Home Improvement Survey for 2011

Home improvement projects remain high on the to-do list for homeowners in 2011. As the economy continues to create concerns, 64% of homeowners surveyed revealed that they planned to complete some kind of home renovation project during the year. This survey from the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker shows a slight increase from 2010 (with 62% of homeowners expecting to do home improvement work), but homeowners are expecting to spend, on average, close to half of what they planned to spend in 2010. This is not entirely surprising given that just over 40% of homeowners surveyed said that they thought they would not get their asking price for their home.

Energy-Efficient Improvements

The survey notes that over 30% of homeowners plan to bring green improvements to their home. These green updates result in energy-efficient changes that are good for the environment, as well as the homeowner’s utility bills. The most popular green update is the installation of energy-efficient doors and windows, with 16% of those surveyed expressing an interest. Other improvements include changes to insulation (12% of homeowners), improvements to the property’s roof (11% of homeowners), and new heating and cooling systems (10% of homeowners). A number of homeowners surveyed also said that they planned to utilize their tax refund to complete these projects.

Do-It-Yourself Projects

DIY projects rank at 64% in the survey, meaning that about three-fifths of homeowners plan to do all, or at least some, of the work on their own. Around 20% of homeowners said that they will hire a contractor to do the work, and 11% noted that they would have a friend or family member complete the projects. Of the three-fifths who expect to use the DIY approach, 30% plan to request the assistance of a friend or family member, while 21% said that they will have a contractor help with some of the project. Among those surveyed, 13% claimed that they will handle the renovation project by themselves.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Indoor projects beat outdoor projects, with 55% of homeowners saying that they expected to complete indoor home renovation work and only 30% saying that they planned to renovate outdoors. Among indoor projects, most homeowners claimed that they wanted to complete smaller changes, such as painting. For those interested in doing total room makeovers, the bathroom is still the most popular room to update, just as it was in 2010. Homeowners who plan to complete outdoor projects noted landscaping (20%) and a patio or deck renovation (9%) as the primary interest.

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