Top 5 home remodeling trends 2020. Take a closer look at remodeling activity and the projects and features homeowners are trending towards.

What are the top home remodeling trends? The annual Houzz & Home Study, the largest survey of residential remodeling, building and decorating activity, answers that question, and more. 

Not surprisingly, given the strength of the economy in 2019, nearly 55 percent of homeowners started a remodeling project last year, tackling close to three interior rooms on average. Homeowners spent a median of $13,000 on renovations, down from $15,000 in 2018. 

“Following significant growth in home renovation activity over the past few years, we’re seeing the market settle somewhat in terms of scope and spend,” said Marine Sargsyan, Houzz senior economist.

With the COVID pandemic, you might have expected remodeling numbers to crater in 2020, but they may decline only modestly, according to a report from the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.  The report looked at how much Americans are expected to spend on home improvements in 2020 across the country’s 47 largest metropolitan areas. 

In a press release announcing the study, Abbe Will, Associate Project Director in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Center said that “with the pandemic exacerbating localized slowdowns in house prices, existing home sales, and homebuilding, many metros will see even more pronounced erosion of home renovation activity this year,” and noted that “the largest remodeling spending declines are not isolated to any one region, but are projected to occur in markets throughout the country including Orlando, Kansas City, Omaha, San Jose, and Portland.”

Before the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, reached the U.S., researchers at the Joint Center for Housing Studies had forecast remodeling spending to increase in 37 markets nationwide and only decrease in nine metro areas.

But, now, a majority of metro areas (24) are expected to see a dip in home-renovation spending. And in 15 other cities, remodeling spending is only expected to increase between 1 percent and 3 percent compared with last year. 

Still, if you’re going to remodel your home this year, your best bet is to follow the top remodeling trends. We combed through the report from Houzz to identify the top 5 home remodeling trends for 2020 and share just how homeowners are putting all that money to good use. 

Top 5 Home Remodeling Trends 2020

Here’s our take on the top 5 home remodeling trends in 2020:

1. Minor Kitchen Remodel

Median spending on kitchen remodels scaled back from $14,000 in 2018 to $12,000 in 2019, indicating a shift towards more minor renovations. In a minor kitchen renovation, some items are left in place but the basic footprint of the kitchen is maintained. For example, existing cabinets may be left in place, and only the flooring and cabinets are replaced, or vice versa. Typically, plumbing isn’t moved and some appliances might be kept and reused.

2. Home Office Renovations

Just 10 percent of homeowners renovated or added a home office in 2019. This number could jump as high as 15 or 20 percent next year after many American employees found themselves working from home for months on end during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working remotely during the pandemic gave them plenty of time to reflect on what they need and want in a fully functioning home office, and if some homeowners didn’t have a designated home office, they’re certainly thinking about adding one now.

3. Upgrading to Smart Technology

Homeowners are installing smart light fixtures, thermostats, doorbells, sound systems and garage door openers. Over 25 percent of homeowners now have a smart home assistant. Smart assistants are able to interpret human speech which allows users to ask questions, control home automation devices (i.e. other smart technology) and manage basic tasks such as setting timers and making changes to your calendar.

4. Plumbing and Electrical Renovations

When we last spoke to Nino Sitchinava, Houzz principal economist, she noted that many homeowners now have to make improvements to plumbing and electrical systems to accommodate new smart technology during renovations.

“We are increasingly hearing from contractors that extra electrical outlets in bathrooms are becoming more and more critical because for high-tech toilets or LED lighting in showerheads or faucets you need to have electrical outlets for it to work.”

5. Finishing Touches: Home Decor

Nearly 30 percent of homeowners purchased home decor during their renovation. The most popular home decor purchases were pillows and throws (51 percent), rugs (50 percent), large furniture (45 percent) and artwork (45 percent). 

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