Forget Doing It Yourself

by Ali |

When the weekend comes it appears Queenslanders are beginning to see themselves as DIY heroes. Spurred on by hit shows like the Block, The Renovators and Better Homes and Gardens it appears to “have a crack at it”. However what many people don’t know is that by just swapping your office slacks for overalls does not make the DIY journey easy, or safe. Many people don’t truly realize how large a project is, in actuality, deceived by the skill of time-lapse photography. What the average Aussie needs to understand is that these shows are for entertainment purposes first and foremost.

That said DIY is BIG business. For some reason people are prepared to pay more to do it themselves than to get a professional in. The tools and products purchased, at retail prices, from the local hardware store is just the initial expense. The DIY hero then invests time to learn a skill that most professional tradesman spent 4 to 5 years in becoming qualified. The real cost is almost never considered by the DIY hero.

This is the opportunity cost. This means the cost of what you could be getting paid at work, or the time you would pay to spend with friends and family instead of undertaking the DIY project. A family friend recently took 3 weeks holiday to repaint the family home, a single story post war home. A quick calculation reveals the problem.

  • Wages foregone
  • Paint purchased
  • Tools (brushes, filler, sandpaper drop sheets)
  • Hire equipment (extension ladder, trestles)
  • Total

As professional painters we could have painted the home for $5,900 and do it in a third of the time. It would also be a professional paint job, by a professional painter who is trained in height and safety procedures and would even include a 5 year warranty. When considering the vast majority of us work 5 days a week to enjoy a 2 day weekend, it is important for us to highlight the following. A two week renovation project carried out by a professional tradesman, would take a DIY hero over 10 weekends or 2 and a half months to complete.

Each year around this time Rochele Painting will quote on numerous half painted doors, walls, rooms and even houses. When we ask “what happened?” the most common response was that “it’s not as easy as they made it look on TV”.

Before home owners attempt any DIY project they should get at least 2 quotes from a professional tradesman. Quotes should be a free service and don’t feel guilty about obtaining quotes even if you are pretty sure you will attempt the project yourself. You may find out that it is cheaper to use a professional or may get some professional advice that saves you time, money and your safety.

So DIY heroes, before picking up a brush, screwdriver or chainsaw, consider that the cost may be more significant than a couple of calluses and splinters. Dollars, your health and even relationships can be saved by using a reputable professional tradesman to do the jobs that were made to look like a piece of cake on “the telly” and from the comfort of your couch.

For more information on pricing visit our Pricing Guide.