To DIY or not to DIY? That is the question. Of course, you like rummaging around in the garden and make everything exactly as you want it. If there are flowers to plant, not a problem. If there are leaves to rake, you’re on it. If you need to set up your outdoor lounge set, consider it done.
A quick trip to your local gardening or DIY center and you’re good to go. But what about the slightly tougher jobs? Would you call a carpenter to get some decking installed? Or a fencing company to get your new fence up? Or would you get a professional to dig a koi pond for you?
Where exactly is the line between having the self-satisfaction of building something yourself and the sheer frustration of messing something up so much it becomes a daily eyesore? Well, that line depends on how much confidence you have, how well you can self-reflect, and how much you can afford to lose.
The YouTube Factor
Confidence is good, but there is confidence in knowing how things are done and actually having done it. It’s way too tempting nowadays to assume you know how to do things by watching a quick YouTube video. The truth could not be further away! YouTube is notorious for giving us false confidence in our abilities. It always seems so easy in a short clip. Just be aware that most of those videos might have taken multiple takes to get right, they can cut out the bad bits in editing, and they are usually sped up. What we really need is a YouTube video telling us that building a fence is actually not that easy. It’s hard work with a fair bit of technical skill involved.
They won’t show you on a YouTube video how much you despair when you hit solid rock trying to get your fence poles into the ground. The best way to know if you can do something, like building a deck, is to try to grasp the basic principles. I.e., in this example it would be: can you handle a nail gun and/or are you willing to spend a weekend hammering 200+ nails?
Know Your DIY Strengths–and Limitations!
This is where self-reflection comes in. If you know what is required, do you fully understand the consequences of starting the job? I.e., if you have to dig a hole for a pond, would you be able to see it through to the end? Or will it, after the first half hour, become incredibly tedious and with every hour passing the likelihood of you accepting a half dug hole is feasible? Oh, it’s a feature now. Really self-reflect.
You might have the technique and tools, but do you also have the stamina to persist? There is no use making something into a Herculean task, you can simply just embrace yourself for not wanting to do something.
Bottom Line on When NOT to DIY
If you choose to not do something yourself, like building a shed for example, what can you afford to spend on getting someone else to do it? It might not even be a paid-for professional, it could be a handy relative or friend who will accept payment in pizza, beer, and/or wine.
And if you have to shell out for a professional, consider this, how much would it have cost you if you did it yourself and it went terribly wrong? Sometimes getting it done right in one go is easier on the pocket than to have to do it twice because you wanted to save money.