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Kitchen Renovation Spend and Hiring Climb in 2021-22

Get the scoop on dollars, stats — and a big surprise in materials

Elena Vega

Unfazed by surging costs, homeowners are shelling out more for new kitchen layouts and features this year, and getting plenty of pro help. Discover all the trend and analysis highlights from the 2022 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study below, along with some unexpected survey responses. 

Burgeoning Budgets

Homeowners dropped more dollars on both major and minor kitchen remodels than during the same period a year earlier. The median spend on major remodels, meaning at least all-new cabinets and appliances, grew by 14%, to $40,000. Minor remodels saw an even bigger budget boost, rising by 25%, to $10,000. And size doesn’t matter here: For kitchens both larger and smaller than 250 feet, the median spend increased by $5,000.

“We’re seeing a rise in overall kitchen renovation spend as homeowners not only splurge on specific features but also make major modifications to the kitchen layout, systems and walls,” says Marine Sargsyan, Houzz senior economist.

Upgrades Aplenty

Homeowners aren’t skimping on the range of renewed features, either. A substantial 43% change the layout, 38% upgrade systems, and more than a third modify walls. While kitchen sizes aren’t changing much, 5% of homeowners switch the location.

The reasons for this spate of bringing kitchens up to date? More than a third of renovators say their impetus was that they could no longer stand the old kitchen. (Working from home at a crowded kitchen table in a dysfunctional space, anyone?) And 45% report they’d been wanting to renovate all along and finally had the means. That percentage is up by 5 points this year.

Pursuing the Pros

Given the flurry of DIY-unfriendly remodeling projects, it follows that pros are being hired in droves. “In fact, hiring rates for home professionals to complete these projects are the highest we’ve seen in four years,” Sargsyan says. A whopping 89% of homeowners bring on pro help, up by 4%. General contractors are the most sought after, with 53% of renovators hiring them — also up by 4%. Cabinetmakers, kitchen designers, interior designers and kitchen remodelers also have been seeing higher demand this year.

These stats coincide with the findings of other Houzz research, in which construction pros say project inquiries have increased. 

The Material World

Countertops are at the top of the upgrades list, with 91% of homeowners revamping them. Backsplashes aren’t far behind, at 86%, and sinks are being swapped out by 84%. Kitchen electronics haven’t quite caught on yet, with only 9% of homeowners upgrading them.

Cabinets comprise their own category, with 94% of renovators either fully or partially replacing them. When the cabinets aren’t totally swapped out, refinishing is the upgrade of choice. A quarter of homeowners also add some cabinets.

Wood reigns supreme among new cabinet materials, with 76% of renovators going with solid wood and 20% opting for plywood. The least popular choices? Acrylic and stainless steel.

Now for a surprise! Despite swelling product, material and labor prices, only 2 in 5 homeowners (43%) say cost was a factor in choosing their new cabinet material. More important are look and feel (78%) and durability (52%).

That sentiment is shared for countertops too. Look and feel, durability and ease of cleaning trump cost as deciding factors (cited by 69%, 57%, 38% and 23%, respectively). 

“It is clear that homeowners are willing to spend a little more to get exactly what they want in countertops that are both beautiful and practical,” says Sargsyan.

With homeowners spending more, hiring more and looking to get more functional kitchens than ever, now is a great time to make sure your business processes are up to the task. Can they not just handle the load but scale in the future if needed? Check out Houzz Pro, the cloud-based platform favored by many construction and design professionals to manage accounting, team member tasks, communications and much more.

About the Study

The 2022 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study surveyed homeowners who had completed a kitchen remodel or addition in the past 12 months, were currently working on one or planned to start one in the next three months.

Download the full report.

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Elena Vega has been writing and editing for more than 20 years. Word games fan. Adoring mom. New York native calling San Francisco home.

Comments (5)

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  • PRO
    Creative Kitchen & Bath
    2 years ago

    I agree wholeheartedly with the comments by CW Design. She mentions Boston, NYC & SF, and the same holds true here in Seattle. In fact, I'm guessing most major metropolitan areas--or at least those on the east & west coasts--have remodeling costs well above those noted in the survey. I expect that this (major metropolitan areas) is also where the majority of remodeling spending occurs. It might be more helpful for next year's survey to segment the market accordingly, providing more accurate information for many of us and our prospective clients. We've long encountered the "but on HGTV they could do it for so much less" issue, which creates a problem we have to deal with. Don't aggravate that problem by giving homeowners another document creating false expectations, which many big city remodelers will have to refute.

  • PRO
    Jackson Home & Garden
    2 years ago

    We are currently wrapping up an average-sized kitchen remodel of new cherry cabinetry, new oak flooring, new stainless appliances, a new Andersen Window, new Led lighting, etc., etc. The client will be in over $100,000 by the time we are complete. No change in layout. This is insane!

  • PRO
    Bathtub Doctor
    2 years ago

    I was say it, the average for my New York area is around 75k


  • PRO
    Aldridge Design Group
    2 years ago

    I do believe the costs of the kitchen renovations are highly understated. Even here in South Carolina, material and labor costs warrant higher budget figures.

  • PRO
    CW Design, LLC
    2 years ago

    Thank you. In my experience as a kitchen designer in the Boston area, an average kitchen overhaul is $75k and up. I don't know what is possible for $40k in this area, but I've never seen it, even before the recent rise in prices. Generalized reports like this don't do any favors for professionals in more expensive regions, as we have to constantly reset expectations set by HGTV and reports like this. I'd be surprised if NYC and SF were any different. It would be helpful if you could at least point that out in your article. Thank you.

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