man caulking

Do you ever simply think, “I just want somebody to Do It For Me” (DIFM), whatever ‘it’ may be? As a trade professional people assume that I am against the Do It Yourself (DIY) craze. This is not true, and today I’d like to share some thoughts on the topic.

The decision process for what to handle yourself and when to call in a pro basically comes down to skills/knowledge, time and desire. Some might think cost would be on this list. We’ll return to that.

HGTV gets folks inspired to give something a try in their own home and YouTube has a video for just about everything. If it doesn’t turn out as planned, you can generally start over.

Where this approach breaks down is for plumbing, electrical and mechanical work. If you don’t know what you are doing you can flood your home, electrocute yourself, or cause a fire. All generally considered poor outcomes for a weekend project. That still leaves a ton of things you can do yourself. Be brave, go for it.

Eventually, time and desire come into play. When I was younger, a newlywed and in our first home, we were excited to take on projects. Doing it ourselves helped us bond and made that first house our home. If you are in this phase of life, it is a wonderful time.

As careers take off, children come along and life gets more complex, the desire to spend your evenings and weekends on projects wanes. Each new item on the ‘to do’ list means less time with friends and family, or less ‘me time’, and you begin to resent it. This is when the DIFM mindset kicks in, and that’s OK also. It is part of the cycle of life.

I mentioned above that cost isn’t as big a consideration as some may think. For many busy people there is simply never enough time. While there is a financial cost to the DIFM approach, there is an investment of precious time to DIY. Delaying work also has costs, as damage builds from delayed repair or maintenance. Any way you view it, there is a cost. It’s simply a matter of which cost you would prefer to pay? Time, or money.

We should all do the projects that excite us. If you enjoy what you are doing the time vs. money point is not an issue. When the desire fades and time gets tight, don’t feel you are cheating by calling a professional. They’ll get it done well, get it off your to-do list and allow you to focus on what you would rather prefer to be doing.