5 DIY Winners and Losers

Wins:

  1. Save big bucks. By doing it by yourself and maybe a couple friends you don't need to fork over money to contractors.

  2. Buy more house for your money. Most buyers today are in the market for homes that are neat as a pin and have contemporary finishes. Homes that are cosmetically dated or need a little TLC can be purchased sometimes for quite a bit less. Put in a little DIY and get some sweat equity.

  3. No permits. Actually that is not true. Many DIY projects require permits, but a lot of homeowners seem to conveniently forget, as permits not only add cost, but time to a project. If you're adding to your home don't forget the permits. Without them your resale value could be diminished.

  4. No contractors invading your home. When contractors come and do work they are in and out of your home frequently. You can give up quite a bit of privacy when you invite contractors to handle your projects. While most are honest, it is probably a good idea to put away the valuables.

  5. Satisfaction and bragging rights. DIYers love to tell guests what they've done to their home. They also get that all around warm and fuzzy feeling of accomplishment.

Losses:

  1. It looks like you did it. If you've never done a type of project before there will be a significant learning curve. The results may not be professional. You may even to decide to redo it several times, which includes buying additional materials.

  2. The never ending project. Life can get in the way. The new kitchen floor might take months, during which you'll be living around your half finished project. Fitting DIY between work, family, and sleep isn't always easy. Unexpected things happen.

  3. Full retail on materials. Even if it's on sale you may be paying more than a contractor. Contractors get preferred rates at many suppliers. Those savings can be significant to the cost of a project. Sometimes enough that it is cheaper to use a contractor.

  4. New tools you'll never use again. Most jobs require tools of the trade to get things done efficiently and professionally. It is unlikely that you'll have every tool you need. Quality tools are expensive and you might only use them once. They'll take up storage room when you're done. You might neglect maintenance after you're done, so even if you do a similar project in the future you could end up buying the tool again.

  5. Your significant other is over it. So you've started a project and it's taking a bit longer and costing a bit more than you told them. Relationships have been known to end because of DIY gone wrong, sometimes even right.

DIY work