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Noise Mitigation Meets DIY Home Markets

Do-It-Yourself and Home Improvement Markets Growing

Alas, a weekend where Bill can don his dusty work boots, stained jeans, faded T-shirt, and red bandanna as he prepares to convert his finished basement office space into a home multi-purpose audio/video entertainment room. Bill heads to the home improvement warehouse to buy tools and building materials and awaits delivery of his wall soundproofing material. As Bill sweats away all weekend on the construction of his new multi-purpose entertainment room, he may not be aware that he is contributing to a multibillion-dollar industry called Do-It-Yourself, or simply DIY. The industry has been experiencing steady growth over the last few years thanks to the millions of people like him who take on DIY related projects every day.

An American Phenomenon

According to the National Building Museum, this 20th century American phenomenon came of age with the middle-class baby-boomer families of the 1950s and 1960s, as returning GIs and their counterparts at home encountered a host of new products and step-by-step instructions for how to use them. Members of this “can-do” generation-primed by their fathers’ basement workbenches and by Uncle Sam’s Depression-era push to modernize the nation’s housing stock-eagerly embraced the developing “how-to” marketplace. Hobby enthusiasts and amateurs alike transformed themselves into handymen and handy-women as do-it-yourself grew from an acceptable, perhaps even desirable activity into an expected domestic leisure-time pursuit. The next generation pushed the DIY ethos further by focusing on older houses in need of care and repair. Interest in traditional building arts surged and so did a general desire to incorporate the past – or a modern facsimile of it.

DIY Market Still Growing Today

Worldwide, the DIY and home improvement markets are projected to reach US$716.2 billion by 2015, according to a report issued by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. The markets are on the rise still and are expected to maintain steady growth over the next few years.

Here’s why:

• a steady rise of the DIY culture
• widespread availability of easy-to-install/use products
• an increase in recession induced cautious spending habits of financially strained customers
• the rapidly increasing number of products and services including books, websites, television programs, tools and accessories that are being designed and served especially for DIY tasks.
• widespread availability of easy-to-use products for home repair, crafts and decorations and gardening activities.

According to Global Industry Analysts, Inc., the home improvement segment of DIY continues to be one of the major end-use markets for DIY solutions, contributing a significant share in the market’s revenues. Media, especially television, has been playing a major role in developing DIY consumer base by telecasting shows on home remodeling and repairs. Market for DIY solutions in the home improvement segment got a major boost during the recent economic recession as cost-wary individuals preferred spending their leisure time at home doing household chores to spare overhead spending, thus increasing their use of DIY tools. Consumers’ focus on renovating their home for enhancing the aesthetic value of the property and sustain its commercial value for a longer period of time will continue to benefit DIY market in this segment. Besides home improvement, the automotive and landscaping markets also generate considerable demand for DIY solutions according to the Global Industry Analysts, Inc. report.

DIY home improvement affords homeowners a way to individualize and reinvent their homes and living spaces. Skills first acquired using tools in hobby projects or for minor repairs empower men and women to tackle increasingly complex projects that can add real value to their investment.

Widespread Availability of Easy-to-Install/Use Products

By the late 1960s in the United States, the burgeoning DIY market was beginning to change the face of the construction industry. The rising cost of buying a home or having one remodeled by a professional led more homeowners to take on construction projects themselves. The popular interest in DIY and the enthusiasm for home remodeling revolutionized not only the sale of power tools but also the design and retailing of building materials and finishing supplies. All were modified for the convenience of do-it-yourselfers. Plywood was cut to more manageable panel sizes, drywall was lightened, concrete mix came in 60-pound bags, insulation was formed into square blocks, aluminum was manufactured in standardized units, hardwood panels came varnished and pre-finished, wallpaper came pre-trimmed and pre-pasted, linoleum and vinyl flooring were cut into small squares, and synthetics were molded into brick and other decorative textures. Today specialty products like soundproofing material, are available pre-cut and ready to hang or can be custom cut to a desired size.

In the DIY family conceived by many editors and advertisers, the handyman husband built things, usually with the aid of power tools, and the intuitive wife took care of surfaces and interior decorating. Previously reserved for hired help, the term “handyman” now referred to suburban husbands. The shift symbolized a larger transformation: DIY was no longer a dabbler’s hobby, but an expected domestic pursuit.

Cable Television is Influencing a Generation of DIYers

Cable television is mostly available in North America, Europe, Australia and East Asia, and less so in South America and the Middle East. Each year, more and more people are being influenced and inspired by popular DIY and home improvement reality shows throughout the world and are helping to keep this market strong. In the United States, the 1984 Cable Television Regulation Act established a more favorable regulatory framework for the cable TV industry. This gave rise to new popular cable television “specialty” networks like TLC Network, HGTV, Discovery Channel, and A&E which attract millions of viewers each day.

A TLC Network reality show called Trading Spaces was very popular from 2000 – 2008. It was an hour-long American television reality program where two sets of neighbors redecorated one room in each other’s home on a $1,000 budget. The show helped launch the career of the widely popular DIY Trading Spaces carpenter Ty Pennington who went on to be the host of his own reality show called Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which aired on ABC.

