Knowing the Costs of America’s Favorite Home Renovation Projects

Cost is a vicious killer of many a American homeowner’s renovation and repair dream.

For budget-minded homeowners, the potential costs of major project derail them before they can get out of the idea stage. High dollar signs have kept many a failing roof and warped kitchen floor on the job well past their retirement age.

As a general rule, it’s not cheap to renovate in America. American homeowner and landlords spent an astronomical $424 billion on home improvements in 2017, according to Improving America’s Housing 2019, a Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies Analysis of government data. That figure was up 26 billion from the country’s home renovation spending in 2016.  

The refreshing news, as millions of homeowners have learned, is not all game-changing home face lifts take a sledgehammer to your savings account. In fact, some of the high priority projects that deliver both the best return on investments for your home and improve its functionality are actually the most affordable home renovation projects. 

So don’t give up on your home renovation dreams without first researching their costs. Here are Money Magazine’s Most Popular American Home Renovation and Repair Projects and what it costs to pull them off.

Floors and Ceilings

  • The Goal: Replacing carpeting, flooring, paneling or ceiling tiles.
  • Number of Homeowners Reporting Project: 5.2 million
  • Average Cost: $3,283

Sinks and other Fixtures

  • The Goal: Replacing a home’s plumbing fixtures
  • Number of Homeowners Reporting Project: 4.1 million
  • Average Cost: $1,360

Time-Saving Kitchen Appliances

  • The Goal: Adding a new garbage disposal or built-in dishwasher
  • Number of Homeowners Reporting Project: 3.7 million
  • Average Cost: $570

Windows and Doors

  • The Goal: Replacing doors or windows
  • Number of Homeowners Reporting Project: 3.7 million.
  • Average Cost: $3,422

Water Heater

  • The Goal: Replacing a water heater
  • Number of Homeowners Reporting Project: 3.6 million
  • Average Cost: $976


Lawn & Landscape Projects

  • The Goal: Improving a home’s landscaping or sprinkler system
  • Number of Homeowners Reporting Project: 2.8 million
  • Average Cost: $2,497

Air Conditioning

  • The Goal: Adding or replacing central air conditioning
  • Number of Homeowners Reporting Projects: 2.7 million
  • Average Cost: $5,113

Minor Bathroom Remodel

  • The Goal: A small and inexpensive bathroom remodeling project
  • Number of Homeowners Reporting Project: 2.5 million
  • Average Cost: $3,435

Electrical Work

  • The Goal: Replacing electrical wiring, fuse boxes or breaker switches
  • Number of Homeowners Reporting Project: 2.2 million
  • Average Cost: $1,473

Almost every home renovation and repair project carries a price tag that’s more than we care to spend, but knowing the actual average cost of your home’s most needed renovation and repair projects can help you turn them from dreams to reality. 

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