January 11, 2023 – 7:45 AM
I started 2021 by buying an 1885 hulk of a home, sight unseen, with visions of restoring its earlier grandeur. In almost two years, I’ve restored three of many rooms and tackled multiple smaller projects, by myself.
Do-it-yourself home improvements can save a lot of money, but that’s hardly the only reason to dive in. One in 4 homeowners took on DIY home improvement projects over the past two years because they like doing that kind of work themselves, according to the recent NerdWallet Home Improvement Report. (That nationally representative survey asked 1,404 homeowners about their home improvement activities and sentiments, and was conducted online by The Harris Poll from Sept. 27-29, 2022.)
I count myself among them. The joy of this work was instilled in me at a young age by my dad, a former shop class teacher turned school administrator, and hobbyist carpenter. I even built my own Barbie house, a blue one-bedroom ranch.
Between my current house and my previous one (also about 100 years old), the only jobs I paid professionals for were urgent or massive ones: a new roof and demolition of outbuildings, for example. The list of DIY projects, on the other hand, is extensive and has included removing wallpaper,