Although many people still consider home improvement projects to be a man's job, half of America's women have undertaken a home improvement job in the past two years.
In a national telephone survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Scott Rags in a Box, the number one reason women took on home improvement jobs was to save money. The second most important reason was personal pride and satisfaction.
Before starting a home improvement project, nearly half the women sought assistance at a local home center or hardware store, or watched TV or cable home improvement programs. Consulting friends and reading books shared second place.
Painting Tops the List
Hands-down, the most popular home improvement project for women was painting, with nearly nine out of 10 respondents selecting this from a list of do-it-yourself projects.
Bathroom remodeling came in next but was far behind, at 38 percent. Wallpapering was a close third, followed by plumbing, kitchen remodeling, tile work, additions or renovations, electrical work, laying carpet and window replacement.
To clean up after a home improvement job, most women used old rags or towels. However, one-third purchased disposable towels such as Scott Rags in a Box for project clean-up.
When it comes to retailers, shopping in a home improvement center was described as "easy" by nearly one-third of respondents, while one-quarter deemed it "more fun than food shopping."
Home improvement stores received high marks for their marketing efforts and treatment of women, with 64 percent of respondents saying the stores did a good job overall. Fifteen percent thought stores should offer more do-it-yourself classes.
Getting Men to Pitch in
With female do-it-yourselfers taking on so many household projects, the quest to get men to do more housework seems more important than ever. Bribing led the list on ways to get men to do more work. Next was the availability of electronic or computerized cleaning tools.
Other ways selected to balance the workload were: trading housework for traditional male jobs such as taking out the trash, providing men with cleaning equipment that can broadcast sports information and news, and offering men long-handled mops and brooms.