DIYers Let Others Do It

Jul 26, 2002

Potential do-it-yourselfers are increasingly calling on professionals to do those jobs rather than tackle them themselves, reports Reuters. According to the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, do-it-yourself projects accounted for 38 percent of all home improvements in 2001, down from 44 percent in 1999. The percentage of homeowners hiring contractors for home projects rose to 53 percent last year from 46 percent in 1999. Retailers built to supply DIYers like Home Depot and Lowe’s are meeting the challenge by offering building services through their stores.

The aging of U.S. baby boomers and a rise in single-person households has fueled the shift to use more professionals. As homeowners age and reach their peak earnings years, they are more likely to hire pros than undertake repairs themselves. Busy lifestyles also encourage the trend.

Americans now spend about $180 billion on home improvements annually, up from $150 billion in 1995, estimates the National Association of Home Builders. Homeowners have ready access to cash with home refinancing and equity loans running at record levels amid the lowest interest rates in years. Real estate has been a boon in the stay-at-home, post-Sept. 11 economy. Homeowners want their property in tip-top shape to reflect its rising value.

Moderator Comment: How will an aging population affect
the DIY retailing market? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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