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US DIY Home Improvement and Maintenance market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the DIY Home Improvement & Maintenance market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?


For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definition:

DIY home improvement refers to projects completed and products purchased and installed directly by consumers. DIY activities include repairs or additions to the home, including projects such as renovating a kitchen, installing a new bathroom, and installing central heating. Decorating includes activities such as internal and external painting. Excluded from this Report are professional contracting services.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Rebecca Cullen, a leading analyst in the Retail & Apparel sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Participation in DIY (do-it-yourself) projects in the past year has been moderate as home improvement retailers engage consumers and more DIYers rely on technology to help them plan a project. The category is still plagued, however, by an overall lack of experience in DIY projects. For this reason, future participation will likely hinge on the self-sufficiency of DIYers and the ability of retailers to act as both a supplier of materials and educator. Rebecca Cullen
Household Care Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Home improvement and maintenance market
            • Figure 1: DIY home improvement participation, Winter February 2009-March 2018
          • American’s future is bright and filled with home projects
            • Figure 2: Past and future home spending plans, February 2018
          • Home improvement and maintenance participants
            • Inflated confidence leading to less reliance on professional help
              • Figure 3: Any home improvement projects DIY or by hired professional, confidence’s impact on projects undertaken, July 2018
            • Younger adults enter DIY market
              • Figure 4: Interior DIY home improvement and maintenance projects, by age, July 2018
            • Frequent DIYers well planned and inspired by design media
              • Figure 5: approach to projects, by number of DIY projects undertaken in the past three years, July 2018
            • Planning and shopping for home improvement projects
              • Home improvement stores dominate, yet mass and online making moves
                • Figure 6: Home improvement, mass merchandisers, and online-only retailers shopped, by age, July 2018
              • Seeing is believing and achieving: tech tools, services enhance shopping experience
                • Figure 7: Desired technology and service retail improvements, by age, July 2018
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Participation remains stable, future spending plans include home projects
                  • Millennials slow to enter home market, but they are entering eventually
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Category participation remains stable
                      • Figure 8: Adult home improvement participation in the last 12 months, winter 2009-18
                    • Social media, design shows changing the home improvement game
                      • America’s future spending plans include home improvement purchases
                        • Figure 9: Past and future home spending plans, February 2018
                    • Market Factors

                      • Millennials slow to buy first home, start a family
                        • Figure 10: Homeownership rate, by age of householder, 2017
                      • Home renovation trends provide positive outlook
                        • Figure 11: NAHB Remodeling Market Index (RMI), 2010-18
                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                      • Mass merchandisers investing in home décor and projects
                        • Changing how consumers plan and shop for home projects
                          • Aging in place pursuits create opportunities to reach older adults
                          • What’s Happening?

                            • Home improvement retailers continue to dominate
                              • Mass merchandisers look to capture larger share of DIY market
                                • Figure 12: Target Magnolia Home social media campaign, June 2018
                              • In their own words: shopping mass merchants vs home improvement retailers
                                • Projects that make the home work for the owner are trending
                                • What’s Struggling?

                                  • Confidence in home project skills limits need for professional help
                                    • Figure 13: Wayfair “My secret weapon” TV ad, June 2017
                                  • On-demand home services
                                  • What’s Next?

                                    • Evolving the shopping experience
                                      • Social shopping
                                        • Tech platforms bring new level of convenience to inspiration and visualization
                                          • Seamless shopping
                                            • Acknowledge aging in place trends
                                              • Figure 14: Number of DIY home projects undertaken, by generation, July 2018
                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                            • Cosmetic updates most popular, particularly among young DIYers
                                              • Traditional DIY retailers dominate, yet mass and online gain ground
                                                • Adults look to peers for guidance, then Google
                                                  • Frequent DIYers well-prepared, inspired by design shows
                                                    • Category shoppers want services and tools that add convenience
                                                      • Younger adults, frequent DIYers find value in home style
                                                      • Home Improvement Projects

                                                        • Interior projects most common DIY home improvement project
                                                          • Exterior and flooring projects are left to professionals
                                                            • Figure 15: Home improvement and maintenance projects, July 2018
                                                          • Younger adults move into key DIY years
                                                            • Figure 16: Select interior DIY home improvement and maintenance projects, by age, July 2018
                                                          • Income, living situation limit category participation
                                                            • Figure 17: Lowe’s Instagram story, Fall 2017
                                                            • Figure 18: Select home improvement and maintenance projects, by household income, primary residence, July 2018
                                                        • Retail Channels Shopped

                                                          • Big box home improvement centers most shopped
                                                            • Figure 19: Wayfair email campaign, July 2018
                                                            • Figure 20: Retail channels shopped, July 2018
                                                          • Younger DIY shoppers head to mass, specialty, and online retailers
                                                            • Figure 21: Select retail channels shopped, by age, July 2018
                                                          • Hardware, specialty stores preferred for more complex projects
                                                              • Figure 22: Select DIY home improvement projects, by big box, hardware, and specialty retailers shopped (nets), July 2018
                                                          • Hiring Professional Help

                                                            • In friends and family we trust
                                                              • Figure 23: Hiring professional help, July 2018
                                                            • Older adults trust personal contacts, younger adults trust the internet
                                                              • Figure 24: Select methods of hiring professional help, by age, July 2018
                                                          • Approach to Projects

                                                            • Planning and preparedness are key for home projects
                                                              • The HGTV effect: design shows inspire projects
                                                                • Figure 25: Approach to projects, by repertoire of DIY projects undertaken and planned, July 2018
                                                              • In their words: most commit to a project, then look for inspiration
                                                                • Older shoppers seek professional advice, younger adults inspired by emerging media
                                                                  • Figure 26: Select approaches to projects, by age, July 2018
                                                              • Desired Retail Improvements

                                                                • Services and experiential retailing could pay off
                                                                  • Figure 27: Desired retail improvements, July 2018
                                                                • In their words: services and tools that enhance shopping
                                                                  • Visualization tools, in-store services reach widest audience
                                                                    • Figure 28: TURF analysis – Desired improvements, July 2018
                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                    • Retailers can differentiate on services, tech tools
                                                                      • Figure 29: Select desired retail improvements, by age, July 2018
                                                                  • Attitudes and Behaviors toward Home Improvement

                                                                    • Personal touch makes it feel like home
                                                                      • Focus on shorter, easy to complete projects
                                                                          • Figure 30: Attitudes and behaviors toward home improvement and repair, July 2018
                                                                        • Frequent DIYers gain personal gratification from home projects
                                                                          • Figure 31: Select attitudes and behaviors toward home improvement projects, by number of DIY projects undertaken in the past three years, July 2018
                                                                        • Younger participants overwhelmed, adding personal touch to first home
                                                                          • Figure 32: Select attitudes and behaviors toward home improvement and repair, by age, July 2018
                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                    • Figure 33: Summary of bases for home improvement participation in the last 12 months, February 2009-March 2018