State of Home Improvement in 2019

May 28, 2019

Fixing the plumbing. Refreshing the paint. Finally retiling the bathroom.

The list of projects around the house pile up, but are homeowners going to deal with their home improvement projects this year?

We’ll provide an overview of how many consumers will tackle those projects, what they spend on home improvement and which home improvement projects consumers are likely to handle this year.

Home Improvement Market

The home improvement market for 2019 is looking good.

Most architects, interior designers, general contractors, remodelers and landscapers predict 2019 will either be a good or very good year for residential renovation and design, according to the 2019 Houzz State of the Industry Renovation and Design report.

At least half of the companies in each industry group are expecting the cost of products and materials to rise in 2019. However, the majority of all industry groups except architects expect profits to increase.

A growing number of consumers intend to tackle home improvement projects. 59% of consumers plan to take care of a home improvement project in the next 3 months, which is up 3 percentage points from 2018.

The rising popularity of remodeling HGTV shows could be a major contributor to the growing remodeling activity. Over 8.6 million viewers tune in weekly to watch HGTV shows like Fixer Upper, Love it or List It and Property Brothers in 2018, which is up from 5.8 million weekly views in 2014.

TV isn’t the only reason the remodeling market is growing—Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are driving a significant portion of the remodeling market.

76% of Boomers own their homes but only 3.5% of Boomers live in homes that are suitable to stay in as they age. A total of 88% of Boomers plan to renovate.

Home Improvement Spending

How much are consumers investing in their home improvement projects?

On average, consumers plan to spend $6,360 on their upcoming home improvement projects over the next 3 months, which is 19% higher than 2018. And two-thirds of consumers said they have all the money they need to pay for the work. However, 46% of homeowners are not confident that that their budgets will be sufficient to complete the project. 

Overall, remodeling activities have increased quarterly since 2015—spending was just under $300 billion in Q12017 and is projected to reach almost $340 billion in Q12019.

73% of homeowners say there are enough resources for them to tackle DIY projects themselves without hiring a professional.  Of the homeowners who do conduct research for an upcoming project, 51% rely on online articles as their information source.

Unexpected home improvements for new homeowners are common—44% of surprise home improvement needs surface within the first year of home ownership and 12% within the first month.

DIY projects account for 38% of all home improvements but 18% of home improvement costs.

Popular Home Improvement Projects

Which home improvement projects are consumers tackling?

A growing number of households are worried about their homes posing a risk to their health, according to the Healthy Home Remodeling: Consumer Trends and Contractor Preparedness study from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

This study, released in January 2019, revealed that 1 in 3 U.S. households expressed concerns that some aspect of their home poses a risk to their health. In 2014, 27% of households were worried about this.

Consumer interest in healthy home remodeling is increasing, but this niche market is in its early stages of growth, the study found. Both renters and homeowners are worried about the health of their homes. Those in the 25-34 and 35-44 year-old age ranges were the most concerned out of all the age groups.

There were more Google searches for “non-toxic” than “energy efficient” in 2018. Consumers searched for non-toxic paint, flooring, sealants, glues and carpeting.

Three in 4 households expressed concern in indoor air quality (mold, dust, cooking). Other concerns include household pests, water quality and the safety of the physical structure. Renters tend to focus on pest and noise-related issues while homeowners were most worried about household dust, pet dander, cooking-related air pollution, radon gas, dry air and chemicals from furniture.

The most popular DIY healthy home projects include:

Changing air filters

Room-darkening shades

Mold removal

Water filter

Replace toxic cleaning supplies

Low/no VOC paint

Ventilation system/device

Free standing air filtration

Replace toxic furnishings

Smart home devices

Window installations to increase light

Whole house air filtration

Adding insulation to reduce noise

Lead paint removal

Asbestos removal

Not every project is health-related. Most Boomers (who are driving much of the remodeling demand) plan to tackle a home improvement within the next 3 years Bathroom renovations are the most common priority project with this demographic.

While bathrooms landed in the top 10 most popular spaces to renovate list, it was not the #1 spot for the general population. The most common room remodels (in order of most renovations to least) are:

1) Kitchen

2) Guest/Other Bathroom

3) Master Bathroom

4) Family/Living Room

5) Master Bedroom

6) Guest/Other Bedroom

7) Dining Room

8) Closet

9) Laundry Room

10) Home Office

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