Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

As 2019 races towards the finish line, it is a perfect time to look ahead to 2020. The remodeling industry has been experiencing an unprecedented boom period that continued in 2019, but many wonder what 2020 holds for the industry. Industry experts at the Home Improvement Research Institute's annual summit spoke about the top trends and developments that will likely characterize the industry in the year to come. Forbes shares several of the summit's main takeaways and what impact this could have on businesses in in the industry.

Luxury Projects Are Slowing

“Discretionary luxury remodeling is slowing, with the five product categories facing most severe headwinds: High end cabinets, cladding, flooring, roofing and dimensional lumber,” observed Todd Tomalak with John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

This can provide opportunities for emerging quality value brands in the kitchen and bath remodeling spheres, where clients have more access to consumer-facing information. For example, features like soft close doors and drawers, sizing customization, and organizing accessories, once limited to semi-custom and custom cabinetry, are becoming more widely available in more affordable brands.

If you’re recommending or specifying products for clients, this is a potential sweet spot. If you’re in the market to improve your home, or helping real estate clients improve theirs, this is an opportunity to get a custom look at a more realistic price.

Mobile Sales Are Growing

“Shopping and purchasing via mobile device is growing rapidly and must be a main strategy at retail,” declared Brendan Baby from The Home Depot.

Shoppers want the convenience of learning about products on the go, buying them with a few clicks, then not having to wait for delivery and possibly postponing their project until the next weekend. Show them how to improve their properties online, make it easy to buy what they need from their phones (without having to pull out their wallets, through a digital payment system), and then let them pick up their purchases an hour later in their neighborhood store.

Emphasize Health Over Savings

“When you talk about sustainability as it relates to home improvement purchases, savings is not an effective message. Try to tie the benefit to health, and give Americans prescriptive steps to take to make it happen,” recommends Suzanne Shelton of the Shelton Group.

This isn’t as surprising as it might seem. While sustainability and savings have become expected with programs like Energy Star, Water Sense and ever-stricter building codes mandating conservation, wellness is fresh in people’s minds. People are taking an active interest in their health and well-being – especially Millennials – and have shown that they’ll spend more for products that deliver health and fitness benefits.

What’s fairly recent is linking health with remodeling products. Most people think about smoking, exercise, stress and diet when they talk about making improvements to their well-being, not remodeling their kitchen or bath. Wellness design is a fast-growing discipline within the residential sphere and its practitioners are showing homeowners and renters how their living spaces can enhance their well-being.

Wellness-focused changes can include paint, flooring or cabinetry with non-toxic materials, touchless faucets that reduce germ spread, circadian lighting that improves sleep, water and air purification systems, bidet style toilets for enhanced hygiene, and many others. This is proving to be a healthy message for the home remodeling industry’s bottom line, as well.

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