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Which Homeowners Hire Pros the Most?

Study: More than a third of all home improvement projects require the help of a professional remodeler.

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Hiring pros depends on homeowners and projects

Professionals are still a key component of home improvement projects, even with DIY consistently increasing in popularity. More than a third of all home improvement projects require professional remodelers to step in, according to a recent study from the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI). While DIY projects can be a great way to save money, hiring a pro is a smart move to ensure the project is done correctly. Who uses professionals more is dependent on the type of project and homeowner demographic. These are the homeowners more likely to consider hiring a pro.

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contractor explaining his thoughts to a couple of clientsFamily Handyman

Boomers prefer working with professionals

Home remodeling spending has hit a record high, which means it’s a great time to be a professional remodeler. But when it comes to home improvement projects, generations of homeowners approach who does the work from different perspectives. Older homeowners prefer working with professionals more than any other population segment. In fact, out of all the projects completed by pros, more than half of them were hired by baby boomers.

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millennial drilling a hole into a door frameDavid Martinez Kansy/Shutterstock

DIYers more likely to be millennials

Millennials are more apt to DIY their home remodeling projects, often using technology to show them how. Although a large percentage of home improvement projects call for hiring a pro, 20 percent of younger homeowners are more likely to be DIY-driven because they can save money and it gives them a feeling of accomplishment.

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placing pennies onto a tableShutterstock/ Singkham

Lower income groups spend less on pros

The HIRI study also shows that projects done with professionals typically cost significantly more than those done DIY, and in some cases the price tag is more than originally expected. Because of the financial risk, families and larger households tend to spend less on professional remodelers. Lower income groups are more likely to undertake DIY projects.

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pro landscaper digging up dirt with an augerFamily Handyman

DIY vs. Pro depends on the project

Home improvements tasks that require pros to do the work tend to be more costly in general, which means there’s a financial incentive to tackle projects solo. But the overall level of DIY vs. pro involvement depends on the type of project. Cosmetic updates like painting and landscaping are overwhelmingly DIY, while top projects completed by pros include roofing, siding, earth moving, windows, installing major appliances, and mechanical changes.

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roofing on a roofShutterstock/ Vova Shevchuk

High-risk projects rely more on pros

Projects that carry a high risk often rely heavily on professionals to complete. While DIYers are up for trying small projects on their own, complex improvements involving the roof, siding or mechanical changes are left for the pros. If a risk of personal injury, flood, fire or a structural collapse exists, homeowners are more willing to invest in hiring a professional.

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a contractor checking something on his computer

A pro’s best areas of focus

While the home improvement market expects continued growth in the next three years, baby boomers and homeowners with costly or potentially dangerous projects are a pro’s best areas of focus. Boomers trust that skilled licensed professionals have the proper tools and knowledge to handle the job, despite the risk. Homeowners should carefully weigh the potential costs and risks associated with a renovation and decide whether hiring a professional remodeler would be better in the long run. DIY skills can come in handy, but when it comes to certain repairs or installations, it can be worth the extra money to leave major home improvement projects to the experts.

About the author:

Shawnna Stiver is a veteran lifestyle, marketing and news content writer, currently contributing to companies in the parenting and babies space. She has written traditional, digital and social content for the following industries: beauty, consumer goods, entrepreneurship, financial services, health/wellness, home improvement/DIY, lifestyle, non-profit, parenting and self-improvement. She runs a website that connects people with brands that make a difference in the world: