The DIY and home improvement markets, as well as DIY home improvement projects, have a strong presence in the United States. Working on such projects by yourself or with family and friends can not only be a hobby, but also a way to save money when dealing with home improvement projects that are not too complex. For companies in DIY and home improvement retail, however, the activity is a way to make money: home centers alone registered sales to the estimated amount of over 337 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 alone. Lumberyards and hardware stores sales combined made up about 200 billion U.S. dollars that same year.

There are several positive effects to tackling home improvement projects by yourself. One of the most obvious reasons is perhaps feeling better about your own home and living in it. Taking the step towards DIY home improvement can also be a way towards learning new skills or even finding a new profession. A lot of DIY-related content can be found online, including step-by-step tutorials in the most diverse home improvement areas. Such content is sometimes provided by small or prominent companies in the sector themselves, seeing as they nowadays also have a strong internet presence. As of 2020, for instance, nearly 80 percent of toys, hobby, and DIY stores in the United States had an Instagram profile . Last but not least, DIY home projects might also increase a home’s value, which would be of help when trying to sell it.

Popular projects

According to a survey conducted in 2020, the most common home service project according to the respondents was interior painting . Bathroom remodeling was a close second, with 31 percent, while kitchen remodels did not rank as well. When it comes to master bathroom changes , in 2021, upgraded systems and an increased shower size were the two major changes made. That same year, the favored style for these renovations was modern, while farmhouse was the least popular esthetic.

As mentioned above, kitchen remodels are not as popular as interior painting or bathroom remodels, and ranked lower than even new flooring and landscaping. Still, it represents a significant share of home improvement projects, some of which can even be more layman-friendly than bathroom remodel projects. One possibility, for instance, is upgrading kitchen appliances, with refrigerator/freezers faring well as the leading kitchen appliance upgrades in 2021/2022. Here, differently from bathroom remodels, the preferred esthetic direction is transitional , not modern.

Home office and COVID-19 impact

The DIY and home improvement market has only gotten stronger after the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020. Governments' decisions to enforce lockdowns and social distancing as some of the first measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus led to a significant amount of people spending much more time at home than they did before. That, in turn, led to those people focusing on old hobbies or trying out new ones. With that, DIY home improvement became increasingly popular. The pandemic also meant that many office jobs were performed remotely, which meant upgrading or creating home office spaces became necessary in many households. Office chair sales alone increased by nearly 75 percent in 2020 ; desk sales increased by over 60 percent. Herman Miller, one of the leading office furniture companies worldwide, registered a 300 percent increase in sales in the first quarter of 2020 . But home offices were not the only area of the home that benefited from DIY projects and purchases, of course. Approximately three-quarters of Americans made at least one home improvement . Garden landscaping was also one of the most common home improvement projects undertaken at that time. Unsurprisingly, the leading reason for tackling such projects during the coronavirus outbreak was finally having time for it .


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