According to The NPD Group's Consumer Tracking Service, the top selling home improvement item purchased as a gift in the 12 months ending October 2011 is the screwdriver.
That's just one of the finding on the list of the Port Washington, N.Y.-based research firms recently published list of "What you didn't know about home improvement."
Other findings from the home improvement industry:
• Online dollar sales increased 16% compared with last year;
• Thirty-one percent of home improvement dollars were spent by consumers ages 55 and older, compared with 25% just two years ago;
• Nearly 30% more garage-door openers were sold than last year;
• Most home improvement purchases are paid for with cash or check; and
• Forty-two percent of snow throwers/blowers were purchased in the Midwest.
Home improvement, as defined by the NPD Group, includes categories in hand tools, power tools, outdoor power equipment, storage and organization, faucets and shower heads, lighting and electrical, fans, and caulk/glue/adhesives.