When To Buy Or DIY

Buy or DIY How To

I’m all too familiar with buyers remorse. Sometimes i look back and realize i spent a small fortune on something i’ve seen others make so effortlessly. However, other times i spend weeks trying to build something that never comes out right and end up still having to spend the money to buy the product elsewhere. So how to determine which option is right for you and your situation?

How much would a comparable product cost you to purchase? Not the highest end model, but the affordable option you found that you’d be most likely to purchase.

How many hours was the project estimated at where you found the instructions? how much do you value that amount of your free time?

Don’t know how long to estimate the duration of the project? I always use this simple calculation. 1 hour for setup + 1 hour for parts acquisition + 1 hour for cutting/fitting/tweaking + 1 hour for assembly. This is just a rough idea because i know the pace i work and know i wouldn’t set out on a project significantly higher than my abilities.

Be realistic with your expectations. Have you used these materials before? Have you used these tools before? If not, add an extra hour in your estimations. It’s better to overestimate than underestimate.

Have you laid out space to work, and a space for the final piece to go as well as printed out directions and checked out tutorial videos? If not, add an extra hour.

IF your budget is that scarce, you’ll probably still need to proceed, but at least you wont be surprised at how long it will take to get the results you seek. Realistic expectations avoid disappointments.

The good news is that there aren’t only 2 paths. It’s not just buy or DIY. It can actually be both, and that is the key for following a budget and still getting the result you seek.

Don’t buy the whole completed project when you can buy the components that would be most annoying to build yourself.

There’s no shame in valuing your time and knowing when to save yourself headaches.

Take a raised planter for example. You could buy one for a small fortune and be stuck with standard dimensions that may or may not fit well in your designated space. you could build the whole thing out of wood, or you can build it mostly out of wood but purchase steel corner brackets. they’re cheap, offer more long term support, they look cool, save you the cost of extra wood and cutting time.

Cost = Expenses + Time + Sanity

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