Total home improvement product sales reached $271 billion last year, a record since 1984, according to statistical research from the Home Improvement Research Institute. Spending increased 12.6 percent from 2003 levels. Last year's hurricanes in Florida are estimated to have added a full percentage point to 2004's growth rate.

HIRI estimates that home improvement product purchasing in 2005 will be $287 billion. Sales to home improvement professionals are expected to increase 5.3 percent. (These figures do not take into account the 2005 hurricane season.)