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What's stopping you from doing DIY projects? — The Grow Network Community
Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

-Jack Canfield

What's stopping you from doing DIY projects?

Marc ThomaMarc Thoma Posts: 78 ✭✭
edited August 2018 in DIY Projects
Like you, I seem to have so many ideas swirling around it can be difficult to pick one and get it completed.  I try to have a long term idea for what would suit us but things change and I find myself off in another direction.

Comments

  • CherlynnCherlynn Posts: 149 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    If you have access to cedar trees you can make your own boards by attaching skill saws up and building a table to run the trees down.  They may be irregular and rough but we did this several years ago to build the kids a tree house.  Just a thought to help you get the wood you need.
  • Marc ThomaMarc Thoma Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Great idea, Cherlynn, but I don't have easy access to cedar trees in our urban area. I think the Parks department wouldn't want me cutting down their trees in the park close to our house! ?
  • AlisonAlison Posts: 156 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Cedar is a lovely material. My house has cedar cladding. Very pricy I agree.

    Do you have any seconds yards or online sale options? Here in Australia we have a website called 'Gumtree' where people advertise all sorts of items. I've found it very helpful in finding everything from water tanks and other building materials to rare chicken breeds.

    We also have salvage yards, but I find they can be more costly than online public sale sites. I once found someone advertising a house demolition sale and was able to get a whole host of free items beyond the materials I planned on purchasing.

     

     
  • AndreaDenninAndreaDennin Posts: 41 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    I think I get overwhelmed so easy with little time and too many ideas. Recently I started breaking down one project at a time, per month. On a day off I will sketch out a plan, list of materials, etc. and try to gather those materials so that on my next weekend will be spent getting familiar with tools and figuring out if it will work or I need to start over. Then (in a perfect world) I try not to let anything deter me from working on it on a weekend, and finishing up through the week before or after work.

    Course life gets in the way and I might go two months without doing a project. But I’m really working on breaking it down into simple goals and following through.

    I like the sound of Sketchup, Marc. Thanks for that tip.
  • Marc ThomaMarc Thoma Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Yes, Sketchup is the easiest to use in my opinion. I've tried other 3d drawing apps and just never get familiar enough with them.

    I designed my greenhouse with Sketchup and the layout of my garden raised beds among other things.
  • Marc ThomaMarc Thoma Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    We do have a Restore, run by Habitat for Humanity. They sell used building materials. I haven't been by there lately so not sure if they have lumber as well.

    Sometimes on our local online classified ad websites I see some people selling cedar for better prices that the lumberyard. But often they are out of town and it is a bit of a drive out. Doubt I would save that much money considering the travel expenses.
  • DominicaDominica Posts: 42
    edited August 2018
    What stops me is feeling like I don't know enough to complete the project. A lot of times I just have to tell myself, jump in and expect to make mistakes because at least I will have made progress! =)
  • Desire’Desire’ Posts: 32 ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    AndreaDennin, that's good advice.  I find that if I break a project into small goals and do plenty of research before I start, I'm much more likely to finish the project and with better quality results.  It's not as overwhelming when I reassure myself that I don't have to jump from start to finish.
  • Desire’Desire’ Posts: 32 ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Dominica, I find YouTube to be a pretty good way to learn new things.  I learned how to spin yarn from YouTube.  You just have to be aware that there are a lot of beginners making videos that may not show you the best way to do things.  I usually watch videos by 5 different people to get different perspectives before I begin a new project.
  • Marc ThomaMarc Thoma Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Yes, lots of resources out there. However I find I can get too bogged down with research and design and then I don't get started. Sometimes it really does take that first saw cut to get going and build something.

     
  • bmaverickbmaverick Posts: 177 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Marc,  I havn't used Sketchup yet.  I'm mainly on SolidWorks.

    What keeps me from projects ... The Honey Do-List.   Just when you think it's nearly done, the bottom gets more added.
  • Marc ThomaMarc Thoma Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I always find it concerning when a software vendor doesn't list their prices - how much is Solidworks? I'm using the free Sketchup for now but will need to eventually get a license as I want to use it more commercially and draw up plans to sell. Just waiting until I make enough money to justify the cost.

    I don't have that big of a honey-do list - but I do have a 5 year old daughter that wants my attention and there always is something on the weekend that we have to go to or do. I take a week off here and there from work and then I finally get some of the to-dos off my list.
  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 849 admin
    edited September 2018
    Hi Marc,

    There is a general principle I love to refer back to all the time...

    Start small and move forward from a controlled front.

    How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

    If you notice the weekend projects I am posting they are all super short.  That bug trap took less than 5 minutes - really.

    Oh, you know one cool thing about posting your projects in the forums?  It is a place where you can look back through time and see all that you've done.  Plus you get the community to help.

     

     
  • JensJens Posts: 367 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Hi Marc, for me it is also mostly time and money.

    My children are demanding time on the weekends, the to do list of my family is also a point.

