More and more people are jumping on the DIY bandwagon and with good reason. I watch HGTV for 30 minutes and I feel like I can conquer the world. DIY projects get me all revved up! And so does the money I’m saving by doing the project myself… ahem, with my hubby’s help. However, that doesn’t mean I should attempt to conquer every project that comes along… and neither should you! Take this Home Improvement DIY quiz to see if you’ve got the right stuff for your next project!
How does the quiz work? Read through each of the 6 questions below. Answer each question as you go… Yes, No, and MAYBE. We’ll reveal at the end if you’re ready for DIY!
Do You Have Time?
Timelines will vary for sure. Some DIY projects can be completed in one weekend, while others can take a few weeks. Before you get started, you need to ask yourself if you have the time to devote to the project. Whenever my hubby starts a project I’ve learned to go by the following equation: Time I think the project should be completed x 3 = Finished Task! His buddy has a different rule of thumb. If someone says 2 days, it equals 2 weeks. 2 weeks = 2 months. 2 months = 2 years. Scary, I know.
If you work full-time, but want a new kitchen, you may be better off hiring someone. Being without a kitchen for months is a challenge… trust me, I’ve been kitchen-less for 3 months and it’s not fun. On the other hand, painting your cabinets to update the look may be something you can tackle yourself. Remember that most DIY bloggers and sites mean that the writer is a DIY ninja and are probably pretty good at these crazy awesome projects. So add in some extra time. Just sayin’.
While I’m sure you have mad, crazy DIY skills… and heck, maybe you’ve already completed a few DIY projects successfully, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re able to complete every project. Some projects are much harder than others and your skill level needs to match the skill level required for the project. For example, while changing out a toilet may be easy to do, cutting and installing a new tile floor in your bathroom is much harder.
While I laugh and say you can learn anything you want from Google or You Tube… learning and doing are two different things. Make sure you’re able to do the “doing” part. Try chatting up a helpful employee at your favorite hardware store and asking them about your project. Do you follow what they’re saying or is it all Greek to you? Maybe the best thing to do is recruit a buddy that has done the job before and learn from them!
Hanging something on a wall? Or knocking it down?
Only a nail and hammer needed? You’re probably safe. If you’re taking down walls, M.C. Hammer’s song “Can’t Touch This” is a good motto for you. Is there electricity running through the wall? Is it a load bearing wall? Are you even supposed to be doing this per housing codes? Do you even know what I mean when I say that? If not, not for you! Call a professional. Call your county building department and they’ll tell you exactly what you need. Then you’ll know exactly what you can do and what’s hands off!
Do You Have the Right Tools?
Purchasing necessary tools to complete your project may add up to as much as (or more) than the project itself. Are you going to be able to use the tools for any other future projects? Is it more cost effective to purchase the needed tools (saws, drills, etc.) or would hiring out the job/buying the project already done be better? While most men think you can never have too many tools… unused tools that just take up garage space = too many.
Another option to buying… renting. Just make sure to weigh your odds (length of time to rent x daily/weekly cost to rent VERSUS cost of buying VERSUS cost of paying someone else to do the job). Or… borrow the tools from a friend if possible. (Just make sure you know how to use them and are prepared to replace anything that gets broken.)
What happens if you screw up?
Admit it. Sometimes things just go… wrong. Will flubbing the project will cause major problems? Biting off more than you can chew may not only be unsightly, but in this case more expensive too! For example, if you decide take down a wall in your home, do you know where all the water pipes and electrical is located? If not, you could have some very serious problems.
What Does Your Spouse Say?
There’s nothing but an actual slap in the face stings as much as the painful “I told you so” bit that you could have to endure if things don’t go right. Is doing the project worth those words being hung over your head for years to come? You might think you’ve got this, but make sure your other half agrees. Your spouse is your biggest cheerleader. But they also know you and may have concerns. It’s a good idea to talk it out first.
What do your answers reveal?
Tally up the majority of your answers to the above 6 questions and see where you fall on the the Are You Ready for a DIY Project scale. Yes, even the spouse question counts!
YES — Well hello, handyman! Welcome to the world of DIY. While DIY is like having your cake and eating it too, just remember not to bite off more than you can chew. DIY projects can be beasts sometimes. One project leads into the next and into the next and then well, your whole house is torn up and you are left feeling overwhelmed. It’s okay to admit when you need help or if calling in a professional for “back up” would be helpful. Until then, good luck and have fun!
MAYBE — Okay, skippy. This is the moment of truth. Yes or no. Do it or don’t do it? That is the question. You’ve probably either got the gut feeling of “I’m not sold on this” or you’re wanting to test your abilities. Tread carefully, my friend. Maybe start with a smaller project first using some of the same tools as the BIG project. Once you’re comfortable with them, move up. Or sweet talk a friend into helping. A case of beer, a glass of wine, a hearty lunch, and assuring them of the quality friend time you’ll get can often turn an “ugh” response into the strapping on of a tool belt.
NO — Just like I tell my boys, “No means NO!” Don’t do it! Call a professional. There’s no shame in hiring out your job. And… just think of all the extra time you’ll have on your hands. Enough time to start on a smaller DIY project and work on your skills! Try taking some classes or working with a friend to get a knack for the areas you need to develop. Don’t be discouraged. You can do this too! Come back and take the quiz again when the next project arises. You may be a go for the next one!
Good luck with your projects!