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New Survey Reveals Family Stress Around Do-It-Yourself Projects

(June 8, 2021) – While isolated during COVID, Americans tackled do-it-yourself home improvement projects like never before. But while DIY projects may have fixed up homes, they also damaged relationships, and most say NEVER AGAIN! To the rescue: Window World’s new consumer education campaign called 7 Tips to Avoid Home Improvement Hell.”  


A recently released national survey by Window World, America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, reveals:

  • More than two-thirds (67%) say their DIY home improvement projects were stressful.
  • Why? They took too much time (68%), were messy and caused chaos (45%), didn’t turn out as expected (20%) and just weren’t much fun (17%).
  • One-third (33%) regret ever starting a DIY home project, and 18% say they’d never do it again.

The survey of more than 400 American homeowners who tackled DIY home improvement projects reveals homes may look better, but after the grueling process, relationships now need repairs.

  • 47% say DIY home improvement projects caused disagreements with their spouse, significant other or roommate.
  • More than half (54%) say they argued nicely, but 27% say they didn’t speak for hours, 23% yelled and screamed, 22% walked out leaving the other person standing there in a mess and almost 10% talked about moving out or separating.

It wasn’t only relationships that took a beating.

  • 14% say they got hurt on the job.
  • While more than half (55%) of those who got hurt suffered only scrapes and bruises, almost one-third (31%) got injured from falling and almost one-fourth (22%) fractured at least one bone.

"Many of our customers try to tackle home improvements by themselves before calling us because the project looks bad or they chose the wrong materials," says Window World Chairman and CEO Tammy Whitworth. "It can also be really stressful to hire the right contractor to handle the work for you — especially in this competitive environment when they're all so busy."

7 Tips to Avoid Home Improvement Hell

1) Get Recommendations from:

  • Friends and family.
  • The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for a list of members in your area.
  • Building inspectors for any knowledge about specific contractors.

2) Interview contractors by phone and then in person for:

  • Financial references from suppliers or banks.
  • List of previous clients.
  • Length of time they’ve worked with their subcontractors.

3) Fact-FindCall former clients and visit job sites. Call your state's consumer protection agency and your local Better Business Bureau to investigate complaints.

4) Make Plans, Get BidsCompare bids and study costs for labor, material, profit margins and expenses. (Materials usually make up 40% of the total while the rest covers overhead and the profit margin — usually 15% to 20%.)

5) Set a Payment Schedule: Work out a payment schedule in advance. 

6) Don't Decide by Price Alone: Beyond technical skill, the single most important factor when choosing a contractor is communication and if you’re comfortable with the person.

7) Get it Right in WritingCreate a contract listing every step of the project: proof of liability insurance, payment schedule, workers’ compensation payments, a start and projected completion date, specific materials and products used, and a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases (which protect you if he doesn't pay his bills) from all subcontractors and suppliers.

"A little time spent planning before you start a home improvement project can save you money, time and aggravation later," says Whitworth.

Editor’s Notes:

  • This online survey was done by a third party and commissioned by Window World.
  • Survey participants (233 women, 167 men) have no affiliation with Window World.


About Window World®

Window World®, headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., is America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, with more than 200 locally owned franchises nationwide. Founded in 1995, the company sells and installs windows, siding, doors and other exterior products, with over 19 million windows sold to date. Window World is an ENERGY STAR® partner and its windows, vinyl siding and Therma-Tru doors have all earned the Good Housekeeping Seal. Through its charitable foundation, Window World Cares®, Window World and its franchisees provide funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Since its inception in 2008, the foundation has raised over $12 million for St. Jude. Window World also supports veterans and the military through its Window World Military Initiative (WWMI). WWMI defines Window World’s commitment to honor and serve America’s veterans, active military and military families across the entire franchise system by focusing on three pillars: Careers, Community Outreach and Partnerships. The Veterans Airlift Command has been a partner since 2008. During that time, Window World has contributed over $2.5 million in flights and donations to the organization. For more information, visit WindowWorld.com or call 1-800 NEXTWINDOW. For home improvement and energy efficiency tips, décor ideas and more, follow Window World on Facebook and Twitter

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