Home Innovation Insights

Insider insights on what's going on in the home building industry.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
May 12, 2022

2022 Consumer Practices Reports Available

The results of Home Innovation’s 2022 Consumer Practices Survey (CPS) on home remodeling are in and analyzed! The top overall finding is that U.S. and Canadian home remodeling purchases are still very strong, two years into the pandemic. The DIY purchaser segment is back to near-historical levels after a spike in 2020, and the outdoor living category is still blazing hot.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
April 4, 2022

Current Market Trends & New Opps Revealed for Plastics In New Construction and Remodeling

On March 1st, I was pleased to speak at the opening session of AMI’s 2022 PVC Formulation Conference in Cleveland. I provided an overview of product trends in new homes and remodeling from 2011 to 2020, tracking market shares of PVC and other plastics products. I concluded with a discussion of how the past two tumultuous years are now resulting in opportunities for plastics. I covered the product categories where PVC is already a big player in the market, and those where they could become one, including flooring, piping, siding, decking, fences, and others. 

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Ed Hudson, MBA
March 24, 2022

Housing Innovation: It’s What We’re All About

In late February, I participated in an interview/discussion during the Building Products Strategy Summit held by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. The subject was innovation in the U.S. housing construction market. When I joined Home Innovation Research Labs nearly 30 years ago, my initial assignment was to support the Advanced Housing Technology Program (AHTP) – a deep exploration of barriers to innovation in home construction, to evaluate and catalog more than a thousand beneficial new home technologies. The AHTP program was initiated to answer concerns that innovation in housing lags other industries. The insights uncovered through that program, along with other diffusion-of-innovation research I’ve been involved in, serves as the foundation for Home Innovation’s current marketing research practice.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
March 14, 2022

COVID Changes - Temp or Perm? Part 2

In taking another look at our recent survey of builders regarding the permanence of 22 business and new home changes adopted during the pandemic, we found that most practices – aside from the strictly virus-spread-mitigating ones – will be retained by more than half of builders who responded to the survey. These include practices such as utilizing a greatly-expanded network of building product suppliers, and putting more emphasis on outdoor living space, healthier indoor air quality, and home layout changes that provide space for remote work and schooling. See where there were differences in what will stay and what will go based on size of builder, as well as local vs. regional vs. national differences.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
December 21, 2021

COVID Changes - Temp or Perm?

There’s certainly no arguing that COVID changed our world, but the debate continues as to whether the day-to-day changes are temporary or if they will have a long-lasting impact on our behaviors. In an effort to determine if COVID will have a lasting impact on new home features and on the business of building them, Home Innovation Research Labs conducted a survey in collaboration with Professional Builder magazine to learn specifically what practices were adopted as a result of COVID, and which of those practices will remain after the pandemic is “over.”

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Ed Hudson, MBA
March 22, 2021

Brand New Brand Data

Based on our 2020 end-of-year survey over 100,000 U.S. households, the 2021 Consumer Practices Reports are now available. The new information is “must read,” shedding light on how COVID-19 changed the U.S. and Canadian home remodeling industries and including incredible detail. You may have seen some of the previews we’ve shared over the past several weeks in our Trend articles on pro vs. DIY remodeling during the pandemic and the products that did best in the “year of DIY”.

In addition to the standard product reports, we also have our Consumer Practices Survey (CPS) Brand reports available. These reveal how specific brands faired during the pandemic, and may call out some elements of the path forward.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
November 13, 2020

Home, Home on the … Infill Lot

While the markets for new homes and building materials roil with unpredictability, there are some things in the new home construction industry that are a little more stable—such as the types of building lots available. “They’re not making any more land,” the old adage goes, and land for new residential developments is universally reported to be in extremely short supply.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
September 21, 2020

With COVID-19 Market Disruptions, Slight Needle Tilt in Attitudes Toward Offsite Construction

Prior to COVID-19, a tightening labor supply and hot housing market portended a bright future for offsite housing construction methods, such as panelization and modular. In the wake of coronavirus and rising availability of workers sidelined from other industries, at least one key driver of builders adopting offsite methods may have faded. Are builders less inclined to adopt offsite construction now? Or are there other factors making them more ready for the change? A recent survey aimed to find out the answer to these and other related questions.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
September 4, 2020

Offsite Construction is the Answer—But, to Which Question?

A lot of attention has been given to offsite building solutions in recent years, and data show that it’s quickly making inroads in multifamily and commercial construction. Offsite construction has also been touted as a solution to the shortage of skilled construction labor that has hampered housing production in the past few years. Large single-family builders have told us repeatedly how difficult it has been to keep up with housing demand because they can’t get homes built fast enough – they attribute this to the tight schedules of subcontracted labor who can’t find enough skilled workers to keep up. NAHB reports that the average cycle time for building a single-family home has increased from 6 months to 7 in the past few years.

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Ed Hudson, MBA
August 20, 2020

COVID-19 Brings New Mix of Customers, Product Sales to Pro Yards (Part II)

The national news and trade press have regularly kept us up-to-date on the COVID-19 traffic boost in home improvement warehouse (HIW) stores, largely due to their visibility with retail locations across the country and publicly-traded stock, which makes information on their performance readily available.

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