We’re tackling these house projects in the same way we tackle boat projects - with as much DIY as possible.
Would it be easier to hire someone to do the job? Maybe. It’d certainly be less messy, at least on our end. But there are 3 reasons we do it ourselves (and they’re the same reasons we do all our own work on the boat!)
Cost control. When we do the work ourselves, we know exactly what we’re spending. Yes, we pay for the materials, but if a job takes 10 hours it takes 10 hours; often, hiring someone means we’re paying for 15 hours on the clock for those 10 hours of work. When we’re cruising, doing it ourselves means we can stick to our budget and be out there longer.
Workmanship. There are indeed jobs where it pays to hire a skilled someone else. How do you find the skilled people? How do you actually know that you’re hiring someone who is not just full of well-intentioned bravado saying “Oh, yes, I can do that"!” when they’ve never done it before? When we do the work ourselves, we can spend as much time researching and thinking about it as we need to. Maybe we’ve never done it before, but at least we’re not paying someone else to learn on the job. Extra bonus because we tend to take more care, to do the extra bits that we find along the way; someone who’s just doing a job will more than likely not take that care. There is nothing worse than spending a lot of money on a job that’s not been done to your standards.
Satisfaction and learning opportunity. When we do the work ourselves, we know the boat (or the house) inside and out. When we’ve run all the plumbing lines, when something goes wrong we’re intimately familiar with how the whole system works. When we’ve installed a sliding glass door ourselves, every single time we look out that door we feel a surge of pride. This may sound like an inconsequential reason to take on messy, arduous tasks, but to us it’s a huge part of pride in ownership.
Pride in ownership means we grin every time we look at the boat, or the house. That feeling is worth every minute of labor!
Do you DIY? Why or why not?