Sawdust Soup

Demise of DIY: Is it good news for custom shops and trades?

With all the seemingly increasing interest in home improvement reality television shows, I was a bit surprised by arecent study that predicts the demise of do-it-yourself skills among men. The report says that 71% of men learned DIY skills from their fathers back in the 1970s, but today, that number is only 44%. Apparently technology is to blame, with the advent of what the study calls the "techno-sexual" male, who prefers to be an expert on things like cell phones and computers rather than how to fix a leaky faucet or do a home remodeling project. The study goes on to predict the "extinction" of home maintenance skills by 2048.

 

So, looking on the bright side, does this mean that homeowners will increasingly be looking for experts to do home remodeling projects rather than trying to tackle the work themselves? That could be good for our business. It reminds me of a home improvement show I watched while visiting Germany a few years ago. While most of our home improvement shows that involve the homeowner in the work attempt to show how the homeowner can do it themselves, the point of the German show was clearly to convince the homeowner to leave it to the experts. Every segment set up an opportunity for the homeowner to give something a try and completely embarrass themselves by doing something stupid. The show ended with everyone celebrating a successful project thanks to expert work of the tradesmen involved.

 

The thing that worries me, though, is if people are less involved in attempting DIY projects, will they have less appreciation or more appreciation for the value of the work? Would the modern "techno-sexual" man rather spend more money on a sophisticated home entertainment system and scrimp on the cabinetry to put it in or will he appreciate the value of something he doesn't understand?

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Tags: DIY, home_improvement, remodeling, techno-sexual, woodworking

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