edubya

POLL: Did your project budget increase due to COVID-19?

Emily H
4 months ago


My Houzz: Eclectic, Farmhouse-Inspired Style in Florida · More Info


For those of you who have proceeded with home improvement and design projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, were you able to increase your budget due to decreased spend in other areas of your life? If so, what area most contributed to your increased home improvement budget?

Yes, reduced commuting costs
Yes, reduced entertainment costs (dining out, concerts, cinema, etc.)
Yes, reduced travel costs (flights, accommodation etc.)
Yes, reduced spending on shopping (clothes, food, tech, etc.)
Yes, reduced spending on health/beauty treatments (hairdresser, massages, etc)
Yes, reduced childcare costs (nanny/daycare fees, private schools, tutors, etc.)
Other (please tell us in the comments below!)

Comments (35)

  • Robbin Capers
    4 months ago

    We did forgo a vacation this year, but we're both essential workers so lots of things were the same and the build we put off due to economic concerns increased to the tune of around $50K.

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  • Raymond Baker
    4 months ago

    We are fortunate to be retired, so our income is fixed. We did not have the worry of where our next penny would come from and our expenses are minimal, having said that we have spent our vacation budget (and more) on upgrading the flooring in our place. The extra funds coming from the fact we eat at home and don’t make use of home delivery services. While some economizing has been achieved (travel and eating out) the cost of car ownership has increased (insurance) and material costs have also risen (along with material availability). COVID has had major impact not only on our health, but life in general.

  • manxkat2
    4 months ago

    We did a complete gut of our retirement condo. Extra expenses due to COVID were incurred in increased material costs and delays in getting materials. In addition, our condo association barred all contractors for 5 months, adding to our living expenses (essentially doubling) while waiting for numbers to go down so construction could be completed.

  • Gitty Schwartz
    3 months ago

    We definitely got impacted, workers and construction were off limits in our state, thereby increasing our rent in the home we rent in and still paying a mortgage for the new house we purchased at the same time! :(
    DOB was way more on the lookout and stop orders were given out left and right!
    Thank Gd we are all OK though!

  • dmkhill
    3 months ago

    We do a LOT of DIY, latest project over the last year: hubby built a (3rd) bedroom addition himself (except for foundations, which we had poured by a local firm). Material costs MUCH higher than than just a couple of years ago when we did 2nd bedroom. And now, even AVAILABILITY is a problem, on top of the higher costs.

    Next project will be 2-car garage with workshop space. Can't wait to see how much more expensive that will be than when we originally planned it... and I'm not really looking forward to being on the other end of those 20-ft+ trusses...

    oh, well, at least we're putting our cancelled month-of-April-in-Tuscany budget to good use!


  • Kim Allman
    3 months ago

    Lumber prices here in SC (and I can only assume elsewhere) are soaring. We are waiting 2-8 weeks for appliance, tile & other materials deliveries when we can get them at all. Any savings from us not going to the movies (maybe twice a year) is non-existent. Our current bathroom reno project is costing more, but we're getting less.

  • Erika
    3 months ago

    We already don't travel due to not having enough PTO at work to do so, and have been cutting our own hair and such to save money since long before hairdressers closed for covid. We've never been shoppers either. We've never had the latest tech and I'm still wearing t-shirts I've had since high school so covid didn't change anything there either. My husband and I are both essential workers and can't work from home so commute costs have remained the same for us. What happened to us is we both caught covid and I ended up hospitalized for it. Due to medical expenses and not getting paid for all the time I missed at work our budget took a massive hit and we have done no work on the house all year.

  • Lorna Spaulding
    3 months ago

    Unable to spend more due to increased prices in groceries and goods. Paying for shipping on things that I used to buy locally.


  • gotlander
    3 months ago

    We paid quite a bit more for products and building materials needed due to Covid. Expenses were increased in some cases dramatically for us. Also the delays for securing needed items in order to proceed with construction has been disappointing. Thankfully, we do not have a timeline that we must follow, and we have other shelter where we can stay indefinitely.

  • PRO
    My Ideas
    3 months ago

    Material costs increased due to the limited supply. I live in the Caribbean where almost all building material is imported. Shipments delays have been significant.

  • Kevin Stanton
    3 months ago

    Material cost added about 40k to my addition renovation cost.

  • Ifeoma Uzoka
    3 months ago

    Same here, to my understanding the price of lumber increased.

