After spending the majority of the weekend puttering around my working garden, I find myself wondering how many of you DIY whenever you can.
I have a theory that people who like hacking around with tech and starting numerous side projects in their free time also generally like doing meat-life projects themselves too.
Long ago, I was bitten by the urge to do home improvement projects myself. Not just painting and beautification, but electrical, plumbing, tiling, stuff like that. Now that I have a yard and live in place where I can consistently grow just about anything outside (except citrus and avocados), I’ve started spending more time in my working and ornamental garden.
Aside from the sense of satisfaction when you successfully grow and harvest something, having a working garden saves quite a lot of money on stuff like herbs that supermarkets force you to buy in large quantities, e.g. a recipe calling for basil rarely uses the amount they sell in the store, causing waste.
Aside from the obvious cost savings of DIY, there’s an air of self-sufficiency that appeals to many people, especially those of us who tinker with tech.
I keep a list of projects that keeps getting longer, and each weekend, I review it and decide which (if any) I want to tackle. Some stuff may never get done, like the plumbing jobs, because the risk outweighs the rewards. One thing I learned pretty quickly about home improvement is that electrical is easier, at least for me, than plumbing. This is the opposite of what I expected.
Obviously, fear of the unknown and potential risk (and cost) keep people from dabbling with lots of DIY projects, but I ignored the itch to try new projects for too long. And I haven’t looked back, yet; another nice benefit to DIY is that experience helps you assess projects and problems, i.e. you can tell more quickly if a given project will require an expert or not.
My next area for dabbling will be cars, if I ever reach that comfort point of time and money that would allow it. Unfortunately, pursuing this hobby would further worsen an issue I didn’t expect with DIY–too many tools and nowhere to keep them. Or as my wife calls it, the stuff for your stuff problem. This is why places like TechShop are so very awesome.
Anyway, since most of you have the hacker spirit, I’m curious to know if it has spilled over into other projects in your DIY life.
Let us know in comments.