United, we slack: Average American home has 9 unfinished DIY projects

NEW YORK — No plans this weekend? How about finishing one of those projects you started, but never got around to wrapping up? There’s a good chance you know exactly what we’re talking about, too: A new study says the average American household has nine unfinished do-it-yourself projects at any one time.

“DIY” has becomes great concept, so much so that it’s turned into its own popular industry, of sorts. Of course, it saves money, it can make you feel more fulfilled, and it impresses your friends. But, doing it yourself means you have to finish the job yourself, too. Getting started is all too easy.

Man putting cabinet together DIY project
No plans this weekend? How about finishing one of those DIY projects you started a while back, but never got around to wrapping up?

In a survey of 2,000 American homeowners conducted by the home improvement company Porch.com, a third of respondents said they have put off at least one DIY home project by a year or more. Still, the typical homeowner manages to complete four of these jobs in the course of a year.

Overall, 57% of the respondents said their home was “a work in progress.” Just 10% of the respondents said they were completely satisfied with their maintenance and home improvement projects.

Of the projects most neglected and put off, house painting was the highest on the list. Fifty-five percent of respondents said a paint job was lingering on their to-do list. A third said remodeling the bathroom had been put off the longest, while 28% still hadn’t gotten around to laying that new carpet.

In this study, self-reliance was on display. Fifty-five percent agreed they try to tackle a maintenance issue or home-improvement project themselves rather than call a professional, yet only 31% said their DIY projects were completed without major problems. In fact, a third of participants said they’d started a job and given up halfway through.

“Homeowners often underestimate the investment needed just to maintain the quality of their home and if they are not willing to make that investment, it can lead to much larger costs down the road,” says Porch.com CEO Matt Ehrlichman in a statement.

And money did prove to be a major factor for many participants. Forty-two percent admitted they’d postponed or abandoned a project because in the end, it was simply too costly.

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Ben Renner

Writer, editor, curator, and social media manager based in Denver, Colorado. View my writing at http://rennerb1.wixsite.com/benrenner.

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