Because the home improvements industry is such a large part of the economy, companies in every sector of the business want to know who is making improvements to their home and how much they are doing on their own. One service company, Arbitron, uncovered some interesting facts during their survey efforts.
The surveys and studies revealed that nearly half of adults in 75 cities across the nation made home improvements in a 12-month period. Consumers in smaller economic markets tend to spend more on home improvements than residents and homeowners in the larger cities. A close look at these figures shows that many people undertake do-it-yourself (diy) projects when it comes time for home improvements.
Apparently, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, leads the way - 59 percent of residents started a home improvement project in the year preceding the study. Following the Harrisburg homeowners closely were those who lived in Buffalo, New York and Toledo, Ohio. In these two cities, 56 percent of residents planned and started a home improvement project in that same 12-month period.
Other markets that account for the top 10 in citizen/home improvement numbers are: Detroit; Atlanta; Syracuse; Rochester; Flint; Cincinnati; and Indianapolis. In each of these mid-size cities about 55 percent of residents started or completed a home improvement or remodelling project in the prior year.
At the lower end of the spectrum, the residents of Honolulu, Hawaii were least likely to swing a hammer or use a saw. According to the survey, 37 percent of residents reported being involved in a home improvement project in the prior year. This put the island city at number 75 among the 75 cities in which residents were surveyed. Other mid-size communities in which less than half of the residents started a project were: Fresno, California - 40 percent; Las Vegas - 40 percent; San Diego - 42 percent; San Francisco - 43 percent; Washington, D.C. - 44 percent; Los Angeles - 44 percent; Miami - 45 percent; Chicago - 46 percent; New York - 48 percent.
What purpose can these numbers serve in the larger economic picture? Arbitron's Alisa Joseph says the findings show good opportunities for home service advertisers trying to reach consumers who plan to undertake a home renovation project of some kind. Joseph, who is director of sales for Advertiser Marketing Services, Arbitron Inc./Scarborough Research also said that the company's work provides information that allows home improvement businesses to better understand consumer behavior.
One of the more interesting facts uncovered by the study was the number of consumers whose projects included interior painting or wallpapering. Arbitron/Scarborough found that 25 percent of homeowners took this step. A significant number of residents of the 75 cities also chose to start a landscaping project. Companies in the industry will be interested to find out that these types of projects were much more popular than home security system projects (2 percent) or pool/spa additions (1 percent).