Understanding Home Renovation Decisions
1: Background to Our Research
Energy efficient renovations can lower energy bills, improve comfort by reducing drafts, and even increase a home’s value. So why do homeowners prefer to spend their money on a new kitchen, redecorating, or a DIY project? There are many good reasons. Some homeowners may just not be aware of the potential for efficiency improvements. Others may be put off by the costs or the hassle. Efficiency is also largely invisible. Upgrading a boiler doesn’t earn admiring approval from friends. Renovating for energy efficiency might improve domestic comfort and suggest thrift, but does it also evoke style or entertainment? Ultimately, homes say a lot about their occupants. People are different; so too are their homes.
2: The Aims of Our Research
We want to understand the decisions homeowners make to renovate their homes. We’re interested in energy efficiency, but in all other kinds of renovation too. Here are some of the questions we’re trying to answer: Why do some homeowners renovate annually and others never do? What triggers their decisions? How do renovations relate to the routines and identities of a household? We hope our research will help government design policies to encourage energy saving, and businesses offer better services to homeowners.
3: How We’re Doing Our Research
Only homeowners know why they renovate. We’re going to talk to all sorts of homeowners – those planning renovations, those who have completed renovations, and those who have no interest at all in renovating. We’ll arrange to visit people at home to carry out in‐depth interviews. We’ll ask a large number of homeowners to complete a survey on their attitudes and actions on renovating. We’re also planning a type of experiment in which homeowners will tell us which of a series of hypothetical renovation stories they prefer.
4: Who We Are
We are a team of researchers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, Norfolk. Our project on ‘understanding home renovation decisions’ runs from October 2011 to September 2013, and is funded by the UK Energy Research Centre. For further information about the project, please do get in touch by e‐mail or phone.
Overall project management, choice experiment and survey design
Tel: +44 (0)1603 592694
Energy efficiency markets and policies, and survey design
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591386
Renovation decision making, and homeowner interviews
Tel: 01603 591408
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