When we bought our first house we had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for. There was so much to do and having just bought a house we had no budget left to pay for any of the work!
We had no previous DIY experience but in order to make our home livable, we had to get stuck in and learn fast!
It turns out that it was the best thing we could have done! We’ve learned so much in the last 7 years, managed to achieve more than we ever thought possible and not only saved a lot of money, we actually made money, too!
I know that people sometimes think we’re mad tackling so many DIY projects but the truth is that once you’ve started a DIY adventure there’s no going back! It’s addictive and there’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you stand back and admire something you made, designed or built yourself!
Here are our Top 5 Reasons DIY Is A Good Idea
1. Save Money – lots of it!
Admittedly this is an obvious reason but it’s also the best reason ever to even think about picking up a tool.
By doing things yourself you can save so much. If you think you aren’t skilled enough (I promise you are!) and don’t trust yourself to even put up a flat-pack shelf you can still save money by doing things yourself.
Prep work is often the easiest part of a project yet it can be really time-consuming and therefore costly – a great place to save money.
Here are some samples:
- We saved about £550 by sanding our floors ourselves.
- We replaced our garage roof and saved about £1700.
- We prepared the opening for our wood burning stove and removed all of the bricks which saved us about £250.
- We took down the garden wall and cleaned the bricks ready for our builder to rebuild the wall. Saved us £600!
2. You can get exactly what you want
Know the feeling where you have a vision of exactly what you’d like your space to look like but just can’t seem to make your builder understand what it is you really want?
I’ll never forget the look when we went to a joinery and asked for plywood strips because I wanted to lay a plywood floor or the morning our plasterer was due to turn up and texted that he couldn’t make it because he’d gotten too drunk the night before!
By doing things yourself you have so much more control over everything! And you know exactly what has been done and what hasn’t – no more corner cutting (or at least you’ll know which corners you cut yourself)!
You also gain a huge amount of independence! No more waiting around for tradespeople to turn up – you can just do it yourself!
3. Learn New Skills
It may sound like a lot but we started small and worked our way up to bigger projects. We certainly didn’t move into our home and think “Oh, we’ll remove and replace the garage roof ourselves!” but after tackling lots of small and then medium-sized projects we worked our way up to the bigger ones.
Even the biggest project is really only the sum of lots of small ones!
4. Sense Of Achievement
Apart from saving money, this has to be the best reason ever to do things yourself. Being able to stand back and admire your work gives you such a buzz. We may not be living in our home in Manchester anymore but I still think back to all we achieved. It’s astonishing just how much is possible if you take your time and learn new skills. Hopefully, we’ll manage to achieve a similar transformation in our new home!
5. Higher Quality
The biggest DIY myth is that by doing things yourself you won’t achieve a result that’s as good as if you’d paid someone to do it! It’s so untrue!
Of course, there are good and bad tradespeople but even if you’ve found the best it doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be able to achieve at least the same or possibly a better result.
I don’t mean this to sound bad towards tradespeople and a lot of them are really good and will work to a high standard.
Having said that you may not be able to afford the best and there’s certainly no way we could have ever afforded to pay someone to spend the same painstaking amount of time stripping and sanding our staircase the way we did.
It took us about 250 hours to strip, sand, paint and stain our staircase. No one would spend that amount of time on a staircase in a semi.
Just think about it. Even if whoever doing it was only earning £10 an hour that’s a whopping £2500 just for the work without any materials.
Admittedly, you’re never going to be able to do everything yourself and some jobs are definitely better left to the professionals! A lot of DIY projects aren’t as difficult as you may think and you can probably do much more than you thought possible! We all have to start somewhere! So, give DIY a try!
What are your reasons DIY is a good idea? Do you have a favourite DIY project? What are you most proud of? We love so many of our projects but replacing the garage roof is probably what we’re most proud of!