Over the past decade, there’s been a boom of reality show programming and people are still being influenced by DIY and home improvement related cable television shows such as Design on a Dime (HGTV), Renovation Realities (DIY), Sweat Equity (DIY), Desperate Landscapes (DIY), Gardening By the Yard (HGTV), Flip this House (A&E), Toolbelt Diva ( Discovery) Designing Spaces (TLC), and Fix this Kitchen (A&E).

One of the newest specialty television networks is called the DIY Network. It was the second network to be launched by Scripps, following the success of HGTV. The network is owned by Scripps Networks Interactive. Whether remodeling your kitchen, dreaming of a master bathroom addition or simply repairing a leaky faucet, DIY Network’s experts give viewers a step-by-step instruction on common DIY home projects. Television stations air local versions with local hosts with segments produced by the network. Branded DIY Network programming is also broadcast in Japan and the Philippines. The cable network reaches 50 million households in the US.

Acoustiblok sound proofing products were featured on the DIY Network show called Cool Tools starring Kayleen McCabe.

Availability of Products, Tools and Supply Depots

Today, tool manufacturers make DIY increasingly doable by designing tools equipped with the facility and accuracy of a professional, as well as advanced safety features. The establishment and expansion of huge warehouse sized one-stop home improvement specialty retailers like Lowe’s (founded in 1929) and Home Depot (founded in 1985) in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, China, United Kingdom, South America and other countries serve the DIY, consumer durables, and building contractor businesses. Hundreds of millions of consumers purchase home improvement materials from their stores.

Prior to the early 1980’s, getting access to home improvement materials and specialty tools was cumbersome. A person had to wade through original equipment manufacturer’s paper based manufacturing product catalogs which were not easy to come by and was time consuming. In 1982, the concept of an electronic world-wide of networks called the Internet was introduced to the world and grew in popularity quickly. In addition, home computers were just becoming common during this period as well.

A Promising Future

Today, most products and tools produced by companies all over the world for todays DIY and home improvement products can be found online, purchased on a credit card, ordered within minutes and shipped quickly. The struggling economies of the United States and other large countries are still inducing cautious spending habits of financially strained customers. Thus, the DIY and home improvement markets looks promising for years ahead.

Soundproofing a Home Office Adds Value, Increases Privacy and Productivity

For many freelancers, consultants, and others who decide to work from the comfort and privacy of a home office, it’s not uncommon to consider the value of soundproofing after the home office is set up and work begins. Most people don’t consider soundproofing their home work space until noise becomes a problem. Noise abatement can be absolutely essential to establishing comfort and peace of mind when working from home. It is easy to be interrupted by the sounds of traffic and other outdoor noise, a constant flow of conversation in the home, or loud neighbors. Soundproofing can help shut out distractions, increasing the quality of your work life. Here are five reasons to consider soundproofing your home office:

Noise Reduction

Noise reduction is the most obvious reason for soundproofing.  Reduced noise means fewer distractions for you, allowing one to focus more clearly on work. When it comes to earning a paycheck or simply completing personal projects that require uninterrupted focus and concentration, it makes sense to take as many steps to reduce your distractions as possible.

Privacy

Soundproofing a home office involves buffering the space from outside noise while preventing noise from leaking out of the space at the same time. This is particularly important when carrying on any number of conversations that must be kept confidential. It is also essential when working from home late at night, after the children have gone to bed for example, and the need to carry on nighttime phone or Skype conversations, create or edit videos, run printers, or send or receive faxes exists.

DIY or Contractor

Although soundproofing may sound very complex, there are actually several options that can be taken to address any particular noise issues. Some are easily accomplished through a DIY weekend project; for example, you can install a noise deadening wall treatment with the help of one or two friends in just a couple of days. Others are more complex; for example, noise abatement material can be added to the studs under drywall in the office space, although removing existing drywall is required for such an application. This is something, depending on your level of experience, which you may want to hire a contractor to do. In short, some basic soundproofing can be accomplished on any budget or with any level of experience.

Tax-Deductible

As a renovation to a home office, soundproofing is potentially tax-deductible. But before basing the decision to soundproof on deductibility, make sure to check with a seasoned tax professional. There are many rules regarding taxes and home offices, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Resale Value

Having a soundproof office can really boost the resale value of a home. As with all renovations, make sure the amount put in to the soundproofing is something that can potentially be regained with the sale of the home.  A real estate professional can assist with the math, and help determine how much value soundproofing will add to the home. In today’s noisy world, soundproofing is fast becoming one of the most desirable assets to buyers.

Weighing in on all of these reasons to soundproof a home office, its important to understand that adding high quality sound deadening material or an appropriate sound barrier either inside or outside is an investment in the value of any property, as well as an investment in your privacy and peace of mind. Soundproofing a home office can be done at a reasonable price, with minimum effort. The return on investment is great, in the immediate reduction or elimination of distractions that can interfere with working from home, and in the long run on a possible tax deduction and the added resale value of the home.

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2017-11-09T15:16:06+00:00