Modernize’s homeowner sentiment survey is an ongoing, long-term study of how homeowners research and evaluate home improvement projects such as window replacement, roofing, solar power, and heating and air conditioning. Our study covers how homeowners’ budget for their improvement projects, how they find and select their preferred contractor, and how they plan to pay for their projects.

Our most recent key findings include:

  • Across all trades, 79% of homeowners do not create a budget for their project. This is an increase from 75% in 2019 and was highest among those considering a solar panel project, with 89% reporting no up-front budget.
  • Family and friends are less often the primary source of budget assistance (32% in 2020 vs. 41% in 2019). About 30% use online tools and cost calculators.
  • After price, expertise is the most important factor in selecting a contractor. Twenty-six percent (26%) reported expertise as a critical factor in 2020, up from 19% in the 2019 survey.
  • A majority of homeowners (53%), across trades, spend 1-5 hours researching their project before submitting a lead. Approximately 30% of homeowners spent zero hours before requesting that a contractor contact them.
  • This year, 75% of homeowners plan to finance at least part of their project, with 30% of those respondents intending to borrow the project’s entire cost. This is an increase from 23% financing their entire project amount in 2019. 

In a special webinar, we discussed our recent 2020 findings and how contractors can use this important information to support homeowners. The webinar was hosted by Modernize co-founder Chris Pallatroni, along with noted author and construction business expert Shawn Van Dyke. Gregg Hicks, Modernize’s vice president, also joined as a panelist to further discuss survey insights.

This aired on Thursday, August 13, 2020. You can watch the webinar in its entirety by registering below.

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