Each quarter since 2012, the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) has surveyed approximately 3,000 homeowners for its Home Improvement Project Intent Tracking Survey. The survey asks homeowners which of 32 different home improvement project areas (if any) they are planning in the next three months. It also explores to what extent they agree with statements about their homes and home improvement. The goal of these surveys is to better understand consumer project sentiment.
The results from the second quarter of 2021 are in. Here are a few key findings:
Homeowners are still planning home improvement projects at high rates.
For two-plus years, more than seven in 10 homeowners have planned projects quarterly. Likely many external factors play a role in the high number of homeowners working on their homes:
Savings rates have skyrocketed.
Consumers are spending much more time at home.
Low interest rates create easier access to funds.
Homebuying is becoming more costly and difficult as demand outpaces supply.
Improvements to living spaces are the new center of home projects.
While projects like landscaping and painting remain popular, they have seen a dip in recent quarters. Projects that focus more on living spaces have increased dramatically over the last two months. These projects include bedrooms, living rooms, dens and specialty rooms, and outdoor recreation, such as swimming pools.
Maintenance and repair remain the top motivators for projects.
Most project planners tend to prioritize immediate improvement needs, though an updated look or more comfortable space is not far behind. With many having been at home much more over the last year, homeowners have shifted much of their focus and available funds to upgrading the spaces they see and live in every day.
A discrepancy exists between planned and completed DIY projects.
While most claim to have some affinity for DIY work, only slightly more than 53% of projects are actually planned as DIY. Additionally, DIY work for completed projects has historically hovered around two-thirds. This indicates that projects planned to be done professionally often either end up being done DIY or do not get done at all.
DIY attitudes have a large impact on project planning.
DIY confidence spills over into how many projects homeowners plan to complete. Those who are more confident in their DIY ability are planning more projects, even if they are planning to have a pro complete the work.