Homeowner Project Activity Kitchen Hero

Homeowner Project Activity: Autumn Update

If you oper­ate in the home improve­ment indus­try, chances are your busi­ness depends in part on home­own­er activ­i­ty to dri­ve sales. The good news is, a home’s work is nev­er fin­ished (as any home­own­er will tell you). In fact, many projects that require a cer­tain type of prod­uct or sup­plies recur on a sea­son­al basis. 

The Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute (HIRI) sees these pat­terns emerge through stud­ies such as our Project Activ­i­ty Track­er, in which we con­duct a quar­ter­ly sur­vey of 2,000 home­own­ers to fol­low their cur­rent and planned home improve­ment projects. 

The data from the Q3 track­er is in. Here are five key take­aways that you may find interesting:

1. Project activity will decrease as winter sets in.

In Q3, more than 85% of home­own­ers had project activ­i­ty as sum­mer wrapped to a close. Less than a fifth (19%) of these projects qual­i­fied as major ren­o­va­tions.

Look­ing ahead, 77% of home­own­ers plan to under­take at least one activ­i­ty in the next three months, but only 15% plan major ren­o­va­tions. There­fore, it can be assumed that many of the projects will be able to be com­plet­ed DIY-style.

2. Homeowners enjoyed autumn gardening.

Q3 activ­i­ties in the yard and gar­den were the most pop­u­lar project, with 32% of respon­dents par­tak­ing. Adding or replac­ing land­scap­ing or gar­dens topped the list of com­mon yard and gar­den activ­i­ties. As expect­ed, few­er (13%) yard, gar­den and land­scape projects are planned over the next three months.

For busi­ness­es oper­at­ing in this cat­e­go­ry, be sure to stock prod­ucts and offer deals for autumn gar­den­ers, or you may be miss­ing out on a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of annu­al revenue.

3. Gardening was the least expensive activity.

At a $350 medi­an cost, yard, gar­den and land­scape work tend­ed to be the least expen­sive home improve­ment activ­i­ty for home­own­ers in Q3. Work on the exte­ri­or shell of the home (roof­ing, sid­ing, win­dows, etc.) had the high­est medi­an cost at $3,000.

4. Kitchen projects are the highest planned project for the next three months.

Home­own­er activ­i­ty is mov­ing from the great out­doors to the cozy indoors as tem­per­a­tures drop. Kitchen ren­o­va­tions are the most-planned project over the next three months, with 18% of home­own­ers par­tak­ing. This is a pat­tern HIRI stud­ies show year after year, mean­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers of kitchen cab­i­nets, appli­ances and replace­ment parts may want to remem­ber to stock up when win­ter rolls around.

5. Project responsibility is split across the board.

Home­own­ers took a DIY approach for slight­ly less than half (47%) of Q3 projects, while rough­ly 22% shared the respon­si­bil­i­ty with a pro­fes­sion­al con­trac­tor. A hired pro­fes­sion­al han­dled the remain­ing 31% of projects in their entire­ty. This means that for most projects, the home­own­er was like­ly in charge of some deci­sion-mak­ing. Home improve­ment mar­keters should be attuned to DIY shop­ping behav­ior, such as online and social media brows­ing in the project plan­ning stage. Under­stand­ing who these audi­ences are and how they shop is essen­tial for reach­ing them more effec­tive­ly.

Want to learn more about past and future home­own­er activ­i­ty trends? Our full report is over 250 pages of data and insights. Join HIRI as a mem­ber for full access.

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