As homeowners we are quite used to doing things ourselves. If we didn’t we’d get very little done around our houses. Our DIY projects save money, recycle material, and usually end up well done and proud to put on display.
We like to think we’re pretty diverse in our projects. We’ll remodel a room, refinish a floor, decorate a front yard, and hang a sink or two. Usually we get our ideas from home shows, newspaper articles, or an on-line post. We’ve been known to lift ideas from advertisements though not necessarily for something we’re looking to buy. When He of We was looking for inspiration for his very small bathroom he found it in an ad for an air freshener.
But one of our classic go-to sources, the magazine article, might be going away. Yes, we still read hard copy magazines. But we might be losing them as inspiration not because the genre is becoming obsolete but because the genre is pricing us out of their market.
We both saw a great topic in one of our subscriptions this month, how to landscape a sloping yard. Both of We have back yards that are anything but flat, level, and regular. Thus most anything we ever read in a gardening magazine or learned at an adult education class is lost on our properties. But here we thought we had something. And to make it even more interesting, we each saw the headline separately, read the article separately, considered the information separately, and came to the same conclusion. Forget about it!
If we were going to follow the advice of the “homeowner” who took this on we’d be the proud owners of back yards that cost more than the houses that front them. It’s becoming a common problem. The do it yourself magazines, the home decorating magazines, and the yard and garden magazines have all gone daft. No more how to extend your deck to add room for outdoor seating and eating. Now it’s how to turn your backyard into an outdoor kitchen complete with appliances, storage, and fine linen. What used to be how to’s for a budget are now how to bust a budget. The particular project we saw would have run about $75,000, without the furniture. Of course we can only guess at the cost based on our own experiences because the source list listed everything but prices.
We may have to publish our own magazine for real do it yourselfers. One that has real life do-it-yourself projects for do-it-yourself peoples. One that prices out material. One that illustrates varying grades of material. One that includes time lines and maybe a couple of good drink recipes for the really challenging days. Stuff a real do-it-yourselfer needs to really do it yourself.
Anybody know where we can learn how to do that ourselves?
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?