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Professionals for home improvement jobs are usually found offline

Rotterdam, March 14, 2019 – In several Western European countries there is a shortage of labour for construction and installation jobs. From market monitors among contractors, installers and painters we know that they all have plenty of work. Therefore, they can select the projects they prefer the most, which are often the larger projects. This makes it harder for consumers to find a reliable professional for their small domestic renovation jobs. On the other hand, more initiatives have arisen for consumers to find professionals for their jobs online. Nevertheless, the majority still finds their professionals offline. Normally this happens via friends and family, or they already know a professional from a past experience. Youngsters with less experience do use online solutions relatively often in order to find a professional. These are some of the results of the European Home Improvement Monitor Q4 2018 report, zooming in on “Do-It-Yourself versus Do-It-For-Me”. The results are based on 6,282 online interviews with consumers in eleven European countries.

Consumers’ personal network first place to search professional?

A significant part of the European consumers already knows a professional from previous jobs. These consumers do not really search for a professional but will select them right away (39%).  This means the majority still needs to search for it. The searching and selection process is mostly done by asking friends and family for their advice on a professional. About 9% of the consumers search online to select their professional. Among youngsters, below the age of 35, this is 12%.

It is all about trust

In order to invite a professional to your own home, there is a certain amount of trust required. This is generally seen as an obstacle to hire a contractor, installer or painter. We asked the consumers what their most important selection criteria are, and it showed that reliability is clearly the number one selection criterium. By inviting the professional to meet in person, the trust can be won (42%). Besides that, the guarantees given by the professional, and a clear and specified invoice can also help in gaining trust.


Consumers with less experience in the field of home improvement often do not have a broad network of professionals around them. They need to search for a professional when they have a renovation job. The consumers want to rely on a professional partner, which can be an individual professional but also a reseller or a brand that guarantees proper installation of the product. Sellers of home improvement products are more often offering installation services to consumers. So this is in line with the consumer’s need for outsourcing their home improvement job. However, for consumers it is not always clear who the person that will do the job for them is if they order their installation service via a store. Gaining trust to ensure that the consumers know they select a reliable professional is critical.  This is not only the case for the professionals themselves but also for the retailers and brands that offer installation services. One way to do this is by making it as personal as possible, so the consumers feel familiar with the person who will do the job for them.

About the European Home Improvement Monitor

The European Home Improvement Monitor is a study of USP Marketing Consultancy, which surveyed 26,400 home improvement consumers in eleven European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and UK). Every quarter, a report will be published with a different theme each time. Themes like Segmentation of consumers, Online Purchases, Love Brands, Multi-year developments are examples of this. The report provides key insights as the share of DIY vs. DIFM, the share of online purchases per product category and for each specific product category.