Beginning the actual analysis of the survey data, I’ll start with what I think of as the individual and household demographics of the builders themselves.
Who is included in these analyses?
Of the total 123 respondents, I want to filter out those who are:
- completely retired and totally inactive
- those who are not yet in business
- those who are far larger in terms of output than the rest of the sample (e.g. builders with multiple employees and annual output over 150 units)
Running that filter yields 109 respondents total.
- 96 of those respondents respondend confidentially, or about 88% total.
And before moving through the results, a very quick reminder on measures of central tendency:
- the mean is the mathematical average of a range of numbers (add up all the values and divide by the number of cases)
- as such, the mean is more influenced by outlier values
- the median is the center point in a distribution: an equal number of cases are both above and below the median value
Regarding the personal and household demographics of the builders in my sample:
Age Range: 25-74
- Mean: 47
- Median: 45
Gender: 95% self-identified “male”
Racial Identity (a self-reported, open-ended question):
- White/Caucasian: 88%
- No answer: 5.5%
- The remaining 6.5% were spread across multiple categories, but won’t be specified here to keep respondents anonymous
Education (highest level attained):
- Doctoral degree: 7%
- Masters degree: 13%
- Bachelors degree: 52%
- Some college: 13%
- Community college: 7%
- Trade School: 2%
- High school: 8%
- No response: 2%
Children of any age?: 35%
Children currently in your household or your financial responsibility?: 24%
How many children?:
- 1: 38%
- 2: 35%
- 3 or more: 27%
What is your marital/partnership status?:
- Married: 76%
- Divorced, separated, widowed: 11%
- Single, never married: 11%
- No response: 2%
So, what does it all mean?
No big surprises here, overall. Yes, the typical framebuilder is a middle-aged white guy! That these results simply confirm what any observer pretty much knows to be true from hanging around NAHBS or framebuilder Instagram does, however, underscore that I believe my sample here is representative of the framebuilding segment as a whole.
Two things do jump out for future consideration, though:
- Framebuilders are a highly-educated group: 72% of the sample has a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree!
- Framebuilders would seem to have a high marriage rate (76%) while a fairly low parenting rate (35% are parents, but only 24% have kids in the house currently).
I think these last two points will only becoming more interesting as I turn to thinking about the business position and livelihood strategies of framebuilders….