Baths Edge Kitchens for Most Common Remodeling Project in 2013

May 1, 2014

May is National Home Remodeling Month. We lead off a series of posts in recognition of the occasion with results from NAHB’s quarterly Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey showing that bathrooms remained the most common type of job performed by NAHB Remodelers in 2013.

Among remodelers responding to the 4th Quarter 2013 RMI survey, bathroom remodeling was cited as a common job during the year by 72 percent, followed closely by kitchen remodeling at 70 percent. Since the inception of the survey in 2001, bathrooms and kitchens have been jockeying for top spot on the most popular remodeling projects list. At first kitchen remodeling led the race by a few percentage points, but after 2009 bathroom remodeling edged into first place where it has remained through 2013.Remodeling Jobs in 2013Although other categories of remodeling trail kitchens and baths by a substantial margin, window and door replacements, whole house remodeling, and room additions are also relatively popular projects, cited as common jobs in 2013 by 35 to 40 percent of remodelers each. Repairing damage, handyman services and decks were cited as common by 25 to 29 percent.

In general, there have been few large changes in the percentages over the last two iterations of the common remodeling projects questions, but whole house remodeling has rebounded from a low point during the depths of the housing downturn.Whole House HistoryAfter spending most of the decade of the 2000s well above 40 percent, the share of remodelers citing whole house remodeling as a common project plummeted to 21 percent in the second quarter of 2010, before bouncing back up to 35 percent in the first quarter of 2012 and 39 percent in the latest survey. Although not back to its pre-2010 peak, the rising share of NAHB members reporting that a big ticket item like whole house remodeling has become common for them is a sign that the market has made some progress toward a recovery.

Spaces in New Homes

October 4, 2013

How space is distributed in a new home is a frequently asked question.  To collect information on this, NAHB recently surveyed its single-family builder members. The average percent distribution of finished space in the typical new home built by NAHB’s members is illustrated below.

Spaces in New Homes

In addition to an average breakdown of space in all new homes, NAHB looked at the breakdown for a small home (based on averages for homes under 2,000 square feet) and a large home (based on homes with at least 3,000 square feet).

Findings include the following:

Bedroom space accounts for just under 29% of floor space in new homes, irrespective of the overall size of those homes.

Bathroom space is allotted 12.3% of total floor area on average, with more space allocated in larger homes, and less in smaller ones.

The share of space covered by the laundry room—which is present in the vast majority of homes, irrespective of their size—is 3.7% and varies only to a minor extent with the size of the home.

Entry foyers account for 3.4% of the finished area on average.

Kitchens get about 11.9% of the space in small homes, versus 11.1% of the space in larger ones.

Dining areas account for 7.8% of the space in small homes and 7% of the space in larger ones.

The family room accounts for just over 11% of floor space in small, average, and large size homes, while the living room accounts for nearly 12% of the space in the small home and 7.5% in the large one.

Complete details, including tables showing how often builders include various types of rooms in new homes and the size of the rooms in square feet, are available in the October 1 Special Study published by NAHB in

New Homes Fill Demand for 2 1/2 Baths

April 11, 2013

Roughly one-third of home buyers are looking for a home with two full bathrooms, and roughly one-third of both new and existing homes have exactly two full bathrooms.  But over half of buyers want a home with more than two full baths, and that’s where new homes do a much better job of matching current preferences.

According to NAHB’s recent What Home Buyers Really Want survey, 43 percent of recent and prospective buyers want a home with either two and a half or three full baths.  That matches exactly the percentage of new homes built in 2011 with two and a half or three full baths.  On the other hand, relatively few existing homes, and even fewer existing homes on the market for sale, have that many bathrooms.Baths graph

According to the official definitions, a full bathroom has hot & cold running water, a sink, a toilet, and a shower or bathtub.  A half bathroom has hot & cold running water and either a toilet or shower/bathtub.

The distributions of buyer preferences for number of bathrooms and actual number of bathrooms in new and existing homes are shown in the table below.  From the table it’s easy to see that new homes matches what buyers say they want quite closely, with the new-home distribution skewed only slightly toward the high end (more than three full bathrooms).

Baths Table

In contrast, the distribution of bathrooms in existing home is skewed strongly toward the low end.  About a third of existing homes—and 40 percent of existing homes that on the market for sale—have fewer than two full bathrooms, something relatively few home buyers say they want.

In the table above, data on new homes comes from the Survey of Construction public use file, and is based on single-family homes started in 2011.  Data on existing homes comes from the 2011 American Housing Survey and is based on homes that are classified either owner-occupied or vacant for sale.  Both surveys are funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Policy Development & Research, and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Bathrooms Top Kitchens as Most Popular Remodeling Project in 2011

May 8, 2012

Special questions included on NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey show that home owners remain interested in updating the most heavily used rooms in their homes.  Bathroom remodeling was a common job in 2011 for 78 percent of the remodelers responding to the 1st Quarter 2012 RMI survey—highest for any type of remodeling project included on the questionnaire—followed by kitchen remodeling at 69 percent.

Bathrooms and kitchens have consistently been the two most common types of jobs for professional remodelers since the inception of the RMI survey in 2001.  After 2009, however, bathroom and kitchen remodeling switched places, with bathrooms moving into the top spot.  The 78 percent of remodelers citing bathrooms as a common project in the first quarter of 2012 is an all-time high.

Other popular jobs in 2011 (listed as common by at least 35 percent of remodelers) were window and door replacements, repairing property damage, and whole house remodeling, although whole house remodeling is down significantly from its peak in the mid-2000s. Less common remodeling jobs include finishing attics, garages and adding second stories.  Adding and repairing roofs, siding and decks were cited as common projects by a little under one-quarter of the remodelers.

The survey report, including complete history for the question on common types of remodeling jobs, is available online at