DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
Lets do this thing
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DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Lets do this thing »

I consider myself a hard core DIYer and am wondering if most Bogleheads consider themselves the same. I feel my husband and I come by DIY as a result of lessons learned growing up, both with immigrant grandparents. And yet, we are very different than our siblings, some of whom hire others for everything. We have been lucky over the years because our good health has allowed us to be our own agents. Hubbie is a mechanic, a Mr. Fix it, creative with self taught knowledge in a lot trades. We both cook, clean, and landscape. I can sew anything and have taught myself how to do sheet rock, joint compounding and painting. We built a timber frame house with our own hands. I am in charge of the finances and have been guided by the bogleheads over the years. We are getting older and will have to give up some of these things at some point. Sometimes we are clever and impress ourselves and sometimes we are ridiculous and should just hire people (Cutting down trees, doing our own Will).
What DIY skills have you acquired over the years--especially those that you are proud of?
Normchad
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Normchad »

I think a lot of the bogleheads are very DIY intensive. And lots of others like to farm out the unpleasant work to get more time in their life.

We are almost all DIY when it comes to finance. And for me, that is the one I am most proud of. I am proud of it because I have achieved more financially, than I ever thought possible. And with that, it has given me a lot of freedom and options in the world, which makes my life much better.

As far as other DIY stuff goes, I can build/fix basically anything. I have done serious home remodeling projects, including framing, plumbing, electrical, finish work, tile work, etc. I am 100% confident I can do anything in that arena.

I can also do most car repairs that I need. Although now, I do just pay to have anything done that I would find unpleasant. For a long time, I only drove cars I could buy for $500, so I got a lot of practice replacing water pumps, wheel bearings, exhaust, etc. But now, I really just change fluids and filters. I don't actually fix anything.

I don't know how to cook or sew though. Those would be some bomb-diggity skills to have. I think that being able to sew something that looks good, is far more skillful than anything I can actually do. I also don't know how to weld, but would like to.

I can also do anything computer/IT related, but that is part of my profession, so I just have a lot of experience with it, and I certainly hope I don't have to do any more of it when I come home.....
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Lets do this thing
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Lets do this thing »

We would get along great at a cocktail party. We could talk about IT, the field that I also work in.
carolinaman
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by carolinaman »

When we were first married I was DIY in almost everything, partially because it saved us money that we needed for other things. Once I achieved a management level in my career, I worked long hours and no longer had the time to do a lot of DIY, so I hired out a lot of things. I am now retired and have more time but am judicious in DIY projects as I am not physically able to do things I could do when younger. I used a chain saw a lot when younger but cut my leg with one about 15 years ago and retired from using a chain saw. I now have a tree guy to do all my tree work. I still do my yard, minor home repairs, painting, finances, taxes, IT related and so forth. But anything major I hire out. My son is a remodeler and can do anything mechanical or that is involved in home construction and repair. I use him a lot for home repairs and improvements when he is available. I pay him his regular rate and know that he will do the job right. I cannot say that about many home repair people.
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whodidntante
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by whodidntante »

I do my own motorcycle, car, bicycle, and home repairs if it's something I can realistically complete in a weekend or less. If it's larger than that, I'll either hire someone to help me, or hire someone to do the job.

The issue with hiring people is that it's frequently pretty time consuming to just do that, end to end. So I actually save money and time doing things myself. Even relatively standard services don't save me time. For example, I can change my oil in less time than I can get someone else to do it, and I can do it 7:00 pm on a Sunday if that's the only time I have free. I purchase my oil and filters in bulk online.
azanon
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by azanon »

Definitely not. We have a well above average but not very high household income (we (barely) qualify for roth iras). I don’t do much of anything myself after working 40 hrs a week. I have yard service, if anything breaks in the house we have a handyman, don’t do any car work myself,etc. But I’m frugal on a lot of things i buy though.

So yeah I wouldn’t confuse a boglehead with, say, a mustashian.
Call_Me_Op
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Call_Me_Op »

The amount I save by doing my own investing pays for the help I hire 10 times over.
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MillennialFinance19
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by MillennialFinance19 »

We’re a 50/50 mix. For instance, I change the oil in my truck, I can weld, good with a chainsaw etc., but you will never catch me pressure washing the house and shop. I write that $400 check with ease! :sharebeer
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familythriftmd
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by familythriftmd »

I hardly do anything myself. Becoming disabled even with disability insurance because I want to clean the gutters myself is not worth it to me!

