The hidden costs of Doing It Yourself.
Taking on a building project to do it yourself when such activity is not your core skill is false economy. This holds true for both money and time.
It is well known by those with experience building your own factory for instance, when you have a business to run can end up taking three times longer than if done by a contractor.
The lure of doing something yourself to ‘save money’ on a capital expense is very real. When you look at the numbers, it stacks up to do it yourself.
However, when you stand back and look at your experience level, the time you have or haven’t got, and the desired outcome, in most cases, it is more economical to bring in an experienced, efficient team to get the job done.
When you decide to do it yourself, many areas can easily be overlooked due to inexperience. The simple fact is if you haven’t done this type of thing before, the apparent cost-savings will vaporize when the rubber hits the road. There is no way of knowing the finished outcome in real dollars until you finish!
But a trusted contractor can tell you an exact price for him to do it. The DIY’er cannot tell the exact finished price, through inexperience, and mistakes.
If you want exact pricing, you get a professional to do it.
If you are the gambling sort, DIY! You could win or you could lose. Do you like dealing with multiple subcontractors? Are you OK dealing with fine print on quotes? What about councils and their endless red tape to get a building approval.
Dealing with mistakes, and inefficiencies is another challenge. Like realising that a major component has been missed that should have gone in prior to that big concrete pour you just finished!
doing it Yourself can be very rewarding but if the end result has major defects or flaws, what’s it really worth? It may look the same from the outside, but functionality issues and cost overruns are a real things that you risk having to live with.
Then of course there is a “distraction cost” to your main business – cost that you won’t be aware of because you don’t do this for a job
A customer came to us for a shed but decided he would manage part of it himself. He ended up cutting into the floor to retro-fit services that had been forgotten, and in doing so, trenched through underfloor heating!
If an external project manager had been running the process, it’s likely the omission would have been picked up well before it got that far.
The customer later commented that they lost a year’s worth of management attention on their own business while focusing on the construction project. They had lost sales and significant growth opportunities because of it).
Conclusion: If you’re making enough money to build a new shed, you should keep doing what you are good at rather than attempting a crash course in project management.