DIY Project Costs – Part I.


    from Hope

    I realize that the BAD community doesn’t like my plan to put some money into my house over the next few months. And I’m not wagering a dollar amount there. And I won’t be But I’m not going crazy, I’m staying frugal.

    I just published my budget for October. And before everyone’s freaking out about the open position on housing expenses, I figured I’d tell you this month how things are going.

    Here is the first update on the project list that I originally published:

    1. New blinds in the front windows – work DIY – DID – No $$$ spent, but a lot of frustration and about 2 days of work because I did it 100% on my own. I’ll have to replace a couple of drills at some point as I’ve stripped a few, but live and learn, I’ll do better next time.
    2. Paint all the moldings – work DIY – STARTED – Painting the moldings in the living room when I replaced the blinds. What a pain! No $$$ spent as I have almost 1/2 gallon of the white paint and brushes from all of the other walls we painted.
    3. Cut out the living room door that we expanded – work DIY
    4. Installing the kitchen splashback – DIY work – READY TO BEGINNING – I have the tile here that was left over from the shower but needed a few items, spent $ 60 on accessories / tools but shouldn’t need anything else to complete this project other than time.
    5. Center and install the ceiling fan in the kitchen – pay for help
    6. Replacing the dining room light – DIY work?
    7. Installing kitchen lights – DIY work? – DID – The contractor who helped me install my dishwasher / countertops did so according to my negotiated price. I am so grateful!
    8. Paint and reattach existing switch covers – DIY work
    9. Upcycling existing 5 interior doors – work DIY
    10. Create some focus walls – work DIY (I priced the stick out on a rustic wood look, whoa, this stuff is expensive so look for cheaper alternatives than just paint, ideas?)
    11. Cleaning, rearranging, and decorating the princess’s room – doing DIY and using existing furniture (she’s on board with this plan)
    12. Set up deck – RESEARCH – I have an old dining room set made of solid oak with 6 chairs. It takes some love, but it’s very convenient for what I want on the deck. It’s not my dream patio set, but it would be enough for now. So I’m doing research on what to do to make it as weather resistant as possible. If it could take 3 years outside that would be great. (I put it on sale for $ 150 for months, but no takers. So I might as well put some poly on it or something and see if I can get it working for now.)
    13. Upcycle some old doors I’ve had for ages to use as decoration / cast iron storage hangers – DIY
    14. Build barn door for indoor swimming pool – work DIY
    15. Hang up new curtains in the living room IN PROGRESS – I spent just under $ 40 on what I thought it would complete this project. I didn’t get enough curtain panels though, I need two more for ~ $ 12 each (bought on sale hoping they are still on sale) and the rod I got is missing a piece so hope I that they will just open up another one and give me the right piece. Again, I did all the work myself.

      Before that, I painted the moldings, covered the windows with blinds and then finally added curtains. Curtains are not yet complete at the time I wrote this.

    16. Complete upgrades to indoor pool & hang bar door – pay for help (already have an offer for it) – RESEARCH – plan to make decisions for this next weekend so I can plan it in as this will be a bit more of a $$$ investment
    17. Build me some kind of closet – work DIY? (I have a wage offer for this, but can try it yourself)

    Progress – it took me the WHOLE DAY to dismantle old blinds (probably already 50 years there), clean the rotting wood paneling really well, sand down, paint and hang up two of the 3 blinds. I finished the 3rd blind and started the curtains the next day.

    Total spend in the first two weeks of September = $ 100 and I expect to be spending less than $ 40 more this week finishing the living room curtains.

    Not a pro, but I can do this

    It is getting me down to working on my house. And I’m definitely not a professional. Turner comment when he saw this: “Are you sure that you have hung it up correctly?”

    But every day I get prouder. Not in the proud way, look at me, but that I am finally able to offer all my children a stable place to come and rest. It’s been 13 years since my ex-husband and I broke up, I’ve struggled with housing all the time.

    We don’t live extravagantly. I’m not trying to “upgrade my lifestyle” … Other than the dishwasher, that was definitely a luxury just for me and an upgrade to my lifestyle. But I want a home where they’ll feel safe and proud to bring their friends with them without mold growing in the bathroom or tiles peeling off the floor. Where there are tiles on the bathroom walls and crumbling remains of what once was. Almost all of our furniture is flea market finds or DIY … did you see the Gymnast bed frame when I showed you my cloakroom idea for the office? He built it from scrap wood and free pallets. My murals are all from projects the children did.

    Save $$$ by doing it yourself

    The thing is, I couldn’t afford to hire someone to do all of that. So that it becomes professional. But more than I want professionally, I want debt-free. And everything I do myself is literally saving me hundreds of dollars. So for the next 3 months I am giving myself permission to spend the money on what I need to get the house to a certain location.

    I have tough skin. So you can judge my decisions, especially if I lose my way. I appreciate constructive criticism that you have taken these comments into account and so on. But you didn’t live in my shoes, look what we went through.


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