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Why do you, Do It Yourself?

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Old 12-15-2003, 01:18 PM   #1
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Why do you, Do It Yourself?

Poll: Why do you, do it yourself? What is the driving factor behind you chosing to take on a project yourself vs. hiring someone?

Please post comments below.



"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot
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Old 12-15-2003, 03:06 PM   #2
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I do it myself because it is much more satisfying when the job is complete.
As long as I do it right
I will not attempt anything that is too difficult, but even though some things are a pain in the butt (painting, resealing a deck, ect..), they are relatively easy and very satisfying when completed.
You can say "I did that", and in my opinion, that is a small part of the American dream of home ownership.


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Old 12-15-2003, 04:41 PM   #3
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Hmm.. I can't vote for all of them. Mostly it's to save time. But also because I know if I do it myself it'll get done right, and I enjoy doing it.
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Old 12-17-2003, 05:05 PM   #4
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I do it to save money. Before I do anything myself I always ask:
How long will it take me? How much is my time worth? How much will a pro charge me to do it? Will I do as good a job as a pro?

If I can do as good a job and save myself some cash I am there! If I am going to break even or lose money or do a poor job I won't try to do something myself.
-Grumpy http://www.illinoisroofinspections.com
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Old 01-02-2004, 03:42 PM   #5
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Mostly to save money (I "believe" I can do just as good of a job myself most of the time for half the cost or less).

But I also really enjoy doing the things myself.

Major projects so far (in house since 9/01)
Completly updated kitchen (new cabinets, appliances, new outlets, switches, lights, flooring, painting, tilework)
Updated 1/2 Guest bath and laundry on first floor
Updating full Guest bath on 2nd floor (completly gutted down to studs as I type, looking to update the plumbing right now to add shutoff valves to showers in both full baths)
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Old 04-10-2004, 03:26 PM   #6
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Many years ago, most may be too young to remember. When TVs first started showing up in most houses, there was a brand called HeathKit.
HeathKit sent you the parts and instructions to build the TV or whatever device you wanted with instruction manuals.
Quality of TVs was a repairmans dream, they were large and housecalls were common. Well the best made TV sets back then were usually the HeathKits because you built it yourself. There were no cold solder joints in the TV that your built, wires weren't nicked or pinched in between somewhere it did not belong.
Why?? Because you built it yourself and you cared how it turned out and made darn sure that it was built correctly.
When I do repairs or build things around the house, I never cut corners and hate using caulking. My miter joints are the way they should be and the insulation is installed properly without kinks

That is why I do it myself
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Old 04-10-2004, 06:03 PM   #7
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What Grumpy said.
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Old 04-10-2004, 11:27 PM   #8
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For a few reasons. I've always been pretty good at what ever I tackle. I do know my limits though and don't try to play with elec or hvac. I will leave that to a pro. It costs less for me to do it. It's quicker and I don't have to worry about wether or not I'm going to get less than quality work.
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:33 AM   #9
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We have a lot of new members so I thought I would "bump" this post.

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Old 03-15-2005, 02:09 PM   #10
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I do it for the enjoyment and to save money. Since we're talking about doing projects for yourself. As to why I participate in various diy forums, I get satisifaction out of helping people, I think of it as my version doing a public service.
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Old 03-15-2005, 09:48 PM   #11
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Had to select 'other'.

I guess I do it myself for a whole basketfull of reasons.

Before I start I need to preface this by saying that unless I am pretty darn confident that I know what I am doing and can do it safely I will NOT start a project. (The exception to this is something that I know will not cause major problems if I foul up - In that case I'll teach myself as I go... a good example is the drywall work I have done recently.) (It came out fine, but if it had not I'd not have caused a safety or structural issue.) I limit myself. I will not even TOUCH gas, I will do electrical ONLY if I am pretty damn sure and would even then consider having someone look it over anything other than changing out a switch or socket before charging the curcuit. This year I contracted out putting in a new tub, doing tile work, diagnosing a dead built in microwave oven, and I also had someone come out to double check the electrical connections I made when installing a new stovetop before I flicked the breaker back on... why? because I'd rather pay for help on things I am not confident of doing whick saves my wallet and maybe my life.

