This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
Around the house, I like to do things myself, where possible. Since my wife and I moved into our home, we have laid laminate flooring on all 3 floors, painted the whole house, installed baseboard everywhere as well as a bunch of more minor projects.
What we have found in completing these jobs is that our finished product is good, but probably about 10% “good” than a professional would have done (assuming they did a good job). There are minor gaps in the between the floor and the wall due to measurement errors (or in some cases the house being out of square) – in essence, the completed job is just not perfect.
Prior to installing carpet on the stairs, my wife and I had a discussion about whether we should hire someone to do the job, or if I was up for doing it myself. She would have preferred to have it professionally done, while I wanted to do it myself. Here were my arguments:
Before I installed carpet on the stairs, we asked around for quotes to do the job – the average cost was somewhere around $200-$250. I was able to rent tools and do the job myself for around $60. I don’t really factor in my time because if I wasn’t doing the job, I would probably just be playing video games or reading a book. The money saved on this job is enough to pay for materials on the other set of stairs we are going to carpet in the future, so we are basically doing 2 sets of stairs for the price of 1 (done professionally).
I like to do the work:
I sit at a desk all day and analyze numbers. The odd time there is something to do around the house, I look forward to it as I can learn something new and get to use a different part of my brain (it seems anyways). I like the feeling at the end of the job that I have actually done something tangible, as much of my work done during the week is definitely not.
I will not do electrical work – due to my lack of any training and the fact that once the wiring is complete, it’s closed up in a wall, waiting to set my house on fire (if I have done it improperly). I will attempt to do any other project though, even if it is only 90% as good as a professional would do.
Are you a Do-It-Yourselfer? If so, why do you do it? If you’re not, why not?
Bonus content #1: I had to pass on this terrific post written by Mr. Money Moustache last week – are you a complainypants? Terrific post that I wish I could have thought up.
Bonus Content #2: I had the best turkey ever for Thanksgiving – I would highly encourage everyone to try smoking a turkey on a barbeque, it makes a roasted bird pale in comparison. Smoking can be done on a gas or charcoal barbeque, with the added benefit of freeing up your oven at Thanksgiving / Christmas for other tasty foods, as well as reducing the need to open up windows in the kitchen because it’s 500 degrees in the house.