Do-it-yourself is back with a twist

April 21, 2009
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April 22, 2009 – Do-It-Yourself (DIY) is enjoying resurgence in the tight economy, but not only for the reasons one might expect. While consumers are saving money on their home improvement projects, homeowners tell us they're doing it themselves because they like it.

Eight out of every 10 homeowners planning a lawn or garden project in the next 12 months say they'll roll up their sleeves, break out their gardening trowels and tackle the project themselves. According to a consumer survey conducted by Lowe's in March, more than 500 homeowners revealed projects they're planning over the next 12 months and what motivated the process.

For 84 per cent of respondents, lawn and gardening projects are the number one DIY project. A close second is interior painting (82 per cent), followed by exterior painting (65 per cent), installing a new floor (56 per cent) and remodeling or adding a new bathroom (55 per cent).

Is money alone driving do-it-yourselfers to do more? Not necessarily. The homeowners Lowe's surveyed are almost evenly split between saving money and doing a project for enjoyment. Approximately 32 per cent of DIY-ers cite "pleasure" as the reason they're planning a project, while 35 per cent say it's to save on total project costs.

Lawn and garden enthusiasts say few things in a home landscape generate as much pride or pleasure as having the greenest lawn in the neighborhood or being the first on the block to pluck a homegrown tomato from the vine. In other words, they really "dig" dirt. In fact, 80 per cent of consumers mowed their own lawns in the past and plan to keep doing so.

The survey found an increasing number of homeowners are doing portions of a project themselves and hiring a professional to do the rest. For instance, in the next 12 months, approximately 37 per cent of homeowners surveyed who plan to remodel their kitchen say will do part themselves and hire a pro for the rest.

Homeowners said hiring a professional for work such as cabinet installation allows them to do only the parts of the project they enjoy, like interior painting or installing flooring.

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