Who Is Hiring Professional Contractors in 2021?

The results from the Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI) latest quarterly Home Improvement Project Intent Tracking Survey, fielded to approximately 3,000 homeowners April 7–13, 2021, are in.

According to respondents, homeowners are still planning home improvement projects at high rates — a two-year trend with no signs of a slowdown. We know projects are being planned, but are people still opting for professional help to complete those projects in 2021? What other survey findings shed light on homeowners’ current approach to home improvement projects?

Skill Level and Project Knowledge Are Driving Factors

Our survey indicated that homeowner skill level and project knowledge are the main driving factors in hiring a professional contractor. If the task is too complicated, it’s time to call in the pros: Even if the homeowner has the time and willingness to learn, these factors are less important than their belief that a professional will complete the work better.

Other Survey Conclusions

The project intent tracking survey yielded additional insights, including:

  • More than 25% of respondents have never hired a professional contractor.
  • Completed DIY project rates tend to hover above planned DIY project rates. This could indicate that many have the intention to hire a professional, but some ultimately do not, opting instead for DIY or abandoning a project altogether. However, a majority of survey respondents also agreed that projects meet deadlines when a professional is involved.
  • When a professional is hired, slightly older millennial and Generation X homeowners are more likely to be involved in the project versus other generations. Those between the ages of 18 and 29 tend to take a more hands-off approach, while project planners 55 and older are not as hands-on as millennials and Gen X but are still involved.

Want complete access to results from the Home Improvement Project Intent Tracking Survey, including the impact of COVID-19 on professional hiring rates? Join HIRI for these and other critical home improvement industry insights.

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