It seems that homeowners are getting more ambitious when it comes to big DIY projects, with 67% planning to do home improvement this year, up by from 59% last year.
Eden Harper, an estate agents covering Brixton and Battersea mentioned, the survey was conducted for Retail Week by ICM and the evidence shows that there will be a substantial boost for home improvement retailers before and after the Easter-holiday period.
Around two-thirds would go to a DIY retailer to purchase materials and carry out the work themselves, while 28% would use a tradesperson – this is good news for retailers.
In recent years, younger people have turned away from DIY, but it appears that things are changing. The number of those planning major changes, like repainting, re-carpeting, renovating, building work and garden landscaping; has gone up from 48% to 58% in the last year.
The poll showed that the key motivators for home improvement were repairs and maintenance, while the recovering economy had a limited impact on people’s ability to carry out projects. Just 9% of those looking to carry out DIY this year, cited their improved financial situation as the key reason.
The survey makes for interesting reading, as at the end of last year, popular DIY store Homebase said it would close a quarter of its 323 branches over the next three years, stating that an excess of retail space and out-of-town stores, along with a nation with little interest in DIY; were to blame.
Homebase and rival DIY retailers like B&Q suffered during the financial crisis as house prices fell and property sales slowed down. However, the upturn in the housing market did little to boost Homebase’s customer base as consumers became less enthusiastic when it came to DIY and more likely to pay a tradesman to do jobs around the house.
There’s also a bit of a generation gap – the younger generation seems less skilled when it comes to DIY projects and of course there’s the growth of multichannel competitors. The retailer’s looking to adapt, with plans in the pipeline to allow customers to order products from Homebase online and pick them up at Argos stores. The businesses will also share data and knowledge to get Homebase up to Argos’s online standards.
In many ways, DIY is perhaps a little bit outdated, with people employing tradesmen – especially through online portals – to do the work for them. These days, people are often interested in leisure-driven improvement experiences instead of a stressful trot around a warehouse, only to discover there’s nothing left on the shelves.
As well as this, with house prices soaring, more and more people are renting and tenants don’t do DIY, so this move away from home-ownership is a challenge for stores.
The latest surge in DIY projects shows; however, that the public haven’t completely fallen out of love with making improvements to their properties. Hiring a tradesman is always an easier option, but on the other hand it can be hard to know who to trust and to explain exactly how you want things done. This is why it’s key to shop around and work out who the best people are in your vicinity.
Whether you decide to Do It Yourself or hire someone, good luck and make sure you enjoy the results!