By Joseph Staples // SWNS


Are you having trouble recreating what you saw on Pinterest? You’re not alone.

A new survey of 2,000 general population Americans discovered four in 10 have had more DIY failures than they did successes. The average person said it took them five hours of trial and error before quitting their project and calling in a professional to help.

Nearly half (45%) completely butchered a home improvement project by trying to take it on without professional help, and 57% wish they could go back in time to call in a professional before getting started.

Fifty-six percent get so flustered, they’ve called one of their parents to get play-by-play instructions on how to do a repair or home improvement project.

Commissioned by BJ’s Wholesale Club and conducted by OnePoll, the study revealed the average American starts experimenting with DIY home improvement projects at age 22.

Many respondents recalled their first projects — fixing faulty televisions, building furniture, filling in wall holes and cracks, draining clogged sinks and even putting up a mailbox.

While 51% of respondents declare themselves the go-to person for DIY projects for their family, friends and neighbors, a majority of Americans prefer to call in a professional (38%), a significant other (37%) or a friend (24%) for help.

When it’s time to look for a professional contractor to get an improvement job done, people spend an average of nine hours researching them before hiring them. Respondents said they find contractors through an online search (37%), personal recommendation (35%) or retail stores (15%).

Nearly three in four (71%) said they try to soak up as much information as possible from the people they hire to get projects done.

“Hiring a professional contractor can take a lot of time and research, but people don’t realize the entire process can be so much easier with home improvement services,” said Tom Heling, vice president of services at BJ’s Wholesale Club. “We vet home improvement specialists to take the guesswork out of the process and to help people save both time and money.”

For those who are the go-to DIYers in their social circles, 44% believe being tasked with a home improvement project is a sign of trust. 

Meanwhile, 48% see it as a sign of having expert knowledge and 36% see it as a sign of strength.

When looking for inspiration, people will often look to home improvement TV shows (45%), websites (33%) and social media (33%).

DIYers especially prefer to replicate what they see on social media by finding new ways to accomplish tasks such as room remodeling (32%), furniture building (28%) and pool-cleaning (23%).

Data also showed people tend to take the most pride when repainting a room (30%), doing landscaping (29%) or leading a kitchen remodel (26%). 

Respondents said that the kitchen is the most challenging room to renovate, with nearly a third (29%) coming across roadblocks along the way.

Half of the married respondents (52%) said they assign their spouse a weekly “honey-do” list of DIY and home improvement projects. The most common “honey-dos” include fixing leaky faucets (45%), wall painting (42%) and drywall repair (35%).

“While some easy DIY projects can be a fun task, leave the more complex projects to the professionals and save yourself the headache,” recommended Heling. “Our team will track the entire project from start to finish and address any issues to ensure complete satisfaction.”  


  1. Repainting rooms                           30%
  2. Landscaping                                   29%
  3. Kitchen remodel                              26%
  4. Bathroom remodel                          25%
  5. Bedroom updates                           22%
  6. Replacing light fixtures                   20%
  7. Replaced window                           20%
  8. Living room updates                       19%
  9. Exterior improvements                   18%
  10. Family room addition                      17%

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