DIY is a fun activity but for some not really. For me DIY does not come naturally to me so I prefer to stay away from it but to others it comes naturally and the love spending the time to figure it out and then get it done. For parents there are lots and lots of projects that you can do DIY from building a treehouse for your kids to making something small but sentimental like Handmade Headbands. DIY items are a source of bonding time for parents and kids they can also be hazardous if not done right. These two examples show two opposing schools of thought on DIY. Let’s discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of DIY below.
Advantages of DIY
It saves money: One of the main reasons people do a DIY project is that it is less expensive than buying a ready made item and so saves money and this is a great advantage for parents especially. Parents are able to save on labor and professional fees, allowing them to buy better materials or simply save the money. Hiring a contractor can take a lot of work and time, especially if you’re not sure about the construction process. You may even end up spending more than what you want and end up with loads of useless construction materials in your house.
You can customize:
Halfway through the project, if you don’t like where it is going or the shape it’s taking, then you can easily change it without any hassles or consultations. After all, you’re the only person doing the project so everything is up to your whims. If you want, you can even go for an entirely different route than your original plan. This will take longer though. And for smaller projects you can make variations that you’ll normally not find in the market. For example if you are making handmade headbands for your daughter, you can make them using a sentimental material like something passed down from a grandparent (something borrowed) thereby making it extra special.
You can advance your skills:
When you continue to do projects you get better at them and in time you acquire a lot of new skills. And with YouTube and the internet now you can access a lot of information, DIY shops, workshops etc at a moment’s notice. Your skill regarding repairs around the house for example, will also have improved, so you can be more confident the next time something similar needs repairing or you might even offer to fix a friend’s house problems.
Connect with others:
As a parent, you’ll be happy to know that there are tons of support groups and facebook groups of parent who do DIY. In these groups you can get tons of ideas and you will make connections with like minded people or people with similar interests too. You’ll find that they are willing to share their expertise or simply guide the newcomers to the DIY world about what to do and how to prepare for DIY projects. By simply reading up on their websites, asking questions on facebook groups, or chatting with fellow DIYers, you’ll gain valuable insight which may apply to your situation.
Disadvantages of DIY
It takes time:
If you’ve ever struggled with a DIY project, then you know the time and effort it takes to build simple objects like a kitchen cupboard or shelf or a play area or sew a clothing item or costume. It you are a parent your time is probably precious and filled with activities like running errands and working etc. The good thing is that after struggling with one project, you’ll develop a deeper understanding and appreciation about quality craftsmanship and the things you’ll buy or own in the future. Experience is the best teacher. After each DIY project, you become more attentive to detail on how it was made and also how other products are made, if their quality is worth it or not.
Sometimes doing something DIY will lead it to you doing it improperly leading to damages that cost more than you were trying to save in the first place. One reason why contractors are in the business is that they know what they are doing through years of experience and training. Though there are a lot of manuals or how-to videos out there, it doesn’t give you equal footing with them. If you undertake a project which may be simple at first, you might find yourself in trouble. It’s also dangerous as accident could happen. You wouldn’t want this if you have children running around in the house. Make sure any DIY repairs you undertake are in line with the health code.
Cheaper costs of materials:
Contractors and professionals know how to source the right quality of materials and at cheaper costs too. If you buy yourself, you might not get the best deal in price, and the materials you buy might be sub-par. In the case of contractors, they can use their contacts and their experience to select the best kind of materials for the job. You’ll avoid future repair costs since it will last for a long time and won’t give you additional headaches after. Since contractors have been in the business for quite some time, they have established connections regarding materials, manpower, and other construction-related costs. Even if your project involves big renovations like overhauling the ceiling or electrical insulation, you’ll be able to save on materials compared to when you buy them yourself.
If you’re doing a DIY project yourself, you have to take responsibility when something goes awry in the future. Once something goes wrong, no matter how minor it is, you have to go back to the repair store and buy additional materials for a second job. This means spending more money and more time on that botched project. But with contractors or when you buy products from the store, they are able to provide you with a warranty many months or years after completion of the project. If something goes wrong, even if it’s a minor or big issue, you can call them up and they’ll fix it for you for no charge. Contractors live off their reputation so you know that they’ll do the job well the first time, and they’ll provide you with a good warranty to boot.
Before you take on an DIY project whether small or big, from scratch or a repair you should plan ahead and think if it’s really worth it. Also plan for contingencies and make sure you are making the right choice. If it’s a project that involves making something for your kid like a handmade headband, try involving them so its more bonding time for you and it makes it even more special. Whatever you do, remember to have fun.