Disclaimer-Captain DIY and DIYtoFI.blog highly recommend exercising extreme caution when attempting DIY projects. Not everybody can do everything, and some things should only be done by professionals. Keep your digits attached, and keep the insurance company off of your back. Do it right or call the right people!
Of all of the projects I have done on the houses I’ve owned, none have come out absolutely perfect. There is always some little ding, or scratch, or gap, or some other minor infraction that stares me in the face when I look at the finished product. And you know what? I’m fine with that.
There are several reasons why I’m fine with my little project quirks, and I’m going to go through them with you so you understand why you can be fine with them as well.
First of all, let me say that striving for perfection is totally fine, as long as you do so with the understanding that absolute perfection is nearly impossible. I approach every project with the full intention of revealing a beautiful shiny specimen of perfection, even though in the back of my mind I know I will see it as less than that.
Here’s the thing about DIY projects, and about doing projects in general: there are always imperfections, whether you do the job yourself or you hire it out. The real difference is that when you do the job yourself you have an intimate knowledge of every step taken, and therefore any infraction stands out to you. If someone else does the job and you just come in to see the finished product, you are seeing it as a whole rather than compounded pieces.
When you finish your own drywall, you know where there is a little bump that you just couldn’t get rid of. When you remodel your own kitchen, you know that the third cabinet in from the left is sitting just a bit lower than maybe it should be, but you just couldn’t bring yourself to tear everything up and start over.
If you were to hire someone else to do those projects, those minor issues might still be present, but you wouldn’t necessarily know they were there because you’d be too busy admiring the color of the paint or the beautiful granite countertops.
Another reason not to completely stress about perfection is the beauty of the little quirks that show up in your work. I didn’t set up the new recessed lights in my living room in a perfect grid because I wanted them to be a little more unique, and they fit my particular needs better in their current configuration. A contractor coming in would look at the room as a grid, and space out the lights in order to fully illuminate that grid as evenly as possible.
Maybe my cabinets aren’t sitting absolutely perfectly, but they are lined up very nicely and I know they are functional as they are. I also know that if I had hired someone to come and install my kitchen it would look like just about every other kitchen in my area. I don’t want my kitchen to look like every other kitchen, I want it to look like my kitchen.
I also look at all of the quirks of my house as little story openers; each bump and gap is a tale waiting to be told. Why does the tile have a little hump over by the toilet? Well, it was about 10:30 on a Wednesday night, and I had to wrap up this corner before the thinset hardened up on me…
The little things that show up from your perhaps less-than-professional skills are showcasing the pride you take in working with your hands to accomplish a task. You didn’t need to call a plumber to install your sink, you did it your damn self! And that is something to be proud of! Nobody else came in and ripped out that tiny ugly window and put in two new ones, you did it!
Every odd bump and crack tells a story, like a cool scar, and all of those stories feature your handiness and skills. Let those scars shine! Let your guests admire them, as they realize how amazing it is that you built a piece of your house all by yourself. Know that they wish they could be like you and take care of those nagging projects without having to call a professional in for help. Tell your story with pride, and allow your awesomeness to shine through!
Life isn’t perfect, and that’s the way it should be. The less perfect your house is, the more it represents real life, and how it is a natural part of your story. You took the time to learn something new, and you have the physical proof all around you. You are awesome. You are a DIYer.