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November 05, 2007

The Role of Women in Home Improvement

Kathryn_greenwood_and_mag_ruffman_d Every two years the Home Improvement Research Institute releases a new report on how women spend money on home improvement.  The 127-page reports costs $895.  If you'd rather save your cash for home improvement purchases, I'll give you a few of the highlights. 

Spending decisions made by the female HOH (head of household) account for 36.7% of all of the money spent on home improvement products.  Whereas male HOHs only account for 25.5% of the cash spent.  Are guys tighter, or are they making fewer big ticket decisions?  I'm not sure.  What do you think?

But wait, there's more!

When there's a project that involves stripping (wahoo!) or refinishing furniture, women are the product choosers 68% of the time.  If it's carpet replacement, women do 67% of the selecting.  Planning a garden - 58% - and remodeling a bathroom - 57%.

Overall, women are doing more projects and men are doing less, but both are turning to professionals for help more often in the counter-DIY trend known as DIFM (do it for me).  Or as my mother used to say, "I'm too old and too rich to do that job myself."  Where's the fun in that?

Okay and here's a curious statistic: When asked who initiates the projects, male HOHs say they initiate 41% of the time, and female HOHs say they initiate 40% of the time.  Who initiates the other 19% of the time?  Offspring?  Relatives?  Or are those the projects that never get done because both HOHs are avoiding the job?

On the whole, there are distinct areas in which women are making most of the purchasing decisions:
Wall, window, ceiling and floor coverings
Carpeting, tile, hardwood and laminate flooring
Major household appliances
Kitchen and bath remodels

And here are the things that women avoid purchasing:
Plumbing products (they don't know what they're missing)
Power tools and accessories (the best part of home improvement)
Lumber and building materials (who ever met a board they didn't like?)


Bosch PMF E 180

I totally agree that females have grater taste and eye for detail than men. Whenever we do works around home my wife is the one who chooses the colours, designs and furniture.

Gabrielle Powell

I agree with everything you wrote. There are certain topics for men or women and it's better to keep them that way.

Faith Grant

That's really interesting post! I agree that women are better in the details.


As a professional cleaner, I can tell that the older people really prefer professional services more often than the young people do.

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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie