Outdoor Spaces Have Most Planned Home Improvement Projects in Coming Months

Outdoor Spaces Have Most Planned Home Improvement Projects in Coming Months

It’s only January, yet American homeowners are already gearing up for spring. According to the Q4 2018 Project and Sentiment Tracking Survey, which surveys adults in the United States about their planned home improvement projects, outdoor living spaces will feature the most activity in the next three months. More than one-quarter of homeowners surveyed indicated they will take on lawn and garden and/or landscaping projects during this time.

Overall, project planning incidence dropped by more than 6 percentage points this quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. Now at 65.1 percent, this drop follows a year of increased planning and is likely due to the fact that many projects completed over that span do not need to be updated on an annual or even multiyear basis.

Geography also plays a role in home improvement planning among homeowners in the United States:

  • The Midwest is the only region that showed year-over-year growth, with a 3 percent bump over 2017. 
  • The West experienced a dramatic drop, with a 14 percent decrease compared to Q4 2017.
  • The Northeast and South still lead the way, with about two-thirds of homeowners in these regions citing planned home improvement projects over the next three months.

Similar to previous quarters, less than half of planned projects have a formal budget. However, projects performed by a contractor are more likely to have a planned budget. Meanwhile, whether homeowners shoulder the work is relatively dependent on the project type. On average, a little more than half of all projects are of the DIY variety — and of those, many are aimed at outdoor living spaces, with 82.6 percent of homeowners tackling lawn and garden and/or landscaping projects.

This quarterly report, produced by the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) since 2012, examines planned home improvement activity across 30 project areas such as room renovations, roofing, lawn and garden updates, driveway repair, plumbing and electrical projects. HIRI surveyed 3,063 homeowners representing all areas of the United States to compile Q4 2018 data.

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