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Do It Yourself

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Finding studs for chair rail

Using a stud finder to select the best places to hang things on a wall.

Do It Yourself, or the commonly used initialism, DIY, refers to projects that are frequently hired out because they require skills, but which some people may prefer to do for themselves. People may prefer DIY projects because they save money, for a sense of accomplishment, or for the control that allows you to do it the way you prefer.

AdvantagesEdit

Saving moneyEdit

Doing the work yourself will generally save money. You may spend more on materials than a professional who can buy in bulk and get discounts, and who probably knows the supplies better (price, quality, reliability, variety, etc.). But, you don't have to pay for labor. Also, if the work needs later repair or maintenance, you'll be more familiar with what was done and how, so it may be easier and cheaper on long-term costs as well.

Accomplishment and skill buildingEdit

When you build or repair something, it can give you a sense of accomplishment and pride. There's a physical reminder that you will encounter regularly in your home to remind you of what you can accomplish. In addition, the skills you learn may skills that can be put to professional use. People who participated in Habitat for Humanity's programs where people helped to build their own homes have sometimes found jobs afterwards based on the skills they learned.

Doing it your wayEdit

By doing the work yourself you get more control over how it is done. You make the choices about whether the quality of the result is satisfactory and how much work or expense you are willing to go to in order to improve it. You can decide whether you want to use a tile that's got a small defect in the color or chip in the corner. You can change your mind about the thickness of a paint stripe (before or after the room is done). You don't have anyone telling you that this kind of tile won't look good as a backsplash. (There are pros and cons to not getting this advice.)

DisadvantagesEdit

DangersEdit

Some jobs can be dangerous or lead to dangerous results, if not done by someone with the right skills or knowledge. Working with utilities (for example, electricity, gas), sharp or hot items (saws, glass cutters, soldering irons), poisonous (solvents, old asbestos materials) or heavy objects (wooden beams, water heaters, large furniture) or from heights (roofs, top of the stairs, up trees, balconies, decks or porches) can all pose dangers. Read instructions and warning labels carefully. For major projects make sure you're aware of any legal or code restrictions in your area. If you don't have experience in these areas, consider taking a class or working with a more experienced person for at least your first projects.

TimeEdit

Your time is valuable. Some people would say it's the most precious thing you have. If you can afford to get someone else to do the work and don't find the advantages listed above to be appealing enough, it makes sense to hire someone else to do the work.

MistakesEdit

Having someone with the experience and knowledge can avoid many mistakes. Some of the mistakes cost money, some can be hazardous and others can just be uncomfortable or unattractive.

Toolkit

A good, general tool kit.

CostsEdit

If you don't have any of the right tools or materials, the costs of getting them can actually be more than the cost of hiring someone. One way to reduce this risk is to rent the tools that you will not be needing regularly.

Additional optionsEdit

It's not always an either/or decision. Maybe you have a friend or relative who already knows how to do this task and would be willing to do it with you -- or willing to let you come help and learn as he or she does this task at a different location. Community courses may teach you how to do the work, and afterwards you might even be able to get a classmate who wants to practice to come help you, you can help each other, or sometimes the instructor is willing to provide some personal coaching, perhaps in return for a small fee, a chance to try out a new product or technique or in trade for services you can provide. A neighbor might be willing to help you with a job that requires two people in return for similar assistance. There are books, Web sites and TV shows to help too.

RelatedEdit

Potentially helpful mediaEdit

ReferencesEdit

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