With that said, I'm perfectly fine doing the small things like mowing the lawn, staining the fence, etc.
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Watty
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Watty »

DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?
When I was a teenager I worked a few summers at a nursing home. All the residents were elderly except for one guy who was a quadriplegic who was in his 30s. He had been trying to save money by putting on a roof himself and he had fallen off the roof and was paralyzed. Seeing that as a teenager stuck with me and whenever it comes to doing jobs around the house that are risky I will hire someone that has the right skills and equipment to do those jobs.

I don't do many car repairs myself either because cars are so complex now. I usually will buy a new car and replace it when it is about 10 years old so some brands like Toyota will need very little non-routine maintenance while I own it.

A lot of what people do depends on where they are at financially and what phase of life they are in. When I was starting out I remodel a kitchen myself because I did not have enough money to do it any other way.

I am retired now and I can afford to have people do work like that so there is no way that I would do that big a project myself now.

When there is something that needs to be done around the house I will frequently watch Youtube videos to help decide if I should hire someone to do it or do it myself. That also gives me a better idea of how much work is involved so I will have an idea of what a fair price for the work might be.

I have had people do things like try to charge me over $400 in labor for something that was less than an hours work when I got someone honest in to do the job. I realize that people doing work like that have lots of overhead and need to charge a significant amount but way too often they will try to rip you off.

I have not had good luck with finding a handyman to do small projects so I will frequently just do things myself just because there is not a real good alternative. Even when you can find someone to do something it is often faster and easier to just do it yourself.
Wanderingwheelz
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

I made a comment on Twitter once that I repaired my own dishwasher. I was just about laughter off of financial-Twitter (fintwit) for doing something so ridiculous. But, for the cost of a $23 part I probably saved myself $250 On a somewhat complicated repair and a lot more than that if I decided to buy a brand new one like many people would have done since it’s 13 years old. It’s been working like a charm for over a year.

If I can fix something myself, I always do. YouTube is genius if you are inclined to tackle something yourself.
lightheir
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by lightheir »

I've learned the hard way that DIY for the most part, is NOT a winning transaction for me. I'm no handyman or tech wizard, but have tried my hand at various small projects and repairs, and while I've mostly been successful, I've been frankly horrified with the amount of extra time required to learn to do things as well as the serious annoyance of having to re-learn to do these things if you haven't done them in a long time.

I've concluded that DIY has been farrrrrr oversold on most forums because the people who actually enjoy doing it for fun like to crow about it.

Perhaps the most hands-on-example of this for me has been doing my own road bicycle repair/maintenance. I ride and race bike seriously, and thus my bikes really need to be as tip-top as possible. Paying for repairs is frighteningly expensive, even for simple stuff. But I learned the hard way that the amount of my time it takes me to do even simple things, easily exceeds the cost of repairs, several times over. Even if I save hundreds on parts and labor paid, the opportunity cost for me is multiplefold when you factor that in.

Same has been with nearly every home small DIY fixit I've done. Even little things like changing a clogged U-trap under the kitchen sink - one thing goes wrong, and it's a nightmare - even the plumber I called ended up having to snake the whole system with a professional-grade snake (the normal one didn't work, he had to bring a 2nd special one!) and it was huge waste of time and energy on my part.

If you have any sort of disposable income, I would conclude it is 100% ok to pay to do as many tasks as possible which you do not enjoy doing or causes you stress beforehand. It's likely better than you do what you are good at and get paid well for, and farm out as much as possible to preserve your most important resource -time.

Obviously, things are different if you have lower income (no disposable), a big excess of time vs income (esp retired folks), or are really looking forward to the challenge of learning and doing it. In those situations, yes, DIY it by all means! But don't go around afterwards crowing about how everyone MUST learn to DIY things like you did - that is simply a false statement.
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Lets do this thing
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Lets do this thing »

"But don't go around afterwards crowing about how everyone MUST learn to DIY things like you did - that is simply a false statement". Where is this coming from?