    I am planning on installing the rain catchment system on our shed in the garden since at least a year but not yet successful. the plan is completely sketched in the internal drawing pad system including the list of parts needed.

    Last DIY I accomplished was the building of the beekeeper box I had envisioned for my beekeeping. Works a treat now.
  • Marc ThomaMarc Thoma Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Thanks Marjorie! Yes, I have to look at smaller projects with the limited focussed time I have. Yesterday I had about an hour or so after coming back from the agri fair we went to most of the day. So I emptied one bin of my compost (it wasn't full), sifted it and put it in containers to use later.

    I do project management in my day job and so one of the skills I have is being able to break up a large project into manageable steps that I can assign to various different staff. I'm doing the same right now with my mom's deck reno project. Looking at what I need to do next and focussing just on that. It's getting a bit harder now that I am starting to put new deck boards on as that requires a bit of advance planning to accommodate for some strange anomalies the original deck builder did with the framing.
  • Marc ThomaMarc Thoma Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Thanks Jens. Having children changes the dynamics of getting projects done. I feel really guilty when I have to tell my daughter that I have to do some work outdoors and she wants to play with me. I usually then give her some of my time but have to put some limits on it. Eventually when I can start making a full-time income from my garden and blog, I will have more time for her and my wife. Sometimes sacrifices are necessary for the future good.

    And yes, small accomplishments do make a difference and give you confidence that you can tackle the larger projects. Maybe it is only one project a month or even a year, but then perhaps you choose the projects you do based on which ones have the greatest impact.
  • JensJens Posts: 367 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Marc one thing I try to do more is involving the children in the projects on hand, according to their abilities of course. I do not get the same amount of work done as if I were doing it on my own but it is time spent with the children and accomplishing at least some projects.

    Especially getting small woodwork projects done is great for the children when they can use my tools and see the accomplishments.
  • StacyLouStacyLou Southern WisconsinPosts: 89 ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Great information and ideas everyone!

    Like many of you, the lack of time and money hinders my progress on DIY projects.

    Does anyone else have cool pictures of their projects? Some inspiration might help us all!
  • Marc ThomaMarc Thoma Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Yes, I would love to see your projects! Not sure if I've posted this elsewhere here, but I did spend quite a bit of money and time on rebuilding my greenhouse several years ago. I use it for overwintering my potted flowers like geraniums, early seeding in the new year and growing heat-loving vegetables such as tomatoes, cokes, eggplant and peppers.

    I've also this summer setup a solar panel and fans that help to move air and cool the greenhouse when the sun is shining. It works quite well to keep the temperatures more reasonable as the greenhouse faces west and gets the hot afternoon sun.

    I have some articles on my blog about the project - just do a search for "greenhouse". Eventually I hope to write an eBook on how to design, build, use, maintain, and accessorize greenhouses.

  • Marc ThomaMarc Thoma Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Jens, I try and involve my daughter. Some days that works, other days not so much. She unfortunately got stung by a wasp in her hand this spring and since then she is not as comfortable being outdoors.

    But this winter I will try and involve her in other projects - I have some woodworking projects I plan to work on for my new blog that I'm launching and so she can watch and help me with those. She loves to glue things together or hand me screws like she did when we built her cedar planter box last fall!
  • AlisonAlison Posts: 156 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Have you considered buying her a pair of kids sized garden gloves? We can get them at our hardware store, they should be readily available. Your daughter may feel safer in the garden if she knows she can keep some of the bad bugs off her. Even a bug net to go over a hat can be bought online for a couple of dollars.

    What about having a chat about what makes her uncomfortable in the garden and finding ways to help her overcome them. That may be as simple as doing some internet research on the bugs or other nasties she's trying to avoid.

    Asking her what she'd like to see growing in the garden and where maybe. If she suggests something for the wrong spot then it's really just an opportunity to have a chat about gardening. Helping to pick out seeds at the store or online may also help her get involved.

    Just a few thoughts.

     
  • Marc ThomaMarc Thoma Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Thanks for those tips, Alison. I have looked and didn't find any small enough gloves to fit my daughter - will have to look again, especially before next spring.

    My daughter has been putting on bug cream and that seems to help. But there still is anxiety when a wasp comes near her. I'm not a big fan of them either as I got stung on my lip in July when a wasp went into my root beer bottle as I was sitting on the deck.

    She has helped me pick out seeds - she loves the seed catalogue we get every year in the mail in December/January!
  • workwork Posts: 24 ✭✭✭

    @AndreaDennin

    re Overwhelm, I can so relate. - The neighbors have become used to the fact that I have no less 8 Garden projects going year-round, - But the 1 job that stops me dead in my tracks is DIGGING... at least 40+ holes for all the FRUIT bushes & trees waiting to be planted. - I worked consistently diligently my entire life, but those two foot deep holes are beyond me, if for no other reason that this (was told) used to be a river-Bed so for every cup of ground there await over ten rocks. I really did try to regard this as another DIY project. But for these holes I need to find some Boyscouts to help us out.

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