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Remodeling Industry Sees a Bright 2021

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Remodeling Industry Sees a Bright 2021

The remodeling market declined at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March and April, but quickly bounced back and has since more than fully recovered. Here's where it stands now.

By NAHB June 1, 2021
man pushing 2020 off a ledge
This article first appeared in the NAHB Supplement issue of Pro Remodeler.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is proud to present this special supplement to Pro Remodeler that takes a broad look at the remodeling industry and examines the emerging trends and challenges facing this key sector of the residential construction industry.

In order to look forward, we need to first take a look back at an extraordinary year that put an exclamation point on how the home is central to American life. It is the place where families make cherished memories and where workers are building a better tomorrow.


The remodeling market declined at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March and April, but quickly bounced back and has since more than fully recovered. As Americans stayed at home much more during the pandemic, it created increased consumer demand for remodeling in all areas of the country.

NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) provides insight on current market conditions as well as future indicators for the remodeling market, with an index number above 50 indicating that a higher share of remodelers view conditions as good rather than poor. In the first quarter of 2021, the RMI posted a reading of 86, up a solid 38 points from the first quarter of 2020. The large year-over-year increase signals a very strong recovery in remodeling activity since the onset of the pandemic. In fact, NAHB estimates that residential remodeling will register a solid 6 percent gain this year over 2020.

Several other factors fueled solid demand, including an aging housing stock, a limited supply of homes for sale, higher requests for aging-in-place work, and increased preferences for home offices, exercise rooms and other specialty rooms. Moreover, demand for home offices is expected to hold firm once the pandemic recedes, as additional telecommuting flexibility is likely to be the norm across much of the nation.

What else is in store for the remodeling sector after COVID-19? This supplement seeks to answer that question and look at several other issues affecting the industry: emerging remodeling and lighting design trends, indoor air quality, the next big thing in kitchen remodeling, doing business in a time of lumber and other building material volatility, and the potential impact of the Biden administration’s proposed infrastructure plan.

As home owners continue to upgrade and make repairs, traditional kitchen and bath projects remain the most popular remodels. And with a renewed nationwide focus on the home spurred in part by the coronavirus, this supplement offers insights into some of the exciting opportunities awaiting remodelers moving forward.


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