February 7, 2017 by Scott - Saws on Skates
Why do you DIY? For many people home improvement projects and building DIY furniture is about saving money, but for me, it’s so much more than that. Today I’ll share 7 reasons why building DIY furniture is NOT just about saving money.
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Why Building DIY Furniture Is NOT Just About Saving Money
I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “you learn something new everyday.” Without a doubt I learn something every time I build a new DIY furniture project. Whether it’s learning to use a new tool like a plug cutter or trying a new technique like aging metal. Every time I DIY I learn something new and add to my skill set. Knowledge is invaluable.
Get the Look You Want
Because I design my projects from start to finish, I get the exact look I want. Sure, some of them are inspired by other pieces like the stool, chalkboard shelf and the corner cabinet. Many are my own creations that feature unique design elements, incorporate a specific paint or stain technique or hardware. Many are problem solvers, designed for a specific purpose or to fit a certain space, like the kitty litter cabinet and air conditioner “dresser”. Often times you can’t find exactly what you need at any price.
Quality of Materials
Because I have total control over the project, I select all of the materials. From the wood, to the hardware like knobs and drawer slides. I’m not a fan of plywood because of all the chemicals used to produce it, so I usually choose solid wood for projects like the electric fireplace mantel and the repurposed window cabinet. Choosing solid wood can add to the project budget. Sure you can buy cheaper products, but why would you want chemicals off gassing into your home?
While on the topic of selecting materials, choosing the wood for my projects is like a zen moment for me. I usually head to the lumber aisle early in the morning when the store is the most quiet. Because I’m an introvert I need quiet, so I can concentrate on picking out just the right pieces for my project. I’ve been known to pull out every board in search for just the right one. Sighting down the length, looking for straightest boards. Then looking at the color of each board, inspecting the grain pattern and imagining all of the pieces coming together for the final piece of furniture.
One final note about materials, always buy what your gut tells you to buy for your project, even if it means busting your budget. I’m not saying max out your credit, I’m saying save until you have the money to get what you want. Any time I focused on budget over gut, I was disappointed with my final project. From choosing cheaper common pine when my gut told me a project needed more expensive clear pine or skimping on hardware saying to myself “these will do”, hands down I always regretted not going with my gut.
Quality of Finished Product
The quality of materials I choose directly affects the quality of my finished projects. Not to mention I may add a little more wood glue here and a few more screws there. All of my extra attention to detail contributes to the overall quality and durability of my projects. In a world of fiberboard furniture, solid wood furniture is worth way more.
It’s a fact… DIY pieces create conversations! Take the dog bed, beverage table, and the patio garden cabinet people always ask “where did you buy that?”. It’s fun to tell people I didn’t buy it, I DIYed it! The next thing they say is “You made that?!” and a great conversation follows. Who knows, after your conversation you may turn someone on to DIY.
Create a Family Heirloom
When you take the time to DIY, choosing only quality materials to create a quality piece you’re creating something that can be handed down to your children and grandchildren. Just imagine your grandchild saying “My grandmother made that bar cart!”. You can’t put a price on that!
Just imagine looking at your finished piece… thinking about all of the knowledge you gained throughout the build; selecting the lumber, hardware and stain; building a quality piece that can be handed down. What word can sum up that feeling? PRIDE! And pride is priceless.
For me building DIY furniture is sooo much more than just saving money. Sure, we all have to live within a budget, but for me DIY is about knowledge, getting the look I want, selecting quality of materials and creating a conversation piece.