Study Examines Home Exterior Preferences

July 27, 2012

Higher-end homeowners are eager to select durable exterior products for the home that complement their personalities and color is important to them when deciding to replace those exterior features, according to a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive. Sponsored by DaVinci Roofscapes, the study also includes results related to door and window replacement and color selection.

Conducted at the end of last year, the online survey covered homeowners 40 years and older with household incomes of $150,000 or more, who own a single-family home valued at $400,000 or more. Some of the key findings of the survey include:

  • A vast majority of homeowners (88 percent) across all regions of the country see the exterior of their homes as one entity and not a sum of its separate components.
  • Color preference for exterior features on the home is driven mostly by homeowners’ individual sense of style (45 percent) and their desire to blend in with their surroundings (42 percent).
  • One-third of surveyed homeowners (32 percent) indicate that they are restricted on the color palettes they are allowed to use on exterior features of their homes, usually by a homeowner association or by historical area requirements.
  • Curb appeal is considered extremely/very important to higher end homeowners, particularly those in the Northeast where one-third mentioned curb appeal as being “extremely important” to them.

Homeowners were asked about plans to replace various exterior products (Table 1). Nearly a third of homeowners are satisfied and never anticipate replacing these products. More than a third anticipate they’ll need to replace these products five or more years from now. The results indicate that homeowners are more aware that they are likely to need to replace their roofs than windows or doors.  

When Homeowners Expect to Replace Exterior Products
 Main Entry DoorWindowsGarage DoorsSidingRoofing
Within the next 12 months3%4%2%1%2%
1-2 years from now6%6%4%3%6%
3-4 years from now5%9%7%4%8%
5 or more years from now36%36%38%30%55%
Not Sure17%16%19%16%15%

Source: Harris Interactive Study, sponsored by DaVinci Roofscapes

Asked what might prompt the replacement of the main entry door, damage from severe whether (44 percent) was most commonly cited, followed by the desire for a different style/look (42 percent). Twenty-two percent said the desire for something more energy efficient and current damage and need of replacement.  Eight percent said the desire for more glass. 

Asked the same question about windows, "wanting something more energy efficient" was cited by 48 percent of the respondents, followed by severe weather damage, named by 47 percent.  A quarter said, "They’re old–need replacing soon," followed by 15 percent looking for something more durable, 14 percent wanting something easier to maintain and 12 percent said they migh be looking for "something with more aesthetic appeal."

Color Preferences
“We were especially interested to learn what role color plays in the homeowner’s mind when planning for major home improvement projects,” says Ray Rosewall, DaVinci CEO and president. “What we discovered is that color does play an important role when deciding to replace exterior features. In addition, color availability from manufacturers for different exterior features plays a role in what brand a homeowner will purchase."

If given the chance to choose one color that would dominate the exterior of one’s home, most homeowners would choose neutral colors, the study found. Those in the Midwest are most drawn to beige/tan (38 percent), while white is more popular among those living in the Northeast (20 percent). Nearly half say the respondents said they already have their dream color on their house. 

Most homeowners have understated colors that adorn their main entry door; however one in four do have a punch of color, such as red, green or blue.  Natural wood and brown are the most common main entry door colors.

Source: Harris Interactive Study, sponsored by DaVinci Roofscapes