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Reader Survey - New Products

The continued stream of new products offered to the residential construction industry is very impressive. As our survey shows, as many as 77 per cent of renovators have used new tools and 82 per cent of builders have used new accessories in the past year.
The best ways to find new products are through trade magazine editorials and advertisements, said builders and contractors in an e-mail survey conducted by Home BUILDER Magazine in early July.
"The readers survey is a new feature that will appear in every issue to gauge readers' up-to-the-minute response and opinions," said Nachmi Artzy, the magazine's publisher.
Other ways to find new products included: finding information from peers, in retail stores, doing a Web search, at trade shows, from trade associations, from designers and architects, and at home shows. Builders and renovators find products in a very similar ways (see chart).

What makes users trust a new product?
We asked our readers what would make them trust a new product and adapt it for continued use. The responses were different for builders and renovators. For renovators, the main reasons to trust a new product were a demonstration or a direct hands-on experience, followed by recognition of the brand name and a professional recommendation. For builders to trust a new product, a professional recommendation came first, then a demonstration and the influence of a brand name.
Other reasons for renovators included research documentation, independent testing, product literature, magazine articles and endorsements. CCMC reports, Web searches and advertising came last in gaining user trust.
For builders, additional reasons for gaining trust were: independent testing, research documents, magazine articles, manufacturer literature and Web searches. Least influential were endorsements, CCMC reports and advertising.

What does a new product have to offer?
Without a doubt, better performance is what builders and renovators expect from a new product the most. Builders continue to say that they expect money and time savings, followed by ease of operation and installation. As well, the product has to have a new design and look.
For renovators, after better performance, they wanted time savings, ease of operation and installation, money savings and, finally, a new design/look.

New products penetration
Overall, accessories, tools and decor products have been the new products of choice in the past year. However, results varied for builders and renovators.
The percentage of builders who said they have adapted and used new products in the past year in was as follows: accessories - 82%, design and decor - 79%, tools - 72%, structural - 69%, wall and floor covering - 62%, energy savings - 56%, increased productivity - 51%, roofing and siding - 49%, windows and doors - 46%, appliances - 35%, and security - 23%.
Renovators used new products in the past year as follows: tools - 77%, accessories - 70%, energy savings - 62%, increase productivity - 62%, wall and floor covering - 57%, windows and doors - 57%, design and decor - 53%, roofing and siding - 47%, structural - 36%, appliances - 30%, and security - 30%.

Source: Home BUILDER Magazine Readers Survey, July 2006

This survey was conducted by e-mail to builders and renovators on the readers list of Home BUILDER Magazine, between June 29 and July 5, 2006.
The results published are based on 87 replies. Of these, 39 were builders and 48 were renovators and contractors. Collectively, they built 1,355 new homes and did 1,477 renovation jobs last year.
The response by region was: Ontario - 45%, British Columbia - 20%, Alberta - 17%, Quebec - 7% (survey in English only), Manitoba - 3.4%, Nova Scotia - 3.4%, New Brunswick - 2.3%, Saskatchewan - 1.1% and Newfoundland - 1.1%.
We offer respondents a free listing on the Home BUILDER Web site and a chance to win one of five Zircon 24" VIDEOLEVELs(tm).

Home Builder Magazine will continue to conduct timely surveys about issues of concern. If you'd like to participate, please register (click here) to be counted and to let us know what you think.

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