October 4, 2022

Phoenix ranks No. 1 in U.S. for home improvement hobbies

Are you shopping for a new hobby? Have you tried your hand at creating the perfect sourdough starter? Maybe you’ve been working on perfecting your Tik Tok dance moves recently. Or perhaps you’re one of the 40% of people who began a home improvement hobby during the pandemic. If you are, Phoenix tops the list of five cities where your interest in home improvement will thrive.


READ ALSO: Residential real estate trends to watch in 2022


American homeowners spent 25% more in 2021 on home improvement projects than in 2020. With most people spending more time inside their homes as a result of the pandemic, many have been inspired to update their living spaces on their own. The mantra of “don’t move, improve” fits for anyone wary of rising property prices. And if you’re ready to start Googling tips and jump on the home improvement bandwagon, we’re here to help!

We took a look at the best U.S. cities for diving in to a home improvement hobby to help you decide if you’re ready to tackle that home project you’ve been considering. We also identified several projects that are usually best left to the professionals to avoid any pitfalls.

5 Cities Where DIY Home Improvement is Thriving

The top five cities for starting your home improvement hobby are:

1. Phoenix, AZ

2. San Antonio, TX

3. Dallas, TX

4. Oklahoma City, OK

5. Kansas City, MO

For this study, we began by examining data from Harvard University’s “Improving America’s Housing 2021” report.

We focused on the following metrics to identify the cities where DIY home improvement lovers are thriving:

• Projected growth rate for home improvement spending.

• Increases in residential properties receiving remodeling permits.

• Price-to-income ratio of single-family homes.

• Quantity of Home Depot and Lowes stores within 20 miles.

By looking closely at American spending on fixing up where we live, we can see trends that reveal a community of residents working to improve their homes and property values. The growing number of remodeling permits shows us the local governments that are supportive of such projects.

A review of the price-to-income ratios identifies the cities where housing prices remain reasonable for the average resident’s salary.

The Angi team also researched the total number of Home Depot and Lowes stores within 20 miles of each city center. As the top two home improvement store chains in the country—with combined 2020 sales totaling well over $200 billion—tracking the accessibility of these store locations highlights an easy path to this new hobby.

Grab your tool belts and let’s take a look at the winning cities!

1. Phoenix, AZ

 

The Phoenix growth rates in both home improvement spending and remodeling permits ranked #2 and #3, respectively, out of all of the cities we measured.

Photo: 4kodiak / E+ / Getty Images

Our top city is Phoenix, Arizona, where you will find a whopping 30 Home Depot and Lowes locations within a 20-mile radius. Online reviews can help you find the right local location for your needs.

The Phoenix growth rates in both home improvement spending and remodeling permits ranked #2 and #3, respectively, out of all of the cities we measured.

2. San Antonio, TX

 

San Antonio, Texas, comes in close in second place. With the highest increase rates for both the number of permits being approved (16%) and homeowner spending (12.7%), the city clearly welcomes DIY home improvement plans.

Photo: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock / Getty Images

San Antonio, Texas, comes in close in second place. With the highest increase rates for both the number of permits being approved (16%) and homeowner spending (12.7%), the city clearly welcomes DIY home improvement plans.

You could even consider the rebuilding of the Alamo an example of the city’s dedication to improving existing structures.

3. Dallas, TX

 

Almost 300 miles separate the #3 city, Dallas, from its fellow Texan city, San Antonio. A bounty of 29 various Home Depot and Lowe’s locations in the area provides ample opportunities for tackling new home renovation projects.

Photo: dibrova / iStock / Getty Images

Almost 300 miles separate the #3 city, Dallas, from its fellow Texan city, San Antonio. A bounty of 29 various Home Depot and Lowe’s locations in the area provides ample opportunities for tackling new home renovation projects. One report also noted that Dallas residents spend 2.2% of their household income on home improvement projects.

4. Oklahoma City, OK

 

With 9.4% of growth in remodeling permit approvals and a 9.2% increase of projected home improvement spending, OKC welcomes updates to existing homes.

Photo: Sean Pavone / iStock / Getty Images

Photo: Sean Pavone / iStock / Getty Images

Oklahoma City featured the best balance of home price to income for all of the cities measured for this study. With 9.4% of growth in remodeling permit approvals and a 9.2% increase of projected home improvement spending, OKC welcomes updates to existing homes.

Securing a home here may also be the easiest, as it has the lowest median sales price ($154,576) for an existing single-family home among all of the cities on our list.

5. Kansas City, MO

 

Ranked fifth in the increase of remodel permits being approved among all of the areas studied, the area is also home to 22 home improvement warehouse stores for many of your DIY needs.

Photo: RudyBalasko / iStock / Getty Images

The City of Fountains, aka Kansas City, comes in at #5 on our list. Ranked fifth in the increase of remodel permits being approved among all of the areas studied, the area is also home to 22 home improvement warehouse stores for many of your DIY needs.

When to Call a Home Improvement Professional

 

A recent survey shows that 80% of DIYers m

Photos: hobo_018 / E+ / Getty Images, monkeybusinessimages / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images, Basilico Studio Stock / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images, Nikola Stojadinovic / E+ / Getty Images

Not every home project should be done as a DIY. A recent survey shows that 80% of DIYers make mistakes and 93% called in a professional for at least one of their home projects. Potential risky mistakes may include anything from spilled paint stains and major damage to something important to your home’s function.

In general, your best bet is to call in a pro for certain home tasks for both safety and precision in the execution:

• Cutting/trimming trees

• Fixing the roof

• Electrical work

• Plumbing

• Painting

As much of the American public racks up hours inside our homes during this pandemic, the urge to tinker with our homes is only natural. And if you’ve never done any home improvement on your own before, it may be daunting.

But if you live in one of these five cities, you now know you’re surrounded by fellow DIYers and have the resources you need to achieve your vision. (And it never hurts to have a backup plan to call a home service pro in your area if anything goes wrong.)

Methodology

In order to determine the best cities to start your home improvement hobby, we analyzed multiple data points from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University’s “Improving America’s Housing 2021” report. We rated each city on a weighted scale based on the following factors:

• Projected growth rate for home improvement spending: 25%

• Increases in residential properties receiving remodeling permits: 25%

• Price-to-income ratio of single-family homes: 20%

• Quantity of Home Depot and Lowe’s store within 20 miles: 30%

We factored in the number of Home Depot and Lowe’s store locations within a 20-mile radius after identifying them via HomeDepot.com and Lowes.com.