2013 Houzz & Home Survey Released

Today Houzz released its findings from the 2013 Houzz & Home Report. 

Conducted by Houzz and Edge Research, registered users of the Houzz site were invited to participate in an online survey.  The results of the survey provide some key indicators for the next 2 years for construction trends but also awareness to consumer confidence in this area - something that has been lacking in recent years due to the state of the housing market. 

Lets check out some key findings from the report.

PROJECT PLANNING

  • 84% are planning to decorate or redecorate

Since the rate of housing starts has been low in recent years, and is only just starting to creap up, it is clear that homeowners are staying put.  So it is not a surprise that 84% are choosing to decorate or redecorate.   The regions with the highest percentage of decorating plans are in San Diego, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Indianaplis, IN, Detroit, MI and Washington, DC at nearly 89% of respondents.

  • 40% are planning to remodel or build an addition

In addition to those already planning a remodel, 53% of those surveyed agreed that now is the best time to renovate a home.  And although confidence waivers depending on region - highest in West and lowest in Northeast - those that do remodel or doing it for personal satisfaction not to please a potential buyer!  82% are remodeling to improve the "look, feel, flow or layout" and 55% of those surveyed agree their decision to renovate will be to increase the value of the home.  Other important decision factors include upgrading appliances, organizational improvement, improved energy efficiency or introducing new techologies. 

When it comes to deciding to renovate, it is no surprise that kitchens and bathrooms are the most popular. Although bathrooms are #1 area to remodel, kitchens are #2 and take the "lions share" in terms of budget.  The average kitchen remodel costs $28,030, with the average bathroom remodel averaging $11,566.  If you are looking for kitchen design ideas check out our series "What Cooking for Kitchen Design Trends in 2013" from Vice President Patrick Kennedy at Superior Woodcraft.

This survey also shows an interesting statistic regarding budget, concluding that 41% of those surved came in over budget.  Most homeowners suryeyed say they start at least a year in advance when planning for their project, be sure to include proper budget planning for every aspect of your project to avoid going over budget.

  • 10% are building a custom home

The Commerce Department data shows that single family home construction is at its highest level in four and half years!  Great news!   The Houzz survey reports the areas with the highest percentage of custom home plans are Houston, TX, Oklahoma City, OK, Little Rock, AR, New Orleans, LA and Omaha, NE.

PROFESSIONAL ENGAGEMENT

The great news for construction and design professionals is that of those surveyed 58% are planning to get "professional help".  Here are exact findings:

  • 58% plan to hire a General Contractor
  • 35% plan to hire a carpet or flooring professional
  • 35% plan to hire a kitchen & bath professional
  • 21% plan to hire landing architect or design
  • 20% plan to hire an architect
  • 20% plan to hire a designer

More importantly than the type of professional homeowners are going to seek out, is the personality of the professional they finally decide on.  Over 60% of survey respondents said that hiring "a personality I can work with" is one the biggest decision factors to hiring a professional.   Even higher on the list was good reviews and recommendations and for that professional to display a level of expertise in their field.  It was also important that these professional had similiar experience to the project the client was considering.

Interestingly enough, just being the lowest cost option was only important to 8% of survey respondents.  Homeowners are coming to realize that investing in high quality goods and sevices means lower overall cost of ownership, higher rate of satisfaction and higher overall value/return on investment, when the project is complete - something you won't get with the lowest priced option.

TECHNOLOGY

It is no surprise that technology has transformed the way clients plan, select, shop and buy their products and services for a home project.   Houzz refers to this as the "The Empowered Homeowner".  

Homeowners have access to a wide network of potential construction and/or design professionals, and a wider variety of products available to them - something that hasn't always been the trend for construction products.  Because of this they feel more empowered to become an active partner in their project.  Clients are no longer handing off their floor plans and design ideas and waiting to turn the key in the doorknob. 

"Homeowners [are] determined to find the best professional toe xecute their vision, [and] the products and materials that will meet their criteria"

This survey also points out that clients don't need face-to-face meetings like they used, frequent check ins via phone and other mobile devices is more important.  Houzz points out that "homeowners expect highly visual, asynchronous, and mobile communications".   Looking for ideas for an interior design project, check out our series "Mobile Apps for Interior Design" featuring apps specifically designed to inspire and assist with product selection for the kitchen, bath, windows and window treatments and furniture.

Client also expect their potential partners - whether its a construction professional, designer or product supplier - to present a compelling online portfolio of previous work and professional experience.  Homeowners want to read client reviews, view past project, and using other "communicty activity" to rate a potential partner even before that partner know they are being considered.

Read the full report.

Are you a homeowner?  Are you planning to decorate, build or remodel?  Why are you doing it?

Are you a professional?  Does this make you excited about the coming year?  What is your "online presence" like?  What tools do you use to create a compelling online brand that will intrique clients?


Filed Under: Home Building & Contracting | In the News | Interior Design |

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