Broken stair tread


While I was replacing a tread on our staircase, I started to think about why people do DIY, rather than pay a professional to come in and do the job. I came up with the following main reasons:

  1. Save money
  2. Enjoyment
  3. Knowledge

Following on from this, I thought about why I do it. Instantly my thoughts turned to enjoyment. I get a great deal of pleasure in making things, especially when I benefit from the final product.

Having recently bought a house that needs quite a bit doing to it, cost saving is certainly a factor, though I see it as more of a favourable by-product of something I enjoy doing than a primary motivation. That said, we have saved thousands of pounds over the last six months by doing most of the work ourselves. Whether or not we would have had so much work done had we paid professionals we shall never know, but I sincerely doubt we would. For that reason, doing it on our own means we get more of it done.

One reason I have broken so many bicycles over the years is I really like to know how things work. In my mind, knowing how something works means that if it stops working, I stand half a chance of diagnosing the problem, and then fixing it. Nothing annoys me more than when people throw stuff away because it’s broken, when in reality a quick bit of research could easily result in finding a way to fix it. A few weeks ago, I removed the guttering, fascias and soffits from the bay window, as the cast iron was rusty and the woodwork rotten. Rather than buy PVC replacements, I decided to create my own soffits and facias from some basic planks of pine. In taking down the old and replacing with new which I made myself, I now understand more about how all the parts fit together. Should any of it need repairing, I’ll know exactly how to do it, given I put it all together.

For me, enjoyment and knowledge seem to go hand-in-hand, and these really are my biggest motivation for doing so much DIY.

Of course, there are times when I wish I had not started…

One thing that is immediately apparent to anyone who tackles a particular job for the first time, it always, without fail, takes longer than expected. In my DIY endeavours, I usually underestimate the prep required by quite some margin. When you begin to factor in the small things such as moving furniture and getting the tools out of the cupboard, one starts to realise why things always take longer than first expected. Then at the other end of the work, there’s the clearing up, which is equally misjudged when I do any work at home.


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