Do-It-Yourselfers on the Rise?
August 19, 2009
Survey Results for 08/19/2009:
Given the weak economy, we have seen DIY activity:
Stay about the same, with only hard-core DIYers taking on window and door installation.
Increase, with more homeowners willing to tackle difficult jobs to save money.
Decrease, with demand for better performance outweighing other issues.
Our responses this week make it clear that the number of homeowners leaping into window and door installs to save money is not particularly overwhelming. I didn't really think it would be. Actually, the 30 percent number is probably where I would have pegged the level of increase in D-I-Yers getting more hard core.
Not long ago, my neighbor across the street—a younger guy, recently married and a new homeowner—replaced the storm door on his front entryway. "A simple enough job," he had told me when I wandered over to investigate. "I'm sure I'll eventually figure it out." Sure enough, he eventually did figure it out, although it may have taken a bit longer than originally planned.
Similarly, one of my readers, an industry veteran, shares his installation story:
"I do not think that homeowners can install replacement windows. Unless they have a carpentry background, there are too many unknown obstacles that will make the project nearly impossible. In my own instance, I had a problem. I have been in the window business for 34 years. I have taught window installation. I have written manuals on replacing windows.
My daughter had an aluminum single glazed window in her house when she bought it last year. No problem, I can rip that out in a half hour, install the new window, insulate, caulk and re-do the trim also in ½ hour. I know how to do it, I’m an 'expert.' It only took me four hours. I had to cut the aluminum window out with a saw, had to re-do the exterior trim because of how the framing was incorrectly built, shim, shim, shim because of the out-of-square opening. FOUR and ONE HALF HOURS."
I'll leave you with a cool story I stumbled across about a company in Washington state that provides consulting services for homeowners who want to tackle home improvement projects themselves. A happy medium between doing it completely on your own and having the pricey professionals step in and start the clock. Interesting—a potential revenue stream for window and door companies?