide, we’ll take a quick look at some of the most significant takeaways from this year’s study, as reported by over 32,000 study respondents.

Were People Renovating in 2023?

Yes! The 2024 Houzz Home Study shows that people are still renovating, though the percentage of homeowners who performed renovations did dip slightly between 2022 and 2023. But even with the slight dip, 56 percent of the survey respondents stated they did take on a home renovation in 2023. Along with renovations, 56 percent of the respondents undertook a decorating project, while 47 percent performed some type of home repair.

What’s in store for 2024? Fifty-two percent of respondents state they’re planning a renovation this year. When it comes to decorating, 46 percent stated a project was on the schedule. Repairing drops quite a bit to 33 percent, but repairs can come up out of nowhere.

How Much Are People Spending on Renovations?

Whether due to inflation or the type of projects becoming more popular, renovation spending continues to rise. In 2021, the average renovation spend was around $18,000, according to the Houzz Home Study. That rose $6,000 in 2023, with the average spend being $24,000.

Do those numbers seem high? They might be slightly skewed by the top 10 percent of project spenders. The 90th percentile spent in 2021 was $100,000, and that rose 50 percent in 2023, opening the register to the tune of $150,000.

Planned spending does drop significantly for 2024, though. The average planned renovation spend per household in 2024 is $15,000—$9,000 less than 2023’s average actual spend. Even for the big spenders in that top 10 percent, the expected spend for 2024 renovations is $80,000.

Planning Home Renovations

We’ve already mentioned that 52 percent of homeowners plan to undertake a renovation project in 2024. And plan they will.

Houzz’s study shows that homeowners spend more time planning their projects than their projects actually take. It depends on the project, but planning typically takes around twice as long. Here are the averages:

  • Kitchens: 9.6 months spent planning, 5.1 months under construction

  • Living rooms: 8.1 months spent planning, 4.1 months under construction

  • Entry/foyer/mudroom projects: 7.9 months spent planning, 3.6 months under construction

  • Primary bathrooms: 7.8 months spent planning, 3.9 months under construction

  • Guest bathrooms: 7.5 months spent planning, 3.8 months under construction

Is this a problem? Probably not. It’s just homeowners performing their own version of “measure twice, cut once.” Homeowners are becoming wiser and more empowered, so it makes sense that they would do more in-depth planning on their own and shop for contractors they want to work with.

How Renovation Budgets Break Down

Renovation budgets are climbing. The Houzz Home Study shows that the percentage of homeowners spending more than $25,000 on their renovation rose to 51 percent in 2023. That’s up from 44 percent in 2021 and up from 37 percent in 2020. Only 25 percent of homeowners completed projects for less than $10,000, and the reported percentage between $10,000 and $25,000 dropped from 27 percent in 2021 to 23 percent in 2023.

The biggest percentage change between 2021 and 2023 is in the $100,000 and above range. In 2021, only 12 percent of homeowners planned these expensive renovations. In 2023, that number rose five percentage points to 17 percent —the largest swing in the survey.

The three most popular ways to pay for these projects include cash from savings, credit cards, and a secured home loan.

  • Cash from savings remained by far the most popular, with 83 percent of homeowners using this for renovations regardless of their price.

  • Credit card usage did climb 9 percentage points overall, reaching 37 percent of renovation projects. For projects between $1,000 and $5,000, it climbed to 40 percent. For projects between $50,000 and $200,000, the percentage rose to 32 percent.

  • Secured home loans made up 14 percent of budget spending resources. In the $1,000 to $5,000 range, this only made up 8 percent. But between $50,000 and $200,000, home loans make up 23 percent.

It’s important to note that these weren’t the intended spending amounts in many cases. Houzz’s survey showed that 76 percent of homeowners set budgets. However, 39 percent of respondents went over their set budgets in 2023. Unforeseen costs for products and services, expensive materials selections, and increased project complexity were the common culprits for going over budget.

Upward Trends in Renovations

Certain trends remained prominent in the latest Houzz survey. From the amount spent to who’s performing the work and which projects are most popular, there are definitely some signs of consistency.

Spending is climbing

The amount homeowners are spending on their renovations continues to climb. Regardless of whether they’re going over budget or not, the average spend was $24,000 in 2023, up from $15,000 in 2020.

Gen X is still spending the most on renovations

For the second straight year, Gen X continued to spend the most on renovation. This demographic spent an average of $25,000 in 2023, edging out Baby Boomers’ $24,000.

Pros are busy

Nine out of 10 homeowners undertaking a renovation are calling professional contractors to help. Forty-six percent of homeowners called specialty service providers in 2022, and that percentage climbed to 47 percent in 2023. Surprisingly, however, homeowners are choosing to be their own general contractors, with only 42 percent calling GCs in 2023 (down from 44 percent in 2022).

Kitchens and bathrooms are still the most popular projects

The most popular project choices haven’t changed. Kitchens remain the most popular project, with 29 percent of respondents undertaking a kitchen renovation. Bathrooms are the second most popular, with guest bathrooms (27 percent) being slightly more popular than primary bathrooms (25 percent).

Renovations Aren’t Slowing Down

If the Houzz Home Study has shown us anything, renovations aren’t slowing down any time soon. Even the small decreases in spending or percentages are offset by other categories, whether it’s the project type, budget, or financing. 2024 will be another busy year for the renovation and home improvement industry.