Why do you DIY?

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  #1  
Old 10-12-10, 03:27 PM
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Why do you DIY?

I visit several DIY type sites and I sometimes get the feeling that a lot of trade pros feel that most people that want to do it themselves do so because they are too cheap to pay a contractor.

I DIY mostly because I can. That's how I was raised. I was fortunate to grow up around guys that knew how to do "stuff".
 
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Old 10-12-10, 03:38 PM
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I'm pretty much with you. My Dad was older...and hardly ever had contractors at our houses. I do think he had someone do the foundations for the garage he added to the house but he (and I and a friend of mine) did the block...though we mostly just carried and mixed. He grew up when you did it yourself..or did without.

Took me a few years...but I learned to make do in my Navy days...and I guess that carried over when I settled down.
 
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Old 10-12-10, 03:58 PM
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I suppose a person who is used to being busy, might get bored if you knew how to do something, and did not do it, and hired it out instead.

But it all depends on the job. A person might know how to do a head gasket job, but decide to hire it out because maybe they are older than they used to be, and being hunched over the car might not be worth wrenching their back. Or maybe they figure on something like that, their time is worth something too, and they might rather instead do something easier (like cut the lawn ....on a rider ), and let somebody else do something more difficult and time consuming.

I know a mechanic who turned me down about doing my head gasket. He maybe has spent hours on such jobs, only to have someone call him up the next day, asking if bubbles should be showing in their reservoir when they first start up the car.

That being said, some people do prefer to have someone they feel REALLY knows there stuff, to do the work, rather than risk that which might go the way of Mr. Murphy.
 
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Old 10-12-10, 05:41 PM
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i DIY because :

the savings. all the money i save on labor, i put towards materials for the next project. and, why should i pay someone 4-5-6-7-8 times what i make to do something that i can do myself.


quality. i have seen the work of some so called pros.

having more. if i had to hire out every project. this place would be very basic. as i could not afford to pay for the good stuff.

satisfaction. i like doing the stuff (mostly). and i like seeing the outcome. and when others are , YOU did that
 
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Old 10-12-10, 05:49 PM
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I'm the type of do it yourselfer that needs to get off his high horse and learn his limits.
 
  #6  
Old 10-12-10, 06:49 PM
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I do it to:
Save money. But I still seem to find a way to spend it anyway.
When it is done I can step back and say "I did that."
Because I can!
I like to learn new things/skills

Don't get me wrong, I still pay people to do things but it is for things I don't want to do or can't because of the specialized equipment. (like a backhoe )
 
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Old 10-12-10, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mickblock View Post
I'm the type of do it yourselfer that needs to get off his high horse and learn his limits.
I've been around a while and I'm still learning. Every once in a while I get into something that I wish I hadn't. I saved $500 one time repairing a broken septic outflow pipe. By the time I was done I would have paid somebody else a grand to do it.

A couple of months ago I poured 3 1/2 yds worth of concrete sidewalk - by myself. I'm done with large concrete projects. I learned that limit.
 
  #8  
Old 10-13-10, 05:04 AM
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Wayne, I know what you mean about the concrete work - those boys earn their money!

I mostly diy because of the cost savings but I also like to keep busy and there is a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing that you did it yourself. I've also run into projects that I would have been better off hiring out ..... but you learn by doing

If I had to pay pros for all the diy stuff I've done, I'd either be knee deep [maybe nose/ears] in debt or I'd have a poor standard of living
 
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Old 10-13-10, 05:10 AM
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For me it started out being around my dad. With 5 kids in our family, we didn't have a lot of money. So dad did as much as he could himself and I was always around "helping". My first DIY project was a house that I spent a year of evenings, weekends and all my vacation building. Words cannot express the amount of satisfaction (and work!!) in saying I built my own house. So besides saving a LOT of money, I think there's a lot of satisfaction in doing something yourself.

I have to say that one of the things that has really heloped me in learning to do stuff is being an architect. I have learned a lot from manufacturer's reps and product research, but there's nothing quite as valuable as going out to a building site and watching how the professionals do it. And I've never been shy about asking SHORT (time is money for the guys on the job) questions. I also figured out long ago that at least 50% of doing a good job is having the right tools and having high quality tools.
 
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Old 10-13-10, 05:22 AM
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Bruce, I admire your going to sites to see how the job is actually done. No, really!! We've had jobs to do via voluminous blueprints, where certain aspects won't work, or won't fit or don't make sense. The architect held firm to his drawings from a highrise in Atlanta. Never made a trip out until the GC insisted. He learned a valuable lesson of being onsite and asking/answering questions of the pros. The architect's job is very difficult to do, sight unseen. But it's gotta work.
 
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Old 10-13-10, 05:42 AM
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One of my pet peeves! Frankly, I don't know how an architect can really do a good job without going out to the site. There is nothing more valuable learning how a building goes together than going out to the site to see what works and what doesn't. There are too many firms that have a single person that does all the observation and the architect may see the project only 3 or 3 times during construction. BIG mistake IMHO.

End of rant!
 
