DIY Trends Point to Young Homeowner Priorities

If you look at the products of interest to new homeowners in the DIY sector, you can get a sense of the lifestyle and homes they prefer.

What’s the “perfect” product to catch the eye of a 30-year-old who just bought her first home? Based on the latest surveys from the Farnsworth Group and our own COGNITION SmartData, it will be something outside the four walls of the house. 

My list would include decking made from recycled materials, porous pavers, solar-powered patio lighting and perhaps a small outdoor kitchen area. On a more gimmicky level, throw in an off-grid chicken house and a small greenhouse, and you’ve got millennials’ attention. 

Young homeowner priorities

This interest in the outdoors marks a mental shift. A survey from 2022 found that most Americans spend 93 percent of their lives indoors (87 percent inside buildings and 6 percent in automobiles). Only 7 percent of their time is spent outdoors. 

How can we expect creatures acclimated to living in boxes and mobile tin cans to seriously address the climate crisis?

So what’s the purchasing pattern for home products related to outdoor living? It goes something like this: 

  1. Box store backgrounding. More than two-thirds of young buyers do their research on websites operated by big do-it-yourself (DIY) retailers such as Lowes, Home Depot, or Ferguson, followed by Google searches or Amazon browsing. 
  1. YouTube for the details. Once they find products of interest, they go to YouTube and watch installation videos. Facebook is their next “go-to” resource. 
  1. Hands-on buying. Despite the online researching, two-thirds of DIY purchases occur at a physical location. However, the younger the buyers, the more likely they close the deal online. 

Another takeaway from surveys is that homeowners don’t want to do everything themselves. Their confidence level drops off rapidly as projects get more complex. For example, they have a high level of comfort with painting, replacing door hardware, or upgrading lighting, but few want to tackle replacing a shower or countertop. 

Don’t underestimate the financial stress facing younger homeowners. They’re careful with their DIY budgets, and willing to wait for items to go on sale or free shipping before buying. They track reviews closely before buying. They care about sustainability, but they want it “baked in” to the brands they support. 

You’ll find a lot of those brands in our annual product award issue. Companies that make the extra effort to reduce their carbon footprint don’t just win awards. They win the loyalty and dollars of the next generation of home buyers.

Editors - Purchase Incidence [CROPPED]

When it comes to DIY, homeowners feel most comfortable with outdoor-related goods and projects. They tend to leave more complex indoor installations to the pros. Credit: The Farnsworth Group