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Ryan Mooney
12-21-2011, 1:17 PM
I was thinking about Belinda's "Could you survive" thread and decided a more interesting question (for me) is:
Why do many of us do things that many/most people don't?
It seems that this is a more fundamental question about what drives people to actually accomplish things, especially things that the majority consider old fashioned or obsolete.

Here are a few for starters

Why make things that you can buy?

because its cheaper (and don't you dare try to count my tool costs in :rolleyes:)
because I like to know how things are made
because then I know how to fix it
I enjoy the process
Why make your own cheese/bread/wine/etc.., grow your own food, cook meals at home:

tastes better
made from healthier ingredients (at least I know what they are anyway. and shush I like butter)
I enjoy the process
For all of the above, I enjoy having "done" something. My day job is all with ephemeral bits, you do something and a month later its obsolete. My mind is happier with tangible things and to some extent things that last. My dad still uses the captains desk I made ~25 years ago and it still works great. There is something to that. Granted a fresh loaf of bread will (hopefully) not last 25 years but its no less tangible and the rewards are self evident.

Mike Henderson
12-21-2011, 1:40 PM
For all of it, I enjoy the process and the feeling of satisfaction of having accomplished something. And I don't like to feel helpless. Let me tell you a story. I was living in Florida and on one of the hottest days, my air conditioning went out. It was impossible to get someone to come fix it in any reasonable time - they were all too busy because a lot of other people had the same problem. I was quite frustrated.

But my wife came to the rescue. The husband of a woman friend of hers was a retired AC guy. He came over and found that all it needed was Freon. In charging it up, he gave me some lessons on how to diagnose problems with an air conditioner. In the days and weeks after he left, I bought books on AC servicing, the tools needed, and a large bottle of Freon. After that, I could do all my own AC service work.

I have the same attitude about many other things around my home. I can do framing, drywall work, hanging doors, plumbing, electrical, etc. so that I don't *have* to depend on anyone else. I may choose to hire someone (such as for finishing drywall) but I could do it myself if I had to. It'll take me a lot longer and I might not do as good a job as a really good craftsman but I can do an acceptable job.

Mike

Moses Yoder
12-21-2011, 1:50 PM
Because doing something beats the alternative, which would be doing nothing. To me, spening $1 to buy a quart of applesauce or spending $1 to make a quart, I would rather just buy it and use my time to do other stuff. I see no sense in canning your own garden produce and butchering your own meat when instead I can be out in my shop building something.

Zach England
12-21-2011, 1:57 PM
Because having lots of esoteric DIY-oriented hobbies makes me appealing to women? Oh, wait. It doesn't.

Larry Edgerton
12-22-2011, 5:38 AM
A question I have asked myself many times..

Still don't know.

Larry

Belinda Williamson
12-22-2011, 7:32 AM
Speaking just for myself, of course, there are a number of reasons why I do stuff. My mother likes to tell the story that my first spoken sentence was "me do it". I was born with a fiercely independent streak. Where I grew up pretty much everyone had at least a small garden. Summers involved making preserves, pickles, and canning and freezing produce. I don't do that nearly as much any more. I feel a bit guilty about that for some reason. I like being pretty much self sufficient. Added into that mix is that several of my family members believed that idle hands were a waste. Not so much now, but when I was younger I also had a ton of nervous energy. I am pretty much incapable of sitting still so having something to occupy my hands is a good thing.

I make my own laundry detergent and use natural soaps that a friend makes because of the chemical additives in these products that I would like to limit exposure to - yes, I'm a little crazy.

I make my own cheese because I like to make cheese. The process is fun and it keeps me off the streets.

Most of the things I "make", other than laundry detergent, are probably cheaper to buy but that doesn't really matter to me.

I make jewelery for the same reason (probably) that most of you make things from wood - I enjoy the creative process, the sense of accomplishment when I complete a piece, and it's nice when someone says, "You made that?", and I can reply "Yes."

Rich Engelhardt
12-22-2011, 8:37 AM
I do "stuff" mainly beacuse my wife makes me.

Left to my own devices, I'd be content to lay on the couch with the remote and slowly starve to death...

The whole topic is one of constant debate in our house.
After all, she let's the dogs get away with it! Well, they don't use the remote...but..none the less...

Rod Sheridan
12-22-2011, 9:29 AM
Although I sure laughed at Rich Engleharts comments, I'm like Mike.

I do stuff because I like to learn, and haven't lost my curiosity about the world.

That said, stuff like drywalling isn't a learning opportunity for me, I'd rather pay someone to do that sort of stuff............Rod.

Belinda Williamson
12-22-2011, 9:40 AM
That said, stuff like drywalling isn't a learning opportunity for me, I'd rather pay someone to do that sort of stuff............Rod.

I feel the same about wallpaper.

Zach England
12-22-2011, 9:54 AM
Although I sure laughed at Rich Engleharts comments, I'm like Mike.

I do stuff because I like to learn, and haven't lost my curiosity about the world.

That said, stuff like drywalling isn't a learning opportunity for me, I'd rather pay someone to do that sort of stuff............Rod.

THere are two things I will not DIY: Drywall and roofing.

glenn bradley
12-22-2011, 9:56 AM
For all of it, I enjoy the process and the feeling of satisfaction of having accomplished something

Couldn't say it any better. I have never been one to sit around. I have had roommates who spent most of Sunday watching NASCAR or most of whatever-day-it-is watching sports. More power to 'em but, I've got stuff to do! My primary failing in this is that when I am in mid-project in the shop, everything else seems to get neglected :o. Yard sprinklers remain malfunctioning, the dishwasher is clean but never seems to get emptied, I forget where the vacuum cleaner is, etc. :)

Ben Hatcher
12-22-2011, 9:58 AM
Count me in with Mike and Rod. I like to learn how things work. But there's a frugal factor in there as well. Professionals don't come cheaply. I'm single and salaried. The time I spend fixing that leaky faucet myself is free as far as I'm concerned.

Rick Prosser
12-22-2011, 2:05 PM
I like learning and pushing my limits. I don't count my time, so things should be cheaper - but sometimes it may take me a couple of trys to get it done. I like surprising my friends and family with the results of a new skill I have learned. I tend to be frugal, but some experiences make it easier to hire someone - since I understand my limitations, or the effort required to justify the quote.

Bob Riefer
12-22-2011, 3:00 PM
1)
My household (single income, my wife is a stay at home mother) couldn't afford any nice things at all if I didn't do almost everything myself.

2)
It feels good to accomplish tasks both large and small.

3)
Both of my children proudly state that their daddy can do ANYthing and that they want to be just like me when they grow up. I've got to keep 'em fooled as long as I can. Fake it til I make it I guess.

Rich Engelhardt
12-22-2011, 6:20 PM
Note to self..

Hmmm - people don't like to drywall or wallpaper...
Two things I neither mind doing & actually do pretty well.

I sense a business opportunity here if there's people in my area that feel the same.
:).

I really hate to leave all the couch potato fun to the hounds,,,but,,,business is businness.