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.

So, what projects are most popular among consumers? Interior painting and landscaping/planting a garden top the list of high-incidence projects. These exert relatively low demands on the financial, labor and equipment fronts and thus are some of the most frequently planned projects.

But they can still land on the backburner, often due to required planning time or price concerns. Unforeseen projects like plumbing repairs can contribute to delays of planned initiatives; meanwhile, projects that are seen as discretionary and require a higher investment and time commitment (e.g., bathroom and kitchen remodels) are at the highest risk for being cancelled or postponed.

A majority of delayed projects don’t stay that way for long, however. In fact, delays often last less than three months. That’s good news for home improvement manufacturers and retailers that depend on homeowner activity to survive.

JOIN HIRI to get regular access to valuable research and insights like:

  • What projects lead homeowners to hire a contractor
  • Where homeowners are buying home improvement materials
  • Where homeowners get their ideas for home improvement projects
  • When homeowners decide to undertake projects
  • Homeowner satisfaction levels
  • How millennials and other generations are affecting the market

HIRI conducted this study in partnership with Ipsos Observer.

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