HOMEOWNERS ARE PLANNING TO RENOVATE
“With the existing house stock averaging 38 years old, much of the inventory is in need of updating.”
– Mark Boud, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Hanley Wood/Metrostudy
A recent survey from Trulia found that 90% of homeowners plan to remodel their home at some point in the near future, which is an increase of 6% from last year. When they were asked how much they were willing to spend, nearly half said they wouldn’t spend more than $5,000. But, there were still 20% of respondents willing to spend over $10,000 (which is obviously a more ideal customer).
If you’re a home improvement contractor, plan on doing a lot of kitchen and bathroom remodels. If you can become a leader in those two areas, you’ll be able to resonate with 95% of your target audience.
And the good news is, the steady increase in remodeling activity will likely continue through 2021, according to HIRI experts. Many factors contribute to this forecast, including increasing home prices, new construction being hard to find in some areas, and homeowners aging in place and wanting to settle in.
THE ERA OF DIY
Out of the 25% of people in the U.S. that made home improvements in the last year, only 7% worked with a professional. This is in large part due to the vast library of DIY content on the Internet. People are able to look for video tutorials on YouTube or visit blogs to accomplish their home improvement goals. With most of these people being millennials, I wouldn’t anticipate that home improvement trend changing much in the future.
But home improvement contractors can provide a level of expertise and professionalism that usually can’t be accomplished in big DIY projects (which leads to the next trend on the list).
HOME IMPROVEMENT REGRET IS RISING
“Regretters are more likely to have used a wide range of inspirational sources, especially television, magazines and social media.”
– Brenda Bryan of the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence
Think about it. Have you ever watched a video tutorial of how to cook something delicious? The video makes it seem so simple and straightforward. But when you actually try to make it yourself… you wonder if some of the instructions were left out on the video.
Homeowners feel the same way when they embark on their own DIY home improvements. More than a third of homeowners who completed a home improvement project in the past year regretted not spending more on the project, according to The Regret Factor Study. So even though DIY is on the rise, home improvement contractors should always bring up this point when talking with potential customers.
RENTAL HOUSING MARKET IS INCREASING
Another factor home improvement contractors will need to face in 2019 is the rental housing market. This particular trend may present some unique challenges. Many of these renters are looking for ‘portable’ home improvement products, such as freestanding entertainment centers or wine fridges. These will likely be much smaller projects, but if you become a leader in this niche, you could generate a steady flow of customers.
PROJECT TYPE TRENDS
If you want to appeal to your customers, here are a few home design projects and home improvement trends for 2019 you should be aware of:
Technology is spreading from doorbells and thermostats into the kitchen and bathroom. For instance, Kohler and Delta both recently unveiled an Alexa-enabled kitchen faucet that you can fill specific volumes of water by voice command. There’s also smart cooking, which allows cooktops to automatically adjust temperatures and cooking times depending on the recipe.
Luxury laundry rooms
Laundry is a time-consuming chore that used to be completed in dark, unfinished basements. But recent trends suggest a shift toward luxury laundry rooms featured on the main level of a home. Manufacturers have responded with sleek, stylish appliances that homeowners can be proud of. As a contractor, it’ll be important for you to find ways to make these rooms a place where homeowners look forward to doing their laundry chores.