Home Improvement

Who else is absolutely thrilled to work on their house and DIY?

By May 17, 2019 43 Comments

A lot of posts here recently about the projects you shouldn’t do yourself and hire out, but I read those posts and if you were only looking at the replies in those threads you’d think no one ever works on their own house. I am absolutely thrilled to do everything around the house myself. One part is because I want to save money but not because I’m broke, but because to me that means I will get around to completing more projects while staying in my budget. I also love to do manual work and learn how everything works in the house, gets me up and moving instead of sitting in a chair all day at work.

Who elses is fully into DIYing everything and is excited at all the projects around their home? Let’s get some people hyped to learn and work on their own stuff instead of paying for contractors to come in and do all the work!


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43 Comments

  • Mayor-Kuzco says:

    Amen.

  • mgee15 says:

    I am, I love seeing the end rewults of my wok, just wish there was enough time in the day and to do everything I wanted lol

  • NastyNate7577 says:

    I love it too, I recently finished building my detached garage mostly by myself and I’m really happy with the way it turned out

  • digitalcashking says:

    I too do 90% of the work at my place whether it’s plumbing, electrical, trim/floor, whatever. I do most of these things in a limited way at my day job and I have all the tools so why not? Crank up the stereo and start mudding the basement with a beer, great fun for me. I didn’t do my roof though (heights are not my thing lol) and I won’t touch gas.

  • livinginahologram says:

    I am. One thing you are going to quickly realize is that some things is not that you are not capable of doing it yourself or that you lack the motivation, but rather that it would take insane amounts of time otherwise – or require machinery or equipment that would be impratical for you to own or even rent.

    Also, if you are living in the same house you are remodeling it makes things even more time consuming as you need to constantly cleanup after each remodelling job.

    Otherwise, more power to you! I’ve been remodeling my house for the past two years during my free time and it had it’s ups and downs. Overall it’s still very thrilling and I’ve learned a lot.

  • e102938475 says:

    Same for me, sitting in front of a screen all day makes it rewarding doing hands on work. Yeah it costs time but if I hired a contractor I’d have to spend more time at work to make money to pay the contractor.

  • seriouslyawesome says:

    In the midst of a major renovation on my first house, doing as much as I can with my own hands and saving contractor money for things where speed, quality, or safety (or some combination thereof) dictate. Some projects are more “fun” than others, but all are incredibly satisfying.

  • fiddel_fabulous says:

    Ive been pretty much building everything every weekend for 4 years and now i live in it and still put in 3-4 hours each week on house projects.

    I dont hate it, its routine but once a step is poured or a garden tilled or a shed built feels like a great pat on the shoulder.

    So one somewhere is proud.

  • Hfftygdertg2 says:

    I’m planting a tree. I could have (and probably should have) paid the nursery $200 to plant it. That’s not bad, but I feel like it’s a necessary life skill to be able to do myself. Digging the hole 42 inches wide by 18 inches deep only took about two hours. They will deliver the tree to the backyard, and I can roll it into the hole.

    I’m pretty sure I injured my feet digging, so I probably should have just paid to have it planted. At least I went and bought a pick mattock after I was done to make future digging easier on my feet.

  • MikeTheVike says:

    I think a lot of us want to do DIY, but lack of time makes it impossible. I work full time and have 2 young kids. Nothing has gotten done since that second kid was born.

  • DigitalEvil says:

    I love doing work on my house. Sure it is hard work and can get frustrating at times (enough to make you want to quit momentarily), but it is absolutely so rewarding when you finish. In the middle of a bathroom reno and doing almost everything myself. I’ll leave some of the more crucial things up to the licensed tradesmen (plumbing/electrical/hvac), but I’m not against dabbling when I know it isn’t a crucial thing I’m going to completely screw up or kill myself on.

  • MsBlackSox says:

    I just created a hallway closet (stealing space from a bedroom closet that was four feet deeper than the doors) and am in the process of hanging drywall. It’s been fun to rip things out and see it all come together.

    I’ve done a few other projects around the house, and have loved doing the work, acquiring the skills, and being able to show people what i have built.

  • dialmformurderess says:

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with hiring out jobs that you can’t/don’t want to do yourself (*cough* DRYWALL), but something about doing things with your own two hands is extremely satisfying. In the last few years, I’ve learned how to do a ton of things I’ve never done before – crimp ethernet cables, run wire, wire an outlet, pull carpet, replace a toilet, tile a floor, install a ceiling fan, patch drywall, hang a door, use a compound mitre saw – and next time around, I’ll feel a lot more competent with these projects.

