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Which Renovations Are and Aren't DIY


Your buyers like the house — mostly — but the closets could be reconfigured and the bathroom tile has to go. Are those DIY projects, or are they "DIFM" (do it for me)? In a new survey from the Home Projects Council, home owners reviewed a range of home improvements. Most said they would feel comfortable doing the projects in the first chart below, but for the second, it's best to have professional referrals ready.

Home improvements owners are most comfortable doing on their own:


Install window treatments, curtains, blinds, or shuttersBuild or install a mailbox

Install new cabinet hardwareStain or paint patio or other concrete surface

Install a closet system or shelvesLandscape yard

Install a lighting fixture or ceiling fanClean, repair, or seal patio or other concrete surface

Install a faucet or shower headInstall paver or stone patio or walkway

Home improvements where you'll likely need to refer a pro:


Install or replace a countertopPour a concrete patio, steps, or sidewalk

Install cabinetsBuild a deck

Tile a showerBuild an outdoor kitchen, barbecue, or fireplace

Replace wood or vinyl floorsBuild a fence

Install a backsplashInstall or build a shed or storage building

Not surprisingly, the online survey of 514 owners found that DIYers (45% of respondents) spent less on their last home improvement project than DIFM homeowners (55% of respondents). Regardless of how they described their own skill — beginner, intermediate, or expert — cost was the biggest driver for DIYers; 53 percent said the main reason they did the project on their own was because it was less expensive than hiring a pro. But nearly 30 percent said their main motivation was that they enjoyed the work.

The Home Projects Council is a home improvement think-tank organized by Quikrete, a manufacturer of packaged concrete and cement mixes. Among the members are This Old Housesenior technical editor Mark Powers; Cleveland Plain Dealer home-improvement columnist Jill Sell; Danny Lipford, host of "Today's Homeowner"; and REALTOR® Magazine publisher Stacey Moncrieff. The HPC will be discussing the survey findings Wednesday during a roundtable at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas.

—REALTOR® Magazine


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