Considerations for Capturing Homeowner Demand in the Decking, Fencing and Railing Markets

Considerations for Capturing Homeowner Demand in the Decking, Fencing and Railing Markets

The decking, fencing and railing markets are all expected to increase in size in the next 5-10 years. With repair and remodel activity continuing to drive demand, outdoor projects are becoming more frequent. With advances in technology, decking, fencing, and railings are also becoming more affordable. With increasing homeowner interest in these kinds of projects, there is plenty of room to innovate and capture share of wallet in these product categories.

In the United States, the decking, fencing and railing markets (with a combined market value of $23 billion) are all expected to increase in size in the next 5-10 years. With repair and remodel activity expected to continue to grow (and an increase in disposable income for many), outdoor renovations are becoming more frequent.  

With advances in technology, decking, fencing, and railings are also becoming more affordable.  Some of these innovations include 3D printing available for railings (making custom jobs less expensive), advances in wood treatment to extend the life of wooden decking, and more natural looking composite decking options.

What is Driving an Increase in the U.S. Decking, Fencing and Railing Markets?

1. Desire for outdoor living spaces

With homeowners spending more time in their homes since 2020, many desire more outdoor living spaces to increase the home footprint. While new single family housing starts are slightly rising and expected to rise further in 2024, homeowners are most likely to be remodeling, repairing, or adding decking, fencing, and railings to their current exterior living spaces.  Spaces that were previously unused are being renovated to increase the usable living space for the homeowner.

With 3 out of 4 homeowners being DIYers, many are using their DIY skills in the outdoor areas of the home. Almost 50% of DIYers are handling exterior home improvement on their own as they desire these outdoor living spaces more and more.  

2. Increased need and desire for privacy/safety

With a desire to have more outdoor living space, a need for privacy has become paramount for many homeowners. Having secure fencing, keeping pets and children safe, and being blocked from neighbor view are all wants from the homeowner that is driving the demand for fencing for new and existing properties.  

Smart fences have become more popular to help with the safety and privacy concerns. Fences now have the technology to include sensors, remote access, alarms, integrated camera systems, and voice activation.  

Along with an increase in demand among homeowners, a rise in demand for fencing around commercial buildings, universities, and educational buildings will also drive up the market size.

3. Aesthetic Preference among Homeowners (and resale value increase)

With new technologies emerging in the decking, fencing and railing markets, homeowners have better access to options for creating aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces. New fencing technologies allow for personal customization to reflect the homeowners’ style.

These can include geometric patterns, mixed materials, modular systems, light integrations, and even artwork and sculpture. Adding decorative fencing is also a way for the homeowner to increase the resale value of the home, a thought among many who are thinking of a move in the next few years. Railings have become more aesthetically pleasing in recent years to integrate more naturally with the decking and outdoor living spaces. Glass and cable railings are popular among homeowners, especially those that have integrated lighting systems.  

As more and more in the US are desiring integration with the outdoor world, allowing outdoor spaces to flow seamlessly to the outdoor environment is a growing need. Having natural woods, railings that blend into the background, and fencing that matches the current exterior of the home have become more popular.  

4. Technological Advances in the Industry

The technological advances in the decking, fencing, and railing industries have and will continue to drive the increase in size of these markets in the US in the next few years. These technological advancements are far reaching across various product categories and material types.

Advances in Composite Decking

  • Advanced heat dissipation which allows the deck to cool down more quickly, a top concern among those purchasing this type of deck
  • Using anti-slip materials and manufacturing processes to ensure decking prevents falls (for example, designing in deep embossing and gripping finishes)
  • Options that are more natural looking, wood-grain improvements
  • An increase in color selections
  • Material science advancements to combat fading and sun damage

Advances in Wood Decking

  • Hidden deck fasteners that combat water damage that is common among wooden decks
  • Prefab deck piers that allow for same day install (Saving time and money for the homeowners)
  • New types of joist tape to prevent premature decay
  • Under deck drainage systems to prevent water damage and mold concerns

Advances in Fencing

  • Smart fences (voice activation, sensors, alarms, remote access)
  • Innovative materials (sustainability materials such as bamboo, recycled metal, green living walls)
  • Aesthetic fencing to reflect personal style and increase home value (patterns, mixed materials, sculpture, artwork)

Advances in Railings

  • Advancements in production technology (3D laser scanners for highly complex structures making customization easier and more affordable)
  • Direct sales through websites to allow for easier ordering and lower prices
  • Contractors having direct ties to manufacturers to get large volumes at low prices, passing those saving on to homeowners (allowing for new market penetration strategies and an increase in market share among professionals)
  • Aesthetic railings that include LED light integration, cable, and glass material options

So, what can manufacturers do to take advantage of the increase interest in decking, fencing, and railing products in the next 5 years?


Drive Innovation For Your Product Lines

Manufacturers who invest in market research to identify key drivers that will differentiate their products from competitors will have a leg up in this emerging market. When creating new innovative products, specific market research tools such as conjoint and max diff analysis will pinpoint which features will drive more demand.  

At The Farnsworth Group, we’ve helped hundreds of building products manufacturers, retailers, and industry associations go from a place of uncertainty about what to do next to a place of clarity in just a matter of months.

We’re in your corner to reduce your risk of launching the wrong marketing campaign or a product line that won’t perform. We’re here to help you understand how your brand is perceived and where there is white space in the market for your company to get their foot in.

You get much more than data. Our proven approach blends market intelligence consulting with primary market research to deliver actionable insights and grounded recommendations impacting your marketing & sales teams, brand teams, channel teams, and product teams. You get customized research built around your needs with proprietary results that off-the-shelf approaches could never produce.

Because our team works exclusively in the building, home improvement, and lawn & ranch industries, as we have for nearly 4 decades, you can trust that our insights and recommendations take into account the complex variables that impact your end to end go to market situation in the complex building materials environment.

Erica Farnsworth, Project Director at The Farnsworth Group

Written by Erica Farnsworth

Erica has been a Project Director for clients’ custom market research projects since 2012. Prior to joining The Farnsworth Group, Erica worked in data analysis for United Health Group. Based in the Southern California area, Erica is an avid DIY-er who loves learning about new and innovative products. She enjoys acting, music, and spending time with her family.

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