Americans Spent $150 billion on Home Improvements & Repairs in 2013

If one wanted to understand the characteristics of the housing stock in the US, including its size, composition, physical conditions, home improvements, characteristics of recent movers, and housing costs, the American Housing Survey (AHS) would be the place to go. The AHS is conducted every other year by the Census Bureau and sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This post will focus narrowly on data showing that American homeowners have significantly cut down on the amount of money they spend improving and repairing their homes.

According to NAHB analysis of the most recent data, home owners spent about $150 billion on home improvements and repairs in 2013. That was 34% less than in 2007 ($227 billion), 19% less than in 2009 ($186 billion), and 16% less than in 2011 ($178 billion). In the 10 years included in this analysis, total homeowner remodeling expenditures have only been lower once: in 2003, when they were $128 billion.

Improvements blog I

The AHS data also allow us to see total expenditures by job type. In 2013, for example, the three jobs with the highest expenditures were roofing ($18.2 billion), kitchen remodels ($13.0 billion), and disaster repairs ($12.2 billion). The same three jobs ranked highest in 2011, but not in 2009. That year, kitchen remodels was first ($19.6 billion), followed by roofing ($17.2 billion), and bath remodels ($11.7 billion).

Total Homeowner Improvement & Repair Expenditures (Millions of $)
2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 Households* (Millions)
Kitchen Remodels $11,449 $17,523 $25,378 $19,560 $16,956 $12,988

3.9

Bath Remodels 7,161 11,174 14,496 11,672 11,284 9,257

5.4

Room Additions and Alterations
Kitchen 1,232 981 1,111 1,132 1,010 792 0.1
Bath
Created finished bathroom from unfinished space 928 803 1,016 1,081 727 666 0.2
Added bathroom onto home 1,296 1,640 1,312 1,751 876 950 0.2
Bathroom created through structural changes 334 236 711 971 645 563 0.2
Bedroom
Created finished bedroom from unfinished space 2,979 4,037 3,315 2,605 1,402 1,010 0.5
Added bedroom onto home 5,427 7,489 7,536 7,870 2,337 4,196 0.3
Bedroom created through structural changes 2,208 1,061 1,541 1,639 924 1,119 0.6
Other
Created finished recreation room from unfinished space 2,575 4,882 2,905 2,143 1,773 1,454 0.4
Created other finished inside room from unfinished space 3,958 5,126 5,120 4,046 1,989 2,074 0.9
Added other inside room onto home 5,118 10,273 11,230 7,272 3,944 3,068 0.3
Other room created through structural changes 2,027 2,126 3,570 3,567 2,259 2,399 1.1
Outside Attachments
Deck/Porch
Added porch onto home 1,004 1,401 2,036 1,342 1,490 1,316 0.7
Added deck onto home 1,905 2,276 2,451 1,822 2,002 1,571 0.8
Garage/Carport
Added attached garage onto home 2,045 1,698 1,445 1,310 1,373 1,128 0.1
Added carport onto home 221 288 266 302 196 227 0.1
Systems and Equipment
Plumbing/Pipes 1,173 1,609 2,220 1,640 1,560 1,352 3.3
Electrical System 1,562 1,950 3,352 2,504 2,529 2,154 5.2
Plumbing Fixtures 1,855 2,409 3,919 3,489 3,220 2,992 9.4
HVAC
Added/replaced central air conditioning 4,799 6,665 7,502 7,354 9,376 7,270 5.0
Added/replaced built-in heating equipment 3,047 3,527 5,730 6,026 7,614 5,944 4.8
Appliances/Major Equipment
Added/replaced water heater 1,041 1,313 1,776 2,143 2,715 2,173 7.5
Added/replaced built-in dishwasher 918 1,305 1,345 1,135 1,431 1,208 5.3
Added/replaced garbage disposal 133 193 964 235 290 256 4.1
Added/replaced security system 384 448 968 686 675 655 3.5
Exterior Additions and Replacements
Roofing 11,115 16,229 17,965 17,150 21,942 18,211 7.8
Siding 5,043 6,241 6,454 4,935 5,171 3,756 2.3
Windows/Doors 7,626 10,252 12,928 11,639 12,036 8,399 8.6
Interior Additions and Replacements
Insulation 590 2,468 2,393 1,824 2,179 1,539 3.7
Flooring/Paneling/Ceiling
Added wall-to-wall carpeting over finished floor 2,316 6,082 7,581 4,398 4,725 3,821 5.5
Added other types of flooring such as wood, tile, marble, or vinyl 5,743 7,692 13,802 8,772 9,577 8,067 10.3
Installed paneling or ceiling tiles 1,428 2,596 4,338 2,098 2,307 1,920 4.2
Other 1,266 2,565 3,721 1,998 1,908 2,461 2.0
Disaster Repairs 4,866 9,804 12,999 10,879 12,156 12,183 2.1
Other Property Additions and Replacements
Added other outside structure 2,050 2,542 1,951 1,356 1,771 1,053 0.5
Septic tank 693 672 970 738 747 446 0.4
Driveways or walkways 3,903 5,234 6,343 4,990 4,780 4,290 4.3
Fencing or walls 3,091 3,721 4,924 4,726 3,805 2,980 4.4
Patio, terrace, or detached deck 2,465 3,665 4,395 3,732 4,601 4,077 3.0
Swimming pool, tennis court, or other recreational structure 3,515 7,089 6,301 3,758 3,829 2,510 0.9
Shed, detached garage, or other building 4,324 4,107 4,418 5,899 4,297 4,044 2.2
Other major improvements or repairs to lot or yard 1,334 1,370 2,207 1,380 1,293 1,339 1.0
Total $128,149 $184,764 $226,906 $185,574 $177,719 $149,877 126.9

* Number of households undertaking each type of job in 2013.

 

The majority of jobs listed above saw their levels of expenditure fall in 2013, and for many that was yet another decrease following losses in 2009 and 2011. The addition/replacement of pools, tennis courts or other recreational facility, for example, fell by 34% to $2.5 billion in 2013; while the addition/replacement of doors and windows fell by 30% to $8.4 billion.

There were, however, a few jobs that saw increased levels of expenditure from 2011 to 2013, including added bedroom onto home (up 80% to $4.2 billion), created bedroom through structural changes (up 21% to $1.1 billion), and added bathroom onto home (up 9% to $950 million).

It is also worth noting that homeowner expenditures on disaster repairs were 150% larger in 2013 than in 2003, rising from $4.9 billion to $12.2 billion. The most frequent type of job in 2013 was the addition of wood/tile/marble/vinyl flooring, undertaken by 10.3 million households that year, followed by the addition or replacement of plumbing fixtures (9.4 million), and the addition or replacement of windows and doors (8.6 million homeowners).

 



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