DIY disaster! It takes 5 hours of home improvement failures before people call for help

NEW YORK — Are you having trouble recreating all the home improvement projects you see on Pinterest? You’re not alone.

A new survey of 2,000 Americans finds four in 10 people have more DIY failures than they do successes. The average person estimates that it takes them five hours of trial and error before quitting their project and calling in a professional to help.

DIY regrets

RenovationsNearly half the poll (45%) have completely butchered a home improvement project by trying to take it on without professional help. Another 57 percent wish they could go back in time and call in a professional before starting. Fifty-six percent get so flustered, they’ve called one of their parents to get play-by-play instructions on how to make repairs or finish a home improvement project.

Commissioned by BJ’s Wholesale Club and conducted by OnePoll, the study revealed the average American starts experimenting with DIY projects at age 22. Many respondents recalled their first home project attempts — including fixing faulty televisions, building furniture, filling in wall holes and cracks, draining clogged sinks, and even putting up a mailbox.

While 51 percent of respondents declare themselves the “go-to person” for DIY projects among their family, friends, and neighbors, a majority of Americans are still most likely to call in a professional (38%), a significant other (37%), or a friend (24%) for help.

If at first you don’t succeed, call a pro

When it’s time to look for a professional contractor to do home renovations, people spend an average of nine hours researching candidates before hiring the right one. Americans find these pros through an online search (37%), personal recommendation (35%), or through retail stores (15%). Nearly three in four (71%) try to soak up as much information as possible from the people they hire to do home projects.

Renovations“Hiring a professional contractor can take a lot of time and research, but people don’t realize the entire process can be so much easier with home improvement services,” says Tom Heling, VP, Services, BJ’s Wholesale Club, in a statement.

For those who are the go-to DIYers in their social circles, 44 percent believe being asked to help with a home improvement project is a sign of trust. Meanwhile, 48 percent see it as a sign of having expert knowledge and 36 percent see it as a sign of strength. When looking for inspiration, people will most often look to home improvement TV shows (45%), websites (33%), and social media (33%).

DIYers especially prefer to replicate what they see on social media by finding new ways to accomplish tasks, such as room remodeling (32%), furniture building (28%), and pool-cleaning (23%). The poll also shows people tend to take the most pride in their work when repainting a room (30%), doing landscaping (29%), or leading a kitchen remodel (26%). Respondents add that the kitchen is the most challenging room to renovate, with nearly a third (29%) coming across roadblocks along the way.

The famous ‘honey-do’ list

Half of the married respondents (52%) admit they assign their spouse a weekly “honey-do” list of DIY and home improvement projects. Most common “honey-dos” include fixing leaky faucets (45%), wall painting (42%), and drywall repair (35%).

“While some easy DIY projects can be a fun task, leave the more complex projects to the professionals and save yourself the headache,” recommends Heling.

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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