Courtesy John Ellison
Courtesy John Ellison

The severe winter delayed planned home improvement projects for nearly three out of 10 homeowners responding to a recent survey, but 69% of those affected plan to complete that project within the next six months, polling by Piper Jaffray suggests today.

Among the findings:

  • Half of the 410 homeowners in the nationwide survey said they intend to spend more on home improvement projects in the next 12 months vs. the previous 12 months, and 20% said they would spend "significantly more." The median increase in the amount to be spent was $1,000, a marked gain over the median $775 increase reported by participants in a similar survey last November.
  • While painting, planting, and flooring were the top three major (i.e. over $500) projects cited by respondents, 26% said they wanted to install a bath and accessories, 25% intended to build a deck, 25% wanted to install doors and windows, and 23% looked to install kitchen countertops and cabinets. The survey didn't ask about whether the homeowners would do the work themselves or hire a pro.
  • 49% of respondents reported delaying, by at least a year, a large home improvement project planned for next 12 months. On the other hand, 56% said "yes" to the same question last November--a signal that pent-up demand, while strong, has eased a bit.
  • 39% said they might use a credit card and 14% intended to tap a home equity line of credit to pay for their planned project. Piper Jaffray took that as "a leading indicator for higher-ticket remodels." 
  • 29% of homeowners nationwide--but 39% of the group in the Northeast and 35% of Midwesterners--said the abnormally cold and snowy winter caused them to delay large home improvement projects. But of those who reported a delay, 37% said they expected to complete their project in the coming three months and another 32% planned to get it done in three to six months.
  • Notably, zero percent said the rough winter caused them to give up on the project.
  • That rough winter also opened up new opportunities for repair crews. A total of 16% of respondents nationwide (21% in the Northeast, 18% in the Midwest) said they sustained unexpected damage from the winter weather.

All of the 410 survey participants had annual incomes above $35,000 and own their homes; the average stay in that home was 13.6 years. They live across the United States and ranged in age from 25 to 70.