Annual home owner survey shows desire for stylish, low-maintenance exterior products
For the past several years, Royal Building Products has conducted a survey among U.S. heads of households to glean insights into what’s important to them about the exterior of their homes. In particular, we ask about:
• Their self-rating of the curb appeal of their home
• Attitudes and priorities for extending their own personal design style to the exterior of their home
• Which exterior projects are most important, have the biggest impact on home value
• Current or emerging trends in exterior design
• Sources for exterior design inspiration
• Their general knowledge of exterior products
Top-line results are encouraging for those of us who build or remodel homes and manufacture products for residential construction. Home owners generally feel good about their homes, but only one in eight thinks their house is the one others look up to. When thinking about their homes, 70-80 percent feel like repairs are needed or maybe even a makeover is in order – and they have projects waiting on a list. In fact, most people (65 percent) are planning to purchase exterior products for their home in the next year.
Home owners said they don’t want a carbon copy of the most beautiful house in the neighborhood. Instead, they want to take aspects of that house they admire and put their own twist on it. They really don’t want their house to look like everyone else’s, and to some extent, they are looking for inspiration on ways to do that.
Interestingly, the same exterior features drive pride and also embarrassment for home owners. If a home is well-maintained with respect to landscaping, paint, siding, and windows, this is cause for pride. But home owners recognize if these same things are in need of repair or cleanup, there’s the embarrassing part. The continued desire for products that make maintenance faster and easier will win out over those requiring much more time and attention.
The demand for easy-care products
The most inspiring trend in home exterior to those surveyed is low-maintenance products. Although they recognize the need for regular maintenance, they prefer products that don’t require much of a time investment. It’s even more important to them than price.
Home exterior wish lists include “greener” options, creating entertainment spaces, and enhancing architectural details. Other trends that pique home owner interest are the look of natural stone and brick, sustainable materials, and products made in the United States.
So, where do they get their inspiration for exterior design ideas? No surprise, home improvement shows such as those seen on HGTV remain high on the list. Blogs, magazines, and websites are also heavily relied on with HGTV, Pinterest, and Better Homes & Gardens mentioned most often.
Getting a little more product-specific, although we didn’t dig too deeply into home owners’ knowledge of siding, they do seem to have a good handle on the basics. Siding captures the highest level of top-ranked knowledge among home owners surveyed. In response to follow-up questions, they say all the right things about the types available, including vinyl, aluminum, wood, shingles, brick, composites, etc. There is a desire for making it easier to assess options and make a choice.
For Royal, the survey validates that we need to continue to make it easy for home owners to find the product information they are looking for so they can make an informed choice. Most importantly, we will continue to invest in online design tools that allow them to see the finished product before they buy for a faster, easier confirmation that the choices they make will produce the ultimate curb appeal they desire.
For more information, visit royalbuildingproducts.com.