There’s a good chance that, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably attempted DIY in the past or you plan to tackle your very first project. If you’re new to DIY, then you’re about to embark on a wonderful journey that teaches you how to be self-sufficient and gives you a new hobby to work on. There are going to be a lot of ups and downs, but it’ll likely be worth all of your hard work and the monetary investment required. Unfortunately, there’s something about DIY that needs to be said before it can be recommended to anyone.
It’s not for everyone.
There are some harsh realities with DIY and they all need to be uncovered before anyone can recommend you take it up as a hobby. Anyone that pushes tools into your hands and tells you “go ahead and do something yourself” is lying to you. As with any hobby or skill that you learn, it’s going to take a lot of time, dedication and money in order to get the results you want. Put it this way; if you saw someone on television playing the guitar and it spurred you to buy one yourself, are you honestly going to reach that person’s level of skill within a few weeks? The same applies to DIY; you’re not going to have a successful project if you don’t study and take your time.
So let’s remove all the smoke and mirrors and beat some sense into all the rosy-eyed DIY projects that are littering the internet. Here’s the reality of what practical DIY is and what it can and can’t do for you.
The Investment Required to Do DIY Is More Than You Think
Proper DIY requires a lot more investment than you might first think. Let’s put it this way, here is a brief list of things that you’ll be required to learn/invest in before you fix a plumbing issue:
- Correct Tools – Unless you’re MacGyver, you’re going to need the correct tools to fix any kind of issue or perform any sort of DIY. Even if you’re good at fixing things with a roll of duct tape and some scissors, you don’t want to use poor tools to fix something as important as a plumbing issue. You could buy a cheap set of DIY tools that includes the most basic things like a hammer, screwdriver and so on, but it’s not going to last very long. At most, it will serve you well for a couple of DIY jobs, but unless you invest in high-quality tools, you’re going to end up replacing them on a regular basis and the last thing you want is to have your tools break mid DIY project.
- Materials – As mentioned before, high-quality components, tools and materials are required for DIY. Using the plumbing example, if you try to replace a pipe with lower quality materials, then it will only end up breaking again in the future and you’ll have to perform the same DIY repair. Investing money into materials can be costly if you aren’t completely sure what you’re doing. You might spend too much money or too little which will bite you in the future.
- Knowledge – You’re not going to get anywhere without some knowledge. Even if your DIY skills come from a free source such as the internet or through a video, you’ll end up lacking important pieces of information that complete the entire job. While free resources are getting better, it’s recommended that you take a professional course that offers qualifications if you want to make a serious attempt at learning how to do your own DIY repairs and renovations.
- Assistance – Most DIY repairs and renovations can be done alone, but there are times when you’ll need a bit of assistance to make it easier on yourself. Whether it’s someone to hold a ladder for you or someone with more experience guiding you, assistance helps a ton whenever you’re performing some kind of DIY work. While most friends and family members might be willing to help for free, professional advice might cost you a bit of money.
- Insurance – And let’s not forget insurance. When you hire a repair service, you’re covered with insurance so if they perform shoddy work or if further damage happens as a result of what they do, you’re covered and you’ll have a way to secure funds to keep yourself financially secure. Unfortunately, if you personally break something as a result of trying out DIY work, then you’re likely not going to be covered unless you can bluff it.
With all these considerations, it’s no wonder that people are sceptical about doing their own DIY work. It requires a gigantic investment that consists of time, money and effort. If this is already putting you off, then you can look for plumbers or any service providers on the internet. Discover more here if you’re looking for a reliable plumber, or check in a local directory for assistance if you need a contractor for a specific job. Whether it’s repairing some pipes or replacing your roof, it’s usually more efficient (and cheaper) to simply hire someone for the work.
Why DIY Isn’t for Everyone
When you consider all of these factors, it should become clear that DIY isn’t for everyone. One of the biggest problems with DIY is how much investment it takes, and not everyone can subject themselves to studying these factors. Taking DIY too lightly can ultimately result in injuries, safety issues and you will most likely end up paying extreme amounts of money just to repair something in the future.
Let’s imagine you want to perform some DIY renovations in your kitchen. Simple things are possible, such as replacing lights or even replacing countertops. Unfortunately, the work can quickly spiral out of control and you’ll be struggling both for money, space and help when you do something like replace an entire kitchen cupboard or gas stove. It’s important to do maintenance and renovations to keep your kitchen running smoothly, but you also have to remember that not everyone has the time or knowledge to do some of the more important renovations.
It’s fine to pay for a contractor even for smaller jobs such as replacing lights, and it’s absolutely fine to give yourself a break when replacing something like a fridge. Sure, it’s easy to plug in and go, but if you live in an apartment or if you don’t have the physical strength and help to put it into place, paying a bit extra to have to delivered into your kitchen and installed is fine. When there’s a bigger job involved, then you absolutely should consult someone for help and it’s worth every penny you pay.
DIY That’s Acceptable to Do on Your Own
There are, of course, some DIY projects that are completely fine to undertake on your own. For instance, if you only plan to replace some paintings or hang up some decorations, then it’s far easier to get the designs you want by doing it yourself than hiring a contractor. After all, all you’re doing is hammering in a few nails, so there’s a very small chance that something can go wrong.
DIY is a term that covers a lot of things and it doesn’t always have to mean you’re replacing things in a room or renovating your kitchen. DIY can also be a term used for smaller things such as turning some scrap boxes into useful decorations or upcycling bits of furniture. Many of these fun DIY projects can also be done with your children which is a great way to engage them into doing something creative. You don’t always have to follow the same DIY instructions as people give online either. DIY at home should be a creative endeavour that allows you the freedom to both express yourself and create whatever you want for your home.
With that being said, practical DIY has a lot of different meanings and it can change depending on what you expect from your tools and materials. For some, DIY means making something with the resources you currently have in a MacGyver-esque fashion. For instance, turning plastic bottles into cheap re-useable planters or finding a use for all the cardboard boxes you’ve accumulated. To others, DIY covers home repairs that are suitable to do on your own, such as unclogging a toilet or fixing a broken door handle.
Practical DIY can cover many things, so it’s important to know what your limitations are and how you can overcome them. For some people, it involves trying to make the most of what you have. For others, it’s all about doing something meaningful for your home. Either way, DIY isn’t for everyone and you should never underestimate (or overestimate) how much time, money and effort it takes to do something. Always do your research, invest in high-quality tools and materials, and focus on learning the life skills that can make DIY useful, not a burden.