Having said that, I do it myself for a lot of reasons.

1) It saves money. Yes the allmighty dollar is limiting to me. I bought a fixer upper and was lucky to get it. Doing it myself means that things will not go undone and I make a better home for my family than I could afford if I paid someone to do all the projects I am doing.

2) Education. Hey - I like to learn new things and in the last year I have taught myself so much, learned from advice here and on the sister forum and from books - it's just a great feeling to be able to understand this or that.

3) I want it done RIGHT. For some things (not all to be sure) I know I will do a better job than the guys I could hire in this area. Not to say that they would be incompetent and do somehitng poorly (not counting the roofer - but we will not get into that awful story), but because I will deal with the small stuff they will not. Since I live in the house, I WILL notice if some tiny thing is not quite right and particularly on the finish details, I am willing to put in that extra hour or two that they would not be to make sure all is right. Read a post by one contractor on another forum how he turns the screws in the wall plates to all match.... guaranteed he is the exception.

4) Inner Glow - When I am done with a project, and many times after I have finished, I can look back on it and compare it to how the renters left the place before and say to myself "now THAT looks good - and I DID that". Call it narcisism if you like, but I'm pretty proud of what a contractor would call mundane.

5) Teaching Others - While I am doing those things that I know for sure what I am doing, I have the opportunity to teach my kids basic carpentry or other skills. Also when I do projects that have required more than a basic skill what I have learned is then available for me to pass on to others (perhaps at work) who are going to do a similar task.

6) Knowing and becoming part of my environment. Somehow with each project that I tackle, the house becomes a little more "mine" and if feels more and more like "home" It kinda becomes a part of us. In addition, I guarantee you that I know more about my home than most people do and when asked questions by contractors who will do the hard stuff that I can not I can at least offer better answers than "Attic? I dunno.. never been up there.. does the house have an attic?"

Those are the most poignant reasons I can come up with, the bottom line is it really is a mixture of education, saving money, pride of ownership, and being a bit perfectionistic.

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Old 03-15-2005, 11:00 PM   #12
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I had to choose enjoyment. If I decide to make something a DIY project, it usually involves the challage. To test my abilities at something other than my everyday work. To replace my screens or paint some rooms even fixing my own comptuer is a terrific mind cleanser after a busy week.

Sometimes I'll base the decision on my time/cost basis, but rarely. If it's being done on my time, I have to enjoy it or hire it out. I don't like to break life down to dollars and cents all the time.

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Old 03-16-2005, 12:20 PM   #13
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1. Learning expirience
2. Money
3. Share the knowlege
4. Fun (sometimes)
5. Stress relief
6. Proud to be a home owner
7. Save time
8. Like doing it
9. Working as a team
10. Feel you are in control
11. Secure
12. etc. etc etc.
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:03 PM   #14
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DIYER, I think I would have put "(sometimes)" behind about 4 more of those, save time(sometimes), stress relief(sometimes), like doing it(sometimes)...etc...lol, but yea, I'll go along with that for the most part . I think mostly for me it's learning how to do something new, even if I have to do it twice to get it right, I learned by doing it. Another reason (and I know I'm gonna hear about this) is, even if I have to do it twice, it usually still costs less than hiring it done. As far as the arguement: "What is your time worth?", my evenings can be filled with watching TV which has nothing on, if you can believe that, 150 CHANNELS, and nothing....or I can improve my home, learn something new, and have pride in what I do. Needless to say, I wouldn't justify taking a week off of work, losing a weeks pay just to save 200 for hiring a job done, that's not what I mean at all, but in my own time, I'm not giving up something I enjoy. That IS what I enjoy.
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:35 PM   #15
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So my wife can bit@@ at me when I don't finish when she thinks it should be done!


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