Do it Yourself, or DIY, is an increasingly popular trend in home improvement: it allows you to think outside the tool box. As many people question why they should hire someone else for things they can do themselves, projects are taken on by home owners instead of contractors. While DIY does have its advantages, it also has disadvantages. On the negative side, DIY projects require much more preparation than simply hiring help. The following is a list of five things you need to keep your DIY from being DOA.


A friend with a truck: There is a reason people with trucks sometimes have bumper stickers reading, “No, I will not help you move.” When engaging in any activity that involves carrying loads, a friend with a truck automatically becomes your BFF. Some home improvement jobs might not require hauling large items, but when you begin a project that does, knowing someone with a truck will save you time, money, and any potential damage you might accrue shoving a pile of lumber into your Pinto.


A hardware store with a knowledgeable staff: When it comes to DIY projects, a good hardware store is your Mecca, and a place that will become your second home. Luckily, hardware stores, particularly the bigger chains like Lowe’s and Home Depot, are geared to helping the nonprofessional. Not only are these places staffed with the handiest men and women, but they also hold seminars and have several books and educational materials dedicated to the art of DIY.


A good tool collection: Home improvement projects aren’t ones in which you should skimp: the point is to improve your home, not the opposite. While buying top of the line materials is important, using top of the line tools is as well. It’s hard to do a good job if you are working with tools that don’t. If your tool box is missing essential pieces, filled with very old and dull tools, or is the color pink, upgrade your tool collection before you begin your DIY project.


Patience: Ah, patience: if it could be put in a bottle and sold on store shelves the world would be a much better place. But, alas, patience is something we just have to teach ourselves. DIY home improvement projects have the potential to test patience in anyone. These projects can be frustrating, annoying, and go completely wrong. For this reason, it’s important to remind yourself to take a deep breath, relax and read the instructional manual before you begin. Reading it afterwards just doesn’t seem to have the same affect.


A Permit: Some home improvement projects can begin without a permit. Others, however, require one. Making certain changes to your home that could affect your house’s structure, or affect your neighbor’s happiness (such as putting up a hot pink fence) may require a permit. These requirements can vary by state so before your begin your DIY project check with your local government and make sure your bases (and something else) is covered.