In partnership with The Farnsworth Group, the Home Improvement Research Institute releases two monthly surveys that track changes in homeowner home improvement activity and professional contractor home improvement activity each month.
These trackers provide insight into changes in homeowner and Pro intentions to start new projects, how the work will be completed, the top challenges facing homeowners and Pros and how they are responding to those challenges in their project and product decisions.
In May a primary theme emerged in that a majority of homeowners prioritized cost-friendly home improvement options, whether that meant opting for smaller-scale projects or going the do-it-yourself route.
After heights of home improvement spend that occurred in 2021, homeowner spending patterns as of May of 2023 revealed telling changes in how homeowners are currently approaching home improvement projects.
52% of homeowners spent under $500.
19% spent between $500 and $999.
17% spent between $1,000 and $4,999.
12% spent more than $5,000.
These spending patterns indicate that a significant portion of homeowners are taking on smaller scale projects, but take note that both future intent and actual completions of home improvement projects is still very high.
As of May 2023
Further data from the Monthly Trackers shows that fewest number of homeowners report a project having been postponed or cancelled than at any time so far in 2023.
Ultimately, homeowner intent to remodel is strong, but budgets are narrower than in the last couple of years.
For retailers and manufacturers, this suggests the importance of offering a diverse range of affordable products options to cater to this market segment without sacrificing opportunities for higher-end product sales, as 29% of homeowners still spent above $1,000.
Here is a more detailed breakout of small- vs. larger-scale projects by home area:
View the full infographic covering Changes in Homeowner’s Planned Home Improvement Project Spend for Q2 of 2023.
According to the May 2023 results of the Monthly Tracker, 1 in 4 homeowners are intending to hire a professional contractor in the next 30 days to complete a home improvement, repair and maintenance, or service project at their home.
Results also continue to indicate that cost can be a significant challenge, and can deter homeowners from hiring professional help with their home improvement projects. Second to cost (53%) is the challenge of not having enough project knowledge (21%).
Aligning with these findings are that, for those who ultimately opted to DIY their recent home improvement projects, cost was the number one reason they chose not to hire a professional contractor. The second reason was that they possessed the ability to complete the project themselves.
To increase sales of building products during seasons of tighter budgets, retailers and manufacturers should continue to support DIYers with deals and resources to do the job right.
How retailers and manufacturers can support DIY enthusiasts:
Prioritize providing resources and educational content to help DIYers succeed
Provide easy-to-use, high-quality tools that get the job done efficiently
Results from the professional contractor portion of the monthly tracker indicate that although certain challenges such as material availability and delays are becoming less pervasive, material cost has become the number one challenge pros face in keeping their prices low.
72% of Pro respondents reported that product and material costs have increased in the last 30 days.
Roughly 30% said they purchased a cheaper brand or product to mitigate costs.
These monthly trackers will continue to relay homeowner and Pro customer sentiments every month, but you don’t just skim the highlights — join HIRI for instant access to the full data sets in order to measure industry wide sentiments in comparison to your company’s internal reports and custom market research.
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