  • eviltwintomboy says:

    I’m working on it. I updated my second floor apartment, including refinishing the front porch, taking out the old sliding glass shower, and repainting all the furniture. Toilet’s done, kitchen sink is next. Im nervous about electrical, though…

  • Medicei says:

    I love working on my house for two reasons:

    1) It’s been a great bonding project with my dad (who has a professional background in construction and skilled maintenance) and love having something tangible to see my progress on. It’s so cute to see him puff up with pride when I acquire a new skill or show him a project I did on my own with the skills he taught me.

    2) I also love rolling into my cushy office job after a long, productive weekend and having my older coworkers be blown away that I, a petite mid/late-twenties lady, spent the weekend pouring cement or doing some equally laborious “hard” house task. They have started asking me for help or advice on their own project at home or design opinions and really like that I can be a source of information to people that I otherwise have no common interests with.

  • dromio05 says:

    It’s such a sense of accomplishment. I’m a teacher, and while I know I’m making a difference in the long run, I often feel like I’m just banging my head against the wall all day long with some of these little turdburglers. But spend a weekend hanging drywall, or laying carpet, or stripping and refinishing a door, or swapping out light fixtures, or (last weekend and this weekend’s project) building a bed with built in drawers, or any of the other projects we’ve done in the past six months, and I can sit back with a beer and see what I’ve put together right then and there. Building up equity in the house for only the price of materials isn’t such a raw deal, either.

  • Mariiriini says:

    I get excited by DIYing and will basically do everything that I possible can myself/with a friend, but the joy of the craft is probably 3rd or 4th on my list of why. to be perfectly honest I just really hate people in my house and can’t afford to hire out everything. I can afford to spend time learning, I can’t work more hours in a day.

  • Cwilly111 says:

    I built my total house 2700 sf although a few things I wasn’t allowed to do like the electrical and I subbed out the masonry because it is a full basement with nine foot walls and they are concrete blocks. That would have taken me years to do and my poor back. If you can work up enough desire and energy take it on. Now if you are totally clueless about construction it might be a bad idea, I was a building inspector at the time and eventually became a general contractor. But my experience with my house gave me the desire and drive to build houses as a living.

  • Mariiriini says:

    I get excited by DIYing and will basically do everything that I possible can myself/with a friend, but the joy of the craft is probably 3rd or 4th on my list of why. to be perfectly honest I just really hate people in my house and can’t afford to hire out everything. I can afford to spend time learning, I can’t work more hours in a day.

  • Equivalent_Cat says:

    Love doing as much as I can on the house. At 50, I’m running into some limits I didn’t seem to have at 40 – it just ends up hurting a lot more than it used to. I’ve done electrical, drywall, painting, floors, a lot of landscaping, running ethernet for IP cameras and TVs. Some of the bigger things that need to be done I will need to hire help. All in all, I love it, and am a bit too house-proud, but it’s an awesome place.

  • scough says:

    I bought a foreclosed house 4 years ago that had (and still has) issues. For anything involving natural gas that’s needed to be replaced like the cooktop and the water heater I’ve hired a professional. Also hired some guys to blow insulation into the attic.

    As time went on I’ve become more and more comfortable doing things myself, and if I’m capable of learning through Youtube videos I do that to avoid paying for someone else’s labor. I’ve done flooring, plumbing, and electrical work to name a few things. It’s a great feeling to finish a project knowing you saved hundreds or even thousands by doing it yourself.

  • dork_warrior says:

    I hate the thought of having to pay anybody for anything that I could figure out on my own. Don’t know basic home electrical? They sell books at various home stores, there’s youtube, there’s support forums. We live in a golden age of information where its all right at your fingertips an you just have to have the drive to look and learn.

    ​

    Which goes right into my second reason why I love doing home repair or almost anything and make it DIY. I love learning. I have no clue how to do siding or replace a rotten sill but I have both of those those problems so I get to learn about a solution. I got the tools, I got the time, I got the drive… why the heck wouldn’t I learn to do it myself?

    ​

    There are, of course, some projects I won’t be doing on my own. Replacing my roof sometime in the next few years is one of them.

  • JBOTlx says:

    Me! My motivation is slightly different though. I’m a stay-at-home mom. Three years ago we bought a fixer upper because it’s what we could afford. I truly enjoy seeing the results of my work, but more practically doing the work myself is how I will (eventually) contribute to our income. The sweat equity we’ll get out of this house is going to be insane.

  • Captain_R64207 says:

    Me. I’m actually really excited for my summer project this year. I’ll be taking out a garden that I think is 12 feet long and goes back 4 feet. I want to make half of it cement and the other half all brick for a fire pit. Brick seating, fire pit, and some solar lights if I can find a nice way to do it.

  • SharkOnGames says:

    I do, 100%!

