A recent study by the Home Improvement Research Institute proves what contractors have known for years: a majority of homeowners make improvements to their homes within the first year of purchase.

In an interview with 300 new home buyers and 300 existing home buyers, HIRI found that 52 percent of recent home buyers had completed one or more home improvements their first year, with half planning at least one more project within the next year.

Kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms were the most reported spaces improved. Plumbing products were reported purchased by 14 percent of existing home buyers, and 9 percent of those purchasing newly built homes.

It also was discovered that new home buyers spent almost double the amount existing home buyers did on improvements. Contractors were involved in about one-third of projects done to newly purchased homes, and nearly half of the projects completed to ready a house for sale.