Cookie preferences
SettingsI agree

Baby Boomers do more DIFM jobs

When asked about key home improvement trends, I always mention e-commerce. When asked about key home improvement trends, I always mention e-commerce. In the same breath I usually mention the shift from DIY to DIFM.


Because we monitor the ratio between DIY and DIFM for over 4 years now in the European Home Improvement Monitor (online research in 11 countries 26,400 successful interviews with consumers annually) we know that there is a trend developing. We also know a lot about why this shift is happening, for example  the aging population of Western Europe and the decreased willingness/knowledge of younger consumers to do DIY jobs themselves.

What we didn’t know until now is which generation or age group was mainly responsible for this shift. We had our expectations of course, but no hard data to back up our claims. Are the baby boomers responsible for an increase in DIFM? After all, they are getting older and have the highest share of house ownership. One could assume that they will be outsourcing the DIY jobs). On the other hand, they did have more time to develop their DIY skills (in years) and also tend to have more time to do them.

The younger generations are more consumed with the digital world around them (including social media). One could assume that there is a decreased willingness/knowledge (less years to develop their skills & less interest in home improvement) of younger consumers to do DIY jobs themselves. Even though cost is still very important, the younger consumer is inclined to spend more money on a professional than give up their time to do home improvements jobs themselves. Furthermore, the share of home owners is lower (generation rent in the UK). On the other hand, the younger generations tend to have less income and perhaps more obliged to do the DIY jobs themselves (they simply can’t afford a professional).

So what statements are true? Is there a generation which has the highest effect on the rise of DIFM?

In the Q2 2016 report of the European Home Improvement Monitor we investigated this and much more. The topic of this quarterly report was consumer segmentation.

The picture above shows the share of DIY jobs (against the share of DIFM) for the baby boomers, generation X and Y. There is a significant difference between the baby boomers and generation X and Y, the baby boomers do on average 8% less DIY jobs (and thus 8% more DIFM).

Also, when looking at the purchase channel, the percentage of home improvement purchases done by the professional is 6% higher than the other 2 generations. Also, the share of online purchases is lower. There is an exception to this, German and British baby boomers are nearly as likely to buy DIY products online as the other 2 generations.

There is another exception to the statements above, in general baby boomers are more inclined to do garden jobs themselves.

These are some of the results of the latest Q2 2016 report. For more information, please feel free to contact me at