When DIY is referred to in general, all unexercised as a professional craft activities in and on owner-occupied housing, with the aim to repair or rotational basis to renovate, to enlarge the living room, set up and beautify, to increase comfort or safety damage to reduce the consumption of energy and water, or other operating costs or to obtain any other way or to increase its value. Often the activity is performed only for the joy of hobby.

The English term Do it yourself, often abbreviated DIY principle has a wider meaning, but is often used synonymously with home improvement. The term Home improvement also used in the English language also includes professional activities performed.


In Germany, the home improvement experienced in the construction period after the Second World War a strong upswing, boosted by the rise of artisan prices due to increasing social benefits. Following this trend appeared on 1 November 1957, the first edition of the magazine itself is the man. In the 1960s, emerged after the U.S. model, the first hardware stores in the self-service concept in Germany.

In other German-speaking countries, however, especially in Switzerland, only a few years can be observed a rise of the DIY movement.

Economic Importance

In Germany alone achieved the DIY stores, but represent only a portion of the sales of home improvement industry, in 2011 a turnover of almost 28 billion euros, rising. The market potential for hardware stores has been increasing for several years with the trend towards DIY, 2007 reported in a survey in several European countries, 60 % of respondents, even to work as a handyman, 2010, there were 70%.

The Germans give for maintenance activities in the house an average of 600 euros from, and 1,500 euros for their own projects in the garden. 9.2% of German respondents claimed to deal regularly or intensively with DIY and crafting. For several years back in German-speaking women more than target customer group in the field of view of the DIY sector.

Also, the press and publishing sector is benefiting from Heimwerkermarkt. In addition to numerous individual publications in book and magazine form published monthly, two leading home improvement magazines, do it yourself ( 73 120 copies) and even the man is ( 68 221 copies).