How Did Remodeling Prices Change in 2020? The True Cost Report is Back

by Mischa Fisher, Chief Economist | March 2021

As the 2021 remodeling season gets underway, we’re relaunching our True Cost Report from years past, with a specific focus on 1) What common projects cost, 2) what causes total cost to rise or fall 3) how much you should expect costs to vary, and 4) how prices for the most common projects changed during 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But independent of COVID-19, why did we relaunch this report?

The answer is that there is a big information imbalance when it comes to home services and a lot of that centers around cost.

Homeowners often lack a full understanding of what goes into pricing and commonly have a hard time answering the question, ‘is this a fair price for the work I want done?

We wanted to take a deep dive this year into this information imbalance and answer some of the fundamental questions about cost including looking at the top completed projects of 2020, their costs and how and why those costs have been changing. For the market to work at its best, it is important for homeowners to understand what different home services cost and to understand what drives those costs.

Home services is also a unique industry in that the consumer is directly exposed to the majority of the supply chain – they buy the materials, see the work done first-hand and often have labor itemized on their bills. The more they understand what they don’t necessarily see – the hidden value of a high-quality pro – the more they’ll be open to cost adjustments to reflect the work done in the most important place to them – their homes.

 COVID-19 likely caused scarcity and factory shutdowns, as well as supply chain disruptions and greater consumer demand for home services. Despite this higher demand, home services are unique in that pros will opt to turn down jobs rather than raise prices. Instead of seeing prices rise due to shortages of labor, we’re seeing them due to scarcity of materials.

You can read the full True Cost Report is available here: