6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a DIY Project
Do It Yourself, or DIY, is the latest craze for making or repairing anything and everything. DIY Projects are a set of instructions, guidelines, steps, tasks and so on, for making something.
We are always looking to save time and money, and being able to ‘do it yourself’ will help us get it done faster and cheaper.
From crafts and home improvement, to baking a cake, wiring our house and re-doing our plumbing, there are DIY projects readily available for just about anything. Go ahead and Google it or search in YouTube, you’ll see what I mean.
DIY Project Opportunities
Last summer, my condo complex needed the front decks painted, but we couldn’t find a painting company that could do it before the fall. I tried to help by going around to the paint shops, asking them if they knew any available painters.
One shop told me that I should do it myself. The guy said it was easy as pie. “Just slap that paint on with a brush, and Bob’s your Uncle,” he told me. I did just that, and our condo decks look amazing. But best of all, it was done when we wanted it done and at a fraction of the cost.
A friend just sent me a DIY video on how to change a flat tire. It only took me a few seconds into the video to identify a major problem. They made it look so easy to take the spare out of the truck, simply unscrewing the bolt holding the tire in place.
No way! My tire is in so tight, I need a strong set of hands to unscrew it. I didn’t even watch the rest of the video!
How Do I Know If a DIY Project Is Right for Me?
There are six questions to ask yourself before you begin any DIY project. Honestly answering these questions will help you decide which DIY project is right for you.
Is This Something You Really Want to Do?
If you really want to do a project, then “Yes!” should be your quick response. It could be something you want to do, something you want to use or have in your home. It should be something you’ll enjoy making and having.
If you answered ‘No,’ then you really need to reconsider this project. If it’s something you don’t really want, then why do it? There are other ways to pass the time that are much easier.
Are the Instructions Reasonable and Easy to Follow?
Have a look over the instructions. Make sure you can access them, especially it they involve multiple files and, possibly, some videos. Then briefly review them to see if they are easy to follow, logical and easily understood.
If they are complicated or present you with file opening challenges, you need to think about doing another project. If you haven’t even begun, and the instructions are not extremely clear and accessible, your project will not be successful. It is possible that the project hasn’t been properly tested to make sure it works.
Are You Comfortable with Both the Estimated Time and Cost of the Project?
All DIY projects provide estimates for time and cost. Often, they will include timeframes for both the experienced and inexperienced. You have to take heed of these estimates, however, as they could be very generous.
This means, it could take you 20%+ longer to finish a project. If you expected a weekend project, are you okay with it spanning two weekends?
Costing is a similar consideration. Where you buy the materials may be more expensive than what was costed in the project.
Additionally, the items could be fragile and break during your build and may need replacement. You may have to bend something and it cracks instead. Or you may have to mix a few things together in a specific order and you mistakenly reverse the order.
Also, you may find you want a different colour or texture, or possibly, a more expensive finish. All of this has to be taken into account when you consider your comfort level for cost and time. If you are not comfortable with these estimates, this project is not for you.
Will You Be Able to Perform the Tasks?
Seeing things on video makes it all look so easy. In 3 minutes, you can make a widget. In 5 minutes, you can make a double-sided one.
But do you need specific tools, specific skills? Are you strong enough to do the tasks? Do you need special protection, magnified eye-sight, superb balancing, or maybe the ability to be bent or be hunched over for a long period of time?
The steps in the project may be easy to follow, but if you can’t easily perform them, the project should be scrapped.
Do You Have the Space to Do the Project?
Some DIY projects require a large amount of space for things to be assembled, to dry or even to lay out all the components. Make sure you have a location where you can do the project without having to accommodate other things that are going on.
If you are using your kitchen, will you be able to make your meals and not disturb your project? Trying to build something in a confined space may be extremely challenging and impact your ability to do it properly.
Will You Be Okay with a ‘Wonky’ Looking Finished Item?
Once you are finished with the project, you could end up with an item that isn’t perfect. This is a serious consideration that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you end up heading to the Mall to buy the item, the DIY project was not successful.
If you are a perfectionist, or only like quality, you need to be truthful when you answer this question. Your closet or store room shouldn’t be the end result of your project.
If you answered ‘No’ to any of these questions, you should seriously reconsider the project. If you answered ‘No’ to two or more questions, the DIY project is really not for you – it is a pathway to disaster.
There are so many DIY projects to pick from that you will never be at a loss for a project. Do some more research, and find a DIY project that passes the ‘Yes Test.’
On the other hand, if you answered a resounding ‘Yes’ to all six questions, you should definitely do it. This does not guarantee that the project will be successful, but it does mean that there is a good chance it will be.
Have you undertaken a DIY project recently? Have you been happy with the results of a recent DIY project? Please share your experiences in the comments!
About Perley-Ann Friedman – The Happy Cat. I’m Canadian and now live on Koh Lanta, a small island in Thailand. The alternative lifestyle of island living is a great way to ease into retirement. At 61, I’m healthy, active and totally love cats. I’ve consciously chosen to be positive and continuously grow as I journey through life. You can see more of my writing at thehappycat.ca