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All those people who have decided to trade city life for suburbia during the pandemic are learning there’s a lot more to owning a home than meets the eye. Cleaning the gutters, replacing the boiler, putting up storm windows—these are just some of the unforeseen investments first-time homeowners are facing. But they’re not afraid to ask for help: The New York Times recently revealed that demand for vetted contractors on Sweeten grew by 104 percent in the third quarter of 2020, compared to the same time last year. So what types of renovations are all those pros being asked to do? We went to Sweeten and asked the company to share the four most popular projects right now. 


Homeowners are remodeling the heart of the home for functionality, flow, and storage. If you simply need more space to store all your new bakeware, prepare to spend approximately $6,670 on cabinetry and hardware, according to Home Advisor. If it’s an open and airy feel you’re after, remove a load-bearing wall for $1,200 to $3,000.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

In 2020 shipping containers can be offices and garages can be guesthouses—it only takes some imagination and clever additions like hardwood flooring to make the separate spaces feel homey. About $1,400 is the starting point for a standard 20-foot-long metal box, and then you’ll have to tack on a few hundred dollars to install a window and doors.


A new patio or deck is a solid way to extend warmer seasons. The cost largely depends on the material (pressure-treated wood runs $600 to $1,600 for a 320-square-foot area, while mahogany is $2,500 to $3,500). Then double that amount to account for installation (you spend one dollar on labor for every dollar spent on material).

Flex Walls

WFH requirements are creating the need for proper offices, whether that’s in the form of a built-in desk with shelves (roughly $1,200 to $3,900) or sliding partitions. Whatever you decide to do, consider soundproofing your workspace (between $1,00 and $2,400) for some extra peace and quiet. 

Our Fall Style issue has arrived! Subscribe now to get an exclusive first look at Ayesha Curry’s Bay Area home—and discover how design can shape our world.