528: DIY

A Thousand Things to Talk About
528: DIY

Do you consider yourself a “do it yourself-er”?

Full episode script

Going the do-it-yourself route — for everything from weddings to home repair — is being referred to by some industry groups as the “Pinterest-it-yourself” trend. But is this view of Pinterest-driven crafty projects the reality of those who choose to do it yourself?

Probably not shockingly, the answer is no. Choosing to do projects yourself is very common. As a study from European Home Improvement Monitor of the Dutch USP Marketing Consultancy found:

In 2017 European consumers opted to do it themselves more often. The proportion of home improvement projects realised as do-it-yourself, rather than commissioning a tradesman (Do-it-for-me), increased from 65 per cent in 2016 to 67 per cent.

And it’s a trend that is the case in the United States as well. As construction advertising firm Venveo explained:

Although saving money does play a factor, our recent survey of DIYers shows that only 39% of DIYers are DIYing specifically to save money .A recent Google study revealed that 47% of home improvement projects were done because people take pleasure in doing DIY projects.

Then again, as TJ McCue pointed out in Forbes ,quote:

Do-it-yourself repair isn’t new. People have been fixing their own stuff for as long as there has been something to break. What is new, though, is the growing number of online resources to figure out how to fix something.

There is something new to how many individuals choose to approach DIY now, though. And that’s not just the thousand-plus percent increase in the search volume for wallpaper by the DIY segment of people (seriously, wallpaper?).

As quoted in the New York Times:

The D.I.Y. movement is part of the larger personalization of all things. Ann Swidler, a University of California, Berkeley sociology professor and one of the authors of the book “Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life,” suggests that older forms of status, like knowledge of opera or Renaissance paintings, have lost their cachet, while new ones, “based on asserting one’s uniqueness and creativity,” are emerging.

Sometimes, that might come in choosing to take on a project yourself. Other times, it could take on a different flavor. Whatever you’re hacking together, it may be more about doing it and creating something than making it perfect.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.