Saturday, June 1, 2013

Why DIY? #2 - Be Self-Sufficient

There are few things as disruptive to household bliss as having a long honey-do list.  Whether it's something broken that needs to be fixed or an elective improvement, when something needs to be done it needs to be done pronto - and if you can get it done inexpensively at the same time, that's worth bonus points.  Being able to chip away at a long to-do list of home improvement projects yourself can be a satisfying way to burn a weekend and restore the balance of household peace and tranquility.

Building confidence to take on bigger and more complex tasks is the natural outcome of successful experience as a DIYer.  Start small, and build on the experience for the next time.  Before you know it, you will find yourself questioning the need to hire the pros for projects you never would have remotely considered doing yourself before.

In regards to self-sufficiency, perhaps the best argument for DIY is to free yourself from dependency on sloppy, dishonest, or incompetent contractors, and the companies that hire them.  This isn't to denigrate home improvement contractors in general, and in fact the reputable ones will complain the loudest about the ones who give their business a bad name.  But every service industry has it's shysters, and home improvement is no different.  Some unscrupulous contractors are banking on the naivete of their clients to inflate costs, cut corners, or to otherwise break the rules to maximize their bottom line.  Other home improvement "pros" may not be actively out to screw their customers, but just don't seem to care about getting the job done right. Consider, dear reader, the story of the guy stuck waiting 14 months to get a new dishwasher installed, and tell me he's better off for not sucking it up and finishing the job himself.  If you think he did the right thing, then you are not allowed to read this blog anymore.

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