High confidence levels and common beliefs about home renovations revealed through a survey of 1,000 Americans
Tell us if you've heard one of these before:
“You should just do it yourself to save money.”
“They should be able to take care of that project over one weekend.”
“Permits? Nah, that probably doesn’t need a permit.”
These are just a few examples of some of the common beliefs held by American homeowners when talking about home renovations. No matter the reason for starting an update on your home, we all approach the task with some preconceived notion of what to expect.
With U.S. home improvement sales projected to reach over $550 billion this year, the financial impact of these ideas and the decisions we make as a result could start to add up.
We surveyed 1,000 people to discover their views on some common home renovation beliefs as well as their knowledge and confidence levels needed to tackle such projects. We analyzed our results to see how men and women and different generations compared in their perceptions.
52% of Americans firmly believe that home renovations always take more time than planned.
Women are 10% more likely than men to believe DIY renovations save money over hiring a pro.
Millennials are 12%–13% more likely to feel that eco-friendly renovations won’t break the bank compared to Generation X and baby boomers.
20% of respondents have no idea about permit requirements for common home renovations.
74% of Americans have some confidence in their ability to oversee a home renovation.
Read on for an in-depth look at these home improvement findings and to see where your own beliefs fall among the responses.
Majority of People Agree Patience Is Needed for Home Renovations
Over half of our survey respondents believe that home renovation projects are guaranteed to take longer than originally estimated. Fifty-five percent of men and 49% of women surveyed share this belief of never-ending home projects.
As most homeowners can attest, budgeting time and money for renovation projects is challenging because there is no one-size-fits-all template. Factors such as the scope of your project, number of workers needed, weather, and unexpected obstacles along the way can all influence the timeline (and the bottom line).
In truth, renovations could take anywhere from a few days or weeks for minor projects to six to nine months for larger projects. A home renovation checklist can be a useful tool in strategizing your project’s needs and timeline to avoid unexpected delays.
42% of Gen X Are Convinced That Added Home Value Is Possible Through Renovations
Our study also revealed some generational differences in the perceived value of renovation efforts. Forty-two percent of Gen X respondents feel that all home improvement projects bring added value to a home. Comparatively, only 31% of millennials and 32% of baby boomers think that renovating a home guarantees increased value.
According to Remodeling Magazine, a minor kitchen remodel should provide a 72.2% return on investment. But other projects may not provide such impressive ROI. Adding on a new primary suite is projected to only return 47.7% of its value.
Women Believe DIY Renovations Will Save Money
The debate whether DIY home improvements actually save money compared to hiring a professional rages on. Our survey revealed that women are 10% more likely to believe DIY renovations save money over hiring a pro.
The accuracy of this belief largely depends on the person’s DIY skills and knowledge. While someone who has made home improvement their hobby may be able to handle home renovation projects on their own, many others may overestimate their ability.
Understanding the scope of your project, the materials and equipment you’ll need, and the permitting needs are just some of the factors to consider before deciding to proceed. In some instances, contacting a remodeling professional in your area may be the best solution.
Many Millennials Know That Being Earth-Friendly Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
Sustainable updates are one of the hot home design trends for 2022, and millennials are clearly big fans. The survey results showed that millennials are 12% to 13% more likely to feel that green renovations won’t break the bank, compared to Gen X and baby boomers.
Research from the National Association of Home Builders states that 68% of homebuyers say they want an environmentally friendly home. While some green renovations may be more costly, they are often able to save you money in the long run.
Most People Are Confused by Which Projects Need Permits
An important aspect of many home renovation projects is ensuring proper permitting is in place before the project even begins. It can be a time-consuming process that extends a project’s timeline.
Our survey revealed that 20% of our total respondents have no idea about permit requirements for common home renovations, such as rerouting electrical or creating a new window opening. When looking at the data closely, we found that millennials and Gen X are especially at a loss, with 26% and 24% respectively stating they had no idea which home renovations often require a permit. In comparison, only 8% of baby boomers felt they had no idea.
And 30% of men assume most renovations don’t require permits, while only 22% of women believe the same. Anyone who conducts renovations without the proper permitting risks having their project shut down indefinitely and fines levied against them.
3 Out of 4 Americans Are Confident They Can Handle Home Renovations
Contemplating home renovation projects may strike fear in some people. We wanted to find out just how confident Americans are when it comes to the task. A whopping 74% of our respondents indicated they felt at least some confidence in their ability to manage a home renovation project.
Ironically, with such a high rate of confidence, we still wonder how to explain some of the hilarious home renovation fails found all over the internet. That one may have to remain a mystery.
The 74% confidence total includes everyone who selected “very confident,” “mostly confident,” and “somewhat confident” in their response. We looked closely at these responses and found that age and experience clearly play a role in confidence levels.
Baby boomers were most likely to believe in their prowess, with 31% choosing “very confident” as their response. Confidence faltered a bit as age decreased, with 24% of Gen X and only 20% of millennials identifying themselves as “very confident.”
When looking at the gender breakdown of these results, men seem to believe in their abilities much more than women. Thirty percent of men selected “very confident” to identify their self-perceived home renovation skills. Thirty percent of women, on the other hand, selected only “somewhat confident” when responding to the same question.
It’s interesting to note that, at all other confidence levels, men and women were very close in their response ratios. That includes the 10% of men and 14% of women who noted they have no confidence whatsoever in their own home renovation project leadership.
Before tackling any home renovations, it’s smart to strategize and estimate the cost for remodeling, both in terms of dollars and time, and the potential return on investment.
Also, keep in mind one of the important do’s and don’ts of home renovations — not every valuable home improvement needs to provide visible results. Your home can benefit from updates to less glamorous areas, such as a new roof or an improved HVAC system.
The survey was conducted on YouGov Direct for Angi.com. One thousand U.S. adults 18+ were interviewed on March 30, 2022, between 3:22 p.m. and 8:13 p.m. Eastern time. Data is weighted on age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity to be nationally representative of adults 18+ in the United States. The margin of error is approximately 3.1% for the overall sample.