For several years, Decision Aids has been addressing knowledge and technology transfer gaps in the design and construction sector that have had negative consequences for the image of wood. Since June 2000 we have been operating a public web site, together with the Canadian Wood Council, as a primary mechanism for conveying information to the building industry on wood durability. The web site’s popularity is growing, with October 2002 a record month for visits (3,748). In 2002/2003, we added substantial new material to the site, we brought the French side fully up-to-date, and we reconfigured the site’s appearance and structure. In 2002/2003, we also continued to develop our participation in building science academic development at UBC and BCIT. This kind of involvement with the universities that are teaching tomorrow’s building designers and consultants has become the preferred route for Decision Aids to meet its mandate for filling current knowledge gaps in durability. In particular, we have stayed closely aligned with BCIT in its pursuit of funding for the development of an outdoor test facility for building envelope assemblies. Such a facility will be an important tool for filling information gaps regarding best practice design with wood in rainy climates.
Published market research on the building materials used in repair and remodelling is dominated by studies of do-it-yourself (DIY) consumer preferences. However, the professional repair and remodelling sector has quietly grown in the past decade from approximately one half of repair and remodelling purchases to closer to two-thirds of purchases.
The goal of this project was to create a profile of the professional repair and remodelling sector. Specifically, we were interested in the types of projects completed and the products consumed. The study consisted of a literature review followed by a telephone survey.
Kitchen and bathroom remodels are the most common and among the most expensive projects. These projects provide a healthy market for wood-based cabinets.
In the current trend to wood floors, the professional repair and remodeller is more often called upon to install solid wood flooring than laminate floors. The cost of professional installation indicates consumers place additional value on a solid floor.
The incidence rate of projects related to rebuilding after disasters is high among professionals. These are the most expensive project types and the most likely to use softwood lumber and structural panels.
Local lumberyards are the most common source of purchases, as compared to box stores or buying direct.
Local suppliers as well as promotional and instructional literature are the most important sources of new product information for professionals.
Quality, appearance, value, and ease of installation are the most important product attributes.
For visual products such as flooring and cabinets, brand and appearance are of increased importance relative to structural products.
The profile of the typical professional repair and remodelling client:
o Average to large single-family home,
o 35-49 years of age
In summary, professionals play a large and increasing role in the repair and remodelling sector. They purchase a significant value of wood products, particularly finished wood products such as cabinets, flooring, windows and doors. Their preferred source of supply are lumberyards, which they also rely on for new product information. Any marketing strategy aimed at the professional repair and remodeller should be focussed on this distribution channel rather than the DIY-oriented box store.
Combined with market studies that Forintek has completed on the North American DIY and new housing construction sectors, there now exists an extensive database for cross-sector comparisons. It is recommended that a follow-up summary report of these studies be produced.
In order to maintain the competitive advantage in existing and new markets situated in seismic and high wind zones such as the Pacific Rim and the southeastern U.S., it is proposed to study deflections in walls, floor and roof assemblies. The proposed project will also be very useful in: a) setting deflection criteria as will be demanded by performance-based codes, and b) responding to the inevitable transition to displacement-based seismic design.