If you’ve been following along on Instagram, then you will notice that we have made the choice to do a lot of stuff on our own recently. I have been reflecting on this and thought it was worth a post of the good and the bad that we’ve experienced. Hopefully this will help you if you are taking on a new project at home or with an investment property and are trying to decide if you want to hire it out or do it on your own. Let’s start with the pros..
The biggest plus to me is that DIY is a whole mindset. There are so many descriptive words that I feel when planning or doing a new project, like empowered, inspired, creative, confident, etc. that carry over into the rest of my life. It’s hard to explain in words..it’s more of a feeling it creates and a perception of what you are capable of, which is so much more than we all think! So it’s not about the project as much as it is about the growth you experience going through a project of any size.
Another big plus for us working as a couple has been the bonding (in between the yelling and crying of course) and any good project has a little bit of both. 😜 My favorite was the teenager mixing paint at Home Depot who didn’t realize her question about what paint type we wanted would be a trigger. Or the time I got overwhelmed in the electrical aisle but had to shout out “Aisle 20 bay 9” through tears because we had a short amount of time to get supplies, so I persevered through that middle of the aisle breakdown and got the job done. But once you get past those heated moments, it gives us something that is ours and will always be and it has made us stronger as a couple and as parents. We are building a life together for now and the future to enjoy. How freakin awesome is that?!
One more huge benefit is quality control…or just control in general. This can be a double edged sword though, as sometimes you have to allow control over to others or delegate items out that are above your expertise or you don’t have time for. But nobody is going to love your project like you do, so that will shine through in your work. You also get control over the details, timeline, etc.
Of course money is the last major pro that is the most obvious. BUT..please keep in mind that much like quality control, this is another area that it might be worth the money you spend vs your time being spent. Also, sometimes you may not have as much background in something, and because of that, you may end up spending more time/money doing it DIY than it would have been subbing it out.
So now let’s switch to cons. I already covered the control piece and how that can be a con. It can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you are new, to run an entire rehab project and manage any subcontractors and supplies along with all the other things that go with a property. Another con is the amount of time. Sometimes, especially if you have other stuff on your plate, you may think you’re saving money by DIY’ing, but maybe your project ends up taking 4 months instead of 4 weeks. That time is costing you money. Another con is that you can get hurt..literally. Some projects carry risks and it’s not uncommon to get that “blood, sweat, and tears” all in a days work. One of the biggest cons is just the amount of time it took away from our weekends and a few evenings. It’s something that is ok for a short span, but not sustainable to repeat with our other priorities like kids and their weekend sports, running the household and preparing for the next week of work and school.
Overall..I don’t think there’s a right or wrong on whether you DIY or hire out, but I would say to start small and start with what you know. For example, if you’re on your very first project, maybe not do a full gut rehab and just stick to a project that needs paint and upgrading the backsplash in kitchen and changing out the mirror, light and vanity in the bathroom. Then you can decide from there if you want or are ready to take on a bigger project. Also, you may start doing one way, pivot to another, or do a combo of both on each project. I find us usually doing a few things that we can and subbing out the rest, but the next few I may stay more hands off.
Do you prefer to DIY or to hire out?