If it seems like everyone you know turned into Chip and Joanna Gaines over the past year…you’re right. Roughly 55 percent of homeowners—so basically, every other house on the block—took on a renovation project in 2021, Houzz reported. That percentage remains just as high for 2022, but it’s not all shiplap and rainbows. Reno regrets abound, and when financial news service Moneywise surveyed 1,002 people about their remodels, more than half said they thought the projects would never be completed.
Honestly, we’re a little surprised that figure wasn’t closer to 100 percent—hasn’t everyone had Money Pit nightmares mid-remodel? Just us?—but what surprised us even more were the regrets that bubbled up once people had crossed the finish line. Some seemed cost-related; 23 percent regretted installing or expanding their deck, which is understandable, given the cost of lumber rose nearly 90 percent from April 2020 to April 2021. Others felt like the cautionary tale your mom throws out every time you talk about covering up the natural wood on your builder-grade cabinets (41 percent were ultimately unhappy with their decision to opt for colorful ones). But the biggest renovation regret across the board? Well, it was much simpler—and, thankfully, much easier to fix.
Overall, most people said they regretted going all in on an accent wall, be it with wallpaper or paint. A bold statement-maker may have been an exciting Zoom or Instagram backdrop in the early days of video chats, but it seems to have gotten old, fast, with 43 percent saying they wished they hadn’t done it. (Ah, accent walls. It appears they’re the bangs of the pandemic.)
If we’re looking for a silver lining here, the upside is that painting an accent wall costs about $200 on average—though a mural or trompe l’oeil could set you back closer to $1,850, according to HomeAdvisor—with costs fairly similar for wallpapering as well. Both are far less than the $6,721 people spend on average for a remodeling project. (Um, yay?)