  • hollybziegler
    3 months ago

    We just completed a custom home build in 2020. We purchased the framing package in early 2020, (luckily) as there was almost a 35% increase in building materials in Georgia.
    Our electrician was finding it difficult to find and buy his materials as a lot of the products come from China. Covid has definitely affected new construction costs.

  • Jozie McGraw Mader
    3 months ago

    most definitely increased. the the point we thought of going with CIFs or SIPS construction instead of lumber and plywood. only reason we didnt, SIPS was 8+weeks out from ordering... im still unsure it was a good idea. a bunk of osb cost us $2,000 and then we checked the next day and prices went up $3/sheet overnight. this was just last week!

  • Jozie McGraw Mader
    3 months ago

    the other reason we didnt go with SIPs, we could easily change our design by building it with lumber. we added 2 bump outs already and changed roof lines easily. it does have its advantages... I just hope im not kicking myself 10, 20 years down the road...

  • A. Watkins
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    This does not address the question posted, but to add to the discussion, I'd like to point out that the dramatic increase in material prices has not only to do with COIVD this past year, but (in the case of the astronomical price and current shortage of OSB) also the huge jump in demand due to the boarding of businesses and properties in cities all around the country with surges of rioting and destruction. This, on top of interruptions in production due to COVID, as well as a hurricane, were a triple hit. Add to that an increase in home improvement projects last spring and early summer as more people were sheltered in place and working from home, etc. Unprecedented times in many ways.

  • CC M
    3 months ago

    We worked with a designer who created a building plan, which the contractor projected would take seven months to complete. We have two quarantined children homeschooling during a pandemic! Where could we realistically afford to go for seven months? It was back to the drawing board for a new simplified plan, which has significantly increased our cost before we’ve even begun dealing with the dramatic increases in building materials. We’ve split our ADU plan from the main house so we can live in it during construction but this process has resulted in double engineering and submission fees. Covid isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Navigating these waters during this turbulent time has been very costly and we’re still sitting at the dock waiting to set sail.

  • Kirsten
    3 months ago

    Don't forget the impact the tariffs have on prices.

  • Pat Gorman
    3 months ago

    I was almost finished with the gut renovation of my one bedroom co op when the building was shut down for three months due to Covid. When the contractor started the work again, what was to be two weeks became three months. I finally had to move in before it was completed because it added $10,000 roughly to my living and storage expenses.

  • innkeeperlisa
    3 months ago

    Let's not forget the increased cost of imported construction materials, appliances, etc. due to high tariffs imposed on China in the past couple of years. Consumers pay that increased cost. 2020 was a perfect storm that is continuing for 2021.

  • scottishflower
    3 months ago

    The hit in prices was in Canada too. According to business reports, from April to October, lumber prices increased 130%. This would impact in the US too, because a lot of our product goes across the border. We weren't doing much in the way of building, having just added a room in the basement, but I wanted some yard work done, new paths, a couple of short cedar fences (from house to property line, one 15 feet and another 10 feet, with gates, hand built.) First of all, it was almost impossible to get anyone to even quote. I followed up with one company a few weeks ago. He quoted over $20,000 for laying plain concrete pavers. For the fences, he quoted just over $2,000. My husband didn't think that was a bad price for the fences. I contacted a fence contractor and the response was that they don't look at anything less than $5,000 or 100 linear feet. It must be nice to be so wanted. I am going to keep plugging away at getting prices, however, I don't see the work getting done any time soon. Oh, just want to add, that sometimes going for an 'out-of-towner' contractor, can be a bit more reasonable than the local guys, depending on what you're doing, of course. I had some grading done, a small sidewalk jack hammered out, and a big dump truck load of rocks taken for less than $1,800. About 5-6 hours of work with equipment, of course. I am calling those guys back in to see if they can help with other issues. Ahhh, home ownership.

  • Toni Toland
    3 months ago

    We replaced a deck this summer and had a hard time getting materials. When our contractor was finally able to find the 4X4s, the supplier offered him an armed escort back to our place!

  • charrisbigred
    3 months ago

    No. Lumber and building materials have increased so much. Any savings you may have from less entertainment or dining likely won’t cover the difference.

  • Debs Peach
    2 months ago

    We ceased renovations to our cottage due to the astronomical increased cost of building materials. As a simple example here in Ontario a 2' x 4' x 8ft pine construction lumber went from $3 to $7.60 !! and we need a few hundred of those. Don't get me started on pressure treated, like finding a needle in a haystack a d when we did it had literally TRIPLED in price.

