The slumping real estate market won’t slow homeowners down. A national consumer survey from Johns Manville found that 24 percent of U.S. homeowners are considering using their federal economic tax rebate stimulus to upgrade or improve their homes.

In addition, roughly one in five respondents (19%) said they would "definitely use" their rebate money for a home improvement project.

"The federal government is hoping Americans will spend these checks and help stimulate the nation's economy, and this survey confirms that many Americans are prepared to do that, at least when it comes to their homes," said Wayne Russum, senior vice president of Opinion Research Corp., a marketing research firm.

Among respondents who said they are not considering using their rebate check for a home improvement, the most common intended uses were “saving it” (45%), “paying down debt” (40%), “taking a vacation” (14%), purchasing a “luxury item” (9%), or something else (5%).

The stimulus checks started arriving in taxpayers' bank accounts in early May. Single taxpayers with annual adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 qualify, as do joint filers making less than $150,000.

The most popular projects for respondents considering using their rebate checks for a home improvement included household upgrades, including landscaping (23%), bathroom (13%) or kitchen (12%); improving their homes' energy efficiency, including adding attic insulation (9%), caulking/sealing (4%) or installing energy efficient light bulbs (4%); and painting a room (10 percent).

Other key findings:

  • Homeowners between the ages of 25 and 34 were most likely to consider using the rebate checks for a home improvement (33%); homeowners older than 65 were least likely (20%).

  • Homeowners in the West were most likely to use their rebate check for home improvement (27%); homeowners in the South were least likely (22%).

  • The most common reasons cited for pursuing a home improvement project with the rebate money were comfort (34%), aesthetics (17%), environmental impact (15%), resale (13%), and return on investment (8%).

  • Among all respondents, 31 percent of homeowners said they are planning to start a home improvement project during May, which is National Home Improvement Month.