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Confidence and Affordability: How to Compete in the DIY Home Improvement World

Construction worker plastering and smoothing concrete wall in room.

March 17, 2022

As spring weather picks up, homeowners across the country are turning their eyes toward home improvement. It’s fitting that May is National Home Improvement month, a time when many people are inspired to spruce up their abodes.

A lot of homeowners are eager to embark on part or full DIY projects. According to an Ally Lending survey conducted January 2022, six in 10 consumers made home improvements, and of those, 76% went the DIY route without hiring a contractor. Two-thirds believe their improvements will increase the value of their homes.

Money, along with many other factors, plays a significant role in why consumers choose to DIY over bringing in a contractor in the first place.

So, as a home improvement professional, what can you do to compete? Emphasizing your speed, equipment and professional capabilities in your marketing and sales collateral can be a differentiator and offering consumer financing options can seal the deal.

Why DIY? 

A big question many homeowners may ask as they prepare for a renovation is when to DIY and when to hire a home improvement professional. Understanding the rationale for why a homeowner may elect to go the DIY route can hopefully go a long way in ensuring they choose you instead.

There are tradeoffs in time, money and results, but confidence and budget play the most critical roles with any project. As with many sizable expenses, affordability can be a concern, but recent data indicates many homeowners are looking to make more substantial changes in the coming year.

2022 will be another busy year for home improvements, with more homeowners considering larger projects. Over the next 12 months, most homeowners (58%) are planning improvements, including cosmetic updates (41%) or significant remodeling and renovations (13%) focused on bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor space. According to the same Ally survey, of those planning to make at least one improvement, 86% have a budget of $25,000 or less.

Of those who made improvements in 2021, most (65%) had a budget of less than $10,000, and 78% spent less than $15,000. For those indicating they will make improvements in 2022, 78% have a budget of less than $15,000 and 63% have a budget of less than $10,000. With this consistent focus on larger and more extensive projects over the next year, consumers may be looking for alternatives to DIY that still address their views concerning confidence and budget.

Play to your strengths

Homeowner confidence in their capability to complete a DIY project can play a part in whether they’ll choose DIY when it comes to home improvement projects. So, remember, as a home improvement professional, you can stress the “three Ts” when competing against DIY: time, tools, and talent.

Theoretically, homeowners can save money and time with DIY, but sometimes, the opposite is true. According to Ally’s study, 76% of those making improvements reported issues, and the most frequently cited issue (37%) was work going past the scheduled date of completion. In addition, nearly one-third of those who made improvements reported going over budget. If a homeowner is unprepared and doesn’t have the tools or knowledge needed, there’s always a chance personal projects could face cost overruns and stretch out much further than they planned. Even worse? They may have to redo faulty work or contact a home improvement professional to fix unfortunate mistakes. And it can even be a safety hazard. An electrician, for example, has the professional training to install new lighting safety.

Keeping this in mind, you might emphasize your speed and efficiency in your marketing, website, and communications. Remember, home improvement pros (such as yourself) who work on homes daily have the expertise and skill sets to create the highest-quality results. Even for a relatively simple project — like unclogging a drain — a professional plumber will be able to fix it much more efficiently. You also have the capability to complete projects on time and correctly with the right tools at the ready. For instance, when an HVAC technician runs into a problem in the middle of installing central air conditioning, they have the resources to adjust on the go, whereas an unexpected hiccup could significantly derail a homeowner attempting to DIY the same task.

Highlighting this turn-key capacity could go a long way in securing home improvement contracts and projects for you and your team.

Make an offer they can’t refuse

Confidence in your proficiency is essential, but the cost can also be a decisive factor. So, as a home improvement professional, you need to provide options and flexibility to compete.

You can convert more DIY-intent customers this year by adding consumer financing to your portfolio of products and services. With a financing option like Ally Lending, homeowners can have a professional complete their project while staying within their budget.

It’s a win-win. Customers can tackle the more demanding, costly projects they plan this year with a flexible and affordable financing solution, and you’ll have another tool in your arsenal to incentivize and bring in more clients.

Give yourself the edge

By offering consumer financing solutions, you can provide a cost-effective approach that could give you an edge in competing against current DIY home improvement trends. Combined with confident marketing communications addressing the benefits of saving time and having the tools and talent readily available, you’ll be equipped to persuade even the most adamant DIYer.

Offer home improvement at a cost your customers can afford.

Contact Ally Lending

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