DIY or DDY (Don't Do Yourself)


Big DIY projects require confidence, skill and a huge reality check. 
 Self-performing has its benefits.  For starters you could save large quantities of money while experiencing the joy of personal accomplishment.  (Nothing like beholding your own masterpiece!)  Some DIY projects should be DDY projects though - projects you don't do yourself.  This is especially true if the project requires a specialized skill such as plumbing, electrical, tile setting, etc. Attempting a DDY projects can cost you dearly in terms of money, time, personal health due to stress/injury, marital strain, and......even more money.  The key is distinguishing which projects are DIY and which are DDY. So how do you tell the difference? 
Here are 7 “reality check” questions to consider before self-performing a renovation.
1.  What is my skill level?  Pros make it look easy, but don’t be fooled.  Not everyone is a pro.  Some have a natural aptitude for carpentry and it comes easy.  Others not so much.  Be honest with yourself when evaluating your skill level.  A little self-awareness can prevent you from getting in over your head. 
2.  How much time (and patience) am I prepared to invest?  Beautiful renovations happen quickly on HGTV.  They only take a 30 minute episode.  Real life renovations take considerably longer, and require significantly more patience.  You’ll feel an urge to rush, but doing a renovation hastily is a mistake.  You’re better off getting it right the first time. 
3.  How much energy can I give my project?  Renovation work is very physical and requires stamina.  If you’re typically exhausted after your “day job”, a DIY renovation may require weekends.  Just make sure you approach your project with mental and physical energy.  Bad things happen when sleep deprived zombies try to renovate.  
4. Do I know an expert?  If DIY was a game show, this is where you could “phone a friend.”  Knowledgeable friends and contacts help you get unstuck as you encounter problems.  Better yet let them know before you even start.  They’ll likely share a few vital insights as you plan.
5.  Will I be safe?  No renovation is worth serious injury.  Stop immediately if you think you might be running that risk. 
6.  Can I start with a smaller project?  You don’t need to tackle large renovations to learn if you have a knack for DIY.  Start small.  Small projects are a great gauge for how well you’ll handle larger ones.  You only put yourself ahead of the curve as you gain more experience.   
7. What’s the worst case scenario if I do it myself?  Resist being optimistic if you’re unwilling to consider the risk.  The best advice for a DIY renovation is “Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” –Dennis Waitley