What Do People Really Think of Their Houses?

Homeowners are turning their attention toward improving overall energy efficiency and boosting their homes' curb appeal, according to a recent home improvement study commissioned by JELD-WEN in Klamath Falls, Ore.

The new Perfect Home Survey is an inside look at current homeowner attitudes toward their houses, remodeling activity and doors and windows. Independent research firm Knowledge Wave International conducted the nationwide online study on behalf of JELD-WEN.

The survey found that nearly a quarter of respondents have windows (22.6 percent) and doors (23.6 percent) that are drafty and inefficient. Using the same percentages, roughly 13 million single-family homes in the United States are wasting energy resources.

That's no surprise, according to Rod Clark, a product marketing manager at JELD-WEN, due to the fact that the average age of U.S. homes is 32 years old.

"Energy efficiency is going to be a big topic in 2007 as fuel costs continue to rise and homes continue to get older," says Clark. "Our survey shows that many homes would benefit from energy-efficient doors and windows, which can save homeowners hundreds of dollars per year.

And, the technology for energy efficiency has come a long way since the 1970s. According to the survey, it's likely that many homeowners will take action in 2007 to enhance the energy-efficient performance of their homes, and take advantage of a federal tax credit for installing energy-efficient products that expires at the end of the year. Fifty percent of respondents are aware of the tax credit, and 43.1 percent will either definitely or probably undertake projects to take advantage of the tax break before it ends.

Overall, 13 percent plan on upgrading windows and exterior doors in the next 12 months.

The Perfect Home Survey also gauges other attitudes related to doors and windows. The study found that curb appeal is a hot topic among homeowners, and that they recognize the role that doors play in enhancing exterior appearance. More than 87 percent feel a new front door definitely or probably adds value to overall curb appeal, while slightly more than 70 percent say the same about garage doors.

JELD-WEN discovered in the survey that most homeowners inherited their front door along with the house, and a majority say their current door does not reflect their personal style. When asked if they selected their front door, an overwhelming 65 percent says they had not, and 58 percent says they would have chosen something different.
"Owners want to be proud of how their homes look, and the survey clearly shows that front doors are a matter of personal taste," says Shane Meisel, product marketing manager at JELD-WEN. "This finding is a great opportunity for builders and remodelers to reach out to homeowners and offer an upgraded front door that better reflects the buyer's personal style."

Perfect Home Survey Methodology
Nearly 1,000 qualified homeowners nationwide participated in the online survey. The sample group contained representatives from five age groups, all U.S. geographic regions, and a wide variety of income levels. The study was conducted in October 2006

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