2024 Pre-Summer Check-in Survey: Exploring Homeowner Preparations

May 10
homeowner cleaning deck outside of their home to prepare for summer

The to-do list never stops for most of us. That’s especially true for those of us who are preparing our homes for summer.

Preparation is important this year as chances are high for La Niña to arrive by June-August (March 2024 ENSO, March 2024). This can result in heavy rains and flooding in the Pacific Northwest and drought in the southern U.S. These weather patterns can also mean a more severe hurricane season that can potentially lead to storm damage
(Three-Month Outlooks OFFICIAL Forecasts, February 2024).

The early days of summer can be a good time to complete home projects, with milder weather and longer daylight hours. Heading into the summer season, we surveyed U.S.-based homeowners about their summer to-do lists, including potential challenges with upkeep and how they plan to tackle their home projects.

Key takeaways from responding homeowners

  • Many homeowners are taking a proactive approach to maintenance this year. 

    • Nearly half of responding homeowners (48%) said they’re prioritizing seasonal maintenance tasks this summer. 

    • In fact, more than half (53%) are already doing regular maintenance to prepare specifically for severe weather-related damage.

  • Homeowners’ main motivator to pursue seasonal maintenance tasks this summer is likely to keep utility costs down.

    • 50% of homeowners in our survey say high utility bills are their top concern—the most common choice and higher than severe weather and safety concerns.

  • From a financial standpoint, many homeowners are thinking ahead. 

    • Nearly half (44%) are using a pre-planned budget to finance summer home maintenance and repair projects this year. 

    • Credit cards (27%) were the second most common financing method.

  • Homeowners are planning to DIY the same tasks they prioritized last year: 

    • Trim trees and shrubs (51% prioritized last year vs. 41% DIYing this year)

    • Check and/or spray for bugs (44% prioritized last year vs. 37% DIYing this year) 

    • Cleaned the dryer vent (41% prioritized last year vs. 36% DIYing this year) 

    • Although these are crucial tasks to complete, others, like checking and/or replacing weatherstripping (20% prioritized last year vs. 20% DIYing this year) and checking for water leaks (24% prioritized last year vs. 19% DIYing this year), can help directly impact lowering utility bills.

  • More than half (58%) of homeowners surveyed have a pressing repair that’s at least moderately urgent to address. 

    • The top three challenges for completing summer home maintenance and repairs are affording the costs (55%), finding a reliable Pro (31%), and determining whether to DIY projects or hire a Pro (30%).

  • Many homeowners are planning to DIY most home maintenance tasks rather than hire a Pro. In addition to helping reduce costs, having a sense of pride in completing home repairs (30%) and learning new skills (25%) are leading motivators for homeowners choosing to DIY.

Homeowners are prepared to prioritize maintenance this summer

Nearly half of responding homeowners (48%) say they will prioritize seasonal maintenance tasks this upcoming summer. The other half are focusing on home upgrades (24%), crucial home repairs (18%), or not prioritizing any sort of project this summer (11%). 

In our survey, the majority (86%) of respondents said they live in homes more than 10 years old, while more than half (53%) live in homes more than 30 years old. Older homes may need more maintenance as certain components begin to break down, infrastructure ages, and critical systems reach their expected lifespans.

For all homes, especially older ones, prioritizing proactive maintenance can help prevent damage and potentially get ahead of home insurance claims down the line. Responding homeowners from our survey likely have this top of mind since many are prioritizing seasonal maintenance this summer.

Homeowners recognize summer challenges, and are most concerned about affording the costs

High utility bills (50%) is the number one summer concern for responding homeowners—even higher than safety-related concerns like storm damage (30%) and extreme heat (29%). Owners of older homes (10+ years) may be especially concerned as aging appliances are typically less energy efficient, causing higher-than-average utility costs. 

horizontal bar chart visualizing homeowners' main concerns for this upcoming summer

High utility bills can also cause concern if they cut into your planned budget for home maintenance and repairs. More than half (55%) of responding homeowners said that affording maintenance and repair costs is a challenge that impacts their ability to complete summer home maintenance and repairs. 

horizontal bar chart visualizing the challenges homeowners are anticipating they’ll face this summer

In addition to affording repairs, other challenges responding homeowners experience this time of year include finding reliable Pros to complete projects (31%), determining whether to DIY projects or hire a Pro (30%), and making time to research, plan, or complete projects (29%). 

Having a reliable home maintenance Pro can help make it easier to tackle your to-do list. However, we learned that many responding homeowners would contact other people first instead of a home maintenance Pro. We asked respondents who they first contacted for help the last time something broke down in their home. More than half (59%) said they contacted someone else besides a home maintenance Pro that they knew.

This long list of challenges can make it difficult to quickly address critical projects—and responding homeowners are no strangers to these tasks. More than half (59%) have a pressing repair that’s at least moderately urgent to address.

Nearly half of responding homeowners are using a pre-planned budget to fund summer projects

Responding homeowners are getting smart in how they’re financing their home maintenance projects. Nearly half (44%) of responding homeowners are using a pre-planned budget to finance summer home maintenance and repair projects this year. If you haven’t already, this could be a good time to adjust your home maintenance budget to prioritize proactive maintenance this season.

To finance summer projects, responding homeowners are also using their credit card(s) (27%); emergency savings (24%); and a home equity loan, home equity line of credit, or similar (12%).

