Artisanal brick at Pine Hall Brick plant in Madison, NC

Report emphasizes advantages of brick

Brick gives you an instant advantage from tariffs on other building materials.

This is really brought home by industry partner Houzz Inc. is one of the leading platform for home remodeling and design. They just released the 2020 Houzz U.S. State of the Industry report earlier in February, 2020.

Among the findings the report found that remodelers that use building materials made from: metal, steel wood cabinets, tile, and quartz are all facing cost increases from tariffs. Such pressures aren’t present in domestic production of clay pavers and facebrick, including Pine Hall Brick products, since they are made in the USA.

American brick - serpentine paver walkway

The serpentine paver walkway required about 1,100 clay pavers.

The report provides an industry outlook on 2020 and review of 2019 performance for residential renovation and design businesses, based on data reported by more than 3,000 professionals in the Houzz community, according to the Houzz press release.

The Houzz U.S. State of the Industry report was conducted between December 2019 and January 2020 among Houzz-affiliated home renovation firms. Companies were grouped into seven industry sectors including: architects, interior designers, general contractors, remodelers, design-build firms, and specialty firms. 

The survey found that companies across all industry sectors have an optimistic outlook for 2020, following positive results in 2019.

“The findings from this year’s Houzz State of the Industry report show continued momentum for the industry in its tenth year of expansion,” said Nino Sitchinava, Houzz principal economist. “While revenue growth slowed notably in 2019 and businesses expect continued growth deceleration into 2020, the positive outlook is prevalent across all industry groups and even improved when it comes to the health of the national economy. A major headache for businesses in 2019 was rising costs of products and materials, linked by many businesses to increased tariff actions levied against popular construction products and materials. Elevated costs of products and labor continue to be the top challenges facing businesses going into 2020.”

While many sectors are seeing elevated costs of products due to increased tariffs, that’s not true when it comes to hardscape products, such as domestically produced clay pavers, because they are produced from clay shale mined in North Carolina and Georgia, and do not require of raw materials imported overseas.

pavers started on forever patio

In come Rumbled Full Range pavers!

American brick is tariff-proof is part of findings of the 2020 report


  • Businesses maintain a positive outlook: More than half of residential renovation and design companies on Houzz predict that 2020 will be a good or very good year (65 to 82 percent), reflecting a slight increase from expectations for 2019 a year ago (58 to 80 percent). While businesses across the seven industry groups expect 2020 revenue growth to range from 4.2 to 9.1 percent, five of the seven industry groups have lowered their 2020 growth expectations by 0.5 to 1.3 percentage points compared to their 2019 growth expectations.
  • Improved expectations about the national economy: A positive outlook on the national economy is shared by a greater share of businesses (15 to 23 percent) compared to 2019 (11 to 18 percent), while expectations of an economic decline are significantly less prevalent (24 to 43 percent) than last year (35 to 61 percent). A majority of companies across all industry groups are optimistic that the demand for their services will increase in 2020 (58 to 69 percent) and most expect no change in local economies.
  • Many expect to hire in 2020, yet fewer hired in 2019: Many companies continue to expect labor availability and costs to worsen in 2020. Still, more than a third of general contracting, design-build and building and renovation specialty companies (35 to 38 percent) and a fifth of architectural and interior design companies (20 percent, each) expect to hire in 2020. Interestingly, a smaller share of companies across all industry groups hired in 2019 compared with the previous year.
  • Product and material costs are top challenge: Following widespread increases to the costs of doing business in 2019 (55 to 78 percent), product and material costs are cited as the most significant cost driver by six of seven industry groups (compared to five of seven groups in 2018). A large share of companies link the rising costs to a negative impact of tariffs on businesses in 2019 (23 to 34 percent), with architects and design-build companies most likely to cite a negative impact (34 percent, each). Businesses report a wide range of products and materials impacted by tariffs, from metal, steel and wood to cabinets, tile, and quartz.

Revenue growth notably slowed in 2019: While revenue continued to increase in 2019, six out of seven industry groups experienced a notable deceleration in average revenue growth (3.1 to 6.1 percent) compared with 2018 (5.6 to 8.2 percent). Building and renovation specialty companies are an exception, reporting average revenue growth on par with 2018 (6.1 percent in 2019 versus 6.5 percent in 2018).

The complete 2020 Houzz U.S. State of the Industry report can be found on the Houzz website.

There are more than 2.5 million active home renovation and design professionals on Houzz, including architects, interior designers, home builders and design and build firms.

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