Why You Should D.I.Y. (Do it Yourself)
A new craze has been quietly gaining momentum and recently appears to have exploded into the forefront of the average person's financial radar. Once only the "speculative but generally unobtainable" idea held by home owners, this craze has now become a "phenomenon". Everyone, everywhere is now "hip" to DIY.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term DIY, it is actually an acronym for Do It Yourself...and this tiny acronym has taken the country by storm!
In the beginning
Long before DIY became a household 'word', homeowners were enticed by the idea of saving money on home repairs by doing the work themselves. While doing their own renovations was a great idea, the main challenge for a successful completion of their projects was knowledge. The majority of homeowners had no idea how to properly wire electrical outlets, plumb a bathroom, or frame a wall - all according to code.
The only solution available was to hire contractors to do the work. While this proved to be an excellent answer regarding the lack of knowledge, it didn't save the homeowners any money. In many cases it ended up costing them more than they had bargained for when the contractor they hired ended up doing a sub-par job and they had to engage the services of another company to come and fix the problem.
Eventually, homeowners decided this resolution was financially one-sided, and needed to be revised. Bit by bit, with the help of hardware stores and building supply chains, the knowledge to do more than simple repairs became available, and the revolution to do our own home renovations was born.
Knowledge to make repairs to drywall, replace tile and easy plumbing fixes led the way to more difficult and challenging renovations. As more and more people started looking for home renovation information, sites began springing up all over the world-wide-web.
Hardware stores and building supply outlets began offering classes for simple repairs, painting, deck building and home improvements. Customers became interested in doing their own kitchen renovations, finishing basements, bathroom updates and additions to their existing living space.
Armed with books, videos and rental tools, homeowners across the country started tackling jobs that were previously the exclusive domain of builders and contractors.
Decorators began offering their insight and soon how-to-manuals and television programs featuring redecorating and interior design gained popularity with the masses.
Today, there are so many design shows on television it is hard to keep up with them. Kitchen Crashers, Bath Crashers, I Hate My Bathroom and many others show us, the homeowners, just what can be done with a decent budget, know-how and a little ingenuity.
Personally, I wouldn't want to be taking down walls and opening up kitchens and bathrooms without a professional. There are such things as load bearing walls, and the removal of them can create structural issues that might see your house on the condemned list.
But if you are just wanting to update your original space without changing the original footprint, there are dozens of design books and shows that can help you find the perfect flooring, cabinetry, counter tops, fixtures and appliances
Today, renters and homeowners alike are not satisfied with simply giving their homes a facelift - they want the ability to do complete renovations from the ground up.
Not only have the retail outlets kept pace by offering classes, manuals and more selections and styles that ever before, the media has also joined the ranks as the most prominent advocates for do-it-yourself-ers.
No less than thirty-five shows about DIY home renovation projects are aired weekly on several television and cable networks. Step-by-step directions and how-to videos are available on numerous websites, making it easier for more people to access the information.
Armed with the knowledge of the necessary materials, blueprints/steps required and time needed for the completion of any given project, more home owners and renters are undertaking their own home improvements with amazing results.
The bottom line
Most people will tell you that they get immense satisfaction from doing their own home improvements, are proud of their accomplishments, and 'wear' their DIY experiences with pride. However, in addition to this, the do-it-yourself-er has another, very important motivation - saving money!
Even taking into consideration the retail cost of materials, the average do-it-yourself project can save you hundreds of dollars. Instead of a kitchen renovation costing $50,000 to complete, a DIY'er can experience the same results for a total cost of $10,000 to $20,000.
Now, contractor based renovations are within your budget - for the cost of materials and a lot of elbow grease.
*It should be noted here that any major renovation should not be undertaken without the proper knowledge, help, and in some cases, professional assistance. (eg. electrical wiring/gas hook-ups, major plumbing issues, etc.)
More and more people are "digging in" with landscaping, building their own decks/patios, building walkways, pergolas, tiling floors/back-splashes and saving money! A total win-win situation - saving money, investing for the future and improving the immediate equity of your property. If there is any down-side at all it would be that you need to do the work yourself!
The sky's the limit
From improving your home's curb appeal to complete bathroom or kitchen renovations, any project that adds to the equity of your home is within the do-it-yourself-er's budget. This doesn't mean that contractors are losing a lot of sleep over this. Trust me, there are still a whole lot of people out there who can't manage a screwdriver or hammer, never mind a circular saw.
But for those hardy individuals willing to put in the time and are brave enough to learn, the sky is the limit. So grab your trowel and miter boards - new adventures are just around the corner! Fix up that garden area with new shrubs, add a backsplash to your bathroom or repaint the kitchen - a whole new world of DIY projects are waiting for you!