DIY Material Availability Hero

Do price and availability challenges deter DIYers?

In 2022, it seems that the state of our econ­o­my is chang­ing more quick­ly than ever. Fac­tors such as con­flict over­seas and lin­ger­ing tail­winds of a pan­dem­ic are con­tribut­ing to ris­ing infla­tion that affects Amer­i­cans’ lives in dif­fer­ent ways. For those in the home improve­ment busi­ness, it’s impor­tant to know how the chain of events is impact­ing the indus­try and its customers.

To shed some light on this grow­ing issue, the Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute teamed up with The Farnsworth Group to track chang­ing sen­ti­ments among home­own­ers tak­ing on improve­ment projects. Our month­ly track­er surveys: 

  • Home­own­ers who choose to com­plete projects them­selves (Do It Yourself/​DIY)
  • Home­own­ers who pre­fer to hire a pro­fes­sion­al to get the job done (Do It For Me/​DIFM)

Price and Availability Remain Challenges

The lat­est results show that through­out Feb­ru­ary 2022, mate­r­i­al price and avail­abil­i­ty con­tin­ued to cause project delays among both groups. For DIY­ers, lum­ber, treat­ed lum­ber and ply­wood remained the most com­mon­ly unavail­able mate­ri­als with 36.7% report­ing dif­fi­cul­ties in the cat­e­go­ry, a 6.2% increase from January.

DIYers Stick Out Rising Material Costs

Inter­est­ing­ly, for those choos­ing the DIFM route, mate­r­i­al avail­abil­i­ty was a more com­mon rea­son for project delay than mate­r­i­al price. Con­verse­ly, near­ly half of all DIY­ers report­ed both price and avail­abil­i­ty as an issue with­in the past month. How­ev­er, most of the DIY group sur­veyed do not plan on hir­ing a pro­fes­sion­al in the com­ing weeks, pre­fer­ring instead to stick out the project despite sup­ply and cost-relat­ed dif­fi­cul­ties. With around 80% of those sur­veyed report­ing that they chose to com­plete projects them­selves to save mon­ey, this may be indica­tive of the over­all moti­va­tion of DIY­ers to save on the cost of labor.

Homeowners Look Forward to New Projects

HIRI’s Feb­ru­ary track­er also asked home­own­ers which projects they were plan­ning on start­ing in the upcom­ing weeks. With spring­time around the cor­ner in some parts of the coun­try and oth­er regions bear­ing the brunt of win­ter, insight into projects can tell us more about how home­own­ers adapt to the chang­ing seasons.

For the DIY group, the fol­low­ing projects were the most popular:

  • Paint­ing rooms
  • Gen­er­al home maintenance
  • Paint­ing or stain­ing items
  • Land­scap­ing, plant­i­ng, etc.

Since Jan­u­ary, DIY­ers have shown a slight increase in gen­er­al home main­te­nance projects, coun­ters, and plumb­ing. The high­est jumps were in cab­i­net repairs and elec­tri­cal projects, which saw 6.7% and 8.5% increas­es, respec­tive­ly.

Keep up with HIRI’s track­er study to see how these project rates ebb and flow through­out the year. Join HIRI to get instant access to the full reports as they are released.

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