More consumers are turning to professionals for their remodeling needs.

April 26, 2019

Survey Says: Home Remodeling “Going Pro”

With the 2019 NFL draft underway, your favorite college football players are not the only ones “going pro” this year. Based on this year’s 2019 Consumer Practices Survey data, it appears fewer home remodeling projects are do-it-yourself, and more are being done by professionals. For example, nearly 90% of roofing installed on existing residential properties is now done by a professional; just five years ago that number was less than 80%.

Shares of Home Remodeling Installations Done by Professionals

Source: Home Innovation's Annual Consumer Practices Survey.

Likewise, the latest data show that more than a third of interior painting is done by a paid professional; five years ago, less than a quarter was done by professionals. With the explosion of DIY video instructions on the internet and entire networks dedicated to it on television, what could be behind the decline in do-it-yourself home improvement?

The Consumer Practices Survey—Home Innovation’s annual study of more than 100,000 U.S. and Canadian households on their remodeling activities—has traditionally shown that younger households have a higher likelihood of “doing it themselves” for home improvement projects, while empty nesters and seniors are less likely than average. This seems counterintuitive that the older generation—households with presumably more DIY experience and free time—are more likely to hire a pro to undertake home improvement and remodeling projects than average, but the survey data bears this out.

Ed Hudson, Home Innovation’s director of market research, suspects the reasons include a mix of economic necessity—i.e., younger families are less able to afford hiring a professional—and the physically taxing nature of home improvements and remodeling, which favor the younger generations. In fact, Ed often jokes that he’s taken on DIY home improvement projects as an excuse to get out of kid-watching duties when his children were toddlers. Perhaps it’s funny, because it’s true, and it looks like he’s not alone!

Sign of Things to Come?

Is it likely that the decline in DIY home improvement will continue? Our market research experts think it’s very likely. As our population ages, and as we put the Great Recession further behind us, our older and more affluent households would naturally undertake fewer DIY projects. Of course, another recession or other economic challenge for the country could certainly reverse this trend, albeit temporarily, just like it did briefly during and after the recession of the mid-2000s.

The Consumer Practices Survey also reveals an expanding category that may affect the shape of this trend going forward—the “BIY,” or buy-it-yourself, market where homeowners are buying materials to save money and then having professionals do the installation. This reflects both the growth in installed-sales by home improvement retailers and households going online to learn about home improvement products, how to estimate the amount and type of materials needed, and then shopping for the best deal.
The Consumer Practices Survey findings extend far beyond who does the remodeling. They also include details on the amount and types of products and materials purchased; from which stores were they purchased; and the volumes purchased for home remodeling in every State, Metro Area, and County in the country. 

Home Innovation has just completed the new 2019 Consumer Practices Reports for the following product categories.

Appliances | Cabinets for Kitchen & Bath | Countertops
Deck & Porch Railings | Exterior Doors | Faucets
Fencing & Landscape Walls | Finished Flooring | Garage Doors
Home Mechanical Ventilation | Home Standby Generators
House Wrap & Foam under Siding | Insulation | Interior Doors
Interior Finish Materials | Outdoor Structures - Decks, Patios & Porches
Patio Doors | Plumbing Fixtures | Plumbing Piping | Roofing
Roofing Underlayment | Sheathing - Floor, Roof & Wall
Siding & Exterior Cladding | Soffit, Fascia & Exterior Trim
Storage Systems for Closet & Garage
Structural Systems - Floor, Roof & Wall | Windows

For a sample report, contact Home Innovation.