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Millennial Homeowners Are Active Renovators and Decorators, Houzz Survey Finds


June 10, 2015

Millennial homeowners in the U.S. were just as likely to renovate their homes as other age groups in 2014, according to the fourth annual Houzz & Home survey, with more than 170,000 respondents in the U.S. among the 260,000 respondents globally.

The survey, which received more than 15,000 U.S. Millennial homeowner responses (ages 25-34), revealed that a key motivation for renovation projects among Millennial homeowners is making a newly purchased home their own (55 percent), with one-third purchasing a new home in 2014 alone.

“While still a small group, Millennial homeowners are just as active as older generations when it comes to renovating and decorating,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “Because of delayed homeownership, we have historically known very little about their preferences when it comes to their home updates. However our unprecedented data show that Millennial views on resale value, energy efficiency, healthy homes, and other factors are similar to those of older generations.”

Kitchens continue to be the most popular interior remodeling project among all age groups, with nearly one-third of homeowners tackling this room in 2014. Millennial homeowners, who were just as likely to remodel their kitchens as other homeowners, spent an average of $26,300 on major remodels* of a large kitchen (more than 201 square feet), and $16,100 for major remodels of a small kitchen (less than 201 square feet). By comparison, younger Baby Boomers spent an average of $45,200 on major remodels of a large kitchen and $38,700 for major remodels of a small kitchen. When it comes to minor kitchen remodels, Millennials spent $5,100 on average for a small kitchen and $7,500 for a large kitchen.

Eighty-four percent of all homeowners hired a professional to help with their remodeling projects; nearly half of those used a general contractor (44 percent). Homeowners were also likely to hire landscape contractors (19 percent), interior designers (12 percent), architects and landscape architects/designers (10 percent each). Nearly half (48 percent) of those surveyed who hired a professional leveraged a specialty service provider such as an electrician (18 percent), plumber (17 percent) or painter (15 percent) directly, without the help of a general contractor.


Challenges:
When it comes to the challenges all homeowners face during renovations, finding products and professionals top the list (both at 33 percent). However, staying on budget is the biggest challenge for Millennials (38 percent versus 29 percent for younger Baby Boomers). Millennials are also nearly twice as likely to struggle with funding their renovation projects as younger baby boomers (37 percent versus 19 percent, respectively).


Financing:
All generations leveraged savings or personal finances to pay for their home upgrades (90 percent). One in three Millennials charged renovation expenses to a credit card (32 percent), versus 25 percent for other generations.


Aging in Place:
More than half (56 percent) of 60+ households plan to stay in their homes indefinitely, with many renovating their homes for this purpose. Of the 60+ households renovating their kitchens, 60 percent are improving accessibility. Similarly, 69 percent of the 60+ homeowners renovating their bathroom are updating with aging in mind, including installing raised toilets (38 percent) and grab bars (26 percent).


Smart Technology:
Twenty-five percent of renovating homeowners rank smart home tech as a very-to-extremely important consideration for recent renovations. One in four installed home automation systems as part of a renovation in 2014.


Healthy Home:
Homeowners are divided on the importance of addressing and preventing health concerns in 2014 renovations. While two in five of U.S. homeowners rate health concerns as very-to-extremely important, one in five rate them as entirely unimportant. Addressing health concerns during renovations becomes less important as household income increases.

The annual Houzz & Home survey is the largest survey of residential remodeling, building and decorating activity published. The survey covers a wide range of renovation projects in 2014, from interior remodels and additions to home systems, exterior upgrades and outdoor projects. Data gathered includes historical and planned spends, professional involvement, motivations and challenges behind
 building, renovation and decorating projects, as well as planned activities for 2015. The 2015 study includes more than 260,000 respondents worldwide, providing insights into the home improvement activity of the more than 30 million monthly unique users of the Houzz site and mobile apps.

*A major remodel at minimum replaces all cabinetry and appliances. Additions are not included in these numbers. Numbers do include both DIY projects and those which used design or construction professionals.