Affordability may also be why many responding homeowners are turning to DIY projects this year. We asked homeowners about the factors that influenced them to DIY instead of hiring a Pro. More than half (55%) say they choose to DIY because of the potential cost savings, and more than a quarter (28%) say they do so because they can’t afford a professional.

However, affordability isn’t the only reason why responding homeowners choose to DIY. Nearly a third (30%) said they choose to do so because they have a sense of pride in completing home repairs. A quarter (25%) said they do so because they want to learn new skills.

Homeowners are planning to DIY the same tasks they prioritized last year

If last year’s home maintenance routines are any consolation, this year you’ll want to focus on simple tasks that can have a big impact on protecting your property from damage.  

The top three completed tasks last year were trimming trees and shrubs (51%), checking and/or spraying for bugs (44%), and cleaning the dryer vent (41%). These were also the most common tasks responding homeowners are choosing to DIY this year. 

Overhanging tree limbs near a property’s roofline can be detrimental during a summer storm with heavy wind and rain. Pest infestations could require you to temporarily evacuate during a fumigation event. Clogged dryer vents are also a common hazard if not regularly maintained, known for causing house fires.

Although high utility bills are a top concern for responding homeowners this summer, some tasks related to lower utility bills weren’t completed as often as others last year. For example, checking and/or replacing weatherstripping for doors and windows was the second least common task completed last year, but it’s simple to DIY. Installing weatherstripping can help keep your home cool and prevent drafts and energy loss. You can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs by air-sealing your home and adding insulation (Methodology for Estimated Energy Savings (ENERGY STAR)).

Checking for leaks around pipes and plumbing fixtures also came in lower on the list, with less than a quarter (24%) completing this task last year. The average household’s leaks can accumulate 10,000 gallons of wasted water each year (Fix a Leak Week, September 2023). You can address many leaks yourself by tightening loose fittings with a wrench or pliers.  

double horizontal bar chart showing what tasks homeowners plan to DIY or hire a pro to complete this summer

Download our DIY summer home maintenance checklist

Download our DIY summer home maintenance checklist to get started on the most important tasks to complete in your home.

If you’re ready for a more comprehensive list, download the free Hippo Home app on iOS and Android for a personalized checklist for your home.

homeowner writing on their checklist of summer home maintenance tasksbutton that reads, “Download DIY Summer Home Maintenance Checklist”

Overcoming summer home maintenance obstacles with Hippo Home

Our survey revealed that many responding homeowners have the foresight, motivation, and (some) finances set aside to help get their homes in shape this summer. 

If you’re in need of hands-on support this season, you can sign up for Hippo Home Assist. You’ll get access to home experts 24/7 for help diagnosing problems and identifying solutions. Home experts can help you troubleshoot problems in real time or send a Pro to your home to help with more complex issues.

Learn more about the Hippo Home Assist to see how we can help you reclaim your summer by getting ahead of unexpected repairs.

Infographic

Check out our infographic below for a summary of our survey findings.

infographic summarizing the results of Hippo's 2024 bsummer home maintenance survey

Methodology

The survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey Audience for Hippo Insurance Services. The survey was fielded on March 6, 2024. The results are based on 1,258 completed surveys. In order to qualify, respondents were screened to be residents of the United States, over 18 years of age, and own a home. Data is unweighted, and the margin of error is approximately +/-3% for the overall sample with a 95% confidence level.

Disclaimers

YourHaus, Inc. ("Hippo Home") is an affiliate of Hippo Insurance Services. Services (including all repair or maintenance services) provided to customers through affiliated and unaffiliated third-party contractors. Your use of Hippo Home is subject to Hippo Home's terms and conditions and privacy policies. Use of unaffiliated third-party vendors is subject to the terms of service provided by such third party. Hippo Insurance Services is not responsible for your use/non-use of Hippo Home or any service vendor. @ YourHaus, Inc. 2023

Hippo Insurance Services ("Hippo") is a general agent for affiliated and non-affiliated insurance companies. Hippo is licensed as a property casualty insurance agency in all states in which products are offered. Availability and qualification for coverage, terms, rates, and discounts may vary by jurisdiction. We do not in any way imply that the materials on the site or products are available in jurisdictions in which we are not licensed to do business or that we are soliciting business in any such jurisdiction. Coverage under your insurance policy is subject to the terms and conditions of that policy. Coverage and coverage amounts selected are the decision of the buyer.

This guidance and advice is not error-proof and not applicable to every home. You are responsible for determining the proper course of action for your property and neither Hippo nor Hippo Home is responsible for any damages that occur as a result of any advice or guidance.

Hippo Home Assist is an annual subscription service provided by YourHaus, Inc. (“Hippo Home”) and is subject to its Terms of Use. Hippo Home is an affiliate of Hippo Insurance Services. Services (including all repair or maintenance services) provided to customers through affiliated and unaffiliated third-party contractors. Services provided by Hippo Home include speaking to a home care specialist, or providing repairs or maintenance either remotely or on site. Use of Hippo Home is subject to Hippo Home’s terms and conditions and privacy policies. Use of unaffiliated third-party vendors is subject to the terms of service provided by such third party. Hippo Insurance Services is not responsible for your use/non-use of Hippo Home or any service vendor. © YourHaus, Inc. 2024

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