Why DIY?

Inspired by helping my wife paint our bathroom and this article.

As I’ve stated previously, I’m a firm believer in DIY ethics. If I have the means and skill to do it myself, I’m going to do it myself. If I don’t have the skills, I’ll get them. Only if I don’t have the means do I consider passing it on to someone else. However, I don’t think that’s all that DIY encompasses.

For me, DIY is about getting the most out of everything. Even in our modern age of disposable everything, not everything need be disposable. Since I work in the technology field, technology is the first place where I took doing it myself seriously. It’s a lot easier to get started in areas where you have skills.

The question then becomes: what are the benefits? Why should you pursue doing things for yourself?

Obviously there’s the cost factor. Most people get into DIY to save money. With a few basic tools and a book or two, you can handle most common home and auto repairs yourself. Likewise, with even fewer tool, a little knowledge, and a positive mental attitude you can handle most computer repairs yourself. There’s no reason you should be paying Geek Squad* $40 to “optimize” your computer or $200 to remove a virus. A quick Google search and a thoughtful post or two in an appropriate online forum and you can probably get everything handled at the cost of a few hours of your time.

More abstractly, there’s the satisfaction from having done something yourself. I’m beginning to think that there are a lot people in the world who don’t get satisfaction from a job well done, given the sorts of slipshod work I see on a daily basis. However, I will go out on a limb here and say that there are few fruits sweeter in life than the fruits of one’s own labor.
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*In most cases, I would seriously advise against letting a third-party like Geek Squad touch your computer. There’s a reason that the Consumerist has an entire category devoted to the Geek Squad. If you need to let someone else fix your computer, find a local small business that can’t afford to have too much bad press.

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