The coronavirus pandemic resulted in 81% of jobs being postponed or cancelled, but 70% expect to resume later in the year. By Robert Isler


As the COVID-19 pandemic was hitting its peak for many parts of the country in mid-April, only 19% of kitchen and bath projects remained active. The remaining 81% equally divided between being postponed and outright cancelled, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s June update of its 2020 Kitchen & Bath Market Outlook*. (*Click the link to purchase the updated report. NKBA Members receive the report for free.)

Other consequences of the pandemic were that budgets became more limited, sometimes reducing the scope of projects that did continue, and that materials were not always available due to restrictions on business operations and disruptions in the supply chain.

Not all of the effects were negative. More than 1 in 10 respondents noted that because of their  unexpected downtime, they were able to pursue DIY projects. Others offered that it allowed them to get more involved in project design and planning.

The vast majority of jobs that remained active were in the low-to-medium price range. The average price point for active projects stood at $12,500, 18% lower than the $15,300 for those that were deferred. This was often due to those projects switching to the DIY route. Only 35% of currently active projects include a professional labor component, vs. 50% of those completed earlier in the year.

Not all projects that were cancelled or delayed this year were the result of COVID-19. Although 60% cited the coronavirus as the main reason, more than 1 in 4 who deferred projects pointed to budgetary considerations unrelated to the pandemic, while bad timing due to a variety of other reasons also resulted in homeowners changing their plans.

On the positive side, fully 84% expected to resume postponed projects sometime later in 2020, with nearly half who cancelled outright also planning to reverse course before year’s end. Together, it means that 70% of deferred kitchen and bath projects will resume later this year. If proven to be accurate, fully 83% of planned 2020 spending for kitchens and baths will materialize.