Perhaps my point was missed. Was just having fun at seeing who was like minded and laughing at myself on some level. Made some good decisions and some bad ones and am in no way telling you what your must do.
lightheir
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by lightheir »

Lets do this thing wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:15 am "But don't go around afterwards crowing about how everyone MUST learn to DIY things like you did - that is simply a false statement". Where is this coming from?

Perhaps my point was missed. Was just having fun at seeing who was like minded and laughing at myself on some level. Made some good decisions and some bad ones and am in no way telling you what your must do.
Ummm, my statement wasn't directed specifically at you - it was at the other folks (not necessarily here, but common on forums) who are big proponents of "DIY EVERYTHING!" I have no idea where you stand on this issue, honestly.
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tooluser
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by tooluser »

I'm not much of a Do-it-Yourselfer, but I enjoy reading about such things because I often learn something.
I do the things myself that I think I will enjoy or are not too difficult for me. Cost is usually not the issue.

Examples: I will happily de-calcify faucet spouts or change the aerator if it becomes clogged. But I am too big to comfortably get under the sink and remove/replace an old faucet, so I hire a plumber for that. I have painted rooms inside the the house, but I don't want to spend a lot of time on a ladder in the hot sun, so I hire painters for the outside.
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Hayden
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Hayden »

This has really changed alot with age. We used to do pretty much everything ourselves. Now we hire people to do lots of stuff. I think as we have gotten older we have become more protective of our time.

The big implication for me is that as I calculate how much money I will need in retirement, I have to include money to pay people to do things I used to do myself
OldSport
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by OldSport »

I used to DIY to a certain extent. But now that I have a 60-70+ hour week job, where I am counted on, I highly value time to relax and recharge with family.

We have a lawn and garden service and a general handyman. Although I still troubleshoot and "repair" electrical issues and make temporary patches/fixes on other items, since I actually know what I'm doing.

We can afford not to DIY. We are very intentional and deliberate in our spending, believing in a good value. If I spent the time DIY everytime, I would not he able to relax and recharge, cutting into valuable family time and productive work time.
THY4373
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by THY4373 »

I don't know that Bogleheads is particularly DIY or not. I used to do a lot of DIY and still do a fair amount. I rent vs own right now so the amount of DIY on the house is very low (I'll fix stuff that costs me less than $50 and an hour or two) else I'll call the management company. Still do a fair amount of DIY on my car though. I also do all my own finances, my taxes, my ex's taxes, and since IT is my day job all my IT support.

I honestly only do it in part to save money. I find that hiring out (unless I already have somebody I trust) takes a lot of time to find somebody and manage them. I find that a lot of times I prefer to have more control over how things are done, what parts are used, etc. I also fundamentally enjoy it to a point. I like working with my hands. Not going to rebuild an engine but changing some outer tie-rod ends is fun (to name a recent project) and yes I had to outsource the alignment. Bottom line I often care more about the outcome than the person I hire out too. That said I am more picky as I get older on what I do and what I hire out.
tim1999
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by tim1999 »

No, I am not a DIY type. I have near zero mechanical/handyman type aptitude or skill. If I were to attempt many types of repairs, I would mess it up and end up having to pay a pro to fix my mistakes on top of the original problem.

I prefer to buy low-maintenance or easily replaceable items instead of DIY. Once an item reaches a certain age (like my 15 year old dishwasher recently) it makes more sense to me to just replace it with a new one rather than pay someone to attempt a repair. I tend to look at things in terms of amortization - after a certain period of time, it is basically fully-amortized and worthless, so I don't feel like I am missing out on any value by replacing it with new.

