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How Homeowners are Working with Professionals

With more homeowners tackling home renovations, we looked at how many do and do not hire professionals — and the reasoning behind their decision. You'll be surprised by the results. Download our infographic to see the 2021 trends.

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Consumer Project Planning and Intent in Q2 2021: 5 Things to Know

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.

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Who Is Hiring Professional Contractors in 2021?

The results from the Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI) latest quarterly Home Improvement Project Intent Tracking Survey, fielded to approximately 3,000 homeowners April 7–13, 2021, are in.

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Where Are Homeowners DIYing Projects?

Wondering where in their homes owners are planning to spend money in the next quarter? We surveyed over 3,000 homeowners to find out just that. Check out our newest infographic to learn more.

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How do project planners connect with home improvement brands?

Within the past year, much has changed for the home industry. In March, the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) reported unprecedented shifts in home improvement trends as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve also seen the economy and housing market improve as vaccines become more widely available in the United States.

But as normalcy returns and consumers begin to spend more, how are they approaching home improvement project planning, and how do products and brands fit into the picture? Thanks to the Home Improvement Consumer Project Planning survey, we have some insight.

Every quarter since 2012, HIRI has surveyed approximately 3,000 homeowners about their plans for home improvement in the coming months. The results for the first quarter of 2021, gathered January 7–13, provide crucial insight into how project planners feel about searching for and choosing products.

Here are some key takeaways.

  • Despite what feels like an enormous digital lifestyle shift, gathering recommendations from friends and family and shopping in person remain the top-ranked sources for finding home product information.
  • But online research is still a relevant factor, as social media, retailer websites, review websites and manufacturer websites each ranked as important for 20% to 30% of survey respondents. In fact, only 18.7% of respondents said they do not research products online before going to the store. Regardless of the method for online research, it is clear that most project planners are likely to use the internet in some capacity to gather home product information.
  • Interestingly, regardless of whether shopping in person or online, respondents reported that product placement does not have a significant influence on their purchasing decisions. This means that shoppers do not believe they buy products due to their prominent display location or high-ranking position in online search results.
  • What are the factors that most heavily influence consumer product purchasing decisions? These include prior use, aesthetics and availability. Survey respondents ranked having used the product before, liking the way it looks and being in stock as the three most important factors when choosing a home improvement brand. Online ratings and reviews followed as a close fourth, and recommendations from friends and family ranked fifth.
  • Even as we begin to recover from the most significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it comes as no surprise that buyers place a high degree of importance on products that promote a healthy home. American-made products and those that will make life easier as consumers age are also critical to respondents.





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DIY Remains the Most Common Project Method for Homeowners

While some homeowners are DIYers, others prefer to hire a contractor for any major home improvement projects. How do the numbers compare, and what factors drive homeowners’ decisions to tackle the work or hire professional help? Luckily, HIRI has conducted various surveys that can help answer these questions.

What we have found from our surveys, DIY remains the most common project method, as 68% of respondents said they are completing projects themselves. Furthermore, the decision to take on a home improvement project over hiring a professional often depends on the overall cost of hiring a pro, with 65% of respondents reporting they chose the DIY route in order to save money. On the other hand, professionals are most often utilized when projects require either a specific skill set or are too large or complicated to do on their own.



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Home Improvement Project Planner Trends

What influences project planner purchases when choosing products and brands? The answers might be different than you think.

See HIRI's infographic on what project planners told us about how they make decisions on products and brands.

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Update: The Home Improvement Product Market Is Exceeding Its Forecast

The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) partners with IHS Markit to develop an annual U.S. Size of Market Report. The current report is based on the most recent IHS economics forecast of the U.S. economy and looks at what to expect in the market through 2025.

Due to rapidly falling COVID-19 infection rates and states’ widespread relaxation of containment measures, as well as an accelerated vaccination campaign, an update to this macroeconomic forecast has been published. Some of the upward movement reflects major elements of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress including the third round of stimulus checks, an extension of emergency unemployment programs and benefits, major funding for COVID-19 mitigation efforts, and significant aid to state and local governments, and schools.

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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.

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Infographic: Planning a Consumer Project in 2021

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers spent a great deal of time planning home improvement projects.  We saw evidence of this in 2020 and planning activity continues to be strong through the 1st quarter of 2021.

See some of the highlights from HIRI's Quarterly Consumer Project Planning Survey in the infographic below.

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Remodeling Through a Pandemic: COVID’s Effect on Home Improvement

During the past 10 months of COVID19 lockdowns, homeowners have changed the way they think about their homes and have made many changes to improve them in ways that better serve their needs.

In a qualitative study conducted by The Caney Group in partnership with HIRI, we identified five major themes about homeowner remodeling attitudes, behaviors, and future remodeling plans.

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Consumer Project Intent: Q1 2021 Updates

Each quarter since 2012, 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.

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COVID-19 Impact Tracker: February 2021 Takeaways for Home Improvement

To provide manufacturers and retailers with consistent updates regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the home improvement industry, Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) partnered with The Farnsworth Group to develop the COVID-19 Impact Tracker. Since March 2020, our team has conducted regular research to understand the pandemic’s effect on purchasing behaviors of home improvement professionals and DIYers.

The February 2021 results reflect survey responses from 1,000 DIYers and hundreds of contractors.

Here’s what we learned...

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Generational Difference in the Home Improvement Industry

Younger generations are leading the push in home purchasing and remodeling projects. They are also leaders in online purchases of building materials. How does this behavior compare to millennials and older generations? See our infographic below to deep dive into the insights.

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5 Home Improvement Trends That Emerged During COVID-19

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, “home,” for many, has doubled as an office, school, movie theater, gym and more. The bottom line? Homeowners are spending more time at home, undoubtedly changing how remodeling projects are prioritized.

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Homebuyer Purchasing Patterns by Generation: A Guide

The housing market is hot — and its reach is broad. Current homebuyers hail from four different generations, each of which follows different purchasing patterns. New research from the Home Improvement Research Institute explores these patterns and their drivers, creating a valuable resource that can help inform your decisions.

So, what are the homebuyer generations, and how do their unique characteristics affect the housing market?

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Home Purchasing in the Time of COVID-19

2020 didn't just disrupt lives - it completely changed the way people lived.  We all spent more time than ever before in our homes as school went online, companies transitioned to remote work and online shopping became the norm.  This trend made people focus more on where they live. 

How did COVID-19 change home buying?  Find out what we learned from HIRI's Recent Home Buyer Study in the infographic below.
 

 


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Keeping an Eye on DIY: The HIRI Product Purchase Tracking Study

Homeowners and DIYers make their home improvement purchases for any number of reasons. Understanding the mindset around their purchases can help home improvement companies gain insight into their DIY customers and the decisions they’re making in order to market more effectively. 

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How HIRI Delivers Home Improvement Insights for All Levels of Your Company

Having data on home improvement and insights on customer behavior can help professionals navigate a shifting and unpredictable economy.

The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) gives its members research, survey results and insights on the home improvement industry so that retailers, manufacturers and other organizations can better understand the consumers that they serve.


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Home Care and Maintenance Services

The 2020 HIRI Product Purchase Track Survey (PPTS) is now available to members. The survey looks at trends in home improvement product and service purchases based on data provided biennially from homeowners across the United States.

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