    I just don’t have time due to work and keeping the house clean with 3 young kids in the house.

  • abhikavi says:

    I have some guidelines about what I hire out (e.g. anything involving serious risk of death), but yeah, I like doing the actual work. Most of the time. Ok, I do swear a lot while things are in progress (god fucking dammit, there’s still a leak?) but I feel really good about having accomplished something afterwards.

    I also think people underestimate the value of truly understanding how the stuff in your house works. It’s the same reason I like working on my own car– something goes wrong, I can figure it out because I know how the system works because I do my own repairs. I don’t have to rely on anyone else. And if I do have to hire it out, I know enough to figure out if that person seems competent and honest.

    I hate the “you don’t know how to do that so leave it to the experts” mentality. Again, not with anything risk-of-death, but my god, if you never try *anything* you’ll never learn anything. And you mostly learn by doing. Just fucking do it.

  • Heyoteyo says:

    One thing I learned working on my car when I was younger; it is usually less expensive to buy all the supplies and all the tools and pay for the couple things you might mess up along the way than it is to get it done by someone professionally. Not by much, but it is a little bit. But then the next time you have an issue, you already have half the tools and the know how and it is quite a bit less expensive. Then you start noticing those little things the shop guys didn’t do right and realize your work is actually better than theirs. I’m sure it wouldn’t be the same on their car, but they think they can get away with it on yours because you’ll probably never know. This is not for everything obviously, but is stands true for more things than you would really ever think starting out. Worst comes to worst, you get to a point where you can’t finish, you call a professional. A lot of times it is still cheaper because you actually have the parts and are just paying labor. They always up charge every part you get through them. Yes, there are somethings you can make worse than when you started, but that is where, “don’t be stupid,” becomes important. Do your research. Watch some videos. Then watch them like 4 more times. And read the instructions as you go. I love doing this kind of stuff. My next project is going to be making my own cabinets with concrete countertops. I figured out how to do the countertops, but woodwork is pretty new to me. But then again so was concrete and everything else that I started off doing. This one is going to be a bit pricey, but I’m excited for it.

  • alcogeoholic says:

    I’m a first year teacher and a second year homeowner…can’t WAIT for my summer off to pick one of the rooms to demo and remodel with my brother who is a master house flipper! We’re half-siblings and never really got a chance to hang out when I was younger, but now as adults we are much closer and are (I think!) both excited about the project!

  • always_creative says:

    I have a couple of rules for myself: will I enjoy it and get satisfaction from the job? Is it a low skill thing that’s cheap to do but expensive to hire? Can I do it at a high level?

    If the answer to either question is yes. If both are no, I get a contractor to do it for me.

    I really enjoy working on certain things around the house. I also work 50+ hours a week and have a family, so my time is limited.

    Examples: I’ve done 3 kitchens myself, because I enjoy doing them. I also fixed my refrigerator door because it took an hour and the repair guy wanted $200. I did not do my own bathroom tiles, because I have a friend who is a professional tiler and there’s no way I do do it as well as him.

  • Thracka951 says:

    I do 90% of my own work, only bringing in contractors for things like roofing or major electrical/plumbing that I just don’t have the experience to do properly (like tying into complex circuits or repipe of a heating loop). I’ll also bring in contractors for odd jobs like carpet installs where it is generally built into the price, and occasionally when I have too many projects going and something urgent comes up.

    I’d say my motivation is 40% pride and 40% financial (I am very frugal – not cheap, but I like a great deal and am very patient in waiting for them to come along). I’d say that I am thrilled about 40% of the time, mostly when I start to see the project taking shape. That rush of satisfaction is what keeps me going even when it feels like drudgery, since I know I’ll be ecstatic when it’s complete.

    The other 20% of my motivation is that I want my kids to see me working. I think it is important that they grow up understanding that an individual can do many things if they put their mind to it, and that hard work over time pays off. They love coming in and seeing the changes over time, which has become something of a family game. They also thought it was cool to help build out their own bedrooms.

  • sunflowerfields827 says:

    I cannot wait to start DIY stuff, I have a must do list and just waiting to close next month.

  • bakjar says:

    Get back to us in two years.

  • jeanakerr says:

    I love working on my house. In fact I just impulsively bought a gallon of paint and started a kitchen refresh. I’ll be pulling off all the doors and hardware, spraying them oyster white, going a deep blue on the walls and tiling a sea glass colored backsplash.

    Two years ago I ripped up all the carpet on the main floor and replaced them with a nail down carbonized strand bamboo and new trim.

    The year before that I gutted the basement (horrible 60s job with mice in the walls) and did a stained concrete floor.

