How to Decide If You Should Do Your Construction Project Yourself

Consider These 4 Points Before You Decide

I met with a customer recently about finishing a project that had been started eight years ago…it’s still not done. They haven’t even been able to live there this entire time. Yes, it was an extensive project…for that matter it still is.

They did most of the work themselves. The question is…

Were the monetary savings worth the cost of time?

As a builder, I’ve never been a big fan of DIY (Do It Yourself). The TV programs have whole projects done in 30-60 minutes. This is misleading, not to mention downright impossible.

Don’t get me wrong, the satisfaction that comes from doing a repair, changing a light switch or faucet, installing a window, building a deck or even remodeling a complete room can be extremely rewarding. The thing is…

You better know what you are getting into before you start.

Here are some things to consider before you decide:

  • Reasons for hiring a professional –

You need to consider what your skill level is and what the parameters of the project are, before tearing into it. Depending on the specific project there are a lot of things to be aware of.

Even something as simple as painting a wall can be more complicated than many people realize. If your project is going to involve things that are structural; for example, cutting an opening in a wall or building a deck, you certainly need to understand what is involved. Not knowing how to do something like this can lead to big problems.

  • Benefits of hiring a professional –

Time is a precious commodity. If you are like me, I am never able to get everything done that I want to. So, when I find someone that I can trust, who I have determined has the desire and skills to do the thing that I need done, it makes sense to pay them to do it? This allows me to be able to do something else that I am better suited for or maybe would just prefer doing.

Growing up on a farm was very “Do It Yourself. I learned how to do a lot of different things. We just didn’t hire much of anything done. Learning like this took years and lots of trial and error. I didn’t just watch a 30-minute TV program or go online to learn it.

I am sure that I could make a car given enough time and money, but doesn’t it make more sense to buy one made by professionals.

  • Reasons for not hiring a professional –

The key here is defining ‘professional’. If you’re considering hiring someone then you need to do some research. There are a lot of people out there that seem to be qualified and aren’t. If you hire someone that isn’t then the outcome might not be much different than doing it yourself.

Maybe you have the time and desire to learn something new. This is a great reason for doing the project yourself. Just be careful to not get in too far over your head. Be clear on what it’s going to take to do this.

You can save money by not paying somebody else. Just be aware that there is a lot to a project beyond the actual constructing. There will, or at least should be, time spent in researching, planning, shopping, buying, exchanging, returning, redoing and cleaning.

It is good to be physically active. Depending on your normal routine construction can be a great way to exercise.

  • Another option – Hiring a consultant.

If you really want to do your own home project, but need some help with knowing how, what, when and where. You might consider finding an experienced professional to guide you through the process. Finding the right person for this can be as tricky as anything. Just realize the value of knowledge and the benefit that it can have.

If you have questions about a construction project or know someone who does, contact us in the chat below.

It comes down to priorities. You can choose where to spend your time and money, what’s the best use of either? Saving money by spending time seems like a good plan… but is it really, if eight years later it still isn’t finished.

With over 35 years of construction experience I have determined that getting help is a good plan. I can’t do everything myself…as much as I would like to. That’s why I share the load with others.

Once you have determined that you have the ability (knowledge, time, money, and physical strength) to do your project, then by all means, go for it.

There’s nothing much more rewarding than stepping back and looking at something you built with your own hands.

Based on and revised from To Hire or Not to Hire, that is the Question, published Aug. 12, 2016

How to Make Wise Business Decisions

Having a DeLorean Time Machine Would be Helpful

I’ve been fighting more dragons than normal over the last few weeks. When speaking of dragons, I’m referring to the business difficulties and struggles that seem to come in herds or clans. (This is one name for a group of dragons)

Throughout my years of being in construction I have witnessed the gap between construction companies and customers. To narrow this gap construction companies need better business systems and customers need to have the process explained.

Narrowing this gap is the reason for Solution Building.

This onslaught of dragons is the culmination of the Timber Creek Construction production workload and trying to find time to build the business in coaching and consulting. This sense of overload has pushed me to consider what things on the long list should be given the priority spot.

As I have discussed this topic with different people one of the questions that continued to come up was…How important are your blog posts, currently, to moving things toward the goal? That is the question.

