Remodeling has largely recovered from its first quarter coronavirus-induced dip, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association's (NKBA) revised Market Outlook for the second quarter. According to the report, the percentages of homeowners actively working on remodeling projected increased from 19% in the first quarter to 36% in the second quarter.

This is good news for manufacturers of products used for remodeling but not for remodeling contractors. A larger number of kitchen and bath projects have been completed without professional help. Nearly one in five remodels relied solely on family members or friends during the second quarter and an additional 35% made exclusive use of DIY, both large increases from the first quarter. According to the NKBA, more than half of the active second quarter kitchen and bath projects avoided an industry professional, compared to only 30% in the previous quarter. Homeowners are increasingly favoring DIY because they are still wary of having workers in their homes during the pandemic and have less income to spend on professional contractors. Additionally, in many markets homeowners face no other alternative due to severe shortages of available professional remodelers.

As a result of the higher share of DIY projects, the average project spend on kitchens and baths dropped to $6,000 in the second quarter, less than half the $12,500 average of the first quarter, according to the NKBA.

The NKBA Market Outlook also finds that more than 20% of households want to remodel soon and many increasingly cite the need for functional space as a driving factor. Homeowners are also motivated to replace worn-out features, repair damage, and update their home's design.

"Consumers are, understandably, still careful about spending, but as the economy continues to reopen and improve, we expect smaller DIY projects will lead to more significant renovations, boosting both industry revenue and homeowner satisfaction with their living spaces," NKBA CEO Bill Darcy said in a news release.

Due to a combination of smaller DIY jobs and cautious spending, low-cost projects are projected to decline only 1% from the previous year, according to the NKBA. Mid- and high-spend projects, however, are forecast to drop 10.1% and 5.2%, respectively. Almost a quarter of households planning projects in 2020 cited limited finances as an impact of COVID-19 and 34% of those who canceled projects did so because project costs were outside their budget.

Despite the setbacks from the pandemic and projected contractions in mid- and high-spend projects during 2020, the valuation of the residential kitchen and bath industry is climbing, according to the NKBA. Spending in 2020 is anticipated to hit $139.1 billion, down 6.1% from 2019, and up from the expected decline of 11.7% predicted during the first quarter.

The data presented in the NKBA Market Outlook is compiled from variety of data sources, including the U.S. Census American Housing Survey home-improvement projects microdata, National Apartment Association spending. In addition, a survey was conducted among 1,048 consumers inquiring about their household kitchen or bathroom remodeling projects.