I also tend to proactively replace certain items once they reach the end of their typical service life, so I can take my time, not have to rush a decision, and shop around for good pricing. Rather than wait until my water heater springs a leak and floods the basement while I'm not home, I proactively replaced it at 10 years old (it was a 9-year warranty model). Not worth it to me to try to wring another year or two out of it and then have to make a decision in a rush or have to deal with the inconvenience.
iamblessed
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by iamblessed »

I do everything I can. Most of the time I find others people's work is not so hot.
Last edited by iamblessed on Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chuck107
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Chuck107 »

.....
Last edited by Chuck107 on Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Alas, I find moderation of this forum too restrictive for my tastes, farewell.
Freetime76
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Freetime76 »

I would be interested to know what a stereotypical Boglehead is, for those who knew Mr. Bogle personally, or were some of the original tribe... :sharebeer

...something to aspire to :happy
Fallible
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Fallible »

I'm guessing the true Boglehead part of Do-It-Yourself is common sense, i.e., knowing when DIY can or can't be done safely, just as well or better, and significantly cheaper. I've been a DIY investor for many years, but in other areas and depending on how well my common sense is working, I'm usually some combination of DIY/pro help. In most cases I consult the pros and read a book or two showing how to do it right before I do it wrong. Then again, sometimes the "pros" do it wrong.

The DIY projects I think I've done well were ones I really wanted to do on my own (painting a living room); the ones where I didn't do well (e.g., took shortcuts, poorly prepared) were those where I thought I could do it a better job and save money (I couldn't and didn't).
"Yes, investing is simple. But it is not easy, for it requires discipline, patience, steadfastness, and that most uncommon of all gifts, common sense." ~Jack Bogle
MathWizard
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by MathWizard »

DIY is probably more common among the group.

It fits with DIY investing. It also allows more money for investing.

I had to DIY as poor kid, but it also gave me a sense of accomplishment.

I have done almost all house and auto repair. We garden and don't eat out very much.

I am doing less as my body ages and I can't do as much, but I continue to do as much as I can,building a retaining wall to replace a failed one. Surprisingly, of the two retaining walls we had, it was the one that had been built by a contractor that failed. My wife and I replaced it,and I think this one will last.
neilpilot
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by neilpilot »

I pretty much will DIY anything that I can do safely and that doesn't exceed my physical ability (which has decreased over time). About 14 years ago I designed and completed a major home update, that included bricking in an area to expand the downstairs, moving walls, as well as electrical, plumbing and gas utilities. I hired tradesmen to install new kitchen cabinets, install a skylite and large 2nd floor window, and do the granite countertops. I did everything else.

I found that while it takes me much longer to do a job, it is almost always done properly and with better materials. Often better than if I had hired a professional.

Case in point: When it came time to build a new tiled-in shower stall from scratch, after studying the project I decided the showier pan was too critical to DIY without prior experience. So after I framed the new shower pan I hired a plumber to build up the pan. As I watched him throughout the installation I realized that, based on my internet knowledge, it wasn't being done properly and was likely to eventually leak. After I paid him for his work and he left, I tore out the pan and DIYed it properly.
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jabberwockOG
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by jabberwockOG »

MathWizard wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:12 pm DIY is probably more common among the group.

It fits with DIY investing. It also allows more money for investing.

I had to DIY as poor kid, but it also gave me a sense of accomplishment.

I have done almost all house and auto repair. We garden and don't eat out very much.

I am doing less as my body ages and I can't do as much, but I continue to do as much as I can,building a retaining wall to replace a failed one. Surprisingly, of the two retaining walls we had, it was the one that had been built by a contractor that failed. My wife and I replaced it,and I think this one will last.
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

My father was a DIY guy. But when he was in his late 60s (my current age), he decided to take down a tall tree in his front yard. His strategy was to take his chain saw up into the tree and cut the tree down from top to bottom. Unfortunately for him, he misjudged which direction the top section of the tree would fall, and it started falling in his direction. He threw the chain saw in one direction and jumped off the ladder in the opposite direction. He ended up with a broken leg. While he was in the hospital getting his broken leg repaired, my mother quickly called a tree guy to get rid of the tree before my father got home from the hospital. Several years later i was cutting down a tree in my front yard with help of some friends who had a smallish chain saw. We ended up with a 12 foot tall stump that was just too big for the smallish chain saw. I called my father, knowing that he had a big honking chain saw. He showed up, but my mother was with him. She watched him like a hawk to make sure he kept both feet on the ground and that my friends took all the risks. She told me privately that she wanted to ween him away from the DIY life style. That was nearly 30 years ago. He finally realized that he couldn't do all the things that he used to do and began to hire out the big jobs. He outlived my mother by seven years and died last year at age 97, and the cause of death was related to a DIY thing that he shouldn't have been doing. Some people never learn.

