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DIY or Not - Do it Yourself or Not?

Updated on November 23, 2014

DIY or Not - Should You Do It Yourself?

Whether to take on a DIY home improvement project or not is a big decision for many people. How to decide whether you should do it yourself depends on several factors...

1. type of diy project

2. size of diy project

3. budget

4. skill level

5. time factor

DIY covers anything in the do-it-yourself category. It could be a home improvement project, refinishing a piece of furniture, building a shed, remodeling, painting, tiling, etc.

The kitchen remodeling project pictured was part of a demo/renovation my husband and I did for hire for a homeowner on Oahu's north shore. We redid the whole unit and used many tools and had to change "hats" (so to speak) many times during the process. A lot of plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, painting and cleaning was required to complete the job.

Of course, there are some DIY jobs people should be wary of and are better off hiring out. It's a fact a lot of electrical and plumbing work in particular should be left to the experts, but in a big project like this one pictured, there are many tasks the average person CAN do themselves. DIY or Not? It's your decision.

Do It Yourself? Yep......Much Better! :)

Do It Yourself? Yep......Much Better! :)
Do It Yourself? Yep......Much Better! :) | Source

DIY or Not? Would you tackle this remodeling project?

DIY or Not? Would you tackle this remodeling project?
DIY or Not? Would you tackle this remodeling project? | Source

Basic Do It Yourself Tools

Start with the basic do it yourself tools and build your tool inventory from there. Bonus: These tools ship FREE via Amazon's FREE Super Saver Shipping!

Refinishing Furniture - DIY or Not? - Caning a Chair - It's Easy to DIY

Rocking Chair Redo DIY
Rocking Chair Redo DIY | Source

Finding this old oak rocking chair with the wide arms was a joy for me. There wasn't any question whether to DIY or Not, because of course, I just had to do it myself. The most challenging part of this particular project was recaning the chair seat and back; this was something I had never attempted before.

I discovered a source where I could purchase pieces of woven cane online. The cane arrived at my doorstep with DIY instructions, the caning and wood wedges. All I had to do was read the directions through, take a deep breath and begin. I think the caning came out beautifully and it was actually very easy.

eBay Has What You Need for DIY Chair Caning

Purchase caning already woven (as I did) or try your hand at weaving your own cane. Here's where I got my supplies for this chair caning project.

Plumbing - Do It Yourself or Not?

DIY Small Bathroom Redo
DIY Small Bathroom Redo | Source

Remodeling a small bathroom can be a daunting task if you have no prior experience with diy plumbing. In addition, you'll also need some proficiency in carpentry and electrical, but I truly believe this is appropriate DIY for many people. Just don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and do your research first if you're not familiar with certain procedures and be generous with your time allowances on a home improvement project like this.

Replacing the old grey tiled shower and sink in my mother-in-law's bathroom was a project we couldn't put off any longer. Budget, of course, was a factor and thankfully, time wasn't. My husband has a full time job and my mother in law has a second bathroom, and we finished this job on a "pay for materials as you go" basis. (Perfect combination of factors.) :)

The bathroom was gutted and outfitted with a new 3-piece shower kit. (Having 3 separate pieces allowed us to get the new shower in and out of the doorway without having to take down a wall.) A new shower tree, new fixtures, new subflooring and ceramic tile floor, new sink and cabinetry. The space was reprimed and painted.

It's not fancy, but it's clean and functional and most of all.. my mother in law is happy. :)

DIY Plumbing Books and Tools

Plumbing Do-It-Yourself For Dummies
Plumbing Do-It-Yourself For Dummies

When in doubt, this series is always a good bet for the basics!


Removing Hardwood Flooring - DIY or Not?

Removing Hardwood Flooring
Removing Hardwood Flooring | Source

Before you replace hardwood floors, you first have to remove the old hardwood flooring. Do you think this is a DIY or Not job? It's definitelyDo It Yourself in our book.

Lots of muscle and a couple of heavy duty crowbars and hammers were required to remove the hardwood flooring and subfloor down to the floor joists. (The trick to crowbars is remember to use your leverage.) Make sure to locate and take out any nails that may be protruding from the joists before laying down the new subfloor.

(Installing new hardwood floors is definitely easier when you don't have to lay new subflooring, but our mother-in-law's bedroom floor had prior termite damage that couldn't be patched.) So it was off with the old and on with the new hardwood flooring.

FatMax Crowbar
FatMax Crowbar

If You Had a Hammer (and a Crowbar or two)

you could remove wood flooring too.


DIY or Not? Should You Do It Yourself or Not?

This concerns the gals. :)

Ladies, there may be one other thing to consider when deciding whether to DIY or not...... Would you want to have your photo taken looking like this? Uh If you just can't handle the no-makeup-frizzy-hair-bandana-on-the-forehead-sweaty-face look, then perhaps you should stick to smaller DIY projects. Because, seriously, I still had to go home and cook dinner at the end of this long day. haha

What home improvement jobs have you had to decide whether to diy or not?

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    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      Too many but one thing we never touch is electrical. I think the hardest for Mr. Vix was putting on a roof, many years ago and for me, it was re-texturing a dining room including the ceiling. My arms were sore for weeks!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      I don't do any complicated electrical or plumbing, but I'm game for just about anything else. Fortunately, my good buddy has the electrical skills.

    • Nathanville profile image

      Arthur Russ 5 years ago from England

      The only jobs I do not touch are ones related to gas and usually structural jobs; although I did relocate our back door when I renovated the kitchen, with help and advice from a friend who is a retired builder.

    • profile image

      lensesbyjames 5 years ago

      None yet but i will be starting some soon!

    • profile image

      BestLaminateInc1 5 years ago

      I think the kitchen remodel was the hardest choice. Cupboards can be complicated. :)

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      We redid our kitchen floor.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I have been tackling more home repairs and have discovered they are not as difficult or mysterious as I first thought. This is something every woman should learn!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I've done tons of DIY home improvement jobs. They get harder the older I get. About all I care about doing these days is painting and other easy stuff. You go, girl!