Market Expectations and Trends in Doors Installation and Replacement Activity

Doors Market Expectations and Trends in Installation and Replacement Activity

Jan 23, 2024

The door mar­ket was one of the most chal­lenged sec­tors of the home improve­ment indus­try dur­ing the demand spike in 2021. Over the past cou­ple of years, we’ve wit­nessed decreas­es in spend­ing and pur­chase inci­dence rates for prod­ucts in this par­tic­u­lar category.

How­ev­er, with the shrink­ing hous­ing mar­ket, and more home­own­ers ren­o­vat­ing and repair­ing their cur­rent prop­er­ty to fit their evolv­ing needs and lifestyles, the demand for doors is expect­ed to remain steady. 

Addi­tion­al­ly, report­ing shows that shop­pers are less con­cerned about price in recent years and more focused on con­ve­nience and find­ing the exact prod­uct they need or want for their instal­la­tion or replace­ment project.

What is the State of the Market for Doors?

Accord­ing to HIRI’s U.S. Home Improve­ment Prod­ucts Mar­ket Fore­cast, the mar­ket for doors and mold­ing increased 10.7% from 2018 to 2022, before drop­ping to 9% in 2023. How­ev­er, if you take into account infla­tion, the adjust­ed decrease was clos­er to 3%. Look­ing ahead to 2024 to 2027, the mar­ket is pro­ject­ed to recov­er slightly.

The aver­age annu­al num­ber of pur­chas­es in the doors, win­dows and mill­work cat­e­go­ry—as a whole — increased from 2.3% in 2019 to 2.9% in 2022, and the spend more than dou­bled to $1320, up from $604 in 2019. 

Home­own­er prod­uct pur­chase inci­dence rates have increased approx­i­mate­ly 2% over the past few years in a num­ber of rel­e­vant prod­uct cat­e­gories, includ­ing exte­ri­or doors, mold­ing, storm/​screen doors, and inte­ri­or pas­sage doors. Patio doors have seen the sharpest recent increase, from 1% in 2017 to 5% in 2021.

When it comes to the pro mar­ket, entry doors con­sis­tent­ly have the high­est pur­chase inci­dence rate. Rough­ly 39% of con­trac­tors bought this type of prod­uct in 2022 — the same rate we saw in 2021, accord­ing to find­ings in HIRI’s 2023 Con­trac­tor Prod­uct Pur­chas­ing Inci­dence report. Patio doors have seen slight increas­es over the past cou­ple years, even if not quite match­ing inci­dence rates from 2019. How­ev­er, pur­chas­es for clos­et doors and inte­ri­or pas­sage doors expe­ri­enced decreased pur­chase inci­dence rates in both 2019 and 2021.

For the most cur­rent data, stay on the look­out for HIR­I’s update to the Prod­uct Pur­chase Track­ing study, will be avail­able to HIRI mem­bers in Q3 of 2024. To stay informed when this updat­ed report is released, sim­ply sub­scribe to updates below:

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Changes in Spending on Doors

Entry doors have the high­est annu­al spend, although spend decreased from $1,000 in 2019 and 2021 to $600 in 2022. Spend­ing for oth­er door prod­ucts — includ­ing clos­et doors, inte­ri­or pas­sage doors, patio doors, and storm doors — also has decreased since 2021.

For the retail mar­ket, we’re see­ing some sim­i­lar trends among home­own­ers, accord­ing to HIRI’s 2022 Home Improve­ment Retail Selec­tor. In 2022, all vari­eties of door prod­ucts stud­ied had an increased pur­chase inci­dence com­pared to 2020, except for storm/​screen doors. The medi­an amount spent on door-relat­ed prod­ucts was about $300.

