Home Projects Council Survey Defines Five Home Improvement Personalities

Every spring signals the start to a new home improvement season with projects dictated by a variety of tangible factors like cost, difficulty, and aesthetic, functional or financial value. However, a recent survey by the Home Projects Council found that a homeowner’s personality plays a critical role in his or her home improvement attitude and behavior. Designed to help homeowners understand what fuels his or her project activity, the survey identified five unique Home Improvement Personalities including The Sensible Improver, The Project Planner, The Reliable Renovator, The Visionary and The Extrovert.

Nearly 1,140 homeowners the age 21 or older took an online survey that combined an established personality test with insights about his or her recent and planned home improvement projects. While no one fits exclusively into any single Home Improvement Personality, everyone does land predominately into one category based on a scoring algorithm that compares significant differences in project experiences and habits.

“It is very common to segment home improvement attitudes and behavior by demographic factors, but by using a well-established model of personality, the Big Five, we were able to confirm a direct relationship between home improvement and personality types,” said Fred Miller of Consumer Specialists who conducted the research.

The Home Improvement Personalities are listed below from largest to smallest group (percentage), with each defined through the bundling and synthesis of similar feedback in survey. A Home Improvement Personalities infographic is available on the Home Projects Council Facebook.

The Sensible ImproverCaring is Sharing Smart Home Improvements (39%)
A nurturing homeowner that often puts others first, The Sensible Improver embraces home improvement projects that create a warm and welcome environment. Not necessarily a skilled do-it-yourselfer, The Sensible Improver enjoys smaller, manageable projects that add decorative flare and visual appeal to his or her home while passing on more complicated projects to a contractor. A seasoned homeowner, The Sensible Improver calls on past experience while keeping a fresh perspective to make smart, informed and personal decisions about home improvement projects.

  • Highest percentage of Boomer generation at 53%
  • Male 42% vs. Female 58%
  • Non/Light DIYer 38% vs. Moderate/Heavy DIYer 62%
  • Overall Home Improvement Spending 29%
  • Project Comfort: Paint a Room
  • Project Angst: Installing a Fence

The Project PlannerIf It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It (28%)
An orderly and practical homeowner that is careful to avoid problems, The Project Planner takes a meticulous and thoughtful approach to all home improvement projects. No matter how big or how small, The Project Planner thoroughly asses the pros and cons of every situation before committing to a home improvement. With a priority on functional improvements, not cosmetics, The Project Planner becomes familiar with the details of a project before ultimately enlisting the services of a contractor to make sure it’s done right.

  • Predominately Boomer generation at 49%
  • Male 50% vs. Female 50%
  • Non/Lighter DIYer 36% vs. Moderate/Heavy DIYer 64%
  • Overall Home Improvement Spending 23%
  • Project Comfort: Landscape Property
  • Project Angst: Tile a Shower

The Reliable RenovatorSteady Leads to Home Improvement Success (15%)
Commonly an empty-nester that takes a laid-back approach to home improvement, The Reliable Renovator is most often moved to action when his or her aging home needs attention. Maintaining an even keel regardless of the circumstances, The Reliable Renovator assesses projects thoroughly before getting started and to change course swiftly if needed. Armed with an understated confidence, The Reliable Renovator has no interest in adulation for their efforts, only the knowledge that his or her home is in good shape and contributes to the financial value of the home, even if it requires paying for a contractor.

  • Highest percentage of Mature generation at 20%
  • Male 66% vs. Female 34%
  • Non/Light DIYer 38% vs. Moderate/Heavy DIYer 62%
  • Overall Home Improvement Spending 16%
  • Project Comfort: Install Countertop
  • Project Angst: Replace Windows

The VisionaryTaking Home Improvement to the Extreme (13%)
A homeowner with boundless passion and enthusiasm for upgrading his or her family’s home, The Visionary tends to have an appreciation and curiosity for art and for novel ideas. The Visionary fearlessly takes on projects despite having limited do-it-yourself experience. Driven by a desire to try new things and keep his or her home fashionably current to the point that neighbors might have curb-appeal envy, The Visionary often starts projects on the spur of the moment and with little guidance or help. The Visionary is proud to share his or her accomplishments with family and friends, and ultimately invests twice as much on home improvements as the average homeowner.

  • Highest percentage of Millennial generation at 34%
  • Male 65% vs. Female 35%
  • Non/Light DIYer 22% vs. Moderate/Heavy DIYer 78%
  • Overall Home Improvement Spending 27%
  • Project Comfort: Install a Patio or Walkway
  • Project Angst: Replace Wood or Vinyl Floor

The Extrovert Go Big or Go Home (5%)

A rare breed that artfully balances family life with a gregarious personality, The Extrovert takes pleasure in completing large, complex home improvements that make a big impact to his or her home both in function and appearance. A preference for doing projects without the help of a contractor, The Extrovert has a healthy addiction to home improvement that is constantly evolving. While The Extrovert thrives on conceiving, designing and executing unique and challenging projects, he or she takes pleasure in their home improvement project through the reaction and appreciation of others.

  • Highest percentage of Gen X generation at 40%
  • Male 60% vs. Female 40%
  • Non/Light DIYer 22% vs. Moderate/Heavy DIYer 78%
  • Overall Home Improvement Spending 5%
  • Project Comfort: Add a Bathroom
  • Project Angst: Replace a Roof

Age, gender and DIY skill level provide several clear distinctions between the Home Improvement Personalities, but where a homeowner falls on the scale between emotional desire and practical need also contributes to project decisions. That same pendulum between emotion and practicality also shapes the approach each homeowner takes in preparing, executing and sharing a project. That is reflected in the complexity of a project, the resources used on a project, and the amount of time and money spent on a project.

For example, “The Project Planner worked hard to buy their first house and have been there long enough to understand the value of maintaining their investment. Along the way, they gained an appreciation for thoughtful projects that make the home more comfortable, especially as the household morphed from traditional to empty nest,” said Tom Kraeutler, host of the nationally syndicated radio show and podcast, The Money Pit. “Conversely, The Visionary takes on interesting projects of all sizes and difficulty for the experience rather than the practical benefit, even when the cost may not seem to justify the end result. Ironically, The Visionary represents the smallest group, but are responsible for disproportionate of the project spending.”

To learn more about the Home Projects Council and its home improvement resources, visit Facebook.

Home Projects Council Members

  • Mark Powers – This Old House, senior technical editor
  • Tom Kraeutler – The Money Pit Home Improvement Show, host
  • Danny Lipford – Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford, host
  • Jill Sell – Ohio Magazine and Design Build Magazine, home improvement columnist
  • Ben Uyeda – HomeMade Modern, ZeroEnergy Design and Free Green, founder
  • Stacey Moncrieff – National Association of Realtors, vice president, business-to-business communications
  • Steve Kleber – National Remodeling Foundation, president
  • Fred Miller – Consumer Specialists, president
  • Tanya Komas, Ph.D. – Concrete Preservation Institute, founder
  • Ethan Hagan – One Project Closer, blogger
  • Frank Owens – The QUIKRETE® Companies, vice president marketing
  • Kathy Granger – Keystone Hardscapes®, director of marketing
  • Reeve Haldeman – Custom Building Products®, vice president marketing

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