Many Underestimate These Home Improvement Costs


First-time home buyers may assume that once they’ve purchased their home – a costly feat these days – they’re done losing money. However, they may not properly budget common home improvement projects, which can be large.

According to a recent HomeAdvisor, powered by Angi, survey. And that’s likely becoming a bigger issue, as labor shortages, global supply chain issues, high inflation and rising building material costs are delaying projects and making them cost much more. expensive than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Digital Marketplace, which connects consumers to local home services, surveyed more than 900 people in October about home improvements and the cost of various projects.

“While material costs may have exacerbated the gap between estimated and actual costs for home improvement projects, it was not the primary driver,” says Micha Fisher, chief economist at Angi. (After a merger, HomeAdvisor is now HomeAdvisor, powered by Angi.)

“People usually don’t realize the complexity of home improvement projects and constantly underestimate their costs,” says Fisher. “For example, someone installing new flooring may consider the cost of the new flooring, but not include the additional costs of demolishing and removing the previous flooring, removing and from replacing appliances and/or cabinets, preparing and cleaning the site, and most importantly, the high quality labor required to complete each of these steps.

About 4 in 10 people did not know how much it would cost to have windows installed. Meanwhile, more than a quarter underestimated the price to have the interior of their homes painted, a popular pastime during the pandemic as people were stuck indoors. And nearly 1 in 4 underestimate the cost of landscaping, by about 67% on average, according to the survey.

For example, professional painters charge between $200 and $800 to paint a 10-by-12-foot room, according to HomeAdvisor. Those who do it themselves will usually spend between $100 and $300. However, survey respondents estimated that it would cost them about half of what they would spend if they did the work themselves.

Many Americans also underestimated the landscaping costs – by about two-thirds of the price of performing the job. About a quarter of households completed a landscaping project in 2020 when the pandemic hit.

A disconnect between what people think something costs and what it actually does would help explain why about two-thirds of Americans say home maintenance projects are stressful. Men were less likely to say repairing their home was stressful, at 58%, compared to 43% of women.

HomeAdvisor experts advise people to add about 5-10% to their initial project estimates to account for future fluctuations in the prices of materials, appliances, and other items.

To save money, people can also opt to repair or refinish what they already have instead of replacing it. This could mean painting dated kitchen cabinets or house siding rather than buying new ones.

“With any home renovation, it’s important to get several estimates before signing a contract,” says Fisher. “And remember that the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Consider the quality of work, ask for references, and check ratings and reviews online before deciding who to hire.


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