By the way, my father was no boglehead. He had his "investment guy" and trusted his guy to make the right decisions. And, of course, he paid him nicely for it.
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by friar1610 »

Hayden wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:48 am This has really changed alot with age. We used to do pretty much everything ourselves. Now we hire people to do lots of stuff. I think as we have gotten older we have become more protective of our time.

The big implication for me is that as I calculate how much money I will need in retirement, I have to include money to pay people to do things I used to do myself
I'm already retired so I have plenty of time. But I've been finding, particularly since I recently hit 75, that I no longer have the stamina for some of the jobs I used to take on. I was certainly never a classic "handyman" but I would do all the outside work, painting and other jobs within my modest skill set. Right now I'm in the middle of a multi-phase job to prepare my garage concrete floor for the application of an epoxy finish. This involves patching cracks, sanding the patching material, painting about 6 inches of vertical concrete between the floor and the drywall (after caulking it), scrubbing the concrete floor with etching formula and eventually applying both the finish and the topcoat. It has really been kicking my butt! I find about 3- 4 hours a day is the limit and then I hit the wall. (And I'm a regular workout guy, so it's not like I'm unuse to physical activity.)

Fortunately, we live in a condo community so, by definition, all the landscaping is included so I'm not tempted to mow, schlep mulch, rake leaves, pull weeds or do any of those delightful jobs I used to do willingly (and sometimes even enjoy).

From this point on I believe my instinct is going to be to hire someone rather than DIY.
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by jebmke »

I have become very skilled at sub-contracting. Shortly after I retired, but was still doing some consulting, I came home from a trip to discover my spouse had fired the lawn cutter and bought a lawn tractor so she could mow the grass. As the summer progressed, the heat started to get to her so I took over mowing for a while. By the end of the summer, I had re-hired the outside lawn cutter and in the fall, sold the tractor on Craigslist.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
JustThisGuy
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by JustThisGuy »

I don't DIY many mechanical things because my upbringing didn't include learning how to do many of those things. I joke with my friends that my idea of working on my car is changing the wiper blades. :D

When my neighbor, who very much enjoyed working on cars, changed my brakes/rotors for me, I was amazed at how simple it was. (For those who know about such things, I also learned what "drum in hat" brakes were -- that was interesting!) Of course, it's only simple until the project goes twisty...

That said, I DIY as much as I can within my skillset so that I reach my personal market efficiency of supply (ability) and demand (willingness/inclination). For example, I run my own DNS server so I can use hand-selected blacklist/blocklist hostfiles and avoid ISP-side redirects.

Could I learn many of the things I currently hire out? Quite likely, yes. But, as someone who works in a technical field with specialized knowledge, I also recognize the value of renting someone else's technical expertise to avoid the often-expensive learning curve. I've frequently said to the neighbor I mentioned above, "I could learn how to do this, but that's why they have people called "mechanics". When they need [expertise I have], they hire [people like me]."

I readily admit that it's a privilege to be able to take that attitude, and I'm grateful that I have that option. Not everyone does, and sometimes you have to learn because there's no other choice.
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SmileyFace
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by SmileyFace »

I DIY things I enjoy, hire for things I hate doing, and assess time/trouble/money/risk for everything in between. Life is too short (and my work hours already too long) to DIY everything.
Diluted Waters
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Diluted Waters »

I used to hire out most work on the house and cars until I had to have it done, and redone over and over repeatedly. Finding competent, reliable trades around here is difficult. Even when I found such trades, and used them for years even when they were much more expensive, I found they would then dump me after becoming erratic--no showing repeatedly and then when I called them on it they'd say get someone else. After tens of thousands of work and referrals. Incredible.

So I started doing DIY myself out of necessity. Basic plumbing repair (toilets, traps, valve replacement, expansion tank replacement, cartridge pump impeller replacement, etc. isn't hard, or expensive to do. Most of it doesn't even take very long to do, and only needs basic tools. I don't do things that take expensive or specialty tools like HVAC repair. Car maintenance and repair too. After finding things like the oil drain plug or filter loose after oil changes. Appliance repair too. Finding someone to fix the washer when it threw a code that the tach didn't match what the computer expected resulted in a 'buy a new one--not worth fixing' when it actually took me 30 minutes to fix with a socket wrench and a bottle of thread-lock compound.

