I used to be in favor of hiring specialists, because, in theory, specialization improves both cost-efficiency and quality. Then I tried to apply this theory in real life only to get very frustrating results. Over the years, I leaned increasingly towards DIY. Here's why.
- Times have changed. You no longer need to be educated in the craft. You can learn everything from tutorials and instructional videos.
- Times have changed II. Cost of labor went up while cost of tools went down. Many craftsmen are now as expensive as lawyers. Renting or buying tools is vastly cheaper than hiring help.
- It is a lie that you save time by hiring professionals. You have to study anyway in order to know what to ask for and what to expect. You spend time browsing directories, calling, preparing the place, overseeing, cleaning up, and fixing imperfections.
- Professionals have considerable overhead in negotiation, travel, fraud, taxes, and even "management" (when part of a company). You end up paying for all of that. This can more than triple the final cost compared to what the worker earns for actual work.
- Tools do exactly what you want. People tend to have mind of their own.
- Tools come with friendly product pages and instruction manuals. Craftsmen are often a pain to deal with.
- Tools patiently wait while you figure out what needs to be done. Craftsmen get pissed off.
- If you are perfectionist about something, you just have to do it yourself. Professionals are always in hurry. They leave little imperfections all over the place.
- You can give processes (drying, setting) enough time to complete. Professionals cut corners to squeeze everything into single session.
So are professional services obsolete? Not yet. There are situations when you just have to ask for help and these are the exact situations when you still use outside help:
- Disabled and very old people simply aren't able to do many things on their own.
- Some work is bloody dangerous. If anyone is going to be killed, it better not be you.
- Some jobs require two people and you couldn't find anyone skilled enough to help you for free.
- Sometimes DIY-friendly tooling and information is not available yet.
- Law sometimes mandates use of licensed professional, at least for review.
So why does everyone on the Internet seem to recommend professional services? If think it's mostly CYA. If you get hurt or you damage something during DIY job, they can say "we told you so". So that's it. Don't worry, ignore the CYA, and take your time to focus on high-quality DIY work,