Homeowners Increasingly Turn To Paint Pros

Vinny O’Sullivan, senior general manager, overseeing U.S. stores and The Home Depot relationship, for PPG’s Architectural Coatings business in the U.S. and Canada discusses the do it for me (DIFM) movement. 

What is driving the DIFM movement?

When it comes to home improvement, consumers are opening their homes – and their wallets – to professionals (or “Pros”) with nearly 50% of homeowners indicating it is a good time to start a home improvement project, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI). As a result of the current housing market, homes have never been more valuable, homeowners’ balance sheets have never been healthier, and there are deep backlogs of requests for services Pros offer. Additionally, per the Cleveland Research Company, “around the home” purchases are seen as the priority for incremental spending by U.S. home and property owners who view home improvement as a smart investment given the rise of property values over the last two years. And, many customers are saying “homes are too expensive, so I have to buy what I can afford,” which leads to more remodeling.

As such, we can anticipate a higher demand in Pro painters, remodelers and other skilled tradesmen to assist with “do it for me” (DIFM) projects this year.

What types of painting projects are homeowners hiring Pros to do?

According to research conducted by HIRI, homeowners typically take on more than one home improvement project a year. In fact, in 2021, the average number of home improvement projects planned per household was three. Interior painting projects, kitchen remodels, gardening/landscaping and bathroom remodels are among the most common home projects.

Do you think the DIFM trend will last?

Yes, PPG sees the DIFM trend extending beyond 2022 for two main reasons—continued strength of the housing market and the volume of younger generations (who are more active in taking on home improvement projects and hiring them out) –  continuing to enter the home buying market.

The housing market is expected to remain on the strong side through 2021 with house completions climbing, which will fuel the demand for home improvement projects for many who cannot afford to purchase a new home. We are also seeing home improvement industry supply constraints begin to improve, which will make it easier for Pros to access the materials needed to respond to the demand.

Additionally, the reverse urbanization across the country, an effect of the pandemic, has driven younger generations entering the home buying market earlier than expected. Millennials now make up nearly one-third of home purchases in the U.S., which is good news for Pros and the DIFM trend, as across the generations, millennials are the most active in taking on home improvement and maintenance projects and hiring them out. This generation is poised to take on a large number of projects, resulting in greater overall home improvement spending.

What types of paint and coatings are being used?

• BREAK-THROUGH! is often used for refreshing cabinets, doors, trim, and more. The product’s fast-drying formula makes it great for projects both big and small.

• PPG ULTRALAST is a great choice for interior walls, as it helps keep interior walls looking clean and fresh, despite everyday spills, stains and scuffs.

• PERMANIZER offers industry-advanced UV protection and dirt, moisture and tannin resistance. Permanizer is backed by a limited lifetime warranty against cracking, flaking and peeling, making it an ideal product for exterior projects.