This is the world we live in now. Dismissive, incompetent or lazy trades make up a sizable fraction of those out there. Finding the other ones takes a talent I apparently am not very good at. So out of self-preservation I learned to do a lot of things myself. Youtube is an incredible resource for learning how to do these things that used to be magic but turn out to NOT require a PhD to do.
Kelrex
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Kelrex »

No.

I'm pretty handy and *can* DIY many things, but I only do them when I have the bandwidth to do them. If I have too many projects on the go and other things I want to do with my time, then I'll outsource just about anything.

Sometimes there are simply more fun and better things to do with my time than chores.
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wander
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by wander »

Diluted Waters wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:51 pm I used to hire out most work on the house and cars until I had to have it done, and redone over and over repeatedly. Finding competent, reliable trades around here is difficult. Even when I found such trades, and used them for years even when they were much more expensive, I found they would then dump me after becoming erratic--no showing repeatedly and then when I called them on it they'd say get someone else. After tens of thousands of work and referrals. Incredible.

So I started doing DIY myself out of necessity. Basic plumbing repair (toilets, traps, valve replacement, expansion tank replacement, cartridge pump impeller replacement, etc. isn't hard, or expensive to do. Most of it doesn't even take very long to do, and only needs basic tools. I don't do things that take expensive or specialty tools like HVAC repair. Car maintenance and repair too. After finding things like the oil drain plug or filter loose after oil changes. Appliance repair too. Finding someone to fix the washer when it threw a code that the tach didn't match what the computer expected resulted in a 'buy a new one--not worth fixing' when it actually took me 30 minutes to fix with a socket wrench and a bottle of thread-lock compound.

This is the world we live in now. Dismissive, incompetent or lazy trades make up a sizable fraction of those out there. Finding the other ones takes a talent I apparently am not very good at. So out of self-preservation I learned to do a lot of things myself. Youtube is an incredible resource for learning how to do these things that used to be magic but turn out to NOT require a PhD to do.
+1. That's very much my reason to diy. Especially, now the COVID-19 pandemic situation, we don't want anyone works inside our house.
Dottie57
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Dottie57 »

I generally pay for work to be done. It turnsout better.
Broken Man 1999
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

For DIY, I went through three stages:

1. I HAD to do DIY projects. DW and I married at age 18, and started our working career with minimum wage jobs. We were poor. So I have done oil changes, tune-ups, brake jobs, wheel bearing replacements/repacking, fan belts, radiator hoses, generators and alternators, light replacements, coolant changes, exhaust piping, mufflers, etc., a few I have missed, I'm sure. I still (for some unknown reason) have my timing light, and all the tools.

2. I WANTED to do DIY projects. I still found some activities I could knock out myself. I didn't have to do so, as our finances were such that we could afford to pay others, if we chose. But, some projects come with a very high reward, and can be done quickly.

3. I CAN'T do very many DIY projects, and, frankly I don't care to do many.

I have noticed that my daughters and my SILs do not do many DIY projects other than maybe hanging up pictures; they do no car-related ones at all.

They are good earners, and do spend a lot of time with family activities, which I think are a better use of their time, anyway. Honestly, I wouldn't see them jacking up a car to work on it, the neighbors might not appreciate it, and it would surprise me if their developments would allow it anyway. I will say I have never seen anyone working on cars in any neighborhood where they have lived, unless they were working on something in their garage.

When I was growing up, my father and uncle both had workshops as they maintained the various grove equipment required. So, I saw them both get deep into repairs, and even building specialized equipment to use. But, unlike them, few folks today have the space and tools to do much anyway.

If I had entered retirement able-bodied, and if I had a suitable place to work on cars (would have loved to have a lift), I would have enjoyed that opportunity.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain
dandinsac
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by dandinsac »

I grew up in a household with two parents raised on the farm. I can count on one hand the number of projects my parents hired out. So, I “inherited” the DIY live style. So, I started out thinking it it was normal life style DIY. Some things are no longer DIY...

