Why homeowners decide to renovate: the influence of six conditions of domestic life

Charlie Wilson, Lucy Crane, Georgios Chrysochoidis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper argues for renovation decisions to be framed as a decision process that originates in everyday life at home. Based on interviews with homeowners prior to and following major home renovations, renovation decisions are conceptualised as emerging from six background conditions of domestic life. The conditions range from balancing competing commitments to the physicality of living. The paper then sets out how each condition can be empirically substantiated in large samples using standardised measurement items. A nationally representative UK homeowner survey (n=1028) is used to test this “scaling up and out” approach for explaining why some homeowners decide to renovate whereas others do not. Self-selection and sampling biases are addressed by comparing homeowners not considering renovations with homeowners deciding about renovations. Homeowners in the renovation decision process are more likely to (i) find differences between their and others’ homes unsettling, (ii) face competing commitments with the use of space at home, (iii) find ideas and inspiration for the home from external sources. These differences are broadly consistent between energy efficiency and other types of renovator. Energy efficient renovations are an adaptive response to imbalances and tensions with the use of space at home.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECEEE Proceedings 2013
Number of pages54
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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