Hire a professional or do it yourself: Homeowners share all

Realtors can benefit by referring people to the trusted home services professionals because those professionals may feel inclined to return the favor.

But a new study from the National Association of Realtors suggests agents may want to consider steering clients to achievable “Do It Yourself” home renovation projects by advising them on the basics of certain repairs and upgrades.

Why?

Because completed DIY projects apparently tend to bring people more satisfaction than those done by professionals. And, presumably, Realtors who bring joy to customers tend to draw repeat business.

According to a survey of more than 2,000 consumers who recently completed home remodeling projects, respondents reported an average “Joy Score” of 9.9 out of 10 for projects they did themselves, compared to 9.6 for projects outsourced to pros.

DIYers also expressed a greater sense of accomplishment with finished projects, according to the first-of-its-kind NAR report — titled “2019 Remodeling Impact Report: DIY. Ninety-seven percent of respondents indicated a major or minor sense of accomplishment, compared to 93 percent of those who hired a professional.

The survey also offered some insight into the reasons why homeowners and renters undertake projects. The most popular reason was their desire to increase the functionality and/or livability of a home (35% for DIYers and 41% for those using a professional), followed by their ambition to enhance beauty and aesthetics (19% and 18%, respectively) and to add durable and long-lasting materials and appliances (15% and 18%).

The most common projects, whether DIYed or outsourced to professionals, are bathroom renovations, kitchen upgrades, kitchen overhauls, wood flooring installation and master suite construction, according to the survey. And the projects that consumers are most likely to do themselves are HVAC replacements, kitchen overhauls, bathroom additions, master suite construction and wood flooring installation.

The younger consumers are, the more likely they are to perform home fixes and upgrades themselves, the report also found.

Seventy-three percent of Millennials — many often burdened by student debt and in the early stages of wealth-building — perform projects themselves, followed by Generation X, younger baby boomers, older baby boomers and the Silent Generation.

Overall, consumers are slightly more likely to use professionals to complete projects (53%) than to do the work themselves (47%).

There is no shortage of people who like to pamper their pets, so perhaps it should come as little surprise that projects completed for pets — also examined closely in the NAR report — often are outsourced as well, albeit not quite as often as the typical project.

Nearly half of homeowners who undertake projects on behalf of their four-legged friends reportedly hire professionals to do the work.

The pet projects consumers are most likely to handle themselves are pet beds, with 88 percent of those who install them doing the work independently, followed by animal pools (84%), cat litter closets (83%) and built-ins for pet dishes (76%).

On the other hand, the pet projects that are most likely to be left to professionals are pet washing stations (44%), fenced yards (53%) and laminated flooring (56%).

Overall, the most common pet renovations were fence, laminated floor and dog door installations. Fences provide the highest level of satisfaction to owners.

As was the case with other projects, consumers were slightly more likely to report taking more satisfaction from completing pet projects themselves, rather than using a professional.

Email Teke Wiggin.

Inman