    Later this year I’ll hit the master bath, change the layout and do a hand tiled shower and install a custom Amish built vanity.

    None of these projects cost more than $5,000 and that one included upgrading the electrical panel which wasn’t strictly necessary. Just one bathroom gut would be 10,000 – 15,000 these days if I hired it all out. Instead I got to splurge on a $900 Toto toilet and maxed out my budget at $3,000 for the whole room.

    Still, I have seen SO many bad DIY jobs – especially when people decide to flip a house. The little things make me crazy – like failing to sand and texture the walls when replacing a vanity and leaving a visible edge in the paint where the old one was. Or not using tile trim at the edge of the backsplash so all you have is a rough edge and caulk. As a real estate broker I tell people to either do a good job and pay attention to detail or just hire it out. Otherwise you don’t always see the value on resale because people can tell shoddy work.

    Final note – the Bachelor Science of Art that everyone made fun of me for has really come in handy and made me a lot of money on my houses. My parents thought I’d starve. Lol

  • LevytheOG says:

    This. This is why I’m buying my first house. So that I can make it into what I want. The house I’m getting inspected soon has 2 bedrooms, but each BR is as big as my apartment’s living room. One is being turned into a VR room and theater. There is no shame in what you are doing!

  • DeliriousDM says:

    I can’t stand paying money for things I can do myself.

    I am in the middle of building my own house by myself (1800sf). If you have the time, are physically able and, are moderately handy, this is a totally realistic goal.

    Nothing against tradesman, I just can’t afford their services, and I’m terrified of shoddy work by others.

    I do get discouraged when I have to redo or rethink things but it’s what you get when your not a pro. Learning from other people’s mistakes is the best thing you can do to avoid your own.

  • RevGonzo19 says:

    Sup. I do. And since I finally addressed my adult ADD/ADHD with therapy and medication this year I have gotten more done in the yard and around the house these last two months than I did the last year and a half.

  • furlong660 says:

    I’ve done everything from a completely new roof (with new sheathing, 28sq), adding insulation, complete gut of bathroom s and the plumbing in our house, new hardwood flooring, to a complete shed. Shed had a basement I dug myself (borrowed backhoe), mixed and poured my own footers, learned how to lay concrete block, framed it all, built my own trusses.

  • egrant2 says:

    We are very excited to get started once we close! BUT we know things will not be easy. We are relying on this community, our experience (not very much) and some friends who work in home renovations to assist us in getting things ready for ourselves! I work in an office setting so getting the chance to do some things on my own will deliver sweet reprieve.

  • its_poop says:

    I’m happy to do it, just have to deal with limited time. I’m sure that’s a problem with a lot of people.

    But our biggest issue has been getting a contractor. We can do a lot ourselves but there’s a few situations where I want to bring in a pro. We had a guy for one project, but then he disappeared.

    It’s like, “I’d like to pay you money for work now” and everyone scatters like rats. I have no idea how to find someone to help us that won’t disappear or try to scam us.

  • decaturbob says:

    I never cease to be enjoy working on my house, and now being retired is way more enjoyable as my time restraints no longer involved. But then again, I have been doing house building, remodeling and such work my entire adult life

  • streamstreamstream says:

    We just got the keys to our first house yesterday! I’m new to the DIY stuff but am incredibly excited. I’ve been a long time lurker of this sub and you all empower me

  • Szos says:

    OP sounds like a wet behind the ears kid who only recently bought a house. No offense.

    Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer doing DIY stuff than trying to find a competent contractor, but after a while all these house projects start eating up too much time and effort and take away from stuff you *want* to do. There are only so many hours in the day, and only so many warm days in the summer that you want to work on stuff that you enjoy, rather than random stuff that pops up.

    A perfect example is that I am in the process is building a pergola. I’m waiting on the wood to dry out as much as possible so I can stain the wood before I use it. This is a project I want to do. However recently I’ve had water creeping into one corner of the house, but it’s intermittent, so it’s hard to trace. I *think* I found the source and recently sealed it up, but the pergola is going to go in that same general vicinity, so if I start putting it together now, it will hamper my roof repairs. So now I wait to see if I fixed one problem I didn’t want to deal with, so I can finish the project I did want to work on.

  • al_kohalik says:

    I think people are hesitant to give out processes for accomplishing tasks (I’m thinking electrical or gas plumbing) is so that someone who doesn’t sufficiently understand why each step is taken doesn’t get themselves into a bad situation. Yes, if you told me how to install my ceiling fan with a fan rated box and I figured I would save 15$ and just use a normal fixture box, it wouldn’t be your fault that I cut corners. But I don’t feel comfortable giving people that are already out to save a buck by doing their own work just enough information to hang themselves.

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