ICS Magazine

Survey: Despite Economy, Many Still Spending on Their Home

October 21, 2008

New York, NY (October 21, 2008) -- Despite today’s tumultuous economy, a significant group of homeowners continue to spend money on their home because for them, home improvement is self-improvement, according to a recent survey conducted by This Old House Ventures. These 31% of the home improvement consumers account for 61% of spending.

The American Dream isn’t dead. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed say that home improvement is a way of life for them, that they are always improving their home in some way. Eight-in-ten (81%) percent say that their home is an important part of who they are. These dream achievers spend more than three times as much as other home improvement consumers, accounting for an estimated $135 billion dollars of home improvement spending.

Even in these turbulent times, 93% say they are still planning to do work on their homes and 45% are still moving forward with all planned projects. More than one-in-three (37%) say they are cutting back on other expenses to pay for their home improvement.

Although home improvement is almost a religion for them, they are savvy spenders. Many home improvements are done with an eye towards money – either saving it or creating it for the long term. Half (50%) are investing in projects to cut energy costs and 42% are doing projects that will increase the value of their homes. Another 33% are working on small projects that give the biggest bang for the buck.

“While this group is making improvements with an eye toward either saving money or making money, they aren’t penny-wise and pound foolish. They’re willing to pay more if they understand why the additional cost is justified,” Matt Turck, publisher of This Old House Ventures says regarding information gleaned from this research. “We’re telling advertisers that now isn’t the time for fantasy – make it real. In talking with these home owners, they want to be inspired, but they’ll only be motivated by situations and settings they can relate to.”

The study also revealed that this lucrative group defies traditional stereotypes. Women get their hands dirty: 79% carry out small projects and 56% carry out large home improvement projects with their own hands. Most (75%) turn to magazines, Internet sites and TV shows that feature home improvement so they can do things themselves. Men aren’t just completing the projects their wives came up with: 73% say that coming up with ideas is the most enjoyable part of home improvement and 68% turn to magazines, Internet sites and TV shows that feature home improvement for decorating and style ideas.