Disclaimer-Captain DIY and DIYtoFI.blog highly recommend exercising extreme caution when attempting DIY projects. Not everybody can do everything, and some things should only be done by professionals. Keep your digits attached, and keep the insurance company off of your back. Do it right or call the right people!
Sometimes, when we are elbow-deep in a project with which we’re not totally confident, the question of Why pops up. Why did I decide to do this? Why did I think I could repair this? Why didn’t I call someone to do it for me?
While most of the world would be glad to fork over their hard-earned cash just to be able to sit back while someone else fixes their stuff, we are not most of the world. We are DIYers! And while we may have different reasons for tackling projects ourselves, it all boils down to money. The more of those dollars we can have working for us in our investment farms, the sooner we can reach our goal of Financial Independence. Plus we’ll have all kinds of great skills we learned on the way!
Now I realize it’s not all about the money. Some of us enjoy working with our hands. Some of us enjoy the pride we feel after accomplishing a difficult task and seeing the thing working the way it is supposed to. Some of us aren’t comfortable bringing strangers into our house.
These are all excellent reasons for learning how to fix things yourself. As for Captain DIY, I have a few reasons of my own for it. I enjoy seeing tangible results for my efforts, especially when it involves making my home better. I also enjoy the challenge of figuring out solutions to various issues and problems that arise in the repair process. I feel Independent and Manly when I finish fixing something and it starts working properly again. And I’m super cheap.
The environmental impact of constantly mass-producing new stuff is clearly tangible, which is another strong argument for fixing what you already have. It has been said, I believe in an interview on Choose FI, that we are at Peak Crap. In other words, we have gotten to the point where so much stuff has been made that we should conceivably be able to never make a new thing again as long as we can maintain what we have. Avoid overloading Peak Crap Capacity (PCC) and fix instead of buy!
I grew up fixing things because that’s how it was done. When something broke, you fixed it. Only after all repair options had been exhausted to no avail was replacement laid on the table. Even then, we had to ask ourselves if we really needed that thing or if we could live without it. Because of that mindset and skillset, I have managed to completely tear out my house innards and start from scratch, including a new kitchen and bathroom. While there may have been some very un-Captainly swearing during the process, it was altogether enjoyable.
The path to Financial Independence is one of many choices and options. There is no one defined path, and therein lies the beauty of it. Everyone has their own idea of how to get there, and most of them are right. As long as it is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and all parties involved are committed, success is almost assured. One of the paths I think can be extremely helpful is learning the skills needed to repair and maintain the important things in your life that you have spent your money on, because otherwise that money will have been wasted.
We want as many of our dollar employees working for us as possible, and that means we need to be there as backup. Instead of sending them out to fix all of our problems, why not keep them where they do the most good and use ourselves to supplement? In many cases, materials for home repair can be found inexpensively, and not only does the labor you put in give you a strong sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, you get some exercise and movement from it as well!
There are a lot of tools out there to help, and I would like to try to get as many of them as possible here for you to find. I will be bringing in Guest Experts to help where I cannot, and I will be learning right along with you as we build up our skill sets together. Whether you are on the path to FI or not, everybody can benefit from learning how to maintain their things.
What is your reason (or reasons) for DIY? Let me know in the comments below, and if there are any skills you feel would be helpful send ‘em on over and I’ll break down the details for you. And when you reach FI, you’ll be ready to keep your house ship-shape! You might even find yourself supplementing your investment income with a side job or two fixing other people’s things.