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  • Writer's pictureDon Magruder

Time, Money, and Labor Forcing More to DIY

For those with gray hair, do-it-yourself or DIY has a different connotation than it does for most millennials. Young couples will turn on their favorite home improvement channel to see this loving couple take an old, rundown house and turn it into a Pinterest photo project. These home improvement channels make the project look so fun and easy that you immediately want to go to your local home improvement warehouse and start your own project. As most find out very quickly, that is not reality.

The gray-haired people became do-it-yourselfers not because of the allure and romance of doing a project, but rather it was a necessity if they wanted to improve their home. In the days before unending credit, YouTube, internet reviews, and overnight shipments, a project had to be figured out and material sourced out from limited suppliers. Budgets were tight and if you did not do the work yourself, it probably did not get done. I am not saying that people did not hire carpenters and subcontractors, but 75 percent of the people did the home improvement projects themselves or with a friend or family member.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent run on building supplies and labor shortages may bring some of our young homeowners back in time to where do-it-yourself work around the house is a necessity. Three major changes in the home improvement marketplace are forcing many people to rethink how projects are completed.

The cost of building materials and supplies have soared to record levels. Budgets are strained, and money once set aside for labor may have to be used to purchase the materials. Over the next year, or so, expect millennials to start watching how-to videos on YouTube for home improvement projects in an effort to eliminate the labor. Hopefully, these new DYIers will understand their limited skillsets , tools needed to complete the job, and working safely. Otherwise, a lot of money and time will be wasted as well as a possible trip to the emergency room.

There is a significant labor shortage because many in the construction industry with gray hair have already retired and fewer young people are entering the trades. As a result, many homeowners will be forced to do their own work because they cannot find the labor. Most young couples have the shortest amount of patience and this unwillingness will force some of them to swing a hammer and nails.

The time it takes to secure special order items and the time to secure enough money for a project around the house may force younger people to take the do-it-yourself route. The inability to get the project completed all at once may also force people to do some of it as they go. Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to find construction professionals to do larger projects, not to mention smaller projects. Expect many projects to grow into long-term housing commitments that can really stress a family. Patience is key.

Doing a project around the house is not as fun when you have to do it compared to wanting to do it. Time, money, and labor will force more people to do-it-yourself.

Don Magruder is the CEO of RoMac Building Supply and host of Around the House, which can be seen at

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