The rise of DIFM v DIY

Over the past five years, the number of homeowners opting for projects to be completed by trade professionals has increased considerably, with younger generations demonstrating a clear demand for DIFM rather than DIY projects.

In fact, recent research by SAGA among 2,000 homeowners has shown that only 1% of the 25- to 35-year-olds it talked to would choose to take on any form of home improvement project, from clearing the garden to painting the walls. Instead they would prefer to enlist the help of a dedicated tradesperson to help prevent any botched DIY projects, and to save them time and money in the long run.

The rise of DIFM projects has also contributed to the popular “don’t move, improve” trend that has occurred due to the ever-rising cost of housing and subsequent cost of stamp duty. Research from the Evening Standard shows that the number of planning applications has risen by a staggering 25% in the past five years due to the rising costs, highlighting the clear shift to homeowners improving their current home to meet their needs rather than moving elsewhere.

With the rise of the DIFM trend and increase in home renovation plans over the past few years, it’s worth trade professionals taking note and making invaluable connections with their customers, offering their services to help homeowners with projects they’ve always wanted to complete but simply never had the time. With such a high volume of homeowners planning on extending their existing properties, it’s a particularly promising time during the warmer months and longer days to suggest a range of projects to help boost sales.

Suggesting stairparts to customers can also be a great way for merchants to boost sales, as something as simple as a stairparts upgrade can help make a dramatic difference to a property, and can be completed in next to no time. A stairparts update will also be of interest to homeowners, as the short installation time and relatively low-cost product helps bring a new lease of life to an often overlooked area of the home.

With this in mind, merchants should consider making intuitive stocking decisions by selecting the most popular lines in branch to maximise sales of ‘in-demand’ home improvement products. With the DIFM trend set to continue in popularity in 2018, it’s important to consider this as a long term movement, so stock up now and be prepared.

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