Home / DIY Disasters / When DIY Costs You MORE!

 

I’m always looking to learn a new skillset and pocket some cash by doing things myself.  I encourage everyone to be the same way.  It is personally liberating once you wire that Dolby 5.1 or 7.2 surround sound system, you turn it on with the remote control, and you have to run over to the receiver to turn the music down before the neighbors call the police.  On the one hand, you have the sigh of relief that you got to it in time, on the other hand, you experience that euphoric gratification that only comes when you have been successful at something.  Do you remember the feeling you had the very first time you disconnected a car battery, did something to your vehicle, re-attached the battery and you sat in the driver’s seat with the key in your hand.  You slowly stick the key in the ignition, rethink everything in your head to make sure you reconnected every wire and tightened every bolt just like you were told.  And then… you turn the key… Houston we have lift off, your car growled with all the 117 horse power your beater could muster, or was it just mine?

Now there are other times, where we spend hours putting together a bookshelf only to find out that there are extra pieces left at the end, it wobbles, or maybe even has a slight Leaning Tower of Pisa effect to it.  Not only does it add character to our homes, but we can look back at it and tell our friends/wives, “I had to put that together with my bare hands because I lent my tools to the orphanage down the street and I didn’t want to rush them to give them back, I’m a giver.”  No one believes us but it’s still fun to tell the tale.

The real question is how much more will it cost me if I do it myself?  What do I do when the job calls for me to do something I’m completely unfamiliar with?  What if the risks of imperfection actually involve real risks to my safety, resale value, or worse… my personal pride?  At that point, when you are asking yourself that question, you have to realize that there must be a reason that so many tradespeople get licensed, bonded, and insured before they pick up a hammer, wrench, or blow torch inside a customer’s home.  There can be real effects of not being prepared so try these quick tips before boldly going where you have never gone before.

  • This one is easy, and no one even has to know – Check your pride at the door!
  • Consult professionals, via phone, video blog, or face to face visit.  If you need help finding a professional just visit www.servicelive.com
  • Ask the important questions:
    • How much does this cost?
    • How much will it cost if I mess this up?
    • What’s the worst that can happen… and just how do I avoid being “That Guy!”
    • Is this a job I can handle myself or should I have a helper.  There is nothing worse than being at the point of no return where you realize you need help, and there is no one within earshot or worse yet, someone who can’t help but who will gladly share every detail of your misfortune with all of your friends, family, and coworkers at the most inopportune of times.
    • If you don’t like the answers to the above questions, don’t be afraid to say the following words exactly:  “Great, thank you for answering my questions.  My wife leaves for work at 8am on Monday, can you be here at 8:15?”

Again, I want everyone to experience the joys of victory around their home and avoiding the agony of defeat.  If anyone watched the Cosby show, you know Heathcliff made a fool of himself with every project he ever attempted around the home.  If a good man learns from his own mistakes, and a wise man learns from the mistakes of others… learn from me and Heathcliff, start every project by getting connected with service experts on ServiceLive.com to avoid a DIY project costing you M.O.R.E!!!

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About the author: Chris Johnson

 
 

2 Comments

  1. I learned long ago to do on my own the simple things I am good at, and call the pros when I feel that I risk more than I can gain by doing it myself…

  2. I recently went to a job to test a leaking shower where 6 months prior the tenant had serviced that taps incorrectly. There was a small leak within the wall that had caused his floor boards to worp, and worse yet had made the perfect environment for termites that had done sever structural damage. I highly recommend using a licensed plumber for all plumbing maintenance issues.

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