To DIY or not to DIY? Let me answer that question.

Experts are so expensive! Are they really worth it?

My wife and I have just finished repainting the inside of our home. Yep, we did it all ourselves. In the beginning we thought we would get a quote from a pro house painter but we were shocked when the price came back at $12,000! I mean really, how hard can it be? All you need to do is splash a little colour around and it would probably only take a few weeks.

How hard can it be?

Well dammit, we thought, let’s not be so lazy and just do it ourselves. I’m not much of a handyman but I reckoned I could paint my house without too much stress. I was WRONG!

My wife and I have pretty demanding jobs, so, we were restricted to painting on our holidays and on some weekends. Still, it has taken no less than three years to get this job done. In that time, Dave, who paints houses for a living, moved in across the road. We get on pretty well, and he being very neighbourly even offered to give me a hand. But I wouldn’t get a mate to do his normal work on the weekends for nothing. I am also a little stubborn at times as well, so I stuck with my original decision to DIY.

It’s ok but don’t look too closely.

Well, the end product looks ok but I know that Dave could have done a better job. Whenever he comes over I worry that he will see all of the rough edges and other imperfections I have created. And, please don’t look at the carpet. Even though the carpet is 20 years old and has worn really well, the liberal splashes of paint make replacement our next big purchase.

What do these experts know that I don’t?

I bought one of those paint rollers that they advertise on telly that you just fill up with paint and it’s so effective that you can “paint a room in 20 minutes”. Dave laughed at me when I told him. I thought, “I’ll show him, I’ll have this done in a few hours”. It started off ok, but we found out that as time went on (10 minutes or so) that the blasted thing had paint dripping out everywhere. You get the room painted so quickly because you are trying to minimise the dripping of the paint onto the floor and through the cracks in between the drop sheets!

Well, we gave up on that roller and went back to Bunnings to get the more traditional rollers and trays. I didn’t tell Dave this for obvious reasons.

Bunnings loves me.

If a store can love a person, this must be true because I have spent so much time and money there. Paint is so darned expensive, and then there is the cost of brushes, turps, masking tape, rollers and trays, undercoat, gap filler, drop sheets and on and on and on. I would hate to add up the cost of all of that because it would be thousands and I know that I would be shocked at the number.

Savings, what savings?

So, all of this leads me to ask myself just how much I saved by doing it myself? The cost of materials was some thousands. The cost of my labour, my wife’s labour and the lost opportunity to go on holidays and away for weekends is incalculable.

Get the pros to do it.

So, back to my original question; to DIY or not to DIY? The answer is now obvious to me – never DIY – get the pros to do it. They actually like what they do and they generally do it well. Choose your tradie wisely and you will get a much better outcome. Your house will look better and you will have much more free time.

The same applies with copywriting. Most of us have a passable ability to put two words together but when it comes to conveying important ideas about your business, get the people who have the skills to do it effectively and who actually like doing it. 

We should all work to our strengths.

I really hope that if Dave, my neighbour, ever needs copywriting done for his painting business, that he comes to me or someone like me. We all should work to our strengths and beware the temptation to DIY.