Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Among our friends, family, and now the Internet, we're somewhat known for starting and working on many simultaneous projects. We may preach the good old "one room at a time" approach to DIY home improvement, but in actuality, we practice "one major room ripped apart for what seems like an eternity while also taking on lots of other "smaller" projects...which may or may not include other entire rooms." And by "practice," I mean, "we're expert at."
In all honesty, it's an exercise in DIY futility and one we can't recommend for anyone wanting to get something done quickly.
Software development is my day job line of work, and we have a rule when it comes to defining a complex system and managing the project. No matter what the customer wants, they have three options, but they can choose only two. Their system can either be good, cheap, or fast (completed quickly). In other words, the better the solution, and the faster they want it done, the more expensive it is. Alternatively, the cheaper they want it for and the faster they want it done, the worse quality the system will be. And so on...
In DIY home improvement (as with many things in life), the same principles apply, except with one modification. Rather than representing a triangle of options, this is more of a quad point scale of measurement. The new major decision points are similar with one major addition: Good, Fast, Cheap, and Life.
Let's look at all four of the these items with respect to DIY.
Good: This rather subjective yet all encompassing aspect of renovation projects is rather hard to quantify, but relatively easy to identify. A project with a "good" result is one where you've not taken short cuts along the way and the finish work, as well as the work below the surface, is executed to the best of your ability. This requires a time commitment that allows you to hone your skills in what you're dealing with if they don't already exist, as well as a desire to achieve a caliber of workmanship that satisfies those with a discerning eye. (Read: "your significant other.")
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