- The investigation of energy considerations in the remodeling of
single family owner-occupied dwellings was the central purpose of this
study. Variables studied included relationships between demographic
characteristics and the inclusion of energy conservation techniques,
planning of the remodeling, and ranking of considerations in the
A sample of 225 owner-occupants who had purchased building
permits to spend $1,000.00 or more on remodeling between July 1, 1973
and June 30, 1977 was collected from the files of the Building
Inspector's office, City of Corvallis, Oregon. A questionnaire
concerning the remodeling practices was mailed to the sample. One
hundred and eight usable questionnaires were returned and served as
the data base for the study.
The respondents' mean age was 42.6 years with a median education
level of 16 years. The mean size of the sample households was 3.5
persons. The mean of the total gross annual income was $25,850.
Over 40 percent of the respondents were in occupations classified as
professional. Among the respondents, 74.1 percent believed that an
energy crisis existed.
Sixty-nine percent of the houses in the study were less than 20
years old. The mean age of the houses was 21.5 years with a median
age of 16.3 years. Sixty-five percent of the homes were purchased
since 1971. The major type of fuel utilized in the majority of the
homes (62 percent) was natural gas.
Sixty-nine percent of the remodelings were planned by the
respondents and/or their partner. Of the 75 who did their own
planning for remodeling, 34 used builders as a source of information.
Other sources of information utilized by the respondents were
magazines, newspapers, and friends.
Of the remodelings, 40 percent took place between July 1, 1976
and June 30, 1977. About two-thirds of the respondents spent less
than $10,000 for their remodeling project. The mean cost of the
remodelings was $7,670. The major consideration for remodeling was
to increase living area in the homes. Over three-fourths of the
respondents added space to their dwelling. The area increases ranged
from 20 square feet to 1,800 square feet. Of the 108 respondents, 48
percent included energy saving features in their remodeling. Over 27
percent did make some energy conserving alterations to heating
systems; however, 40 percent altered heating systems without energy
saving considerations. In comparing fuel unit consumption before
and after remodeling, 22.2 percent reported decreases in units
consumed; 27 percent indicated increased consumption and the remainder
reported no change or were not sure of a change in unit
consumption. Of the 108 respondents, 46 percent indicated they considered
alternate energy sources in their remodeling. Of these, about 90
percent considered wood.
The .05 level of significance was selected as the criterion
for identification of significant associations. The Chi-square
statistical test was used. The findings of the study are:
1. No association was-observed between the dates of remodeling
and the inclusion of energy saving features in the remodeling.
2. An association was suggested between the type of fuel used
in the homes and the inclusion of energy features in the remodeling.
Homes using wood as a major fuel most often included energy features.
3. An association was suggested between the inclusion of energy
saving features and the considerations of cost, custom decorating,
maintenance, and increased livability.
4. An association was suggested between the type of person
planning the remodeling and the inclusion of energy saving features.
Contractors were most likely to include energy features in the
5. An association was suggested between the age and education
of the respondents and the inclusion of energy features in remodelings.
Those under 35 years and over 65 years and/or with one to four years
of college most often included energy saving features in their