Did You Know? More Than Half of Americans Try to Outdo Their Neighbors’ Home Improvement Projects

April 05, 2018

Survey finds millennials are the most competitive in the home improvement space.

When was the last time you saw your neighbor’s new mulched-in boxwoods, felt a jealous pang and decided to take on your own gardening project? If you answered “last week,” you’re far from alone!

In advance of Spring Black Friday, The Home Depot commissioned a survey of 1,000 Americans* conducted by Wakefield Research to find out what home improvement projects are on the top of the list this spring. The research also revealed the motivation behind these projects.

  • More than half of Americans feel the urge to improve the appearance of their homes when they see their neighbors doing it first. From a landscape refresh with new perennials or an herb garden, to a patio overhaul with the latest grill and patio set, there’s no inspiration quite like competition.
  • Millennials are particularly home-conscious and competitive, with 70 percent admitting to feeling this pressure and nearly 50 percent responding to it by completing a home improvement project specifically to outshine their neighbor. They stay on trend with not only the latest in gardening and décor, but also by staying green (and cutting costs) with smart thermostats like this one from ECOBEE.
  • Parents tend to one-up their neighbors more than non-parents – whether that’s installing a new fence and deck in the backyard or taking their spring cleaning one step further than others in the neighborhood.
  • Millennials are more likely than baby boomers to buy new furniture or refresh their décor.
  • And, when it comes to how people prefer to “one-up” neighbors, most went for curb appeal. Eighty-nine percent who tried to outdo a neighbor’s home project did so with a new outdoor project and 62 percent focused on indoor upgrades. 

Gardening, yard work and painting take the top spots for outdoor projects that Americans plan to take on this spring. And painting, redecorating, house renovations and replacing flooring round out the roster of top indoor projects.  

With Spring Black Friday starting today and running through April 22, homeowners can easily take on the challenge of a new project. Customers looking for extra know-how or inspiration can talk to an associate at their local Home Depot store or view The Home Depot’s Spring How-to Videos

Americans are competitive with their neighbors' home improvement projects.

*Methodological notes: The Home Depot Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 Americans, ages 25+, who are planning to do a spring home improvement project, between March 13 and March 19, 2018, using an email invitation and an online survey. 

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

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