Why Homeowners Are Choosing DIY

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Why Homeowners Are Choosing DIY

New insight from the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) is shedding light on how homeowners are completing home improvement projects.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, first-quarter 2021 sales for paint, decorating and wallpaper stores (NAICS 44412) rose 5.4 percent from 2020 levels. Sales in March alone were nearly 18 percent above March 2020 levels, indicating paint and decorating retailers have an engaged, enthusiastic customer base.

Chief among HIRI’s findings is that DIY home improvements remain the most common way to complete construction and renovation projects. Roughly 68 percent of HIRI’s respondents say they are completing current home improvement projects themselves.

diy painting

Homeowners say cost is the leading factor in deciding whether or not to hire a pro contractor to complete projects around the home. 65 percent of the homeowners HIRI surveyed said they chose the DIY route in order to save money. Homeowners most often turned to professional help when a project required a specific individualized skill set or were simply too large to complete on their own.

Specifically, the cost of labor impacted many homeowners’ decisions to tackle DIY projects. Homeowners also indicated that splitting a project with a professional’s help and their own DIY skills or purchasing materials directly did not save much money in the long run.

The most common way to pay for homeowners was out of pocket or relying on savings. Respondents reported higher levels of pro assistance when additional funds were available, through tax refunds or insurance proceeds, HIRI reports.

diy paintingThe projects that were most commonly completed by homeowners directly include:

  • Landscaping and gardening (90 percent DIY)
  • Interior painting (85 percent DIY)
  • Garage improvements (81 percent DIY)


Learn More About HIRI

The Home Improvement Research Institute tracks the major trends affecting home improvement, real estate and the economy at large. Visit HIRI online to learn more.