Ready made vs. DIY

Functionality, uniqueness, affordability: those are the top reasons why people go the DIY way.

DIY (do it yourself) covers everything from putting up shelves to building a house, as long as you do it with your own hands. That’s the important part.

But why bother with DIY when there is such abundance of ready-made stuff for everything you can possibly desire? (Just browse through bidorbuy.)

Some people DIY because what they make with their hands looks better than anything comparable that can be found in shops, not to mention the uniqueness factor.

Some turn to DIY because they can not find what they want ready-made. Take a look at these two garden solutions. Both serve the same purpose, acting as a support for fledgling jasmine bushes. One is ready made. The other was “insourced” because the DIY-er was unable to find something similar in the shops:

 Ready-made fence DIY trellis

The majority of us, of course, go the DIY way because it’s more affordable. A global overview confirms that. DIY is extremely popular in countries where labour is very expensive, like New Zealand or Norway. The situation is quite different in countries with cheap labour, for example China or Brazil. The Chinese tend to turn their noses up at DIY, because they think that manual work is for… well, manual workers. In Brazil, DIY is marketed as a low-cost solution for families with low disposable income.

And where does South Africa stand?

On one hand, it’s in the cheap labour group of countries.

On the other hand, the economic downturn is drilling a hole into the pockets of South Africans too. And, judging by crowds at DIY outlets and the brisk trading in the bidorbuy Home improvements and Tools sections, South Africans seem to have a penchant for doing things themselves… or are they just buying supplies and hiring others to do the work?

What’s you take? Ready-made, do-it-yourself, or hire-others-to-do-it–for-me?