  #12  
Old 10-13-10, 08:38 AM
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I came from a rural farm family, where everything was DIY. My dad built his own house in 1951 with just himself, his brother, and father as the construction crew. Growing up in that environment, I learned to do a lot myself, especially electric wiring. I was doing building wiring when I was 13 years old (thankfully there were no building codes in rural areas). In my first 15 years of growing up, the only time I ever saw a serviceman at the farm was when Mom's new washing machine needed repair. Dad did his own plumbing, sewer, electrical, and furnace work. Since I was usually drafted to "help" him, I picked up on a lot of those skills. Back then, homeowners usually did their own troubleshooting and tube testing on their radios and TV sets. How many kids nowadays even know what a vacuum tube is?

However, as I've gotten older, time has gotten more valuable, and "stuff" has gotten a lot more complex than when I was a kid, I find I'm doing far less DIY nowadays. But I still want to learn all I can about basic DIY skills, so that I can converse intelligently with tradesmen and know when they're doing something right OR giving me a bunch of BS about a particular project or repair.

I wonder how many of today's teenager's can replace a faulty light switch or faucet washer. And yeah I know almost no modern faucets have washers anymore and light switches rarely wear out, unlike those of the 1940's and 50's. Maybe the reliability and complexity of modern day life is making DIY obsolete???
 
  #13  
Old 10-13-10, 09:18 AM
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One of my earliest DIY memories was going with my father when he helped a friend build a house. One of the things I remember was that there was not a single power tool on site. No plywood either.

I learned how to use rip and crosscut saws and how to properly drive a nail. Hand saws have just about disappeared and I wonder how long before hammers go in the same direction.

BTW - Anyone know how to play the saw?
 
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Old 10-13-10, 09:34 AM
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I like the feelings of accomplishment after completing a project myself!!
 
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Old 10-13-10, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
BTW - Anyone know how to play the saw?

My parents knew a guy back in the 50s-60's that could play music on a saw, not sure that I've heard one since other than this link.

I've detested a hand saw ever since I found out what a skil saw was although I know they are still needed on rare occasions. I've always enjoyed the Woodwright Shop show on PBS but I would not want to do woodwork without power tools!
 
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Old 10-13-10, 01:44 PM
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Ya know....I have 3 pretty good quality handsaws hanging in the garage...they haven't been taken down in 3 yrs. Now...my dovetail and backsaws still see plenty of use for small crafty type projects.

I'm sure some people felt the same about 2 man saws and chainsaws.

btw...growing up in OH...I heard several people that could play a saw...but you have to understand...not all musical saws were not real saws at all.
 
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Old 10-13-10, 04:23 PM
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Cannot explain why I find using a bow saw on tree branches is fun. When it comes to cars I know my limits, mostly DIY to try to keep the credit card balance down.
 
  #18  
Old 10-13-10, 05:37 PM
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"How many kids nowadays even know what a vacuum tube is?"

When I was a kid I just loved to see if I could get a TV to work again. Throw all the tubes in a box and head to the drug store to test them on their machine. After that you had to have a vanilla coke at the soda fountain.

The good old days!
 
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Old 10-13-10, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachboy View Post
. Maybe the reliability and complexity of modern day life is making DIY obsolete???
I doubt that. I think it is getting worse, due to the complexity. More labor to trace down problems.Too many instances of circuit board failures, where other tests have to be performed to rule out mechanical problems before suspecting the circuit board. Too many wires, relays, etc.

Reliability can be debated. Some of the high tech things do last longer. Other things are made cheaper abnd their life expectancy lesser.......sometimes WAY lesser than their old counterparts - and make total replacement more likely.

Parents have brand new fridge where the tech, who came out, said the strange clicking sound was normal due to undersize compressor mandated by the gov't for efficiency, as the culprit. So he said, anyway.
 
  #20  
Old 10-13-10, 06:07 PM
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I do things Myself mostly because I have learned to do so and over my lifetime I have saved thousands of dollars
I am further motivated by the fact that I have never really been totally satisfied with any work I have had to pay for. I may be somewhat of a perfectionist and some jobs I do are "overdone"
Of course some jobs require special skill or special tools and I am very pickey in choosing someone for that job.
Sadily, as I get older, some jobs that I have always done myself are difficult to do because of personal health issues.
I guess the greatest reason I am a DIYer is the pride of being able to do it myself
 
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Old 10-13-10, 07:46 PM
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Hey Wayne, my kid job was straightening out the bent nails. You pull one, straighten it out and reuse it. No tossing it in the trash.
 
  #22  
Old 10-13-10, 07:50 PM
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i grew up doing concrete. really. i went to work with my dad since i was 5 years old. and they put me to work. as i got older i did more things, and got paid more. i set footings, carried and set forms, worked the boom on the cement truck, guided the truck. driveways, steps, slabs, foundations, all of it.

and at the end of the day, i had a beer. all before i was 10 years old.
 
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Old 10-14-10, 04:57 PM
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I started DIYing bikes at about 10. Well maybe 12. Derailers, brakes, fixing flats, installing generator head light/taillight kit .....even adjusting the height of the seat as I grew.
 
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