What Would You Give Up to Avoid DIY Projects?

Man fixing the wall in his homeA survey by Redbeacon.com revealed homeowners are willing to give up dining out and watching sports in exchange for a pro to do their home improvement projects. Image: Ababsolutum/iStockphoto

A new survey suggests that the DIY boom may be waning as the “Do It for Me” generation steps in.

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Ready to give up sex?

What if it meant you could get all your home improvement chores done by a competent pro instead of doing them yourself?

If you answersign me up, you’re hardly alone — even though the legion of popular DIY home bloggers out there would indicate we’re DIYing like crazy. Apparently, 20% of American homeowners would be so grateful to have trustworthy pros do all the work that they’d give up a year’s worth of nooky for the privilege.

Even more shocking: More than half — 54% — would give up social media for a year. Yikes! Tweet me. I must be dreaming.

So says a recent survey from Redbeacon.com, a service that helps people find competent, local service professionals to complete jobs around the house.

“We wanted to measure the impact of DIY on today’s consumers,” says Redbeacon CEO Anthony Rodio, who was looking for some insights on the latest trend in home management: DIFM - Do It For Me.

Rodio says he thought of the survey approach when he heard the rumor that female friends were trading certain favors (wink, wink) with their husbands to make sure household projects got done.

“I thought if that’s really going on, this could be an interesting survey,” says Rodio.

Is it ever. Here’s what else the survey’s 1,000 respondents said they’d sacrifice in order to skip out on home improvement:

  • 36% would quit watching their favorite pro sport.
  • 35% would stop dining out.
  • 23% would give up vacation days.
  • 12% of those who tried DIY projects said they were swearing off DIY forever.

So what does all this mean for the American can-do spirit?

A shift in cultural demographics. The era of the tackle-anything boomer is on the wane, replaced by a younger, time-strapped generation who’d rather manage a home project than actually pick up a hammer.

“It’s not that the new generation does less,” says Rodio. “It’s that they see managing a project every bit as fulfilling and important as actually doing the work themselves.”

So if making sawdust isn’t your thing, not to worry — you’re not missing the fix-it gene. You’re simply trending.

It’s not all roses on the DIFM side of the equation, though. Apparently, managing a project can be as frustrating as DIY. The survey also offered results on the challenges of hiring contractors and managing home improvement projects:

  • 64% said the most difficult part of hiring a professional was uncertainty about cost.
  • 42% cited the time it takes to find a pro as the most frustrating.
  • 24% said they’d rather sit in traffic than deal with the frustration of finding a competent pro.
  • 21% would rather wait in line at the DMV.
  • 20% would rather go to the dentist.

At my hacienda, we have the best of both worlds: I swing the hammer and my wife manages me. Trust me, I have the easier job.

Is the golden age of DIY ending? Will DIFM become the acronym of choice?

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