HomeSmart Renovations: Householder actions and responses to dwelling performance

Kay Saville-Smith, Ruth Fraser, Nikki Buckett, Michael Camilleri.

This report presents self-reported and monitored data from householders participating in the HomeSmart Renovations Project. It describes the profile of those householders, their perceptions of house condition, and their past, intended and actual renovations. It considers the profile of house performance of the subset of householders whose dwellings were monitored for temperature and the impact of renovations on electricity and water consumption.

HomeSmart participants tended to over-estimate the condition and performance of their homes, although getting a home assessment and HomeSmart Renovation Plan has generated a more realistic understanding. There were relatively low levels of spending on home renovation given the condition of their homes and their stated performance outcomes.

Generally, householders wanted to make their homes warmer and more comfortable, and their renovation activity was well-orientated for thermal performance, less so for management of internal moisture, water efficiency measures and adoption of renewable energy, e.g. solar hot water heating.

The independent information provided by the project both stimulated and shaped renovation action, but householders wanted further advice on selection between products and service providers. It appears that, in the interaction with the product suppliers and installers, householders feel particularly vulnerable.