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Changing Approaches To Home Improvement

The Profound Impacts of The Housing Bubble and Technology on US Homeowners 

New Article In Hardware Retailing Magazine September 2016

Click here to see the article online (starts on page 90)

The United States went through an incredible period of change when the Great Recession hit in 2007. Homeowners were buffeted by many negative events.  Soaring unemployment, a crash of the stock market, and the collapse of the housing market all took their toll.  Rather than focusing on how to improve their homes, the discussion focused on homes “under water” with their mortgages, foreclosures, and sharp declines in home prices.

 Throughout this period, technology continued its rapid rate of change.  Smart phones became dominant; computers cheaper and faster and being online became a constant.  People started connecting in new ways and expectations of instant access to information became the norm.

More recently the economy rebounded, home prices recovered and unemployment feel back to more normal levels.

Changing Approaches to Home Improvement seeks to understand how homeowners and their approach to improving their homes have been changed by these events.

ORDER INFORMATION CLICK HERE

 The Research

In December 2006, shortly before the recession, Consumer Specialists conducted a comprehensive study of how homeowners approach their home improvement projects. This study became an ideal base wave to understand the pre-recession homeowner.  The current study was fielded in December and data preparation was completed in January.  It provides a fresh snapshot of how homeowners approach their home improvement projects and to see how their behavior had been changed by the events of the nine years between study waves.

 Conducted online with 1,000 US adult homeowners per wave, the research includes a broad range of information

 The Report

The full report is 81 pages long and is available as a PowerPoint file.  Instead of a traditional executive summary, it has a series of issue based summaries.  The issues covered are:

1.      How has the housing crash of 2007 impacted what people are looking for when they start planning a home improvement project?

2.      How has the Internet impacted how consumers find information on home improvement?  What are the online resources they plan to use?

3.      How do people go about finding a contractor that they hire?  Has this been changed by online contractor locator services?

4.      How has contractor project satisfaction changed?  What behaviors seem to lead to the highest satisfaction?

5.      How are the national installation companies viewed?

6.      What are the key differences between generations?

The report then goes on to provide detailed information by question asked.  Trends between the two study waves are covered first and then a look at the current snapshot data in more detail.  Each question then closes with a summary of key differences between demographic groups.

 Pricing

The cost of the report is $895.  Orders can be placed by email. Click here for an order form.

Infographics Available

Two infographics highlighting findings from the study are available at no charge on request.  Just send an email to Fred@ConsumerSpecialists.com.

Additional Information

Table of Contents

Subject

Page Number

Background

3

Issues Explored

5

Methodology

6

Point of View – Major Themes In The Findings

8

Issue Based Summaries

9

   Impact of 2007 housing crash

10

   Impact of the Internet on home improvement research

14

   How contractors are being found

18

   Changes in satisfaction with contractors

23

   Perceptions of national installation companies

27

   Key differences between generations

29

Detailed Results

35

   Home Improvement retailers close enough to shop

36

   Home improvement project activity & spending

39

   Researching home improvement

46

   Contractors - finding them and satisfaction

56

   Perceptions of national installation companies

70

   Profile of respondents

77

Subjects Covered

The following subject areas are covered:

·         Retailers that they close enough to consider shopping

·         When last home improvement project was done

·         When last project involving a contractor was done

·         Past 12 month spending on home improvement

·         Sources of project information that they would use (both total and most important source)

·         Usage of specific online resources

·         What are the important areas that they want information about

·         How they would go about finding a contractor (if needed)

·         The value of key information sources of selecting a contractor

·         Most important factors in making the decision which contractor to select

·         How they found the last contractor they used

·         Satisfaction with their last contractor project

A full battery of demographic and homeownership information allows for extensive analysis and understanding of important differences.  These factors include: 

·         Gender

·         Household income

·         State of residency

·         When a home improvement project was last done in their home

·         When a project was last done that involved a contractor

·         Amount of money spent on home improvement projects in the past 12 months

·         Self-categorization of personal involvement in home improvement

·         Size of household

·         Presence of children in household

·         Age of current residence

·         How long they have lived in their current home

·         Marital status