How Much Has Inflation Affected Home Improvement and Repair Costs?
If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that average costs 2022 are very different from those in 2019. Home repair costs are significantly more expensive than they used to be, basically no matter the project.
The pandemic itself had a major impact on all aspects of the economy. And in 2022, as the economy reopens, plenty of people want to take on new home improvement costs. Contractors are making up for lost time and in high demand. That’s without even starting on general inflation.
Overview of Cost Increases, Causes, and Effects
On this page, we’re going to take a look at:
- New home construction price changes in 2022
- How home improvement costs have changed since 2019
- Home repair costs in 2022
- Ways to save money on your latest project
Hopefully, you’ll end this journey armed with the perspective you need to start planning.
2022 New Construction Home Prices
According to Reuters, we should expect the cost of new construction to rise another 10.3% in 2022. This is on top of the already inflated prices that are causing many homeowners to sell and take profit from their homes, but also face the same increases when they repurchase a new home.
The cost of constructing a new home will vary depending on many factors including:
- The materials used
- The location of the home
- The cost of contract labor
- Supply availability
Metals and minerals alike skyrocketed in price throughout the pandemic. Steel prices increased about 220% from January of 2020 to August of 2021. Copper and iron increased 89% and 116% in price year-over-year, respectively.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic increased costs for miners, the prices of minerals also inflated. Precious metals like silver and gold reached their peak in 2020, but they’re still pricey in 2022.
Inflation is also related to the supply chain. You need materials if you’re going to build a house. And if there are supply chain interruptions — as there have been throughout late 2021 and early 2022 — you’ll pay a higher price.
Beginning in February 2022, contractors who work on any type of federal jobs are also legally required to be paid at least $15 per hour. Most charge more than this. An average general contractor costs at least $4,000 per project or $36 per hour.
Increased Cost Averages for Specific Home Improvement Projects
Listed below are several common home improvements or upgrades that are experiencing significant cost increases due to inflation.
Installing a Swimming Pool
An inground pool costs between $28,000 and $55,000 to install. Experts say that the average cost is about $42,000, up from a previous average of $35,000. The price of the pool varies depending on:
- Materials used
- Amount of customization
Fiberglass pools are the cheapest, with small models costing less than $20,000. But big concrete pools can be over $60,000. The average above ground pool costs anywhere from $1,900 to $5,000 to install, significantly more affordable. If you want to DIY it, the kit alone costs anywhere from $1,100 to $3,500.
Above ground pool costs vary on the same factors as inground versions, primarily depending on:
- Additional features
The cost of owning a pool has increased dramatically in 2022 as well and you can expect to pay a significant increase for chemicals to treat the water and just about everything else associated with maintaining your swimming pool.
Fortunately, according to Real Estate agents who spoke to Homelight, the resale value of a home with a swimming pool has increased 113% in 2021 over 2019 resale values as more homeowners have become accustomed to staying at home for their entertainment after the pandemic.
Also note that when you add a pool to your home, it may increase your homeowners insurance rates due to the increased risks. MarketWatch has a great guide on the best homeowners insurance companies for 2022. If your rates have risen or you are considering an inground pool, it would be good to research your options.
Building an Addition on Your Home
Building an addition for your home will be costly, especially if your project uses steel. Depending on the plan, the addition might cost anywhere from $80 to $200 for each square foot. A 400 square foot room could cost as little as $32,000 with affordable materials and a fast contractor. But if you add a lot of expensive customization, that same room might cost upwards of $80,000.
Labor costs to build an addition can make up to half of the final cost. You’ll need to pay plumbers, electricians, general contractors, painters, and potentially roofers. Since these professionals are in high demand following the pandemic, their work won’t come cheap.
Adding a Deck or Patio
In 2022, it costs around $25 per square foot to build a deck, $32 per square foot for composite wood decks. Most people pay between $4,400 and $10,100. A 10 x 10 deck costs about $2,200; a 14 x 20 deck costs about $6,200; a 20 x 20 deck costs about $8,800. This may also fluctuate depending on your exact location.
A patio is slightly more cost-effective, with an average range between $8 and $20 per square foot. The most expensive material by far is granite cobblestone, which can cost up to $35 per square foot. But gravel tends to be less than $4 per square foot, and concrete ranges between $3 and $6.
Remodeling Your Kitchen
The cost of remodeling your kitchen will depend on exactly what the project entails. Small upgrades can cost as little as $5,000. Medium upgrades might run up to $30,000. And if you’re completely remodeling the entire kitchen, then the cost could be $45,000 or more.
When you’re budgeting, about 30% should go toward your cabinets. Another 17% should go to appliances. Keep in mind that appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers have increased 12% in price compared to last year.
10% of your budget should go toward both your counters and electrical. Then the remaining budget is allocated to the walls and floors.
Home Repair Average Cost Increases
Just like new construction, the home repair industry has been hit just as hard by increasing prices. Everything from the fuel in the trucks, to insurance and of course, material costs. Take a look at the examples we put together below to learn how inflation is affecting home repair costs in 2022.
