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Project and Sentiment Tracking Study Released

This quarterly report examines planned home improvement activity across 30 project areas such as room renovations, roofing, lawn and garden updates, driveway repair, plumbing and electrical projects. This first quarterly report of 2018 also marks the beginning of a new tracking element. The Home Improvement Research Insitute (HIRI) added a question regarding planned budgets for home improvement projects. The newest addition revealed that less than half of all planned projects have budgets.

Join HIRI to obtain the most up-to-date consumer information with trends from 2012 to 2018.  

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Low-Cost Home Improvement Projects Fuel Strong Spending

While homeowners are reducing spending in some areas, they aren’t shying away from home improvement projects. According to the Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI) 2017 Project Decision Study, nearly 40 percent of homeowners are increasing their home improvement spend, undertaking two to three home improvement projects on an annual basis.

Homeowners are still price-conscious, however. In fact, the median total spend on home improvement projects is just $500 to $590, and consumers are often paying out-of-pocket by cash or check.

These projects, while on the lower end of the cost spectrum, happen more frequently and thus contribute to a large portion of total spending. Price plays an important role in the decision-making and material selection process, and some homeowners will shop around to find the best price. They are also more likely to undertake a project rather than postpone it if they are offered financial incentives.

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Homeowner Project Planning Lags Again, but Change Could Be Around the Corner

After a second quarter drop in homeowner project planning, the third quarter of 2017 followed suit. Though normally a strong project planning season, this quarter is the lowest of the year to date. The lag is partly due to odd weather patterns, such as unusually significant rainfall, that have impacted homeowner projects. Exterior painting and exterior door and roof projects also experienced a major drop. Meanwhile, lawn, garden and landscape projects remained the top projects across the nation.

These findings are based on interviews with about 3,000 homeowners. Of those, 68 percent plan to undertake one or more home improvement projects within the next three months, down 5.6 percent from this time last year.

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