Fewer members of Generation Z said they were “handy” than older groups did in a recent poll, with Generation X tallying the highest scores in a survey of 1,049 people conducted by CraftJack.

Gen Z flunks homeownership test — but others not far behind: Survey

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Members of Generation Z have been tested for their homeownership skills, and found wanting.

But to a lesser extent, so has everybody else.

A CraftJack survey of 1,049 people spanning four generations found that the youngest cohort of adults had the least confidence in their own handiness around the house, and were least likely to correctly identify basic household tools.

The generation with the most confidence in its skills around the house was Generation X, with 66 percent of this group saying they consider themselves “handy.” Their predecessors, the baby-boom generation, clocked in at 61 percent in response to the same question.

The younger generations were less self-assured.

Approximately 57 percent of millennials surveyed said they saw themselves as handy, while 44 percent of Gen Z respondents said the same.

This youngest cohort of adults also struggled to identify the names of a variety of tools

Gen Z respondents correctly named 1 in 4 tools presented to them as part of the survey. The highest hit rate belonged to Gen X respondents, who correctly identified 3 in 4 tools in the survey. 

Some of this gap in knowledge may be due to a respondent’s stage of life, as opposed to fundamental generational differences.

Longtime homeowners may remember their first year of ownership as a crash course in how to address the unexpected repairs and routine maintenance that come with owning a building structure for the first time.

Fewer members of Gen Z own a home and have reached a point in life where they’ve needed to go through that particular learning experience.

But while older generations had more knowledge about the tools themselves, no one in any age cohort seems to know how much tools cost these days.

Baby boomers were the most likely generation to underestimate the cost of various tools. But Gen Z was most likely to overestimate. And overall, it was “very rare” for even half of respondents within any of the four generations to correctly guess the average price range for a household tool.

Overall Gen X came out with high marks for homeownership knowledge in the survey. But when it comes to self-reported “handiness,” some of the boomers surveyed believe they were held back more by physical limitations, not a lack of homeownership knowledge.

“Baby Boomers appear to be the most knowledgeable of all generations. However, since the generation is aging, those we surveyed said they’re just not physically able to do the work they used to, and now need extra help.”

And despite Gen X’s combination of homeownership experience and health, this generation was the first in the survey to say they’d hire someone to perform an at-home task simply because they have enough money, the report said.

More cash-strapped millennials, on the other hand, may be driven to do-it-yourself projects. This generation was the most likely to attempt an at-home fix on their own, with 49 percent saying they would lean that direction.

When a homeowner can’t do a project on their own, they’re more likely to turn to friends or family than a professional. Baby boomers were the most likely to hire a company to do an at-home project, with 1 in 10 saying they’d take this route over the help of a family member.

Email Daniel Houston

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