DIY or Asking for Help

Social media has changed our world and it will never be the same. There are countless platforms for people to share their interests, lives, family, and personal projects. It's fun to see what others have created and to watch their step-by-step videos about how to do the same project in your own home. And you have the time, so why wouldn't you try it? It looks so easy, after all.

Still... just because you can, does that also mean you should? Are you prepared for the process? There are any number of professionals out there to help you, but should you spend the money and what exactly do they do? Should you hire a designer, architect, or contractor? Or, should you just do it on your own? Hopefully, I can answer some of your questions so you can make the best decision for you and your family.


As most people know, DiY stands for "Do It Yourself" and is used when someone completes a project without the assistance of a professional. With the rise of social media, it has become very popular. Everyone wants to think they can save money by cutting out the professionals, but is that the best choice?

Sometimes, it is. Lots of projects are easy and fun tasks that anyone can do. As long as you have the right supplies and you follow the directions, there shouldn't be a problem. As for the more complicated projects, you still may want to do it yourself. Even if they don't end up looking as nice as you hoped, they have character and interest. Maybe it's a project you work on with your children or spouse, creating memories, or maybe it's a gift and the care you took on it matters more than anything. Those matter and impact how you look at the project. So, yes, sometimes it is appropriate to do it yourself. Other times though...

Let's put this into terms that many people understand. Cars used to be very simple to work on. My old VW Bug came with an owner's manual that explained how to fix things when they broke. It took very little training for me to learn about changing the oil or replacing the spark plugs. My current car, though? Forget it! It is way too complicated and requires special training to do pretty much anything to it. Yet, if I were to watch YouTube videos about the process, it can look incredibly simple. Emphasis on look. Most DiYers have more training than you realize. They may have learned from their parents or spent years honing their skills, but all you will see is the beautiful results and not the hours of labor it took to develop their talents.

So, how complicated is your project, really? Do you have the skills or training to accomplish

it? Is it just a question of painting a wall or are you painting cabinets? Are you hanging some shelves or hanging drywall? Are you helping your child redecorate their room or are you redoing your master bathroom? And, are things more complex than they look at first? Are you missing any important information about building regulations or how to safely use a particular tool?

There is a lot to think about. So before you decide to remodel your home yourself, let's take a look at the three main types of professionals that you may choose to consult before you try to do it yourself.


I've talked about it before but you can't be called a designer without some sort of formal training in the industry. For some of us old timers, that means we were helping set up the current interior design programs at the universities, so most of our training came from a combination of internships, college classes, and continuing education courses on information related to our field. Many of the associations we are a part of, be it ASID or NKBA, have regular seminars to teach us about the latest advances in technology or changes in the laws that govern our industry. As designers, we need to know not only what looks good and how to organize furniture, but also about the structure of the building, the psychological elements of design, and even how the surfaces in the room will conduct sound or hold heat.