I love to DIY stuff, and I’ll freely admit I like to save money. (Not cheap, just like to save!)
But let’s face it. Sometimes I’m exhausted and I just want to sit down with a glass of wine and let someone else do the work. So how do you decide if it’s better to make your own or buy it ready-made (or hire it out)?
DYI vs. Buy - 4 Questions
1. How much will it cost to buy all the necessary materials versus buying the finished product?
You might be surprised how the materials add up. Maybe you only need two of something, but it’s sold in packs of ten. That’s not an efficient use of your materials, and you’re spending more on something you won’t use.
2. What equipment do you need for your project?
Do you need to buy any tools? When we looked at doing our siding ourselves, I researched the tools we would need for the job and priced them out as rentals and if we bought them.
3. How much time will it take?
Your time has value. My brother-in-law once told us that your home improvement projects will cost twice as much as you think and take three times as long. He was right. If you have the time to devote to doing your project right, then go for it. But if you’re already stressed about how little time you have with your family after work, then take that into consideration.
4. Do you have the skill?
While I sanded and stained our back deck a few years ago, we let the professionals do the mudding and taping when we put drywall up. I suggested that we do the mudding and taping at first, but in hindsight, I’m so glad I listened to my husband and hired out that job to the pros. It took two of them a full week, so it probably would have taken us about two months of weekends!
Now Here’s your multiplier for any of those above questions- WHY would you want to do it yourself?
- Is it because the cost of hiring it out is more than you have to spend?
- Is it because you CAN? Do you just love being creative and love DIY projects, and you want the challenge?
- Is it because you want to know it was made with quality materials?
- Is it because you just can’t find what you like, but you have a vision in your head of what you really want?
Sometimes those multiplier questions will tip the scales in one direction or another, depending on how important they are to you. I hope this short list of considerations helps you when you’re deciding whether to DIY or buy!