Keeping an eye on DIY HERO

Keeping an Eye on DIY: The HIRI Product Purchase Tracking Study

Jan 04, 2021

Home­own­ers and DIY­ers make their home improve­ment pur­chas­es for any num­ber of rea­sons. Under­stand­ing the mind­set around their pur­chas­es can help home improve­ment com­pa­nies gain insight into their DIY cus­tomers and the deci­sions they’re mak­ing in order to mar­ket more effec­tive­ly.

The Prod­uct Pur­chase Track­ing Study (PPTS) from the Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute (HIRI) is a com­pre­hen­sive sur­vey of home­own­ers’ pur­chase behav­ior, char­ac­ter­is­tics and atti­tudes around their home improve­ment projects. Because the PPTS is con­duct­ed every two years, it gives HIRI mem­bers updates on con­tem­po­rary trends in the home improve­ment indus­try and how their cus­tomers’ deci­sions fluc­tu­ate over time.

Which Products Are DIYers Purchasing?

The sur­vey from HIRI deliv­ered infor­ma­tion on home improve­ment prod­uct pur­chas­es, projects and ser­vices. This com­pre­hen­sive report pro­vides insights on pur­chas­ing behav­ior in 14 prod­uct-spe­cif­ic cat­e­gories. When it comes to home improve­ment prod­ucts, there are a few notable findings:

  • Lawn & Gar­den and Paint & Sun­dries have his­tor­i­cal­ly been the top two most com­mon­ly pur­chased cat­e­gories — and they remain in the top tier.
  • Home­own­ers are mak­ing rough­ly the same num­ber of pur­chas­es in the Lum­ber cat­e­go­ry, but the aver­age year­ly amount spent on items is $250 higher.
  • Home­own­ers have been spend­ing the same amount on Hand Tools in the last sev­er­al years, but it’s still the cat­e­go­ry with the low­est annu­al spend.

HIRI DIY Average Annual Spend

The aver­age annu­al spend­ing, num­ber of pur­chas­es and over­all rank­ing of the prod­uct cat­e­gories have remained sta­ble in the last few years. How­ev­er, the indi­vid­ual pur­chase occa­sions are trend­ing down, which indi­cates that home­own­ers are spend­ing more on each purchase.

What Kind of DIY Projects Are They Purchasing for?

Room remod­els are still a favorite home improve­ment project for home­own­ers, fol­lowed close­ly by paint­ing their space. The PPTS report reveals which prod­ucts are most often pur­chased for those projects, and the spe­cif­ic rooms that home­own­ers are tack­ling in their free time.

HIRI DIY Project Activities-Repair, Replace, Redecorate Interior

There are a few take­aways from this part of the study when it comes to DIY projects.

  • Very few home­own­ers will tack­le a major exte­ri­or remod­el­ing project on their own.
  • The most com­mon remod­el­ing projects include bath­rooms and kitchens.
  • Small­er projects like paint­ing a room or replac­ing the floor­ing are also a high pri­or­i­ty for DIYers.
  • For inte­ri­or remod­el­ing projects, the prod­ucts most com­mon­ly pur­chased fall most­ly in the paint, fix­tures and hard­ware categories.
HIRI DIY Project Activites-Major Remodeling Exterior

Exte­ri­or projects aren’t quite as pop­u­lar as inte­ri­or remod­el­ing jobs, but some DIY­ers still take on projects like sid­ing replace­ment or new stor­age builds. All of those types of projects require lum­ber, so you’ll note that it’s one of the top pur­chased prod­ucts for home­own­ers mak­ing exte­ri­or repairs.

HIRI DIY Project Activities-Outdoor Living

Land­scap­ing remains a favorite project among home­own­ers and DIY­ers because it’s con­sid­ered a more man­age­able task with lots of ROI: land­scap­ing prod­ucts aren’t expen­sive, but they help cre­ate instant curb appeal for exteriors.

What DIYers Won’t Do (and Why)

Home­own­ers will still pay for home improve­ment ser­vices instead of han­dling some projects on their own. Accord­ing to sur­vey respons­es, HVAC, Plumb­ing, Pest Con­trol and Lawn Ser­vices are the most pop­u­lar ser­vices purchased.

Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, home­own­ers will pay for ser­vices they’re just not qual­i­fied to han­dle on their own or that might require train­ing to com­plete. Many home­own­ers believe that hir­ing a pro­fes­sion­al will yield bet­ter results.

The recent pan­dem­ic might have affect­ed how home­own­ers choose to hire pro­fes­sion­als for these ser­vices, but time will tell how pop­u­lar some ser­vices will remain. Clean­ing and jan­i­to­r­i­al ser­vices are in high demand in the com­mer­cial indus­tries because of COVID-19 precautions.

Why Bother With Home Improvement Data?

With the cur­rent state of things, it’s help­ful for home improve­ment indus­try firms and pro­fes­sion­als to under­stand today’s trends, with an eye on how those trends fluc­tu­ate over time. That’s why HIRI per­forms the PPTS every two years, to give its mem­bers a broad­er per­spec­tive (and more data) on the indus­try over time.

And for most home­own­ers, the desire to age-in-place is still the lead­ing rea­son why home­own­ers take on DIY and home improve­ment projects. They’re think­ing of long-term solu­tions for their homes.

Home improve­ment com­pa­nies and pro­fes­sion­als also need long-term solu­tions to help grow their busi­ness. If you want to stay on top of today’s trends and keep up with home improve­ment pur­chas­ing behav­ior (among home­own­ers and pro­fes­sion­als alike), HIRI offers its mem­bers the resources they want and the data they need to make bet­ter, sus­tain­able busi­ness deci­sions.

Find out what kind of ben­e­fits HIRI offers its mem­bers by click­ing here, or apply for a HIRI mem­ber­ship here.

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