A new study shows that less men are doing their own home repairs. Could DIYers be an endangered species?
A walkway and house addition, both built by the writer's father -- Steve -- at her childhood home. Photo: Courtesy of Nikki Pepper
I grew up with a dad who could do everything -- and I'm not exaggerating because I'm his daughter. He built our beds and dressers; he designed and landscaped our yard; he even drew out and built an addition to our house. When it came to fixing things, my dad was the go-to guy, not just for us, but for friends and family, too.
Fast forward to my own home -- a city apartment that I share with my boyfriend. Now, I know that not everyone can build and fix like my dad. And don't get me wrong -- I love my boyfriend just the way he is. But he's just not a Mr. Fix-it kind of guy. At all. We managed through the IKEA
boxes, but when it came to buying the right energy-efficient lightbulbs and adding shelving to our closet, I knew who to call.
Luckily, my dad likes being my DIY go-to. But seeing the divide between his home improvement skills and my boyfriends' made me think: What other Gen X-ers out there can't tell a back saw from a jab saw?
Apparently quite a few. AA Home Emergency Response
conducted a study that shows a new breed of "techno-sexual" men has surfaced. Home repairs are being ditched in favor of technological prowess. Which leaves me -- and the girlfriends and wives of these techno-sexuals -- with amazing HD TV...but also a leaking sink.
Over the past 40 years, the percent of men able to perform home maintenance needs has steadily decreased. In 1970, 71% of men had a full DIY arsenal, compared to just 44% now. Why the decrease? Two main reasons: Fathers aren't passing down the skills needed and tech savviness has become more desirable.
So how long before DIY goes the way of the dinosaurs? AA estimates that at this rate, DIYers will be "extinct" by 2048. Because the more masculinity becomes more tied up in wires and pixels, the less confident men feel in their ability to conquer DIY projects
I don't know how accurate this prediction is. After all -- who exactly will be painting fences or installing new windows in 2048? While studies like this one are best taken with a grain of salt, I think it's worthwhile to use it as an excuse to stop and reflect the next time something breaks down in my home. It might just be the perfect opportunity to encourage my dad to pass down his fix-it skills to me.
Want more DIY news? Check out...
DIYing This Weekend? Be Careful!
Cheap Date Ideas: Try DIYing
After a Breakup, Cleaning Can Heal