DIY stands for “do it yourself”.
It’s a source of pride.
A method of bonding if you do it with a child or spouse.
A way to (maybe) save money.
DYI has certainly grown in popularity recently.
Cable television and the ‘net plaster it all over the place.
Reality shows about everything under the sun:
- Auto repair
- Car/bike building
- Home improvements & repairs
- How-to technology programs
Pretty much anything under the sun!
DIY projects are great on several fronts, and not just in terms of building or repairing things either.
They allow you to put your skills to good use.
You can (possibly) cut down on the costs of projects since you’re not outsourcing those tasks.
They allow for the learning of new skills.
In general, do-it-yourself projects can be very beneficial.
If DIY projects have so many benefits, why would I recommend staying away from them?
There are times when doing things yourself can be detrimental and possibly have terrible consequences.
There are various reasons, and each individual would have to decide for themselves, but the main situations include…
DIY When Time Is Of The Essence
When it is imperative that a project is completed in a swift and efficient manner, it is often best to hire someone to take care of it.
Things like computer or car repairs or projects around the house like replacing plumbing are often issues that require immediate attention.
They don’t usually allow for the time necessary to research and teach yourself how to do the tasks necessary to complete the projects.
In such cases, in order to avoid having interruptions in your daily life, it is usually best to call in a professional.
Even for projects that don’t require immediate completion you still might want to offload it onto someone else.
For tasks like building out a deck or putting together a garden, it can be more beneficial to hire someone experienced.
By doing that, you can spend your time concentrating on other things that require your time and attention rather than work at small intervals when you can find the time.
And here’s a question: have you ever told anyone that you were going to start a project or task?
How often do they ask you:
How’s that DIY project coming along?
Are you almost finished with that DIY project?
It gets old, even if it’s just friendly ribbing, right!?
Kind of like the grandparent who always asks when you’re going to settle down and get married.
Well, if you don’t put yourself in that position you won’t have to deal with it, right?
DIY Can Be Dangerous
Some things that can be done on your own simply shouldn’t if you don’t have the hands-on experience of a professional.
Some of these tasks that come to mind include:
- Working with electrical components such as rewiring lights
- Installing items dealing with exposed wires
- Using unfamiliar power tools
- Working at heights or on unsure footing such as pressure cleaning a roof
These are just a few examples.
Without working or practical knowledge and experience on tasks like these leaves much room for harm.
Professionals in these areas have the tools and know-how to protect themselves from the many dangers these jobs present.
The most qualified people are skilled at getting the job done while significantly reducing and even eliminating inherent dangers.
Dealing With Important Or Valuable Items
Some items are extremely expensive or even irreplaceable.
Doing something like trying to hang a television that costs thousands of dollars sounds simple enough.
Trying to adjust a piece of jewelry that has been passed down through several generations may also seem easy.
At least when you watch an expert do it in a video.
But, the slightest slip-up or oversight can cause irreparable damage.
Imagine you’re investing in collectibles and try pressing comic books for the first time on a rare variant.
Or if you try cleaning your great-great-grandmother’s jewelry with a DIY cleaning solution.
Even something as common as changing brakes on a car where the smallest miscalculation or error can lead to not only the destruction of the vehicle but the loss of life which can never be replaced.
DIY And Humiliation
Many people think going to the salon or barber is a waste of money.
They’d rather keep the cash and do the job themselves, or have a friend or relative do it for them.
Think of mothers who put a bowl on their kids’ heads, cutting around it leaving them looking like mushroom heads.
Sure, the Flowbee was crazy popular for really cheap people to give themselves haircuts back in the day.
But seriously, what do you do when it goes wrong?
What happens when a lady tries to dye her own hair but screws up leaving it green?
Or worse yet having the chemicals cause patches of hair to fall out?
Legal & Financial Consequences Of DIY
Online websites and programs are produced to convince you that they can do many tasks.
Things like preparing your own income tax return.
Or draw up your own legal documents (or use legal templates from a source other than a lawyer).
What these sites (and their operators) do not explicitly disclose to you is that these products are not foolproof.
In more complicated scenarios, they can leave the individual highly exposed.
But, what if your situation is more complicated than you realize?
Or if you simply don’t know that you are omitting something like when you DIY taxes?
Even though the site/program owners profess to save you time and money with their “accurate and simple” solutions, you may end up screwing up big time.
Forgetting to report something or not knowing the rules for reporting certain claims on an income tax return can lead to penalties, interest, and/or backup withholding.
Not knowing to include a particular clause in a legal document can leave you open to a lawsuit or worse yet, without recourse for a perceived negative action against you.
DIY Medical (AKA Self-Diagnosis)
I won’t even dignify the stupidity of self-diagnosis and self-medication/operation just to avoid paying for it by saying any more on this subject.
I don’t expect everyone to agree with all of these points or my views on DIY.
Some people will stubbornly claim that there is never a reason to pay someone to do what you can learn to do yourself.
Some people will refuse to acknowledge these situations out of pure stinginess and refuse to part with any money unless there is no possible alternative.
I’m cool with that; you’re entitled to your own views.
You have to at least consider the possibility there are times when it makes more sense to pay someone else.
You just need to ask yourself if DIY is really worth the:
- and/or risk
All things that come with any given do-it-yourself project you attempt.
Are you one of those people that would never consider having something done if you couldn’t do it on your own? Have you ever foregone hiring a professional only to end up needing to bring one in to fix something you screwed up doing yourself? Have you ever done something only to realize that the more efficient and economical choice would have been to pay someone rather than do it on your own?