New Contractor Data: Financing, Warranties and Customer Relationships

Each quarter, the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) partners with The Farnsworth Group to survey contractors on a rotating list of topics, as well as their industry and business sentiment. The most recent Contractor Survey covered topics such as contractors’ role in home improvement, how projects are financed, and the relationship between contractors and customers.

Data was collected from an online survey administered to more than 500 respondents across five industry segments from February 3 to February 25, 2021. Respondents included remodelers and general contractors from various trades whose work was at least 50% residential. All respondents were also required to do most of their work in the remodeling space, regardless of trade.

The Q1 study reveals interesting statistics about contractors’ working relationships with customers and other professionals in the planning and financing stages of home improvement projects.

Study highlights:

Financing, Warranties and Customer Satisfaction Indicators

  • Though roughly one-third of home improvement projects require financing, slightly fewer than 60% of contractors offer financing options to their clients. However, pros who offer financing are twice as likely to do so internally rather than work with a financing partner.
  • Warranties are nearly ubiquitously offered by pro contractors, with more than 90% offering some sort of warranty. Quality of work/labor is the most common type of warranty, with more than 80% of companies offering this type of guarantee.
  • Warranties have a positive effect on project expectations and customer satisfaction. However, the largest positive impact on these perceptions comes from a customer’s prior relationship with the contractor.

Professional/Customer Working Relationship Insights

  • The most common way for professionals to plan a project is for clients to come forward with a general idea that the pro develops into a plan. In fact, more than half of contractors surveyed claim their clients tend to be more hands-on, either working with the pros on each step to develop a project plan or providing a plan to their contractor upfront.
  • Contractors report that overall their customers have influence over the products or brands that are used for their projects: 34% say that the selection is always chosen by the customer while 30% say they request customer input.
  • On average, slightly less than one-third of professionals work on projects that involve a designer or architect. According to survey results, working with one of these professionals often makes the job easier.

For access to the full report and other home improvement market insights, join HIRI today. 

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