Monday, May 31, 2010

#10 DIY

Do it yourself as much as you can. I try to do everything myself, with the plethora of information available (Internet,library, and otherwise) there is hardly anything you can't find some writing on.

When we think of a project that we need or want to do around the house, we check for DIY feasibility first. There have been only emergency situations where we have called in professionals (except the drywall in our bathroom remodel, I hung it, but we paid someone to tape and mud, I hate that part). We had to call a plumber in to snake our sewer-line when the big sugar maple in our front yard decided it needed that space for roots. But a year later when we ended up with another root/sewer-line problem, I just rented the power snake and did it myself, saving $700 or so (sewer snaking is apparently a lucrative business). The first time our furnace went out, I got out the ol' digital multi-meter and traced the circuit to find a bad board, and soldered a new trace on the board where the old one fried. Now we have a pilot light problem and I am sourcing a replacement part for the next furnace repair.

I did the entire bathroom remodel in our home myself (save the afore mentioned mud/tape). I demo'd the old room, put in the new tub with a drain opposite the old. Plumbed and wired it in (jetted tub from clearance section of Lowe's), and made a concrete counter-top for the sink to sit on. I did the tile surround and the tile floor, countersunk the medicine cabinets, put in the new toilet, and put in a floor to ceiling tile back splash for the sink. Now, I have helped with remodels in the past and have worked for a general contractor when I was younger so some of this was already well inside my skill-set, but even if it wasn't, there is plenty of help available on line. I am not writing about this to brag or boast, rather to demonstrate the possibilities of doing it yourself.

I have found information on every subject I have searched while trying to learn about it.

Welding? Check.
Gardening? Check.
Bicycle repair? Check.
Cooking? Check. is my friend. So is google.

It sometimes is not very easy, sometimes outright hard. But almost always gratifying beyond comprehension. The whole ends up being so much greater than the sum of its parts when you do it yourself.

Try doing it yourself first. Chances are you can.

"Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't, you are absolutely right." Henry Ford

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