Why We Renovate


Time to throw on those work clothes: Our consumer survey reveals what drives our renovations and what matters to us when it comes to our homes and what doesn’t. Our question to you, does it ring true?

Spring is here. Whether like us, you are digging out from a late season snow or you are fortunate enough to already be experiencing warming temperatures first hand, soon the color will return and so will those neighbors you haven’t seen since last October. People will be out walking, kids will be out playing, and the sound of hammering will fill the air. It’s just that time of year.

And in honor of that time of year, we’re bringing back a popular post from two years ago and we’re curious, does it still ring true today?  It’s a research study on consumer attitudes towards remodeling we did in collaboration with the Harris Poll. Here were some of the key findings:

  • Curb Appeal is the most important factor to homeowners when completing an exterior home improvement project (39 percent) followed by return on investment (26 percent) and outdoor living (21 percent)

The survey also supports what we at CertainTeed have known for some time – color is every bit as exciting as it is confusing.

  • 40 percent of U.S. homeowners admit they are not quite sure which colors would work best on the exterior of their homes.
  • 11 percent admit to being color “clueless” and don’t know where to begin when selecting colors for their home.

Having spent a lot of time and energy on color science, this is something we understand. We’ve actually built an interactive design center so that homeowners can explore, get inspired and gain confidence in their color selection. The online tool allows users to play around with different design and color combinations of siding, roofing, trim and more. It’s a fun tool to check out even if you’re not in the market for remodeling.

Beyond exterior home improvement projects, however, the Harris Poll survey reveals some telling facts about those out-of-sight, out-of-mind renovations that tend to get brushed over.

  • One in five U.S. house owners (19 percent) give little to no consideration to insulation when planning a kitchen remodel or home addition.
  • Even fewer – one in four – consider the drywall that goes on their walls.

This is interesting because, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we Americans spend 90 percent of our time indoors where thermal comfort and air quality matter quite a bit. The good news is by choosing high-performance insulation and formaldehyde-absorbing drywall, homeowners have more control over energy savings and indoor pollutants like mold and VOCs than they may think. It’s always advisable to work with qualified contractors who can speak to these issues and who stock quality brands and products.

What do you think? Do these insights still hold up or is homeowner understanding beginning to shift? We’d love to get your thoughts.


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  1. My home, fwiw, is about 95% plaster and lath, and I’m planning on changing that last 5% to plaster and lath too. I’m not overly concerned about curb appeal nor what the neighbors might think. I’m remodeling for myself and my kids who stand to inherit. If they decide to sell that will be their problem. They trust my choices, which is a little weird, but since I’m in the business, maybe not so much. My home was built in the 1890s and is nearly the most charming, though not the largest on my street. I’m conflicted about closed off homes, it leads to sick building and that’s a really big problem, it doesn’t balance out with energy cost savings in any way for me.

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