5 Home Improvement Trends from the Home Improvement Research Institute

Blog posted On November 12, 2019

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Homeowners and home buyers are going to be busy with home improvement projects in 2020.  Many homeowners are taking advantage of lower mortgage rates to refinance and get cash out to reinvest in home improvement projects and many home buyers are choosing to renovate a home they buy rather than wait for the perfect home to go up on the market.  The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) hosted a summit earlier this summer to discuss home improvement trends and make predictions for 2020.  

Here are the top five home improvement trends to watch next year:


  1. Less Luxury

Adding luxury upgrades has started to lose its luster.  Five products specifically have faded including high-end cabinets, cladding, flooring, roofing, and dimensional lumber.  Home buyers are looking for function over fancy upgrades and homeowners don’t see the same return on investment for expensive additions to their homes. 

In place of luxury enhancements, custom fixtures have become more popular.  Soft close doors and drawers, sizing customization, and organizing accessories are all trending because of their wider range of use for homeowners of all style preferences.

  1. DIYers

Between the sustained popularity of “house flipping” reality shows and the fact that just about any procedure or task has a YouTube tutorial, Millennials are big fans of doing projects themselves.  Lowe’s representative, Amy Anthony, explained, “for home improvement, the shopper’s journey is not just ‘where do I find this?’ but more importantly ‘how do I do this?’ making the role of the associate critical.”

Taking on smaller projects yourself can save you money and give you more autonomy over the project.  Still, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!  For big jobs that involve structural changes to the home itself or anything plumbing or HVAC-related you should still hire a professional contractor or repair service. 

  1. Mobile Shopping

With the advent of features like adding available products to Instagram posts, the mobile and online shopping experience has gotten even more intertwined.  Shoppers want to see products showcased in real homes and make purchases with ease.  The more accessible retailers make their products the better.   

  1. Gen Z

With all of the focus on Millennials, many real estate professionals forget about the first entirely native digital generation, Gen Z.  The youngest members of Gen Z are still in elementary school, but the oldest are in their early 20s and completing home improvement projects on everything from their first homes to their apartments.  ‘

Because of their digital upbringing, this generation values smart home technology as much as they value data privacy and security.  Market to this demographic with pragmatic home improvement options. 

  1. Sustainability

One of the best ways to improve your home, whether you’re planning to live there for many years or selling soon, is by investing in sustainable appliances.  Energy efficient washers, dryers, and kitchen appliances may cost more to install but you’ll save on ongoing utility bills and you may even increase your profit when it’s time to sell your home.


If you’re looking to make improvements to the home you currently live in or a home you’re looking to buy, the way you finance these improvements matter.  There are mortgage options designed specifically to combine the costs of renovation and your monthly mortgage payment.  Let me know if you have any questions. 


Sources: Forbes