It’s also worth not­ing that the major­i­ty of these projects are still fund­ed by cash on hand and sav­ings (75%), although that num­ber is down from 83% in 2015. Bank cred­it cards appear to be slow­ly increas­ing as a go-to resource (17% in 2023 from 11% in 2015). Addi­tion­al­ly, since 2019, more home­own­ers have been fund­ing front entrance projects using var­i­ous forms of cred­it lines, whether it be a bank cred­it card or store cred­it card. This trend is inline with over­all trends that HIRI stud­ies across the entire home improve­ment industry.

Front Entrance Improvement Projects: Primary Source of Money For Project

Top Purchase Drivers for Doors

The aver­age age of the exist­ing hous­ing stock in the Unit­ed States is over 40 years old, which cre­ates momen­tum for repair and replace­ment activ­i­ties. As a result, these types of projects help dri­ve door purchases.

Research from HIRI’s 2022 Prod­uct Pur­chase Track­ing Study shows that rough­ly 72% of homes for which doors and sim­i­lar items were pur­chased went to exist­ing res­i­dences, rather than new­ly built homes. About one in four homes were more than 51 years old, and anoth­er 30% were between 26 to 50 years old. About 33% of cus­tomers had been in their home upward of 21 years; anoth­er 48% had lived in their home between 5 and 20 years.

As we can see, the lock-in effect” of high inter­est rates — as well as a short­age in the hous­ing sup­ply — is keep­ing exist­ing home­own­ers in their homes, cre­at­ing a ripe mar­ket for repair and replace­ment activities.

Sea­son­al­i­ty also seems to play a role in when and why var­i­ous types of doors are pur­chased by both home­own­ers and pro­fes­sion­als. For exam­ple, the high­est per­cent­ages of patio doors (33.5%), storm/​screen doors (38.9%) and clos­et doors (a whop­ping 48.3%) were pur­chased in the sec­ond quar­ter of the year in 2022, while the high­est per­cent­age of exte­ri­or doors (39.4 per­cent) were pur­chased in the third quarter.

This is cor­rob­o­rat­ed by find­ings from HIRI’s 2023 Project Deci­sion Study for front entrance improve­ment. Although it per­tains exclu­sive­ly to activ­i­ty around entry­ways, it reveals that home­own­ers typ­i­cal­ly start think­ing about projects between Jan­u­ary and March, and most projects are start­ed between April and August. Less activ­i­ty hap­pens dur­ing the end of the year. About 27% of home­own­ers also cit­ed weather/​season/​timing in terms of what prompt­ed the start of their front entrance project.

Data from 2023 data on prod­uct pur­chas­es in the doors, mill­work and win­dows cat­e­go­ry will be avail­able to HIRI mem­bers in Q3 of 2024. Learn more about becom­ing a mem­ber to get this research:

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What Factors Influence Product Choices for Homeowners and Pros?

In 2022, about 39% of home­own­ers com­plet­ed door instal­la­tions them­selves, while 63% of projects involved a con­trac­tor. The over­lap, cor­rob­o­rat­ed by oth­er HIRI find­ings regard­ing an increase in col­lab­o­ra­tion projects, indi­cates projects where both home­own­ers and pro­fes­sion­als worked togeth­er to com­plete the project. In gen­er­al, from 2014 to 2022, we’ve observed an over­all decrease in pure­ly DIY door projects, with con­trac­tors doing the work a high­er per­cent­age of the time and BIY” instances increas­ing, where­by the home­own­er shops for and pur­chas­es all mate­ri­als, and only hires a Pro for the installation.

Gen­er­al­ist pros account for more sales than spe­cial­ist pros across all door prod­ucts. For exam­ple, about 54% of gen­er­al­ists pur­chased an entry door for a project in 2022, com­pared to 19% of spe­cial­ists. The annu­al spend is also high­er for gen­er­al­ists ver­sus spe­cial­ists for most door cat­e­gories, except for patio doors. 

In 2022, only 21% of door projects were for new con­struc­tion. Pri­mar­i­ly, doors were pur­chased for home main­te­nance or repair projects, room remod­els, and indi­vid­ual replacements.

Doors, Windows, and Millwork: Number of Purchases 2019 through 2023

Changes in Channel Motivations for Doors

It’s impor­tant for man­u­fac­tur­ers and retail­ers to keep in mind that pros and home­own­ers have dif­fer­ent pur­chase moti­va­tions — and there have been some notable changes in those moti­va­tions over the past cou­ple years.

Key­ing in on moti­va­tions for pur­chas­es made for front entrance improve­ment projects, as uncov­ered in HIR­I’s 2023 Project Deci­sion Study, cus­tomers report an attrac­tive appear­ance is the No. 1 fac­tor behind choos­ing a par­tic­u­lar mate­r­i­al or prod­uct. Being long-last­ing was a fac­tor for 57% of con­sumers and price was a fac­tor for 47%. Of note, hav­ing a good selec­tion of prod­ucts has jumped from 7% in 2014 to 22% in 2022. 

Over­all, there is indi­ca­tion that home­own­ers know what kind of look they want when pur­chas­ing doors and will put in the effort to find where to get that spe­cif­ic style.

This is fur­ther evi­denced by the fact that home­own­ers did not cross-shop as fre­quent­ly in 2022 as they did in 2020 — or 47% of the time, com­pared to 54%. When they choose to not pur­chase from a spe­cif­ic retail­er and instead move to the next, about half the time the rea­son is the sup­pli­er didn’t have the size/​color/​style/​etc. of the prod­uct they want­ed. Not hav­ing the prod­uct in stock is anoth­er big dri­ver for cross-shopping.

Good ser­vice has stayed rel­a­tive­ly the same in terms of impor­tance for retail­er selec­tion. How­ev­er, con­ve­nience of loca­tion con­tin­ues to be the top rea­son for why home­own­ers buy from a giv­en supplier.

Mean­while, we know the pro mar­ket has been strug­gling with an over-extend­ed sup­ply chain over the past few years, a top­ic addressed by Ken Pin­to, Own­er of Ken­zai USA, dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion at the 2023 Home Improve­ment Insights Sum­mit.

Dif­fi­cul­ties aris­ing from ship­ping con­tain­er logis­tics and oth­er short­ages made it hard for man­u­fac­tur­ers, retail­ers, and oth­ers in the home improve­ment indus­try, many of whom have to make deci­sions far in advance in terms of how many com­po­nents and raw mate­ri­als to pur­chase. Mean­while, con­trac­tors expe­ri­enced long delays on job sites as they wait­ed for prod­ucts to arrive. 

From the out­side, the sup­ply chain seems to be improv­ing, but Pin­to cau­tioned that numer­ous cur­rent sociopo­lit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic fac­tors could cre­ate a sim­i­lar grid­lock. Those who took notes from the issues that arose dur­ing the ear­ly 2020s will be poised to bet­ter con­front pos­si­ble short­ages in the future.

Two pieces of advice he had for man­u­fac­tur­ers and ven­dors were to inten­tion­al­ly work on build­ing rela­tion­ships — which can affect how and when you get the com­po­nents and mate­ri­als you need — and to focus on devel­op­ing prod­ucts that are not only easy to install, but dif­fi­cult to install incor­rect­ly. This will help address instal­la­tion com­pe­ten­cy degra­da­tion and ensure ade­quate qual­i­ty on job sites. 

Gaining Insights into Future Trends with HIRI Research

From doors, win­dows and mill­work to oth­er prod­uct cat­e­gories, hav­ing the right data and insights can help build­ing prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ers and retail­ers adjust to cur­rent trends and upcom­ing fore­casts. HIRI’s reports and stud­ies, which are avail­able to all HIRI mem­bers, cov­er a wide range of rel­e­vant top­ics, from con­sumer behav­iors among DIY­ers and pro­fes­sion­als to key dri­vers in the home improve­ment marketplace. 

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