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Survey Pinpoints Key Design Trends, Home Product Preferences

ERIE, PA — Think granite countertops are passé? Think again – they’re almost twice as preferred as quartz, according to the findings of a national survey of U.S. homeowners.

The survey, whose results were released late last year, was conducted among 500 homeowners on behalf of Erie Insurance, a major home insurer, in an effort to garner insights into design and finish preferences, aging-in-place features, technology, energy efficiency and related matters.

Despite the rising popularity of quartz as a countertop material, Erie Insurance found that granite was the preferred choice among surveyed homeowners. For instance, when homeowners were asked which countertop material they’d want if building a new home today, 40% said they’d want granite, compared with 23% who said they’d want quartz.

According to Erie Insurance, the survey also found that only a fifth of the homeowners polled (21%) said they’d “definitely” want a soaking tub if they were building a new house, compared with 34% who “definitely would not.” Nearly half (45%) reported they were on the fence, saying they “might” want one.

While more than half the surveyed homeowners (54%) would definitely want two sinks, a fair number are undecided (33% might want them) and 13% definitely would not want them, the survey also found.

“The U.S. Census Bureau has reported on the graying of America, projecting that – for the first time in history – older adults will outnumber children by the year 2035, [but] this trend has not led homeowners as a whole to want Universal Design elements that would enable aging in place,” said Erie Insurance V.P. Bob Buckel, noting that only about a quarter of all survey respondents (26%) would definitely want Universal Design features. The percentage is only somewhat higher (34%) among homeowners between the ages of 51 and 60, Buckel added.

Among other survey findings:

  • Security systems with security cameras are significantly more coveted in the Northeast than in the Midwest. More than half the surveyed Northeasterners (54%) say they’d definitely want this feature, compared with only 28% of Midwesterners. Overall, 44% of homeowners would definitely want a security system with security cameras.
  • When it comes to energy-efficient features, about a third of all respondents (32%) would definitely want solar panels on a new home, but the feature is much more coveted by men than women (41% versus 28%, respectively).
  • There were also significant gender differences regarding preferences for tankless water heaters. For example, 41% of men would definitely want a tankless water heater compared with 32% of women.

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