Good DIY vs. Bad DIY: Where We Should Have Spent Money and Where We're Glad We Didn't

This past month was one of those that seemed like it lasted forever, but once it was over, seemed like it went by nutty fast. Every have one of those? Um...think first year of motherhood.

As a designer and business owner, it was an incredible month. I finished and started a myriad of projects, won the "Best of Houzz 2017" award in the service category, and had my work published in Homify Magazine twice. I did a happy dance. TMI: my happy dance of choice has always been Thriller and I'm pretty sure I rock it.

I'd like to say that I haven't blogged in a while because of how busy I've been, but I'd be lying and lying is bad. The honest reason is, quite frankly, I don't like blogging. But I'm an adult and that means putting on your big girl panties and doing stuff you don't want to do but need to do. It also means you get to drink margaritas, and that part I like so I'm not all complaints here.

It's been quite some time since I updated you on our home renovations. The nutshell version is that there's not a single room that is completely finished. I'm about 75% complete with the downstairs and all that's left down here are smaller projects. Aside from some kitchen, flooring, and painting renovations that we had done professionally, everything has been DIY. Some projects were ABSOLUTELY worth doing ourselves, and a few were eye-gouging nauseatingly tedious and I would never ever DIY again.

Here's my short list of Good DIY vs. Bad DIY: where we should have spent money and where we're glad we didn't.

  Kitchen Chandelier

Kitchen Chandelier

1. GOOD D.I.Y.: Installing new lighting. We changed out 5 flush mounts, installed 3 ceiling fans, 3 bathroom vanity lights, and two large chandeliers. This would have cost us at least $1,000 to have a professional do. My husband did all of ours and he made it look very simple which is why I'm adding this to the good list.

2. BAD D.I.Y.: Staining the railing on the banister. You guys, there are exactly 164 hellish spindles on our banister and all the actual railing going up the stairs and on our catwalk. That means singularly taping every.single.spindle. plus three coats of the gel-stain (gel stain means you don't have to sand, thank god), and then a final coat of poly to seal it and keep it from scratching. It's a thousand percent better looking that the original 90's oak color but good god almighty I would sell my right kidney before I ever DIY this again. Have mercy on yourself and just freaking hire a painter.  (I also realized I just made it sound like I'm finished with my banister. I'm not. Definitely not. Mostly because I've grown fond of the sanity I have left.)

  Stair banister: Still needs poly and finish removing blue tape.

Stair banister: Still needs poly and finish removing blue tape.

  Catwalk: Still need second coat and paint the rails.

Catwalk: Still need second coat and paint the rails.

3. GOOD D.I.Y.: Painting bathroom cabinets. I must admit, this was shockingly simple. I had prepared myself for a headache marathon with painting the upstairs guest bath cabinets and our master bath cabinets, but it was so easy. Each set of cabinets took a very light and quick sanding, 2 coats of paint, and only 2 hours of actual labor. I wouldn't suggest it for a large kitchen (and am glad I had mine professionally done), but for something smaller, this will be a no-brainer for the future. Absolutely worth doing it yourself and saved us hundreds of dollars.

  Kid bathroom upstairs

Kid bathroom upstairs