Homeowners Are More Likely To Tackle DIY Remodels, Survey Shows

April 30, 2019

Homeowners are taking on more DIY projects, a new survey finds. In fact, 58% of homeowners plan to spend money on improving their homes this year. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Remodeling Impact Report: DIY, homeowners are now more likely to undertake a remodeling project on their own than they are to hire a professional.

The report examined the differences between remodeling and DIY projects. It also examined the differences between projects undertaken to benefit the homeowners and projects undertaken to benefit the homeowners’ pets.

Researchers found that homeowners reported a “joy score” of 9.9 for projects they completed compared to a 9.6 score for projects completed by professionals. What’s more, homeowners said they had a greater sense of accomplishment (97%) when they finished a project compared to those who hired a professional (93%).

“One of the pleasures of homeownership is the ability to take on projects to customize a house that truly makes it your own,” said Kristin Croak, the president of the Central Arizona Board of Realtors. “With plenty of owners taking on renovation projects, this report is a great place to search for projects others have undertaken successfully.”

Millennials take the lead as the most likely of any generation to take on a DIY housing project. According to the report, 73% of Millennial consumers, 51% of Generation X, and 50% of younger Baby Boomers would choose to DIY a home project instead of hiring a professional.

In contrast, up to 70% of the Silent Generation said they would hire a professional to complete a housing project. But it’s worth mentioning the youngest person of the Silent Generation is 77 years old and it isn’t recommended that they take on a DIY project.

The report also found that homeowners are also more likely to take on a DIY project for a pet even though they’re more satisfied with a professional’s work. Up to 65% of respondents said they were satisfied with a professional’s work compared to 61% of those satisfied with their own DIY project.

Still, up to 56% of homeowners said they would rather DIY a pet project than they would DIY a general home project (47%).

Homeowners may be more willing to DIY their own projects because they don’t have the financial means to pay for a major renovation. It’s already taking millennials over a decade to save up enough money to pay for a down payment on a house.

Homeowners may also be choosing to DIY their home projects because it gives them a greater sense of control over their homes. This isn’t only the case with renovations, either. Homeowners are also taking more control over housing maintenance. Checking for water damage, for example, is a routine maintenance item anyone can perform. Considering it only takes 48 hours for mold to set in, it’s an important one, too.

According to a recent study from Bankrate, the average U.S. homeowner spends up to $2,000 a year on home maintenance costs. These costs include gutter cleaning, which should be done twice a year, and siding maintenance.

These costs aren’t outlandish; cedar siding alone can last up to 75 years with proper maintenance. But homeowners may want to have a greater sense of control over where their money is going and how it’s going into the upkeep of their homes. For instance, homeowners may choose to put up draperies to reduce heat loss in their home by 10%.

Interestingly, just like how the Silent Generation is 70% more likely to hire a professional for a housing project, the Bankrate survey also found that the older homeowners get, the more likely they are to hire professionals to perform maintenance around the house.

“Anyone taking on remodeling projects to get the most bang for their buck on resale should speak to a realtor, as they have unique and instrumental insights into which projects and upgrades bring the most value to homes in your area,” said Croak.

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