Home Renovation Spend Hits New High: Renovation spend has surged in the past three years, with the median spend* increasing by 60% between 2020 ($15,000) and 2023 ($24,000). The top 90th percentile of spend rose as well, increasing by 77% between 2020 ($85,000) and 2023 ($150,000). In addition, more than half of renovating homeowners (51%) spent $25,000 or more on their renovations in 2023, up from 37% in 2020.

Planning Time Far Exceeds Building Time: Homeowners dedicate about twice as much time on average to the planning phase of a renovation project compared with the construction phase, across all rooms. Kitchen renovations had the longest timeline in 2023, with 9.6 months of planning and 5.1 months of building on average. Living rooms follow, with 8.1 months of planning and 4.1 months of building.

Credit Card Use Surges: Cash from savings continues to be the most common funding for renovation projects (83%), followed at a distance by credit cards (37%). That said, credit card use jumped by 9 percentage points in 2023, from 28% in 2022. Homeowners gravitate toward diversified funding sources for bigger-budget projects, between $50,000 and $200,000, using home loans and cash from home sales (23% and 21%, respectively) nearly as commonly as credit cards (32%).

Gen Xers Still Spend the Most: Gen Xers spent the most on renovation projects for the second year in a row. Their median spend in 2023 was $25,000, compared with Baby Boomers at $24,000. The top 10% of spenders in these groups had substantial project budgets, with Gen Xers at $180,000 and Baby Boomers at $131,000.

Kitchens and Bathrooms Lead in Project Activity: Kitchens continue to lead as the most commonly renovated interior room (29%), followed closely by guest bathrooms and primary bathrooms (27% and 25%, respectively). Living room projects also are popular, with 1 in 5 homeowners (21%) undertaking them. The median spend for kitchen and primary bath projects jumped in 2022, and in 2023 it increased again — by 20% and 11%, reaching $24,000 and $15,000, respectively.

Professional Hiring Remains Strong: While overall pro hiring remains consistent with the previous year, with more than 9 in 10 renovating homeowners hiring professional help, the share hiring specialty service providers has increased slightly, rising from 46% in 2022 to 47% in 2023. The average number of specialty service providers hired has stayed constant at 1.7 over these two years. On the other hand, the share of renovating homeowners hiring construction professionals, such as general contractors, has decreased from 44% in 2022 to 42% in 2023.