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Home Is Where the Projects Are

More than half of U.S. homeowners plan to remodel this summer

Modern backyard garden
According to a Zillow Digs survey, outdoor spaces are high on the home improvement list. Arkin Tilt Architects/Zillow Digs
Modern bathroom redo
You like this bathroom? Estimated cost: $15,200. Brown Davis/Zillow Digs
Outdoor stone fire pit
Zillow Digs trends analysts say homeowners favor rugged, natural outdoor spaces. PURE Design/Zillow Digs
Modern backyard garden
Modern bathroom redo
Outdoor stone fire pit

While some hope to spend a lazy summer lounging by the pool or cruising the lake, many American homeowners intend to be more industrious. According to the Zillow Digs Summer Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey, 60 percent of homeowners have remodeling on their summer agendas, including additions.

Among the most popular home improvements are outdoor spaces (40 percent) and bathrooms (17 percent), and the median cost per project is $1,200. Homeowners with kids, however, are willing to spend a little more: $1,500. Younger respondents and those with children also are more likely to tackle three or more projects in the coming months.

Not surprisingly, online sources are the most popular for inspiration (37 percent). The top three sites include, Pinterest and, of course, Zillow Digs. The latter provides a database of tens of thousands of photos, many of which also come with a Digs Estimate for materials and labor. Users can create boards, share ideas and comment on decor they love — not unlike Pinterest.

Using data culled from the inspiration boards, Zillow Digs analysts identified a trend toward more rugged outdoor spaces that incorporate a lot of stone, in particular stone fireplaces. As for bathrooms, homeowners want bright, open spaces. They are tossing out those old shower curtains in favor of clear glass shower doors that don't obstruct the view of glass-tiled walls (or the bather, for that matter).

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