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When I think of home improvement I think of a big, burly man in a plaid shirt (I’m obviously Canadian); the type of man that can fix anything; the type of man you want around when a pipe bursts and your basement is turning into that pool you’ve always wanted.  Ok that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but gone are the days where the only handy people were handymen.

There has been a tremendous shift in women’s role in home improvement over the past 20 years.  From planning, to buying the products to actually doing the work, women are taking a hands-on approach.  However, there is still quite a difference between the purchasing habits of men and women, why doesn’t this surprise me?  Men are typically unit purchasers, meaning they’ll make purchases one item at a time.  While women shop for systems, which is where home improvement retailers and manufactures are taking note.  In regards to a window company, such as ourselves, rather then just selling the window, we’ll promote adding hardware, screens and window coverings.

The women of generations X and Y are also becoming more inclined to do the home improvement work themselves.  One of the reasons for this may be because women are more actively involved in social media sites; one in particular is Pinterest whose user base consists of 72% women (Grosche).  Pinterest is a photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as interest, hobbies, DIY projects and…home improvements.

Women make $70 billion of home improvement purchases, which is up $16 billion in the last 16 years, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute.  Women also complete 44% of home improvement projects and purchase 50% of the products used for these projects (Women’s Roles in Home Improvement).

Men don’t ask for directions, women do.

Women are more apt to ask for help when a project turns out to be tougher than expected.  Not only will they stop and ask for directions but also they are better suited to follow those directions to get the job done, quelle surpise!

Not afraid of a broken nail.

When thinking about a DIY project you think of wallpapering or painting a frame, not anymore. Instead women are learning all different aspects of home improvement, such as how to wire a ceiling fan or how to stop a faucet from leaking.

Why this sudden interest? A lot of women now a days are buying houses on their own, if something needs to be done and they don’t know how to do it, they’re willing to learn.


Grosche, Linnay.  “Listen Up, She’s the Buyer!”  WarmlyYours.  11 May 2012.  Web.  3 December 2012.
“Women’s Roles in Home Improvement.” Good Morning America.  27 July 2011.  Web.  3 December 2012.