The COVID-19 pandemic led people to spend much more time at home, which in turn led more people to look at ways to make their homes more comfortable over the past two years.

From refinished flooring to closet renovation to a new primary bedroom suite, homeowners were busy making changes to their homes over the past two years.

A new report released Wednesday by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry survey shows the most common pandemic-era projects, along with their sentiment about the projects and the estimated return on investment for each.

But during such unprecedented and life-changing times, it’s not all about the money. The report cited a 2021 survey that tracked the projects that gave homeowners the most joy.

The National Association of Realtors found in 2020 that homeowners’ budgets stayed the same or grew during the initial months of COVID, despite the added financial uncertainty at the time. Americans spent $420 million on remodeling their homes during the first year of the pandemic.

Many of them increased the size of the project due to the pandemic. They found renewed interest in new bathrooms, updated kitchens and fenced-in yards. Open floor plans were out. More space was in. But two years later, how has it all panned out?

Thirty percent of homeowners looked to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes and materials, the report found. Twenty percent wanted to add features and improve livability. Another 16 percent just thought it was time for chance.

The latest survey covered projects that followed typical code requirements and used standard quality — rather than top-of-the-line — materials. It included the median cost for a professional remodeling project. 

The survey results included responses from 2,505 people. Here are the estimated returns on investment for 10 of the most popular projects undertaken during the pandemic. How many can you get right?

Email Taylor Anderson

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