Here at SLB, we’re all for the spirit of getting your hands dirty and learning a thing or two on DIY projects. DIY can really save you a lot of money, especially on big home improvement projects such as refinishing your deck or repairing your dining table. You can paint, hammer and build your way to a more sustainable lifestyle.
A Different Kind of High
There’s just this sense of accomplishment when you do something on your own, using your wits and skills, no matter how rudimentary. You can’t possibly have the same high when you go to a store and buy furniture versus making your own from scratch. Building and creating something is right up there in the realm of the arts, and it feels great.
Granted, not everyone has the woodworking chops to build his own furniture, but there are a ton of better things to do than to buy affordable, brand new furniture, even if you end up assembling it yourself. You can buy quality, wooden furniture at garage sales and flea markets, haul it off to your house and refinish it.
That’s a heck of a lot cooler than assembling crappy furniture, no matter how new it is. You’ll learn something new about the wood you’re working with, proper sanding technique, how to varnish or paint it, and a whole lot more. You’ll get schooled by an old piece of furniture, and it’ll feel awesome. Plus, you’ll be doing the planet a big favor by reusing old furniture.
A sense of accomplishment, an education and becoming a hero to planet Earth? It doesn’t get any better than that!
It takes curiosity and a love of how things work to take something apart, look for issues and put it back together again. If you’ve been bitten by the engineering bug, you know what this means! The only problem here is putting it back together again. If you fail in one step, the chances that things won’t fit or it’ll fail to work are high.
But it’s all part of the learning process, that’s the beauty of DIY. You’ll never stop getting an education that you can use in real life. Imagine if you’re a salesman or computer programmer and the world is plunged into a zombie apocalypse. No power, no internet. You need to learn real-world skills other than what you know to survive, and it won’t hurt to start now.
When to Give DIY a Break
Speaking of programmers, there are instances that you shouldn’t DIY. One such example is testing your own code for bugs. Even the best programmers have problems testing their own software because their mindset is to “build”, while the mindset of a QA Tester is to “break”.
There’s also the principle that you can’t find fault in your own creation, because there’s a level of attachment to it. Like parents who can’t find fault in their kids. It’s pretty much the same for programmers, because their code is their baby. If you’re a programmer, ask someone else to test for bugs in your system. Use software testing services like Pegasie if the project is too big to handle.
Another instance where DIY should be off limits is when working with electricity. Don’t underestimate it, or you might end up in the emergency room. If the wiring in your house is out of whack, or if you suspect water damage, call a licensed electrician or the utility company.
Same thing for water. It’s easy to repair the kitchen sink, but when other pipes around the house give you trouble, call the plumber. When you do call in the experts, ask them if you could watch and even assist. Be honest with them and tell them that you want to learn the basics, so you can be better at troubleshooting problems. Some of them might not agree, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
It’s Time to DIY
The trick here is to troubleshoot everything that breaks in your home or vehicle. When your washing machine suddenly dies on you, use a process of elimination and see if you can zero in on the problem. It helps if you know a thing or two about how things work. If you don’t and still want to do your own troubleshooting, Youtube is your friend.
It’s never too late to embrace the DIY spirit. You’ll feel alive while you’re doing it, and you can even become a real badass!