Results: Who participated and why?

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Of the 650 homeowners who originally signed up, 432 households actively participated in the project, from having an in-home assessment, receiving a Renovation Plan, to being interviewed by researchers.  Of these, 183 homes were monitored using temperature loggers in living areas and the main bedroom and humidity gauges. 76 homes had their water use monitored, either by water bills or by having water meters installed.

Most people who participated in our study wanted to be warm.  Although most households had several reasons for joining the study, the majority (58%) said their main reason for renovating was to achieve a warmer and more comfortable home.   Having a healthier home, being kinder to the environment, and saving money were popular reasons for renovating.

As people went through the project, we noticed that they changed their renovation priorities, based on the information in the Renovation Plan and newsletters.  Insulation and double glazing moved up the priority list as participants focused on improving the performance of their home.  The difference that being well-informed about how your home performs makes is startling.  Look at this comparison of HomeSmart Renovation participants to two earlier surveys of homeowners in 2008:

 

Five top renovation priorities

 

Survey of people who recently moved into a house

Survey of high energy users

HomeSmart Renovation participants

Interior painting / wallpapering

Interior painting / wallpapering

Installing ceiling insulation

Replacing kitchen appliances

Replacing bathroom whiteware

Installing underfloor insulation

Carpeting

 Carpeting

 Installing wall insulation

Replacing kitchen cabinetry

 Full exterior re-painting

 Installing double glazing

Installing heat pump

 Installing heat pump

 Installing heat pump

 

Many of the participating homeowners became better judges of the actual condition and performance of their home. However, many homeowners still tended to miss the link between house condition and house performance.  For example, over half of participants reported their dwelling was in ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ condition, even though 80% said their home was cold after an hour of heating on a cold winter morning.  The condition of your home is about more than whether it needs maintenance.  If your home is not performing well, its condition needs improving.

 


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