When to buy and when to DIY — how to make the decision

Do-it-yourself projects are only gaining in popularity, thanks to the availability of instructions on websites like Pinterest. But DIY-ing everything isn’t always the best option. Case in point: There are hashtags and entire websites dedicated to sharing so-called “Pinterest fails.” While these can be amusing, you don’t want your project to resemble any of these! So, whether it’s sewing or knitting, reupholstering a chair, building furniture, creating home décor, or anything else you can think of, decide if you should go the DIY route or not by answer the following questions.

Do you have the skills? It’s one thing to like the idea of creating something yourself, but it’s another thing altogether to actually make it happen. Before you settle on a plan, take stock and ask yourself if you have the skills to complete the project. If you don’t, take on smaller projects first where you can practice and learn the skills you need to make the project you actually want to work on turn out well.

Do you have the time? You need to go into any DIY project with the understanding that it may take much longer to complete than you expect. Make sure your schedule can accommodate the time needed to work on the project. If you must have the project done quickly, you probably shouldn’t be going the DIY route in the first place.

Do you have the space for working on it? Even if you know you can work on the project regularly using the skills you have, you still need to figure out where you’ll do the work. It can be hard to store the necessities to make a project come together, so finding a spot to stash things is crucial. Trying to work on a project in an inadequate space is going to be frustrating, so if you’re short on room, just buy the thing you were going to build instead.

What will the cost be? One of the advantages of going DIY is that it can save you quite a bit of money in comparison to buying it. But that won’t be true for every project. Create a budget and determine the cost of all the tools and materials you need to complete the project. You may find that it will not save you that much money after all, which is fine! Buying it in this case will not only save you time, but money as well.

Will it be fun and satisfying for you? Perhaps more than any of the other questions, understand what your passion is for this project. If DIY projects are something you like to do as a hobby, you’ll probably find a way to make it work. But, if you tend to find working with your hands to be frustrating, it might be better to opt to buy. The other thing to acknowledge here is that, while doing the project might be fun, the end result might not be exactly what you were hoping for. If you will be satisfied with your work at the end, the project will be worth it.

Should You Buy or DIY? 5 Tips to Help You Decide [Apartment Therapy]

When to Buy and When to DIY [MoneyTalks News]