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DIY or Not - Do it Yourself or Not?

Updated on November 23, 2014
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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.

DIY or Not? Would you do it yourself (or have you) done any caning or furniture refinishing?

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    • webgirl256 profile image

      webgirl256 4 years ago

      I think its always fun tor bring new life to things!

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 4 years ago

      Not caning, but I've refinished furniture- the job I did took a lot of time and effort but it did look very nice in the end!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very cool what a person can do themselves at home. DIY is a great way to do!

    • Nathanville profile image

      Arthur Russ 4 years ago from England

      Yes I love DIY and I have restored fabric and wooden furniture quite often over the years around the home.

    • profile image

      lensesbyjames 4 years ago

      Furniture refinishing, this really was a good project to do. I will be looking for a project of my own.

    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!

     

    Have you remodeled a bathroom?

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      • Rhonda Lytle profile image

        Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

        We have done two. Hard work both! Luckily, Mr. Vix caught on to plumbing pretty well. We did hire out the tile work on the floor but in retrospect, I kind of wish we had tried to tackle that too. I've never done a cabinet replacement, only refinishes. I would love to know how. That kitchen looks good.

      • CustomerCallers profile image

        CustomerCallers 3 years ago

        Home plumbing repairs many times can be done by homeowners for sure. remodeling can appear to be fairly easy to undertake, but it is always best to consult with a local plumbing company if one has any questions. Love the before and after shower photo above!

      • Nathanville profile image

        Arthur Russ 4 years ago from England

        Yes, a couple of years ago a friend replaced his old white enamel cast iron bath with a new bath and as his old bath was in good condition he gave it to us so we could replace our old cheap plastic bath with it. Once I ripped out our old bath because it was so heavy it took three of use to drag it up the stairs with ropes. But once I plumbed it in I remodelled our bathroom, laying an oak floor and oak panelling as the bath side. The friend who helped me drag the cast iron bath up the stairs had our old plastic bath which he now uses as a planter in his garden for growing herbs.

      • Frischy profile image

        Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

        I've paid someone to do it twice. The last guy did not do a good job. It is going to have to be redone in a few years. I will be switching out my toilet very soon and that will be DIY. It is a surprisingly easy job. The hardest part is wrestling with the heavy toilet.

      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.

      Have you removed or installed hardwood flooring in a DIY project?

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        • Nathanville profile image

          Arthur Russ 4 years ago from England

          We tend to use floorboards (which is a soft wood) rather than hardwood flooring in England, although it is becoming popular to lay laminate flooring or oak floorboards on top of the existing floorboards when giving a room a facelift and yes I have laid both of these types of floorings myself, laminate in our home office and oak floorboards in the dining room and bathroom.

        • Nathanville profile image

          Arthur Russ 4 years ago from England

          We tend to use floorboards (which is a soft wood) rather than hardwood flooring in England, although it is becoming popular to lay laminate flooring or oak floorboards on top of the existing floorboards when giving a room a facelift and yes I have laid both of these types of floorings myself, laminate in our home office and oak floorboards in the dining room and bathroom.

        • profile image

          BestLaminateInc1 5 years ago

          I have not worked on a hardwood installation but laminates are our specialty. It takes time and patience but the payoff is huge! Nothing changes the look and feel of a room like a change of flooring.

        • Frischy profile image

          Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

          I have removed carpets from hardwood floors, but the thought of tearing up my hardwoods makes me tear up.

        Source

        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 oh....lol. 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 2 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 4 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 4 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. :)

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