Except for washing my cars and filling up the tires with air, I don’t do anything with them. I have a great shop 3 blocks from my house that does everything.

I started hiring a mow and blow guy a year ago because I was travelling too much and spending my weekends doing that.

For home projects, I try to do too much and end up backlogged. I will look up on youtube and do a few things if they look simple enough. If not, I’m hiring them out.
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Go Blue 99
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Go Blue 99 »

We pretty much outsource all projects. I have no interest in doing most of those things. I did change a Ring doorbell on my own today though :wink:
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beernutz
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by beernutz »

Tomorrow morning I'm replacing the window motor in my daughter's 4Runner. I think this is the 3rd window motor in different vehicles I've replaced. The stealership quoted me $1,000 for the new part and installation. I bought a used motor for $85.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. --Will Rogers
wordsmith11
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by wordsmith11 »

Goal is to outsource absolutely everything possible (except finances and taxes!).
helloeveryone
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by helloeveryone »

Lets do this thing wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:05 pm I consider myself a hard core DIYer and am wondering if most Bogleheads consider themselves the same. I feel my husband and I come by DIY as a result of lessons learned growing up, both with immigrant grandparents. And yet, we are very different than our siblings, some of whom hire others for everything. We have been lucky over the years because our good health has allowed us to be our own agents. Hubbie is a mechanic, a Mr. Fix it, creative with self taught knowledge in a lot trades. We both cook, clean, and landscape. I can sew anything and have taught myself how to do sheet rock, joint compounding and painting. We built a timber frame house with our own hands. I am in charge of the finances and have been guided by the bogleheads over the years. We are getting older and will have to give up some of these things at some point. Sometimes we are clever and impress ourselves and sometimes we are ridiculous and should just hire people (Cutting down trees, doing our own Will).
What DIY skills have you acquired over the years--especially those that you are proud of?
I love DIY. makes me feel accomplished, save lots of money, get praise for it from non diy friends and family

Proud ones right now. hopefully i’ll learn more as I go

1) Renovated small bathroom -
Painted
Removed and replaced bathroom vanity top with granite one
Removed cabinet doors/sanded/painted
New sink
New toilet
New rack to hold towels, TP etc...
All plumbing for new sink which was really painful because the dimensions of the sink and vanity top changes so i had to adjust angles on every single pvc pipe under sink

2) Uprooted two tree trunks (mostly very very manual labor - not much skills)

3) Changed closet light fixtures

4) “roto rooted” the tube that was clogged full of lint - proud bc I had to do it through the attic

5) pulled up carpet and the wooden nail strips in prep for vinyl plank install

6) learned and am doing own fluid changes for car (oil, transmission, transfer case, brake, antifreeze)
flaccidsteele
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by flaccidsteele »

Lets do this thing wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:05 pm What DIY skills have you acquired over the years--especially those that you are proud of?
I’m actually proud that I don’t have DIY skills

My parents were poor so they needed DIY skills

My goal was to have no DIY skills

I use gig economy apps to hire out house cleaning, landscaping, plumbing, appliance fix, everything

Life’s too short for me to bother with DIY
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
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gr7070
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by gr7070 »

I have always DIYed plenty. Though, for years have had a maid - always will!

I have found that the older I get (late to 40s) and the more money I've accumulated that has shifted. Especially noticed a significant change in my attitude around my mid-40s.

While I feel I have plenty of free time, I'm unwilling to spend it doing some DIY project I hate. I still do plenty of simple things - just painted a room recently. Debating whether I want to build a simple wood deck soon.
Last edited by gr7070 on Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
mancich
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by mancich »

I DIY some stuff like yardwork and minor repairs. Large stuff I pay to have done (trees, carpentry, major electrical) I watch YouTube to try to gauge the time and complexity of the work. I’ve gotten good over the years and knowing when not to overestimate my abilities.
DesertDiva
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by DesertDiva »

My husband is a DIY-er. He is not a Boglehead; he has zero interest in investing.