Concrete foundation repairs cost an average of $4,000, with block foundation repairs costing about $2,500. The absolute bare minimum you can ever expect to pay is $200, and it’s rare for a project to cost more than $10,000. In 2019, the cost of foundation repairs was about the same. But specific tasks might be more expensive now. For example, repairs involving steel will be far more costly.
- The main potential problems with a foundation are cracking, leaking, sinking, and bowing.
- Cracks are the easiest to repair. They also use cheap materials like concrete and polyurethane.
- Leaks can be costly depending on the cause. Waterproofing might cost a few hundred or thousand dollars. If you need drainage installed after that, it could cost up to $5,000.
- Bowing is costly because it involves excavation and supports. You could pay up to $7,000.
- Sinking costs depend on the leveling option you choose.
Water Heater Repairs
It costs an average of $455 to repair a water heater, but the price really depends on what needs doing. Some low-end repairs might not cost more than $150. Expensive repairs could be over $1,000. Keep in mind that you might need a total replacement for your water heater, too. The lifespan of the appliance is 15 years at best. Go beyond that, and you’ll be dealing with leaks and cold water.
Gas water heaters can cost as little as $50 to repair. But if certain parts are broken, the cost can skyrocket to double what you’d find with an electric heater.
Similarly, you can expect to pay extra to repair a tankless water heater.
Central AC Replacement
The cost to replace your central AC will vary depending on:
- Size in tons
- SEER efficiency rating
You’ll also need to pay labor costs for the installation.
An entirely new central AC can cost up to $7,500. Then it can cost up to $2,500 for the labor. You can expect to pay about $4,700 for the unit on average.
Small houses of 1,000 square feet might pay just $2,000 for a new unit, especially if it has a low efficiency rating. But if your house is more than 3,000 square feet, you’ll need a huge unit costing anywhere from $4,000 to $8,500.
The average roof replacement cost in the US is about $7,200. Of course, the price will depend on how large and complex your roof is, as well as the materials used. Most projects cost anywhere from $4,700 to $10,500. That also doesn’t factor in the cost of removing your existing roof. You’ll need to spend up to $3,000 on having the roof taken off.
You should have your roof inspected by a professional before deciding whether it needs a full replacement. For about $200, an inspector can give you a full evaluation and tell you whether repairs will cover it.
Broken Water Line Repairs
It costs an average of about $930 to repair a leaking water line in the US. Some people spend as little as $340, while others have much more costly repairs of up to $1,600.
You’ll be responsible for the materials. Metals like steel, iron and copper are significantly more expensive in 2022 than they were in 2019. You’ll also need to pay for the labor. Professionals who can repair water lines don’t come cheap. They tend to cost anywhere from $70 at best to $120 an hour.
The cost of repairs also depends on the exact problem. Leaky valves are the easiest to fix, and sometimes you’ll only pay around $150 in total.
Septic Tank Repairs
Only about 15% of homeowners have to deal with a septic tank. But if you’re in a rural area, this setup is a godsend. The average septic system costs about $1,750 to repair. You could spend up to $3,000 depending on the problem. When there are major issues, the cost is even greater, skyrocketing to more than $5,000.
But on the happier side of things, minor repairs tend to be more inexpensive. You’ll pay a call fee for the contractor, which could be $100 to $300. It covers their fuel and usually an hour of their work day.
The most costly repair is if you need to replace your leach field. That can run up to $20,000. Tank repair can go anywhere from $500 to $10,000. Filter replacements are the easiest to do, costing just $300 at the most.
Washing Machine & Dryer Replacement
The cost of washing machines has increased 15% in comparison to last year, like many other appliances. Household appliances have seen inflation rates significantly higher than the average inflation of goods.
A new washing machine might cost anywhere from $300 to $2,100, depending on how many bells and whistles you get. Dryers tend to cost anywhere from $200 through $1,800. It’s mainly a matter of the brand and features that you want the most.
You can also repair your existing washer and dryer rather than replacing them. Repair will depend on the problem. Washers usually cost $100 to $400 to repair, while dryers might cost anywhere from $100 to $450.
Tips to Avoid Paying High Prices
Even though home repair costs are through the metaphorical roof, you can pay less than the average 2022 costs if you’re savvy.
Here are some key tips.
- Get multiple quotes. Don’t go with the first contractor you see. Have a few evaluate the project and give you an estimate. But don’t forget to check their reviews and reputation, too!
- DIY what you can. A lot of minor home plumbing fixes can be done DIY. So can plenty of lawn care, appliance repair, and touch-ups around the house. Before you call a professional, use some gumption and your trusty internet browser. You might be surprised by how capable you really are!
- Don’t wait for emergency repairs you can get done in slow seasons. Contractors are insanely busy in the spring and summer. But work slows down in the fall and winter. If you have your project done during the slow season, you have more leverage to negotiate a better rate.
- Look for bargains. Sometimes contractors have deals for certain projects. Do you get a discount if a professional checks both your washer and dryer? Do any stores offer free appliance installations?