European Home Improvement Monitor Q4 2018

The importance of this trend for the entire home improvement market made us select “DIY versus DIFM” as the main theme of the European Home Improvement Monitor Q4 2018.

The results, based on 6,282 online interviews with consumers in eleven European countries, indeed show evidence of this trend. When looking at the figures of DIY versus DIFM shares at a European level, for instance, a decline of the share of DIY jobs from 68% in 2014, to 66% in 2018 is evident. Consequently, DIFM is on the rise with a share of 34% in 2018, compared to 32% in 2014. Although this shows the trend’s existence, the shift from DIY to DIFM does not seem as fast as some would have expected. One explanation is that the rise of DIFM is somewhat hampered by the increasing labor shortage on the European markets. For consumers, this makes it harder to find a professional. Additionally, since demand is high and orderbooks are full, prices are rising, making outsourcing home improvement jobs less attractive than doing it yourself.

Besides measuring shares of actual jobs done, however, we also focused on consumers’ attitudes towards DIY jobs in eleven countries. Figuring out whether consumers actually like DIY jobs, and how willing they are to do the jobs themselves, reveals valuable insights and possible opportunities for DIY retailers and manufacturers alike. And the results are quite striking.


When focusing on whether consumers like to do jobs themselves, for instance, Italy and Poland jump out. There, a majority of consumers likes doing both decorative and constructive home improvement jobs themselves. Meanwhile, consumers from the Netherlands and the UK like doing constructive home improvement jobs themselves the least, and in the UK, more consumers also dislike doing decorative jobs themselves. These results match the willingness to acquire more DIY skills of the consumers in the respective countries. In Italy and Poland, more consumers indicated to be willing to learn more DIY skills, than in the UK and especially in the Netherlands.   

Shares of DIY and DIFM

Comparing these results with the shares of actual DIY or DIFM jobs done, an interesting picture arises. For instance in Italy, where outsourcing home improvement jobs is more common than in other countries, and where, on top of that, DIFM is significantly gaining ground, consumers seem to like doing both decorative and constructive home improvement jobs the most, and are most willing to learn new DIY skills. This could be very much tied with culture background and the fact that the economy in Italy is still rather weak.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, where there is a more prominent DIY culture and where the shares of DIY versus DIFM jobs done have stayed more or less stable since 2014, people are least interested in learning new DIY skills, and consumers like doing constructive home improvement jobs themselves the least. This could again have to do with culture background.


Overall,  goes to show that not only information on the current market status, but also insight in the developing attitude of consumers is needed to anticipate and grasp opportunities on a country-specific and European level. For more detailed information on the development of DIY versus DIFM in all 11 countries, we are happy to refer you to the Q4 2018 report of the European Home Improvement monitor

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