How important are these posts to you subscribers?

So –

If you read this post clear through, let me know in the comments below.

If you like getting these posts weekly, let me know in the comments below.

If there are things you like or dislike about my writing, subjects or post schedule, let me know in the comment below.


Focus is Hard When There’s No Revenue

How to Determine When to Stop or Keep Going

What the heck am I supposed to be doing? Should I quit spending time trying to develop a coaching/consulting business? When there’s no revenue generated from it, the time spent working on it, takes time away from the current revenue generating construction.

I knew from researching, that it would take some time to develop this new business. I’ve been posting a weekly solution every week for almost four and a half years, that’s over 230 posts. During that time, I have attracted less than forty subscribers. Not to mention there is almost no interaction with the few subscribers that I have.

This raises questions. Is the content relative to our target audience? Maybe the low connection is a lack of writing ability? I started as a builder after all. Maybe it’s just a matter of how busy and overwhelmed everyone is? Maybe this isn’t the best format to reach them?

Uncertainty results in inaction.

I’ve always been a cautious person. I tend to overthink and analyze things to death. This process often leads to slow or no action. As I have considered whether to continue with the coaching/consulting, I’ve come to some conclusion. This was reached in part thanks to my wonderful Kingdom Builders Mastermind group and Andy Andrews book, The Travelers Gift, The Seven Decisions for Personal Success.

I include these seven decisions as part of my daily routine. After reviewing the input from the mastermind group, I realized these Seven Decisions paralleled the groups input and what I already knew.

Here are those Seven Decisions and how they pertain to this decision:

The Responsible Decision

My success or failure is up to me. Where I am is no one’s fault but mine. Where I end up is no one’s fault but mine. I have control over what I will do and how I will move forward. My past cannot be changed. My future is my responsibility. The buck stops here.

The Certain Decision

This is a tough one for me. I have spent too much time second guessing myself. My lack of certainty makes moving forward hard. How do I know if this is the right thing to do? I know this, because God has given me the knowledge of the need, the skills and experience to help others find solutions and a passionate heart for this task. I have a decided heart.

The Compassionate Decision

Forgiveness has never been much of a problem for me, as it relates to others. I forgive easily which often results in people taking advantage of me. Where forgiveness is an issue…is forgiving myself. I get stuck in the rut of replaying all my mistakes, failures or lack of achievements. I can’t let my past dictate my future. I will greet each day with a forgiving spirt. I will forgive myself.

The Guided Decision

When wondering what to do I seek direction from God and His Word, my friends and family, books, podcasts, blogs, etc. I’m constantly searching for wisdom. Too much of the time I’m seeking wisdom and not putting it into action. I’m looking forward to honest feedback from the mastermind group. I will seek wisdom.

The Joyful Decision

My attitude is a choice. How I respond or react to a situation is a choice. These choices affect my outlook. I can approach things with a discouraged, depressed, ungrateful heart. Or I can remind myself how fortunate and blessed I am to have been given the insight and skills needed to lead others in way to build better businesses, construction projects and lives. I will choose to be happy.

The Active Decision

Action is out of character for me. Concern that something done wrong will cause problems, leads to inaction. This inaction leads to nothing being done. Nothing being done helps no one. God is waiting for me to do something. Slow decisions lead to failure. Fear of failure keeps me from action. Just because a decision is made doesn’t mean it’s permanent. Failure only exists for the person who quits. I will not quit. I am a person of action.

The Persistent Decision

Not quitting or giving up is the cornerstone to these decisions. It is the one decision, if removed, causes the whole thing to crumble. Many times, I’m tempted to quit. By persisting, my outcome, my success, is assured. In Jeremiah, God says, “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” Failure only happens if I quit…I will not quit. I will persist without exception.

After running my coaching/consulting question through the filter of these Seven Decisions, I’ve determined that I will keep going.

What exactly this will turn out to be, remains to be seen. I want to know now, exactly what it’s is going to be, down to the smallest detail. I need to shift my focus from so far out, to the first next step. Writing this week’s solution is that first next step. We’ll give some thought to how to reach out to those who would benefit from our help in finding their solutions and take the first next step.