Nailed it!

Houstonians are more DIY-savvy than other big-city dwellers, new report says

Houstonians more DIY-savvy than other big-city dwellers, report says

West U home exterior
Houstonians are quick to tackle home projects.  Photo via

When it comes to home improvement projects, residents of the Houston metro area lean more toward do-it-yourself than call-a-pro, a new study from personal finance website NerdWallet shows.

The study looks at home improvement statistics for the country’s 15 largest metro areas that came from the U.S. Census Bureau. It finds that 35 percent of people in the Houston area tackle home improvement projects on their own, compared with the median of 30 percent for the top 15 metro areas.

Translation: Houstonians are a bit more familiar with hammers and nails than their big-city counterparts, and a bit more likely to be shopping for faucets at Home Depot and Lowe’s.

However, Houston falls short of the DIY rate for the U.S. as a whole — 38 percent.

Nonetheless, Houston’s DIYers are saving money. The study shows the cost of a typical DIY project in the region adds up to $1,900 — $600 less than if you hire a professional to do the job.

Houstonians do spend slightly more on home improvements than other Americans, according to the study. In the Houston area, the median project represents 1.7 percent of household income. By comparison, the median project in the U.S. accounts for 1.5 percent of household income.

Yet residents of the Houston area undertake fewer home improvement projects than other Americans. From 2015 to 2017, the Houston area nailed down 1.39 projects per household, compared with 1.47 projects per household around the U.S., according to the study.

Holden Lewis, NerdWallet’s home expert, points out that the home improvement figures for the Houston area were collected before Hurricane Harvey struck. In the aftermath of Harvey, it’s likely that Houston’s home improvement picture changed.

“Each city has its own vibe and way of doing things, including home improvements,” Lewis says. “I mean, Detroit has Greek food and snow, and Dallas has Mexican food and hail. And they’re different in how much homeowners spend on home improvements, what kinds they do, and how often they tackle do-it-yourself projects. Like food, culture, and weather, all cities have their differences when it comes to home improvements.”