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As home equity lines draw thin and confidence in the housing market takes a dive, weary consumers are turning to an inexpensive option for home improvements — their friends (Wall Street Journal 10.1.07). And whether they’re crazy for DIY or lured over with the promise of booze, friends are finding themselves at remodeling parties and pitching in on projects like painting, drywalling and laying floors. One homeowner estimates she saved $3,500 in contractor fees by enlisting 10 neighbors for a “stripping” party.But what’s more dangerous than an amateur hammer-wielding friend? When they’re holding a cocktail in the other hand. And the producers of HGTV’s renovation-redo show Over Your Head say they’ve received numerous submissions from botched renovation parties.

So what does this mean for business?

  1. Consumers are feeling empowered by successful DIY projects portrayed in the media, from TV shows to magazines to blogs. Many are thinking, “If that person can do it; so can I!”
  2. Tight budgets and slow house sales might move some consumers back to the days of barn-raising. But it’s not just the experienced renovator who’s getting in on the, er, fun; many of these homeowners and their happy-to-help friends are amateurs who could use a little guidance in the form of classes, promotional material or online tutorials.
  3. Contractors may also benefit from these parties; someone needs to fix the mistakes made by incompetent — or intoxicated — friends.

Note: Original story content expressed here was from an article published by Iconoculture

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