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Most Popular Home Renovations in 2020

With a renewed focus on being home, people are repurposing interior and exterior spaces to reflect their changing lifestyles.

Most Popular Home Renovations in 2020

Remodeling projects have skyrocketed nationwide during the pandemic at the same time interest rates have dipped to historic lows.1 Many local contractors, designers, and realtors have also noticed an uptick in renovations, with more work, school, and extracurricular activities taking place at home. Low interest-based HELOCs and home equity loans are contributing, in part, to this trend.

Home design site Houzz reported a 58% annual increase in leads for home projects in June.2

Top Motivators

Nearly half of the homes in the U.S. were built before 1980.3

As the average age of homes rises, so too does the need for renovation. So it’s not surprising that Americans spend more than $400 billion per year on residential renovations and repairs.4

For those who had already begun a construction or remodeling project, the pause at the start of the pandemic afforded homeowners the time to continue or complete the work. Adding value to the home and making it “feel more cozy”1 were other factors prompting homeowners to spice up their space.

Additionally, security enhancements, “smart” technology, and healthy home remodeling represent growing market trends, with spending up 20% each year since 2016.5

Spaces Reimagined

Here are a few of the most popular pandemic-inspired home renovation projects:2

  • Garages are being converted into home offices.
  • Man caves and she sheds are being built to function as flex space, providing a spare bedroom, play area, or yoga studio.
  • Basements are becoming gyms and classrooms.
  • Backyards are transforming into outdoor oases, with double the demand for pools, decks, and patios.
  • Mudrooms have taken on new life as dedicated areas to remove outerwear and store packages.

Home additions increased 52%, with fence installation and repairs up 166%.2

While kitchens and bathrooms have always been at the top of the remodeling list, even they saw a 40% increase in demand in June2, with more people cooking and eating at home

Cost vs. Value

Bathrooms tend to recoup 67.2% of the cost they take to remodel, and kitchens recoup 62.1% of their cost. Other high-yielding projects include siding (75.6%), decks (75.6%), roofing (68.2%), and window replacement (70.8%).

Rochester, NY vs. 2020 National Averages6

Here's a closer look at the 2020 averages for home remodeling in Rochester, NY, according to the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report.6

(National Avg)
Resale Value
Resale Value
(National Avg)
Cost Recouped
Cost Recouped
(National Avg)
Change vs. 2019
ProjectGarage Door Replacement
Cost (Rochester)$3,654
Cost (National Avg)$3,695
Resale Value (Rochester)$2,440
Resale Value (National Avg)$3,491
Cost Recouped (Rochester)66.8%
Cost Recouped (National Avg)94.5%
Change vs. 2019Increase
ProjectManufactured Stone Veneer
Cost (Rochester)$9,291
Cost (National Avg)$9,357
Resale Value (Rochester)$7,000
Resale Value (National Avg)$8,943
Cost Recouped (Rochester)75.3%
Cost Recouped (National Avg)95.6%
Change vs. 2019Increase
ProjectMinor Kitchen Remodel (Midrange)
Cost (Rochester)$22,664
Cost (National Avg)$23,452
Resale Value (Rochester)$13,417
Resale Value (National Avg)$18,206
Cost Recouped (Rochester)59.2%
Cost Recouped (National Avg)77.6%
Change vs. 2019Increase
ProjectDeck Addition (Wood)
Cost (Rochester)$14,000
Cost (National Avg)$14,360
Resale Value (Rochester)$8,300
Resale Value (National Avg)$10,355
Cost Recouped (Rochester)59.3%
Cost Recouped (National Avg)72.1%
Change vs. 2019Increase
ProjectWindow Replacement (Vinyl)
Cost (Rochester)$17,240
Cost (National Avg)$17,641
Resale Value (Rochester)$11,400
Resale Value (National Avg)$12,761
Cost Recouped (Rochester)66.1%
Cost Recouped (National Avg)72.3%
Change vs. 2019Increase
ProjectWindow Replacement (Wood)
Cost (Rochester)$21,010
Cost (National Avg)$21,495
Resale Value (Rochester)$12,400
Resale Value (National Avg)$14,804
Cost Recouped (Rochester)59.0%
Cost Recouped (National Avg)68.9%
Change vs. 2019Increase
ProjectEntry Door Replacement (Steel)
Cost (Rochester)$1,860
Cost (National Avg)$1,881
Resale Value (Rochester)$2,175
Resale Value (National Avg)$1,294
Cost Recouped (Rochester)116.9%
Change vs. 2019Increase
ProjectRoofing Replacement (Asphalt Shingles)
Cost (Rochester)$25,244
Cost (National Avg)$24,700
Resale Value (Rochester)$16,000
Resale Value (National Avg)$16,287
Cost Recouped (Rochester)63.4%
Change vs. 2019Increase
ProjectBath Remodel (Midrange)
Cost (Rochester)$20,825
Cost (National Avg)$21,377
Resale Value (Rochester)$12,200
Resale Value (National Avg)$13,688
Cost Recouped (Rochester)58.6%
Change vs. 2019Increase
ProjectMaster Suite Addition (Midrange)
Cost (Rochester)$135,432
Cost (National Avg)$136,739
Resale Value (Rochester)$58,000
Resale Value (National Avg)$80,029
Cost Recouped (Rochester)42.8%
Change vs. 2019Increase


1. Home equity rates 2020 review and forecast
2. CNBC: Pandemic home remodeling is booming: Here’s what your neighbors are doing 3. US Census data, 2018
4. Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
5. Statista: Smart Home Statistics & Facts, 2020
6. ©2020 Hanley Wood LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free

How to Build Equity

If you’re considering a renovation project, learn more about ESL Home Equity solutions as an affordable form of financing. Even calculate how much equity you can borrow and start planning your next project.