Generational Buying Habits for Home Improvement Projects

generational buying habits for home improvement projects

Remember when all you had to do was send out a bunch of postcards or run a TV spot. Your biggest concerns were how many homeowners you’d reach with your mailer versus apartment dwellers, or, how many people were going to be home watching TV when your spot ran.


That’s all changed as we’ve begun to recognize the necessity of segmenting the marketplace to more effectively use our home improvement marketing dollars. One of the ways to think about this is through an examination of generational buying habits.


Understanding how the different age groups that we market to make spending decisions, and the processes that they go through to get to those decisions is becoming a more and more important piece of our home improvement marketing plans.


Generational Market Size


Let’s begin by understanding the size of each market. The three main markets that we are focused on are the Boomers (ages 51-69), Gen X (ages 35-50) and Millennials (age 18-34). The chart here notes that although the Baby Boomer generation was the largest of its kind, the Millennials represent an even larger group of the overall population.


Generational Buying Habits by Group


In early 2016, Consumer Specialists conducted a follow up study from 10 years earlier about how homeowners start their home improvement projects, called Changing Approaches to Home Improvement. Amongst the many other interesting pieces of information were some insightful facts about the home improvement buying journey of Boomers, Gen X’ers and Millennials.


  • Boomers
    • 56% have done a home improvement project in the past year
    • Online research is their number 1 source of information, passing friends and family
    • Looking for information on styles/appearance, and whether or not a contractor is really needed
    • Looking for the latest in home improvement products and services
    • Moderate DIY’ers


  • Gen X
    • 72% have done a project in the last year
    • Second highest average spending level on home improvement projects of all generations
    • Fully involved in research online, using a broader range of resources than Boomers
    • Top issues are project cost, followed closely by how-to information and availability of material
    • Key question they want answered when hiring a contractor, “Can they do the job right?”


  • Millennials
    • Most active (75%) in doing a home improvement project in the last year
    • Most extensive contractor use of all generations
    • Highest level of home improvement spending of all generations
    • Internet and friends/family referrals are most important research outlets
    • Top issues are cost, how to information and style/appearance
    • Most likely generation to use a Big Box (Home Depot, Lowes, Sears) in-home installation service


I bet your head is already full of ideas of how to market your home improvement company to the various age groups.


Stay tuned as future posts will dig deeper, individually, into the buying and spending habits of these generational markets.



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