Should You Do It Yourself?

by Gina Blitstein · 1 comment

It’s a common belief that “do-it-yourselfers” are in a position to save a ton of money over those who pay others to do everything. While you may have a particular skill, aptitude or talent that you can employ to do a job others have to pay for, is it always true that “doing it yourself” saves money? The answer is a definitive “it depends.”

Here are some of the factors to consider when determining if doing a job yourself is actually cheaper — or even a good idea at all:

When it’s primarily a matter of money

No one wants to pay more than he or she thinks something is worth. That’s why many people opt to prepare their own meals, do their own yardwork and clean their own house. Sometimes their motivation is more than just saving money – sometimes folks enjoy taking on these tasks. Not only are they saving money by not hiring a professional; they’re indulging an enjoyable passion as well by doing certain things others would consider “chores.” It’s a case of “One man’s work is another man’s hobby.”

This category includes such activities as:

  • Cooking/baking
  • Light yardwork/gardening
  • Carwashing
  • Sewing/crafting
  • Event/party planning
  • Personal care, i.e., haircuts, manicures, haircoloring
  • Furniture re-upholstery and refinishing
  • Home repairs/maintenance
  • Appliance repair/maintenance
  • Minor automotive repair/maintenance
  • Home remodeling projects
  • Photography
  • Computer upgrades/repair

These can be performed with a moderate amount of knowledge, motivation, some patience and diligence. Sometimes doing it yourself costs you nothing except your time or only a fraction of what it would cost to hire a professional. If you’re willing to spend your time doing these jobs to reap the monetary savings or sense of accomplishment (or both), you should go for it.

Other times, it can prove to be a bit more costly doing even seemingly simple things yourself because they:

  • Cost you more to purchase the “raw ingredients” for the project than it would a professional
  • You don’t take into consideration all the time, equipment and effort he job entails
  • You make costly mistakes due to inexperience

Factor in all these elements before committing to a do-it-yourself project. Be certain you take all possible precautions and obtain as much pertinent information as you can so you’re well-equipped for the job you’re taking on.

When health and/or safety is at stake

Although some jobs are quite costly to hire out, it’s in your best interest to do so. These jobs have elements of danger that are not worth the risk to your health/safety and well being. These jobs include work on:

  • Electrical systems
  • Plumbing
  • Heating/air conditioning/ventilation
  • Major automotive & machinery
  • Heavy landscaping
  • Pest control
  • Legal/financial

These categories of projects, while seemingly in the realm of some advanced do-it-yourself enthusiasts are potentially dangerous to undertake when you’re not a professional in the field. If performed improperly, the ramifications of taking on these projects by non-professionals can run the gamut from legal and financial entanglements to serious injury and even death. It’s not worth the risk to take on certain projects: leave them to those who are savvy in the field and you’ll end up saving headaches, money and even bigger troubles caused by inexperience.

Doing it yourself can be a cost-cutting strategy that provides a bonus in self-satisfaction. On the other hand, it can lead to serious and/or expensive trouble when you bite off a project that’s more than you can chew. Know the risks and the limits of your abilities and you’ll reap the rewards of being a wise do-it-yourselfer.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Auto Repair Reno November 29, 2010 at 5:12 pm

If you can, and you know how, it is better if you do it yourself.

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