Latest survey by James Hardie shows majority of homeowners cite severe weather concerns, and desire to protect their home from the elements, as a major driver of home renovation choices
Chicago, IL (January 4, 2022) — James Hardie Industries plc (ASX: JHX; NYSE: JHX), the world’s top producer and marketer of high-performance fiber cement building solutions, released findings from a nationwide survey of 1,000 U.S. homeowners revealing the driving forces behind the home renovation boom during the COVID era. Conducted by Wakefield Research, the survey results illustrate the impact of homeowners’ concerns about severe weather on their home renovation spending and choices. The survey also reveals a strong demand for renovating the exterior of the home, and clear demographic trend lines amongst U.S. homeowners–with parents and millennials driving the renovation demand, outspending all other demographics.
Trusted Protection: Extreme Weather Impacting Home Design Choices
A vast majority (76%) of homeowners reported that their renovation plans were impacted by the possibility of extreme weather. A majority of homeowners (54%) also said that the possibility of extreme weather events strongly or somewhat influenced their home renovation decisions—an influence based on real-life experience. Nearly half of homeowners (47%) said they or someone they know has repaired or renovated their home as the result of extreme weather. For homeowners who have personally experienced a weather-related renovation, this was overwhelmingly outdoor work: 75% of these homeowners renovated the exterior of their home.
“The impact of climate change and severe weather on home design and spending is something we have been closely watching for several years now. Homeowners are looking to protect their homes and their families inside those homes. At James Hardie we believe our products provide that trusted protection,” says Fran Flanagan, Head of Consumer Insights at James Hardie. “Fiber cement siding is noncombustible and offers superior home protection against extreme weather, such as flooding, wind and fire. We have seen a marked increase in our consumers choosing Hardie® siding with the goal of better protecting their home from the elements.”
Demand for Fresh Exteriors in Renovation Market
The pandemic has meant spending more time at home for many people, leading homeowners to reassess their home’s exterior. A startling 70% of homeowners said their home exterior needs a facelift, with 59% of homeowners wanting to improve their home’s exterior (notably including 77% of parents).
According to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), annual gains in homeowner improvement and maintenance spending were set to accelerate in the second half of 2021 and remain elevated through mid-year 2022 . James Hardie’s study confirms this trend: 87% of homeowners said they want to continue renovating in 2022.
Who is fueling the demand? The survey found that parents and millennials were disproportionately renovating; and the demand is not expected to abate this year. Millennials were the most likely (75%) to have made COVID-era renovations, and they spent more – $40,600 versus $10,000 for Gen X and $11,000 for boomers. In a tight housing market, this new generation of homeowners sees their first-home purchase as a long-term investment and forever homes. And perhaps due to remote learning needs, 4 in 5 parents (80%) made renovations versus only 52% of homeowners without children.
The Female Homeowner + Endless Design Possibilities
When it comes to renovations, married homeowners like to be in the driver’s seat. Among homeowners with a partner or spouse, 59% said they’re more likely to handle conversations on with contractors. But while women often disproportionately shoulder the burden of home maintenance, they’re not as likely to be involved in these conversations. Just 36% of partnered women said they would handle conversations with contractors, significantly fewer than the 82% of partnered men who said they’d handle it. But maybe men shouldn’t be so confident: among those who made COVID-era renovations, men were significantly more likely (29%) to regret at least one renovation (compared to 20% of women). In fact, men were more than twice as likely (21%) to regret multiple changes (compared to just 10% of women).
“These fascinating findings regarding the difference in women and men’s post-renovation sentiment really validate our company’s deliberate decision to pivot to a consumer marketing strategy that focuses on women, empowering them to achieve their dream exterior with trusted protection and endless design possibilities,” remarked Amy Lamparske, Chief Digital Officer and Vice President of Marketing at James Hardie.
Homeowners want to make their homes their own, and they want the world to see it. The importance of design choice to consumers is evident in homeowner’s openness to bold colors: the survey revealed that nearly 3 in 4 (73%) are willing to use bold colors on the exterior of their homes, especially millennials (88%).
“We constantly hear homeowners say that they are tired of ‘living with’ their home’s current siding. This desire for new designs is strengthened by the fact that, according to our survey, most consumers (89%) agree that exterior renovations provide a strong return on investment,” Lamparske continued. “As we transform to a consumer-centric brand, we seek to inspire the homeowner to see the choices and possibilities that exist in the world of home exteriors.”
While the majority of COVID-era renovations were done to home interiors, homeowners still recognize the importance of investing in curb appeal. This consumer demand for fresh, modern exteriors that enhance curb appeal drives James Hardie’s continued investment in innovation to transform the way the world builds. Most recently, James Hardie debuted Hardie® Textured Panels, marking the creation of a whole new category in home exteriors.
Source: The James Hardie Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. homeowners of single family or multi-family homes between October 4 and October 12, 2021.
James Hardie Industries
James Hardie Industries (ASX: JHX; NYSE: JHX) is a global leader in premium building solutions that offer lasting beauty and endless design possibilities with trusted protection and low maintenance. The world’s #1 producer and marketer of high-performance fiber cement and fiber gypsum building solutions, James Hardie offers siding and accessories for every style. Extensive Hardie® products empower homeowners and building professionals to achieve the home of their dreams. The company pioneered the technology of fiber cement building products made from sustainable raw materials and continues to invest in innovation to transform the way the world builds. James Hardie operates with an inclusive company culture, and an unwavering commitment to Zero Harm. James Hardie employs a diverse global workforce of approximately 5,000 employees across operations in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
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This Media Release contains forward-looking statements and information that are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of James Hardie to be materially different from those expressed or implied in this release, including, among others, the risks and uncertainties set forth in Section 3 “Risk Factors” in James Hardie’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 March 2020; changes in general economic, political, governmental and business conditions globally and in the countries in which James Hardie does business; changes in interest rates; changes in inflation rates; changes in exchange rates; the level of construction generally; changes in cement demand and prices; changes in raw material and energy prices; changes in business strategy and various other factors. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. James Hardie assumes no obligation to update or correct the information contained in this Media Release except as required by law.
This media release has been authorized by Mr. Jason Miele, Chief Financial Offer.
James Brennan Chong
Telephone: +61 2 8845 3356
James Hardie Industries plc is a limited liability company incorporated in Ireland with its registered office at Europa House, 2nd Floor, Harcourt Centre, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2, D02 WR20, Ireland
1 Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies