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The Home Depot

What is DIFM?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > What is DIFM?
What is DIFM?

Not everyone is cut out for DIY projects around the house. Maybe your desire to be handy in your home is matched only by your clumsiness. Perhaps the idea of buying the necessary tools is daunting to your infinitesimal garage space. And electrical problems? Don’t even think about Googling those solutions.


Never fear: For everyone for whom DIY is problematic, there’s DIFM: do it for me. And in this DIY-obsessed world, there’s no need to run from your inability to produce fantastic DIY results – many Americans are in the same boat, and they’re clamoring for DIFM.


We here at Pro Referral work with lots of DIFMers, so we surveyed American households about their preferences in DIYing versus DIFMing. And here’s what we learned:



Ninety-one percent of American homeowners have attempted at least one DIY project in their lifetimes. About a third (36%) do it because they genuinely love the work – 50% say that the project seemed easy enough to manage on its own, and 41% say that the project held no great personal hazard or threat to them, so they went ahead and tried it.


The most important motivator? Cost, of course. Half of the surveyed said that the cost was the biggest factor in deciding whether or not to hire out. Getting a pro was out of the question for more than 4 in 10 participants, who cited pro help as a luxury they couldn’t afford. More than a quarter of respondents felt pressure to do the work themselves to save money.



But how much is your time worth? The cost of hiring out needs to be viewed through a different lens: 27% of those surveyed said they ended up spending more money than they bargained for at the beginning of their projects, and 38% spent more time. Specifically, men in the household tend to take on 4% more home DIY projects than women... but tend to spend 4% more dollars than expected on the task.


Perhaps this is why nearly one-fourth of the participants admitted to arguing with their spouses during the DIY process.


In fact, there are a lot of things Americans will do to avoid DIYing things in their homes.


• 56% would stay off social media for a year

• 36% would quit watching their favorite sports team cold-turkey

• 35% would fire up their ovens and stop eating out completely

• 23% would hand over their yearly allotment of vacation days

• 20% – yes, one-fifth of all Americans – would give up sex for a year to have the privilege of a pro to do their home projects


If your skills are more do-it-never than do-it-yourself, know that you’re not alone: DIFM is growing. Sixty-four percent plan to hire a home-service pro this year, and almost 50% of our survey respondents claimed to be more likely to outsource their home-improvement projects than at any point in the last five years.



The art of DIFM, though, is not without its issues. After all, 64% said that the most frustrating part of hiring out for home projects is not knowing if you got a good price on the job. In fact, 21% of these same homeowners would rather sit in line at the DMV than have to deal with the annoyance of getting a pro for their home projects!)


On average, our respondents plan to hire pros for three projects this year and intend to spend nearly $1800 on the labor. And it’s worth it: 35% of homeowners spend the money for a pro because the end result is worth it.


Nine out of ten Americans who have hired a home-service pro in the past would hire one again tomorrow if money were no object. Many of these pros are on a need-to-have basis: More than 80% of survey respondents had to hire out pros for for HVAC repair, roof maintenance, and window installation. But if they’re dreaming big, those same homeowners would rather have a pro come out and take over painting, landscaping, and electrical projects for them. So embrace your shameless DIFMer... and leave all of the frustrations to Pro Referral.

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