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Contractor Study Sheds Light on Purchase Behaviors of Remodelers and Specialists

Wednesday, October 18, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Pam Heidel

 

HIRI surveyed more than 1,600 remodelers and specialists to track product category activities and purchase behaviors.

 

Here are six highlights from the study:

 

  1. Remodelers and specialists purchase a lot of their materials from warehouse home centers like Lowe’s and Home Depot. That being said, generalists reported using specialty suppliers 9 percent more than in 2015.  

  2.  Specialists increased home center usage by 11 percent compared to this time last year, and both groups are increasingly buying less from lumber building material dealers.  

  3.  When presented with a name brand tool or material, home improvement remodelers and specialty contractors choose it over the store brand two-thirds of the time. While it varies across categories, this highlights pros’ preference for quality and service, not just low prices. “Holistically, quality has increased in importance as price pressure has been relieved and brand is often a surrogate for quality,” said Grant Farnsworth, partner and director of business development at The Farnsworth Group. “Price is still important, but 10 or 15 years ago, it was the only factor. As that price pressure declines, quality and service become more important.”  

  4.  Around two-thirds of those surveyed said that their sales volume increased over the past two years.  

  5.  Most pros are incorporating universal design and aging-in-place practices into their trade. Only 9 percent of general remodelers said this is not a priority for them.  

  6.  Nearly three-quarters of respondents use a substantial amount of environmentally friendly products. “Part of this is by default, as more and more companies are making products that are environmentally friendly,” Farnsworth said. “It’s also been some time since we’ve started talking about green, so contractors’ comfort level is increasing, especially as they realize that being environmentally friendly equals a nice return on investment for the homeowner.”

Research for this biennial study comes from HIRI in conjunction with The Farnsworth Group. To access primary research on contractor purchase behaviors, join HIRI.


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