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Have Dads' DIY Skills Declined... Or Evolved?

Jun 06 2019
Dads: when something in your home needs fixing, do you reach for your toolkit, or your phone?

The answer may depend on which generation you belong to.

According to a new poll of 2,000 Dads commissioned by Alarm.com, the definition of a handy Dad is changing. Millennial Dads are less inclined than their fathers' generation to roll up their sleeves and tackle traditional DIY tasks, preferring to call for professional help on tasks ranging from unclogging sinks to assembling furniture. On the other hand, they're better than Boomer Dads at hi-tech tasks including home IT.

Related: Are Dads' DIY Skills in Decline? (Yahoo! News) 

Another finding: younger Dads are less likely to own tools that older Dads would consider essential. 46 percent of Millennial Dads reported not owning a cordless drill. 48 percent don't own a stepladder, 38 percent don't own a set of screwdrivers, and 32 percent don't own a hammer (a tool owned by 93 percent of Baby Boomer Dads).

Related: A Third of Millennial Dads Don't Own a Hammer (K5 News)

What gives?

Explanation 1: It's modern technology.

Asked what could be driving the decline in Dads' enthusiasm for DIY, both Millennial and Boomer Dads pointed to the same reason: modern technology is harder to install or fix without an element of professional support. Installing a smart lock or a doorbell camera, for example, requires more support than installing their old-school equivalents.
DIY Dads Survey Handiness
"The technology in the average home has certainly evolved," says Anne Ferguson, our VP of marketing at Alarm.com.

"Hi-tech upgrades like smart home technology require professional support; especially safety and security upgrades. Even the handiest Dads see the value of partnering with a professional service provider on an important project like a smart home security system."

Explanation 2: Handiness is evolving.

Could it be that our idea of handiness needs a 21st-century update? 79 percent of Millennial Dads say that the definition of handiness has changed—and 74 percent of Boomer Dads agreed with them. For example, two-thirds of Boomer Dads admitted that Millennial Dads may have the edge when it comes to tech tasks around the home.
DIY Dads Survey Tech
With modern technology becoming more powerful—enabling Dads to automate things around the house, keep their family protected or engineer substantial energy savings using only a smartphone app—we agree that the definition of handiness needs updating.  

Related: Three Ways Alarm.com Makes Your Home Renovation Project Easier

Explanation 3: Dads' priorities have changed.

While Moms still tend to be their children's primary managers at home, today's Dads take on more responsibility than their fathers did for childcare, housework and other family activities—which means less time for DIY projects.

And they like it that way. 61 percent of the Millennial Dads we polled said they'd rather hang out with their kids than spend that time on DIY—and nearly half feel that they've done a better job than their own Dad at spending quality time with their children.

Related: Tool-impaired parents? They just have different priorities (Washington Examiner) 
DIY Dads Survey Kids FB.jpg
"The life of a modern Dad has changed," says Alarm.com's Anne Ferguson. "While quick to master new tools like apps and mobile technology, today's time-pressed Dads are also faster to outsource time-consuming home maintenance to professionals who have the tools and training to get the job done right. It's a handy trade-off that enables modern Dads to spend more time with the people they love."

Want professional help with your smart home improvement?

Smart home technology is 2019's hottest home improvement trend and Alarm.com makes it easy.

Our network of service providers includes some of the biggest home security brands as well as thousands of local smart home security experts, with full professional installation or professionally-supported DIY options (for the handy Dads among you) both available in your area.  

To find out more about Alarm.com's service providers, click here.