  • J R
    2 months ago

    A planned in law cottage for my wife’s 77yr old mom is now on hold due to materials cost. Quite simply prices are so high that it has compromised the ability to stay within a budget and construct a home with a level of quality that we expect.
    For those who say “but interests rates are low...” I think the amount “saved” is an illusion because of the increase cost of materials and labor. In my area of New England a garage that was costing $75-$100K is now double in price.

  • lalantalley
    2 months ago

    We had planned our bathroom renovation BEFORE Covid and ordered the materials as we wanted all materials on site before work was to begin. Then Covid struck and we were unable to get the permits needed to start. The materials were safely delivered to our garage and stored. When we were finally able to start the project we discovered that one of the Duravit sink tops had been broken in transit. We had no way of knowing this as the sink tops were in a larger shipping box. Because it had been months since delivery, we were stuck with the $800 cost to replace the sink top. Perhaps I am unhappy because Ferguson's charged me more for the replacement top than I initially paid for the tops. Needless to say, it set construction back until the replacement top could be on site.

  • Hazel Caulfield
    24 days ago

    Stimulus checks.

  • Ninja Doll
    24 days ago

    No income, no designing, though I did redecorate on a sharp budget. I feel for those who already were partway to reconstruction and could not complete, or had no choice but to complete, their redo :/

  • tutuncommon
    24 days ago

    Something I got hit with which I hadn't (and probably others either) thought about is my homeowners insurance going up due to building material price increases. A re-finance brought my insurance under review and not only has my home appreciated in price but they said a large part of the increase was the replacement cost of building materials. So even NOT doing home improvements has hit my wallet.

  • Kim Jorgensen
    24 days ago

    As an essential worker, I realized no savings due to Covid, and the prices of everything I wanted to do have skyrocketed. Can't even afford to replace a fence.

  • Peggy Berkstresser
    20 days ago

    Costs are soaring! The correct answer to your poll is all of the above!

  • Valerie Guiles
    20 days ago

    We closed on a badly neglected property in Jan 2020. Our contractor told us a 3 month finish date. We did not put a lot of faith into his gutting and transforming our 4400 SF home within 90 days. We were still living in our first house, waiting for contractor to start working at a much faster clip than what we were seeing, when the global plague was acknowledged in March and costs of materials and availability of healthy trained labor became a big issue overnight. Because we couldn’t get the ordered hardware, tiles, granites, wood floors, drywall, electrical, stair lumber, sinks, toilets, tubs- the renovation took one year and the cost shot up from $250K to $500K. Not only was the house in need of replacement parts but we had to fix the pool and deck and the entire, very large yard. The landscaper had trouble getting good sod, even. We used 3 different moving companies , moving in phases, going from one shocking disappointment to another. Each moving company was hoped to be certainly better than the last one. The evaluator would estimate the cost of our move but the actual labor who showed up on moving day seemed to be untrained, green card permit carrying, temporary labor. Not one person spoke English and no one would wear a mask on privately owned properties. Not one employee seemed to acknowledge having experience with proper handling of 200 year old antiques. Like so many older, finer businesses and small personable shops , the customer oriented, quality moving companies in our area had folded during the plague. And so to answer your question, we don’t know anyone who renovated or who built a home who was able to offset the horrible experiences and astronomical expenses we endured in Florida because of the pandemic by not eating out or by not spending discretionary income. We are lucky. Our personal income was cut by one third because we are manufacturers of a product line directly affected by the pandemic. Comparatively, so many young people in Central Florida are in the hospitality and tourism industry and it goes without saying that a large percentage of these young Americans have lost their jobs and their homes.

  • Marguerite Mastromatto
    20 days ago

    I was in the middle of a kitchen remodel. Thankfully, appliances were delivered right before the quarantine. Everything else is taking longer or on hold due to prices. I am taking one step at a time. For an example, I needed additional cabinet handles and switched a few to a larger handle. I had paid less than $6 prior to the quarantine. New price a few months later - $15.65.

  • Shawn Brown
    20 days ago

    We purchased a house in Michigan pre-covid, and worked a complete renovation during covid. There are multiple times that we received a quote, only to find out that materials had increased by the time we purchased the building items. One example was our electrician, he quoted us on Tuesday, and came to complete the work on Thursday, but by then the materials had jumped another 14%. Lumber such as 2x4s, are up about $3.80 each from the start of our project! Talk about price gouging!