Why are so many homeowners dissatisfied with their home improvement projects?

  • Categories:

    Industry Trends

  • Date:

    July 24, 2018

Why are so many homeowners dissatisfied with their home improvement projects?



Industry Trends

Consumers and pros put a significant amount of work into making the right choices for home improvement projects. Still, after the last tile is laid and the final light fixture attached, 33 percent of homeowners have lingering regrets.

The culprit? It’s not what you think. These homeowners aren’t experiencing buyer’s remorse, at least not in the traditional sense. The reality is, a third of homeowners who made improvements in the past year regret not spending more money. And the real shocker? 

Homeowners with regrets are notably more likely to have worked with a home improvement professional. 

Homeowners hire designers, contractors and architects for their knowledge and expertise, but the presence and guidance of a pro doesn’t guarantee satisfaction. While it’s their responsibility to help homeowners make the most informed decisions, home improvement professionals still need information and insights from manufacturers to do their jobs effectively.

That’s where The Regret Factor comes in.

The Regret Factor refers to comprehensive research conducted among both consumers and designers to better understand how to drive satisfaction in remodeling projects. Wray Ward and the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI) paired up to delve into the science behind underspending in home improvements across the whole home. It’s the first study with this level of detail and exploration regarding the drivers of dissatisfaction. And, from its insights, we can offer home improvement professionals a better understanding of how to navigate and work with their customers, the homeowners.

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that full kitchen remodels top the list for Regretters, as a whopping 44 percent wish they would’ve sprung for more sophisticated appliances or the countertops they really wanted, albeit a larger investment. And interestingly, while TV and magazines served as go-to resources for satisfied homeowners and those with regrets, retail stores were a top source for successful project planning and possibly one of the main differentiating factors between displeasure and contentment.

Could it be that the ability to feel materials, interact with and explore the functionality of appliances and speak with home improvement professionals face-to-face makes that much of an impact on the likelihood of satisfaction? Does shopping for a home improvement project in a brick-and-mortar retail environment propel homeowners to spend more money on their projects?

We’ll address these questions and more in a talk slated for this fall’s annual Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) Insights Conference in Oak Brook, Illinois, where we’ll share the stage with more than a dozen other thought-leaders. Every year, HIRI assembles a roster of home improvement industry experts from across the nation to share trends, forecasts and cutting-edge research that equip manufacturers with the tools to grow their businesses as experts, as well. 

Here are just some of the opportunities for attendees of the September 18-19, 2018 event:

  • Dive into macro and micro trends in home improvement spending and the rental housing markets with the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.
  • Attend a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities in home improvement with panelists from HomeAdvisor, Kohler and Lowe’s.
  • Learn how to reach DIYers and contractors at every digital point.
  • Most importantly, attendees of the HIRI Insights Conference will gain a grounding on where they should focus their investments — both time and dollars — by getting an overview of the broader landscape and category trends of the home improvement industry. 
  • HIRI is the primary resource for the broadest, most comprehensive scope of home improvement research data. They conduct and share a breadth of research on marketing category data and behavior, as well as emerging trends. As a result, manufacturers and marketers gain invaluable insights on contractors, trade, architects and even consumers. To attempt to replicate this vast amount of data on your own would be tremendously prohibitive.

If you’re a manufacturer or trade professional, you simply can’t get these insights anywhere else. 

Register at HIRI.org to get exclusive first-hand details on who is underspending, on what products and why, and how manufacturers can help homeowners evade the pitfalls that trigger discontentment. In the meantime, watch the following video for a quick preview of our Regret Factor presentation.