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Home Renovations: When to Call the Professionals

Here's what the latest research says about why and how often consumers are calling professionals to complete their home renovation projects.

Diane Falvey
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(Photo: Unsplash user Milivoj Kuhar)
(Photo: Unsplash user Milivoj Kuhar)

With the popularity of home renovation shows, it comes as no surprise that more homeowners are taking on some big renovations themselves these days. That doesn’t mean opportunities to advise, assist or otherwise be involved as a home retailer, builder, architect or designer don’t exist. However, it might mean coming up with creative solutions to help consumers successfully complete the projects themselves. 

According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors, more than half of consumers (53 percent) who completed home renovations hired professionals in the last year, while 47 percent took on the tasks themselves. For those who hired professionals, 72 percent of that work was done inside the home. 

Consumers were more likely to call in the professionals when the projects were complete overhauls and more inclined to take on the project themselves if it was a less intensive renovation. For example, 64 percent of respondents hired a professional to add a new bathroom, while 49 percent renovated an existing bathroom. Similar numbers were presented for kitchen renovations with 65 percent calling a professional for a complete kitchen reno, while 51 percent tackled an upgrade.  

Reasons for the work

The most popular DIY renovation projects included closet renovations (69 percent DIY), hardwood floor refinishing (56 percent DIY) and basement conversions to living space (56 percent). 

reason for project


If functionality or livability were driving factors, 41 percent of consumers preferred professionals for the jobs. If, however, the renovation was to add the homeowner’s personality, they were twice as likely to do the job themselves. 

Better functionality was the number one reason for embarking on a renovation, whether with a professional (41 percent) or as a DIY project (35 percent). Beauty and aesthetics, and better resale value came in second. 

It’s generational 

Younger respondents said they would undertake the renovations themselves, with older generations more likely to hire professionals. For Millennials, 73 percent said they would attempt the renovations, while half of Gen X and Baby Boomers said they would hire a professional. For the Silent Generation (older than Baby Boomers), 70 percent said they would hire a professional. 

generation respondents


Rooms ripe for reno

So which spaces in a home are the most likely to undergo an upgrade or renovation? If you guessed kitchens and bathrooms for inside the home, you’re right on the money. 

type of project


Bathroom renos topped the chart with respondents about equal between hiring someone to do the job and doing it themselves. Kitchen upgrades were next, again about even between professionals and as DIY projects. For complete kitchen renovations (#3 on the list), respondents were the most likely to hire a professional, with 16 percent going the professional route and 9 percent attempting the job themselves. 

Outside, roofing, windows and vinyl siding topped the charts for home projects. Consumers were more likely to hire outside help on roofing and siding projects.



Photo: Unsplash user Milivoj Kuhar

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