Men have traditionally taken the lead on home-improvement projects -- in many cases, at the insistence of the women in their lives.
But today, women are not only involved in the decision-making process of what needs to be done -- and whether to do it yourself or hire it out -- but are also making the actual purchases. Women account for more than $70 billion worth of purchases in the home-improvement industry, up from approximately $55 billion in 1995.
According to a recent survey by the Home Improvement Research Institute, within the first year of home ownership, women will authorize almost $9,000 on home-improvement projects. A growing number of manufacturers and retailers have focused more marketing efforts on women, and are capitalizing on this trend.
Women are also looking for female-owned construction companies for hire. The National Association of Women in Construction gets requests from across the country on a regular basis for local women-owned construction companies to do home-improvement projects.
Women -- who make up about 12 percent of the construction industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- represent 44 percent of do-it-yourselfers and 51 percent of those who usually hire professionals for home-improvement projects. Women account for more than half the sales of storage and organization products, and almost half the sales of lighting, paint, kitchen/bath, lawn/garden, flooring and safety products.
Men still dominate when it comes to purchasing tools and power equipment, but the number of men who are looking to hire women-owned construction companies for projects has increased. These projects provide a way for women to express their creativity, as well as their construction skills.
According to a study conducted by Yankalovich Partners, a surprising 37 percent of women said they would rather work on a home-improvement project than hit the malls, while 28 percent said they would rather work on their home than cook.