Who hasn’t, at one point or another, looked at an element of interior design online or a household project on TV and thought, “I could do that?”The mentality of the American Dream is alive and well on design programs and Instagram accounts that celebrate transforming something that might have been thought useless into something both beautiful and valuable.

Not buying a ready-made item or deciding against hiring a professional craftsman to come into your home can mean keeping money in your wallet. However, this isn’t always the case. DIY projects require tools, materials, and time, some of which ultimately might not be the right investment for you.

The good news about DIY

Before we get into the costs, let’s look at the benefits of DIY.

For one thing, the acts of planning, creating, and decorating can be therapeutic. Studies have shown time and again that DIY projects can reduce stress, make you happier, and sharpen your mind.

In a culture where many of us work primarily on a screen, seated at a desk, there’s an intangible benefit to engaging in tactile activities that stimulate our minds and lift our spirits. Those feelings can endure well beyond the end of the project; there is a certain pride and joy that comes with using something you made with your own two hands. There’s even a concept known as the IKEA effect: we place higher value on things we’ve made ourselves. Gifting a loved one something made with care can also carry more meaning than giving them an item purchased from a store.

Some DIY projects require more than one person to complete. You may need to ask friends to help you gather materials or assemble pieces. You may also need to make trips to local shops you otherwise wouldn’t have entered. In these ways, DIY projects have benefits for your social well-being and that of your community.

Frequently, DIY projects make use of existing materials, which is good news for the environment. Breathing new life into older furniture or fixing up your great aunt’s lamp means keeping these things out of landfills, and can keep valued items within a family.

Revealing the hidden costs of DIY

All that said, there are some real costs to consider. 

wtkr

Join our Verily Yours membership for $7.99/mo or $60/year to read this article and more editions from Verily Cents. All memberships start with a FREE 30-day trial.

Already a member? Access this edition here.