Im a Boglehead because I invest according to the Boglehead’s investment philosophy:
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Boglehe ... philosophy

...but I’m not a DIY-er. :?
caffeperfavore
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by caffeperfavore »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:54 pm
Lets do this thing wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:05 pm What DIY skills have you acquired over the years--especially those that you are proud of?
I’m actually proud that I don’t have DIY skills

My parents were poor so they needed DIY skills

My goal was to have no DIY skills

I use gig economy apps to hire out house cleaning, landscaping, plumbing, appliance fix, everything

Life’s too short for me to bother with DIY
I had the same attitude for many years. Now, I wish that I would have paid more attention growing up and had developed those skills more. As I increasingly fade out of work, I have more time for DIY. I find that I can do a better job with most things and am proud of what I can do.

I'll hire out big stuff, like a kitchen renovation, but it's faster, cheaper, and better to DIY the little things. It can be so tough to find competent help for small projects. I've also been surprised by how easy it is to do the small stuff, like appliance repairs. I've found I love doing landscape work after a career of being chained inside to a computer.

But, if you're busy and your day job is demanding, then it's worth it to hire out.
carolinaman
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by carolinaman »

One of the keys for DIY is knowing when to DIY and when to hire it out. I could cite several mistakes I have made in that regard but this one sticks in my mind.

My son and I remodeled my office/spare bedroom about 10 years ago. It was a large room (15X19 feet) with wood paneling. We replaced the paneling with sheetrock. My son taped the joints and it was my job to finish the joints. I had done that a couple of time on patches without any problem. I wound up putting several layers of joint compound on the sheetrock, had difficulty getting a good finish and created lots of fine dust throughout the house. It took many days to clear the house of that dust. My wife was not happy! I finally hired a pro to complete that job. He did it quickly without creating much dust. We remodeled our living room and dining area later which required replacement of paneling with sheetrock. Having learned my mistake I hired the sheetrock finishing out and the job was done quickly and with very little dust. My wife may have divorced me if I had tried to finish the sheetrock joints myself.
Carguy85
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by Carguy85 »

A number of the above posts have made some pretty relatable points. It seems rare at least in my experience to have been thoroughly pleased with a service. I have found you basically get what you pay for (at best). Many times still have paid a premium thinking this but received less than stellar service. I am pretty picky but also fairly gracious and try to learn from every experience. An inside joke with a buddy is that I’m going to pay someone for me to do it myself. On a number of occasions I have redone something I know was done incorrectly. I may be old fashioned but tend to take pride in most of what I do. I also take pride in taking care of/maintaining what I have. Something as silly as rebuilding the dryer and repairing washer give a sense of accomplishment but moreover is much more efficient for me to do on my own than wait weeks only to know the repair guy improperly diagnosed and was going to bring the wrong parts (was my experience when the dryer first broke). Same thing with changing oil...twice the time and cost having the greenhorn at the dealer do it. On the flip side I totally get rationalizing having someone else do something for you if you are a highly compensated individual with limited free time. Or if something is significantly hazardous and or require significant specialized training. One thing that comes to mind is paying what ultimately worked out to several hundreds of dollars/hour for a whole house generator install or installing a sub panel in the barn. Extremely dangerous otherwise. My rationalization was that an ER visit if nothing is wrong is $10k (I know from personal experience!) Likewise, if I ever needed a large tree to be removed I would be calling a tree guy.
matti
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by matti »

My dad was a hardcore DIYer when I was growing up. He tried to do almost everything himself; this often instigated heated arguments with my mom because it seems like he never did the job as well as she would have liked! My dad is in his 70s now and still is a DIYer.

My wife and I do some of the basic stuff ourselves, but we don't hesitate to farm out much of work to someone with more time and technical ability than we have.
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lthenderson
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Re: DIY life style. Typical Boglehead?

Post by lthenderson »

My default has always been DIY but I always pegged it on my Mechanical Engineering background than Bogleheads. Probably one of my proudest DIY achievements was building my own sea kayak out of strips of wood and fiberglass versus buying a plastic one off the rack. I've since build several other boats. The big one left on my list is to build an entire house someday. But as I get older and have more weath, I'm more inclined to let others do some of the jobs that I could do but never really enjoyed. I pay someone to mow my lawn for example.
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