Much like the year before, 2021 continued to see many people spending more time at home, leading to homeowners investing more money into maintaining and upgrading their spaces. According to Angi’s 2021 State of Home Spending Report, the average home improvement spending was $10,341 this year—a 25% increase from 2020.
Spending on emergency repairs increased 42%, with an average of $2,231 spent on an average of 2.2 projects per household, likely due to the added stress on home systems from people being indoors more. Weather also played a part; the report found that in states that experienced severe weather conditions, such as California, Texas, and New York, emergency repairs were even higher.
Thanks to a red-hot housing market, homeowners also gained equity. “2021 also presented homeowners with trillions of dollars of unexpected home equity, and that wealth has been, at least in part, reinvested in the home through improvements, maintenance, and repairs,” says Mischa Fisher, chief economist at Angi.
So what can homeowners expect to spend on home repairs and improvements as we head into 2022? The Angi report says that the rise in home improvements in 2021 (and the ongoing pandemic, which has centered our lives around our homes), is likely to continue for the next few years.
Plus, the housing market is expected to remain competitive next year, which means more equity and focus on maintaining and upgrading homes. Here are the home repair costs and trends to expect in 2022, along with how to financially prepare.
Home repair costs are higher—and will continue to be in 2022
Inflation, labor shortages, and rising housing prices have led to an increase in home maintenance costs. According to Thumbtack’s Home Care Price Index, the average cost to maintain a single-family home increased by 9.3% this year, bringing the annual total to $4,886. Thumbtack, which helps people find professionals for a variety of tasks, including home services, found that 30% of homeowners surveyed say they plan to spend more than $10,000 on home projects in 2022.
“The average cost of home repairs is a hard number to pin down because each house, and each repair, is different,” says Leonard Ang, CEO of online real estate guide iProperty Management. “The overall trend, though, has been for higher prices across the board. There have been serious supply and labor shortages in the home repair sector, and with more people working from home, we’re seeing an increased use of home appliances, and people are better able to notice issues with their homes.”
According to home improvement financing platform Acorn Finance, homeowners should expect to spend an average of $3,600 in 2022 for home repairs.
Prepare for uncertainty around material and labor costs—and don’t wait on essential repairs
Lumber costs were high this year, and though they dipped a bit, expect material shortages in 2022 as well. Pedro Passos, one of the founders of Florida-based construction company International Contractors of America, says there has been a shortage in materials “from appliances to shingles” across the country the past few months, which have led to more expensive repairs and longer delivery times. “This is expected to continue into 2022, as a lot of supply chains linked to the construction industry have been affected because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Passos.
This could affect home repairs and improvements such as building a deck, upgrades to your kitchen, or essential maintenance projects like reinforcing your roof. “Homeowners should consider alternative materials such as wood veneer for a wooden look at a lower price,” says Adam Graham, construction industry analyst at home remodeling cost resource, Fixr.
Graham says that due to rising energy costs, many homeowners are making sure their homes are more energy-efficient, which includes checking and maintaining the roof to make sure it’s insulated properly and no air is escaping (or getting in).
“Homeowners should make haste in getting any type of roof repair complete before it becomes a bigger and costlier problem; the cost to replace a roof is much higher than repairing,” explains Graham. He also says a well-maintained roof adds curb appeal, which can help when selling a home.
Start planning and budgeting for 2022 repairs now
The best thing you can do is plan ahead for any 2022 home repairs and improvements. “A great way to save on home repairs, especially if you are planning for a project long-term, is to buy your own materials ahead of time,” says Ang. “Be on the lookout for deals at home improvement stores, local vendors, and other sources, and stock up on everything you’ll need before you even call the contractor.”
Review and prepare your finances to get a good picture of what you can afford to spend on home repairs, and save for when any emergency home expenses come up. Start your research now for any bigger projects you have planned for the new year, so you can start budgeting for those.
“If you want to start your repair mid-2022, start reaching out to contractors and getting quotes,” says Passos. “They will have a better idea on delivery times for materials, but do not be surprised with a delivery time for a single finish of two to three months.”
Hiranmayi Srinivasan, Better Homes & Gardens