For those of you that need a reason to “Do it Yourself”, here are the top 5 reasons I came up with:
#1 – Save money
The most expensive part of any Home Improvement project is the labor. When you do it yourself, labor is free! Also, when you buy your own material, you avoid markups from contractors, you have the ability to shop around for the lowest price, and you can use store discounts and coupons. Many home improvement stores (such as Lowe’s) offer a 10% military discount, consistently offer credit card promotions, and sales rotate throughout the various departments on a regular basis. Also, if money is tight, you can extend the project over a longer period of time and buy materials as you need them. When you do it yourself, you are in control of how much you spend, where your money goes, and when you pay for it.
#2 – Pride
Nothing creates a sense of pride quite like sweat equity. When you Do it Yourself, you become proud of your home, proud of the work you put in, and you appreciate and take care of it more. Just imagine; your friends come over and compliment you on how great the kitchen (that you remodeled) looks. Suddenly the response is no longer “oh yeah, the contractor ripped us off and they messed up on [blank],” but your response changes to “oh thanks, we put a lot of work into it and it really paid off!” You might already be proud of where you live, but when you add your own personal touch and your own sweat, you develop pride of ownership on another level.
#3 – Customization
Although you may think you know what you want when you start a project, you don’t. When you hire someone else to do the job for you, you give up all control, and changes on the go are going to cost you a pretty penny. Many design elements are very hard to see on paper, and until you start to see your project evolve, you just won’t know what will work or what you like. Also, as you go, you may begin to think of additional functionality that you had never thought of before. For example, as we were building our office shelves I thought “wouldn’t it be nice to have a power strip built-in just in case we want to put a printer or stereo on that shelf?” Since we were doing it ourselves, we ordered the appropriate power strip, made some slight adjustments to our plans, and we were able to add it in no problem. If I had been working with a contractor, he probably would have walked off the job dealing with me, but if he stayed, every little change I made would have substantially affected the cost of labor.
#4 – Family bonding
Whether you are a young married couple in your first home or have teenage kids that you need to keep out of trouble, what better way to spend time together as a family than to build something. Projects give you some common ground to connect on and can be a great form of entertainment. If you put your “entertainment” budget into a “home improvement” budget, you get a return on your investment and you get to spend time together doing something productive and educational. When your family works together to improve your family home, it will feel like a family home that everyone can be proud of.
#5 – Excuse to buy tools
Well just in case I didn’t convince you yet to do it yourself, how about the excuse it gives you to buy more tools? How about that table saw you have been drooling over, or the cordless drill you can’t convince your spouse you need. Well here is your chance! There are some basics that you will need to get started (I will go into these more later), and with all the money you save from doing it yourself, you can afford to buy the tools you need to do the job (if you can’t buy all the tools you need right away, tool rental is another great option). Once you own the tools, you can practice your techniques anytime, and future projects become easier and easier to do.
I hope you are convinced to DIY. Please feel free to leave a comment sharing your thoughts.