Over the past few years, most of us (if not all of us) have spent more time in our homes than ever before. This may have caused us to examine our homes in a new light, and after spending 8+ hours staring at a certain wall maybe you realized change was needed.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, all that extra time spent at home prompted many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects. Many either wanted to improve the look of their home, the functionality of something, or they just finally got to fix something that was broken.
We were curious as to what DIY home projects interested homeowners in each state. To find out, we analyzed Google search terms over the past 24 months to determine those popular DIY projects. We also surveyed over 1,000 Americans to better understand how much time and money they’ve invested over the past few years.
The most commonly searched DIY home project in most states across the U.S. is a DIY fire pit. This was the top search in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Ten states were primarily interested in wallpaper projects, including Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, and North Dakota. Interestingly, Montana, Rhode Island, and Wyoming were mostly searching for faux leather wallpaper, while Vermont and South Dakota mostly searched for vinyl wallpaper!
Aside from aesthetic upgrades or a backyard fire pit, Americans are also searching for how to improve their gardens. Those in Hawaii mostly search for DIY worm bins, and people in Maine want to know how to make a fairy house! The most searched-for project in Michigan, Washington, and Ohio is a DIY greenhouse. In New Hampshire, people want to learn how to set up a compost bin. Keeping in line with improving their green thumbs, Wisconsinites are the most interested in raised garden beds.
We also found the most popular DIY home projects in major cities across the U.S. In New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco the most popular DIY home project is a tile table. Those in Seattle and Portland are most interested in how to make a bee house for their garden!
The most common theme among the big cities was wallpaper. Orlando, Hartford, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Raleigh searched for DIY wallpaper, but San Diego and Nashville mixed things up by looking for wallpaper with texture.
In Cleveland and Sacramento, people are most interested in 3D wallpaper, while in Washington D.C. people mostly search for glitter wallpaper. Tampa, Phoenix, and Detroit mostly search for comic book wallpaper.
Other than that, Houston was mostly searching for DIY vanity mirrors, while Minneapolis and Miami were most interested in kitchen cabinets. Denver wanted to know about built-in bookcases, and St. Louis was mostly interested in wall murals.
When looking at the U.S. as a whole, the most googled DIY home project was a greenhouse. Next were floating shelves, raised garden beds, shelves, and compost bins, respectively. While many are looking to upgrade the inside of their home, it’s clear from these results that outdoor projects are a priority too!
The next top searches include bookshelves, shoe racks, kitchen islands, decor, and garage cabinets for storage.
To speak to the popularity of home projects since the onset of the pandemic, between January 2020 and April 2020 we found a 1588% nationwide increase in Google searches for the phrase “DIY fire pits.” During the same time period, there was an 81% increase for “DIY wallpaper,” an 83% increase for “DIY shelves,” and a 174% increase for “DIY room decor.”
Almost 3 in 4 (73%) Americans have attempted a DIY home project since the onset of the pandemic. That’s a lot of home improvement! But, of those who attempted a project, 8% say they have regrets about their DIY attempts. Maybe it’s time to call a professional?
Speaking of calling a professional, 13% have had to call someone to finish a DIY project they started themselves. 16% are currently unable to start or finish a home project due to supply chain issues or low supply stock.
27% admit to starting a DIY project but not finishing it, and 29% have broken something in their home while doing a DIY renovation.
On average, Americans admit to spending about 45 hours on DIY home projects. When it comes to finances, Americans are spending an average of $1,692. Although DIY home projects can be a huge commitment in time, energy, and money, it’s likely still cheaper than hiring a professional (as long as you finish it yourself, and don’t break anything in the process)!
The top DIY projects Americans say they’ve done are painting, replacing shower heads and faucets, installing shelving, building storage, and installing curtains. Other popular DIY home projects they’ve attempted include flooring, outdoor lighting, backsplash tiling, accent walls, and A/C installation.
When asked why they do DIY home renovations, the top reason (44%) is to save money by not hiring a professional. 31% say it gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment. 29% say that spending more time in their home made them want to upgrade some areas. 27% were bored and needed something to do, and 27% also say they wanted to try something new.
Other popular reasons Americans are challenging themselves to upgrade their own homes include wanting to learn a new skill (18%), enjoying the project as a hobby (18%), they were inspired by social media (16%), and it’s an opportunity to bond with their family, friends, or partner (14%).
So before you grab a toolbox and start your next project, be sure to check all the supplies you need are in stock. And maybe have a backup professional on call, just in case.
We analyzed more than 700 Google search terms related to DIY home projects over the past 24 months. We found the most disproportionately popular term by comparing the U.S. average to the top-searched term for each state and major U.S. city.
In June 2022, we also surveyed 1,009 Americans to get their feedback on DIY home projects. Respondents were 49% male, 48% female, and 3% transgender/non-binary. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to 79, with the average age being 36.
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