2020 was the year of the coronavirus pandemic and the year of renovations for many homeowners.
With more time at home, more consumers began focusing on upgrading or updating their homes, with the kitchen being one of the most popular. A 2020 study by Remodeling Magazine found that kitchen remodels in the mid-Atlantic region netted anywhere from a 52.3% to 79.7% return on investment, costing anywhere from $24,049 to $137,700, depending on the scale. The 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study found that across the nation, people spent, on average, around $35,000 for a major remodel or $8,000 for a minor remodel in 2020, which has remained steady year-to-year.
What are homeowners putting their money toward? The Houzz study found that a high percentage of homeowners prioritized storage and opening their kitchen space when remodeling. And most people are doing the renovations because they finally have the means or they can no longer stand their old kitchen.
Countertops, backsplash, sinks and faucets were the most popular minor features to update, with more than three-quarters of respondents updating at least one of these. Bigger, and more expensive projects, like electronics, interior and exterior doors and windows were not as popular, with less than 30% of respondents updating these factors. For major features, homeowners preferred changing the kitchen layout, upgrading systems or modifying walls.
Cabinets were a very popular item to update. Nearly two-thirds of respondents reported replacing all cabinets, while 31% reported replacing a few. Only 6% said they did not alter the cabinets. Of those renovating cabinets, 28% are adding additional cabinets. White is the most popular color choice for cabinets (44%), followed by medium-toned wood (13%) and gray (10%). For kitchen walls, most people chose a muted color, with gray (28%), white (26%) and beige (21%) being the most popular. However, for kitchen islands, more consumers are adding a pop of color with 27% choosing blue.
Stainless steel (70%) was the most popular color for appliances, followed by black stainless (10%). Three quarters of respondents updated their dishwasher, while 73% updated their refrigerator/freezer and 72% opted for a new microwave. Wireless controls, color-touch screen displays and built-in apps were the most popular high-tech features in appliances.
Most homeowners are not doing everything by themselves. Eighty-five percent reported hiring a professional to do at least some of the work. The National Association of Home Builders found in a recent survey that remodelers are feeling ‘confident’ about the remodeling market in 2021.