Both homeowners and residential contractors agree that women are the primary decision makers for home improvement projects, according to an online survey by ServiceMagic, an Internet service that connects homeowners with pre-screened and customer-rated home service professionals. (Hanley Wood, the company that publishes REMODELING, has a business relationship with ServiceMagic.)

The company surveyed 490 homeowners and 485 contractors and found that just 8% of female homeowners saw men as the primary decision maker, but that 30% of male homeowners noted themselves as the decision maker. In contrast, 25% of females cited women as the primary decision maker compared to 8% of the men noting women as the primary decision maker.

Also, 65% of homeowners say they make home improvement decisions as a team with their significant other. When residential contractors responded to the same questions, just 28% agreed that couples make decisions as a team. More than half (55%) the contractors surveyed believe that the female head of household is the primary decision maker, while only 17% cited men.

“This is a very telling survey. There is a gap between perception and reality within the household, and contractors are often caught in the middle,” says Rodney Rice, co-CEO of ServiceMagic.

“I figured out a long time ago that women ran the show in the household, and the day I did my business was better for it. I tell all my friends who are newer to the trade to try to communicate all important decisions to both spouses together,” ServiceMagic contractor member Tom Teehan says.