Why I DIY
Updated: Apr 15, 2019
I grew up in a family that did nearly everything ourselves from construction to car repairs to taxes. This was mainly out of necessity, but I grew to enjoy making things and improving my home. When I was older I started to do little projects here and there and with a bit of design help from my wife, before we moved from our first home we had remodeled it top to bottom.
All of this DIYing has taught me a few things and I want to share with you the top 4 reasons why I DIY.
1. To make my home more livable and comfortable: Every single one of my DIY projects is aimed at this goal from adding more shelving in a closet to building new kitchen cabinets to building a coffee table to adding a door to expanding a laundry room to adding lighting or a ceiling fan to replacing flooring. Making my space better is the number one reason why I DIY.
2. To save money: Doing things for yourself can definitely save money, but in order to accomplish this goal there are also a few things to consider before you take on a project. How much do my materials cost? How much time will this take (time=money)? What tools do I have and how much will new tools cost? What skills do I have and what am I comfortable doing? How dangerous is the project? What would it cost if I am unable to finish half way through for whatever reason? In answering these questions you may find that a particular project is not worth it. For example, about a year ago I became obsessed with building my own sofa from scratch. I read books and tons of internet posts and even watched a few YouTube videos. While at first I thought it was doable, I later came to the conclusion that while building a frame is simple enough, getting the rest of the materials like fabric and cushioning would be expensive. I also don't have good sewing skills or the right kind of equipment and learning how to tuft in a way that it didn't look like a 2nd graders mothers day gift would take some practice. For me, making a simple couch from scratch would cost thousands when I could buy a similar couch for around $800. On the other hand, wiring an outlet or putting in recessed lighting is relatively simple and requires only a few inexpensive tools, but hiring an electrician could get costly.
3. To increase my homes value: It is important to consider how a particular project will affect your home's value before taking it on. This can be subjective as not all buyers are the same, but there are certain projects that are sure to add value if done right (remodeling a master bath, remodeling a kitchen, adding a bedroom, finishing a basement, etc.). The challenge is to understand how much value the project will add and balance that with how much the project will cost. You will also need to determine what you plan on doing with your home. If you have no plans to sell it, then increasing your home's value is not a consideration and you can focus on the projects that make your home the way you want.
4. Because I enjoy it: There are some projects that are very unpleasant but still have to be done, like the time I had to repair a damaged the subfloor from a leaky toilet, but I generally take on projects because I enjoy them. I like building things and solving problems, I like to make my wife happy and I like the challenge of learning and improving over time. At the end of the day, I love finishing a project and standing back to look over what I have done and see how those I love enjoy my handiwork.
The best DIY projects are the those that hit all four points; they make my home more comfortable and livable, save me money, increase my homes value and are fun to do!