Home » Home Improvement

Can You Do-It-Yourself?

Aug 17, 2007
Whether it is just to save money or because of an inspiring home improvement show on television, it seems that more and more people are taking on do-it-yourself home improvement projects. But is it for everyone? Do you think you have what it takes to be a successful do-it-yourselfer? Here are some things to consider.

Why do it yourself at all? You are busy with your own life, family, career, etc. Isn't is just easier to hire someone else to do the "dirty work"? Easier, yes. Cost effective, no. Probably the most common reason for taking on a do-it-yourself project is to save money. In most cases, the project can be completed for half (or less) of the cost of hiring a contractor.

Of course, you can usually count on a contractor to complete the job faster than you can, and they have been doing this professionally for some time. At the same time, at least in the U.S.A., contractors are notorious for starting a project and disappearing for weeks at a time, leaving you with a half-finished mess. So you would need to consider the trade-offs of the final result looking more professional, versus having control over when and how the work is done. And there are no guarantees about the final result from a contractor - there are plenty of horror stories about botched jobs and the larger problems they create. If you do decide to use a contractor, please be sure to hire someone you know well or someone for whom you can obtain reliable references.

There are probably many people who are afraid to try a home improvement project because, never having done this before, they don't already know how to do it themselves. This is an understandable reason to hesitate. However, there is a plethora of books, magazines, websites, even home improvement store employees, available to help. If someone is truly interested in a topic, and has the desire and will to learn, they can pick up the needed skills.

A less-obvious requirement for anyone who wants to successfully complete a home improvement project is a healthy balance between attention to detail without being too much of a perfectionist. These hands-on projects are detail intensive and require patience. At the same time, it is important to realize that nothing will be absolutely perfect. You need to do your best to get it just right, but also know when to let go of the desire for perfection. No house will have perfectly square corners, and materials will not always be perfectly sized. As long as you are satisfied with the appearance of your work, you have found the proper balance.

Home improvement projects can reduce stress, or create a new stress. Because of the focus required to complete a project well, it can help you put other issues out of your mind for a while. It gives you a break from trying to solve all your other problems while you are creating something new in your home. At the same time, however, home improvement projects can introduce new stresses, as you try to fit something just right or try to agree with your spouse over color choices. Overall, putting some time and effort into improving your surroundings is usually relaxing and rewarding.

Start with a small project to build some confidence. Anyone should be able to find a project or two around the house which interests them. Knowing that you have accomplished such a task can be very rewarding. Just be sure to allow at least twice as much time as you think it will take, because something always comes up or goes wrong on the first try. With dedication and resolve, any obstacle can be overcome.
About the Author
Cynthia Brandolini maintains a blog of DIY Home Improvement Tips at http://diy-home-improvement-tips.blogspot.com. Also visit http://www.CoverAllTheBases.com for Internet Home Business Ideas.
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