DIY, By Yourself – On the House

DIY, By Yourself

By on September 11, 2015
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We can hear them now. The great call of the wild. Actually, that’s an understatement. A more apt description would be the roar of the irate. What are they? They are the battle cries of malcontent homeowners everywhere living in cramped, outdated and, in some cases, unsafe housing. “I can’t live another day without a second bathroom in this house!” Or, “This kitchen is so small, it’s driving me nuts!” And, “The closets in this house are too tiny and we don’t have enough of them!” These are just a few examples. Sound familiar? They do to us. We have heard all these complaints and more countless times during our nearly twenty years as remodeling contractors. They may be familiar words to you as well. Chances are that you have either thought or spoken them yourself.

Cramped quarters, outdated finishes, and the need to make general repairs and perform routine maintenance are fuel for the raging multi-billion dollar residential remodeling market. Industry statistics report that residential remodeling topped $125 billion in 1997 and that there appears to be no end in sight. That explains why mega home centers designed to cater to the pro and do-it-yourselfer alike are springing up in communities all across this land. Is remodeling popular? If you have any doubt, simply visit your local home center to witness the frenzy of activity taking place within its wall. Chances are you’ll fear for your life as determined do-it-yourselfers go barreling down crowded aisles, guiding overflowing shopping carts and plywood-filled hand trucks to a seemingly endless line at the checkout stand.

And while many people would rather have a professional perform their work, due to restrictive budgets and a need to “get their hands dirty” as a means of stress relief, an increasing number of people are joining the ranks of the “weekend warrior” taking on do-it-yourself projects of all kinds. If you count yourself as one of these “weekend warriors” you’d be in good company – or at least lots of company. Industry statistics report that more than 260 million Americans are currently involved in DIY activities at all skill levels. That’s a lot of “sweat equity” – a popular term coined to describe folks who perform home improvement tasks as a means of saving money.

Money-savings isn’t the only motivation for folks to roll up their sleeves to perform projects that range from repairing a leaky faucet to the installation of a state-of-the-art garage door opener. Equally important is the pride and sense of accomplishment that results from the successful completion of a home improvement project or task. Moreover, many people associate DIY fix-ups with retirement, something to keep otherwise idle hands busy when hectic days at the office have ended. Actually, the majority of people who consider themselves handy around the house are between the ages of 25 and 45. And although home remodeling and the disruption that it can create is associated with stress, many DIYers report that getting their hands dirty is indeed an excellent means of relieving stress from the daily grind at work.

And while Tim-The-Tool-Man-Taylor’s ego may be a bit bruised, the man of the house isn’t always the one that wears the tool belt in the family. According to a recent study, at least 40 percent of all do-it-yourselfers are women and that is, as Martha Stewart would say, “a good thing!”

Capable and confident as some do-it-yourselfers may be, most still leave the big projects such kitchen and bathroom remodeling and room additions to the professional. However, a DIY is almost always involved in some phase of such a project whether it is demolition or painting. Interestingly, interior painting is the most common DIY project followed by exterior painting, toilet repair, faucet replacement and lockset replacement.

Summer is the most popular time for DIYers to do their thing, closely followed by spring. As one might suppose, the holiday season is the least popular time for DIY projects. The former is a time when the weather is most agreeable and vacation time is taken while the latter is traditionally a time when people least prefer to have their homes disrupted.

Although we earlier cited that $125 billion is spent annually on home remodeling in North America, of that figure, Americans spend about $1,000 per household annually on do-it-yourself home improvement, repair and maintenance projects.

When shopping for home improvement tools and materials, men and women don’t necessarily have similar needs. For example, men prefer a retailer that offers one-stop shopping, easy to find products and a hassle-free return policy. Women, on the other hand, want cost savings, a helpful staff, and a safe parking lot.

Finally, just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, most DIY home improvement projects take from three to five weeks. And you said you wanted it done yesterday! Oh well.

For more insight into remodeling your home, we invite you to pick up a copy of our new book, Home Remodeling For Dummies. It can be found at most bookstores and libraries.

For more home improvement tips and information search our website or call our listener hot line 24/7 at 1-800-737-2474.

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