Building Tips

Three Home DIY Projects That Will Save you Money

To buy it or to DIY it? That is the question. Some would rather save the time and energy, while others would rather save the money. I do think it depends on what it is and really how much money you are actually saving. Also, you must consider how much value is it going to add for all the time and effort you will be putting into it.

Henry and I have DIYed lots of projects, but today I’m sharing three of our favorite ones. I’m going to compare how much money we saved on each item by doing it ourselves. I have to say, all three of these projects added lots of character that we would have paid much more for if we would purchased or hired it done. So, to answer the question, we would hands down DIY each of these again!

Box Beams

While building our current farmhouse, we were on a budget, like every other time we’ve built. We always are looking for ways to save. For this house, we really wanted to do solid reclaimed beams. But after checking on prices for the material and learning how labor-intensive they were to install, we quickly started looking for other options.

That’s when we start researching box beams and decided very quickly that would be the way to go. Here is an example of how much a solid beam versus building a box beam could cost.

Solid Wood Beam (16ft): $1,300 – $2,000

DIY Box Beam: $30

So, if you have 6 beams as we have, that is a savings of $11,820!

We wanted more of a classic style stained wood beam, but if you are wanting something more rustic, this can also be accomplished by DIYing. It would basically be the same DIY, but with using reclaimed boards instead.

If you are wanting to give this a shot, Henry wrote a tutorial on how to build box beams.

Range Hood

Whether you are doing a wood or a plaster range hood, we are proof you can DIY either one and save money!

We already have a tutorial on the wood range hood, but the plaster one will be coming in a few shorts weeks. Here is a comparison of DIYing a range hood versus buying it.

Wood Range Hood: $1,300

DIY Wood Range Hood: $100

That’s a savings of $1200.


Built-ins are a great way to add character and can easily be done by DIYing. Yet another one of our favorite things to save on while doing things ourselves. Not only can building these yourself save you money, but it will allow you to get exactly what you want and customize to your needs.

Here is a break down of how much you can save by building your own built-in shelving. Keep in mind that this is a typical shelving unit with shelves and a lower cabinet.

Built-in Unit (hiring it done): $2,000

DIY Built-Ins: $200

We have two built-in units in our living room. That means we saved around $3,600 by doing it ourselves.

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  • Reply Deb

    Hi, these are awesome tips! Thanks for sharing.
    I was trying to find the DYI tutorial on the builtins and couldn’t find it on your site. Can you send me the link?

    November 12, 2019 at 12:01 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello Deb! We actually do not have a tutorial up for these yet. As many times as Henry has built them, you would think we would have already did this. As we are building them in a few weeks on our new home, we will for sure get one up.

      November 12, 2019 at 1:07 pm
      • Reply Deb

        Thanks so much! We are in the process of building now and I really want to put built ins like this.

        December 3, 2019 at 9:36 pm
      • Reply Leah

        Thank you for preparing the built in tutorial! So appreciated!

        January 9, 2020 at 3:19 pm
  • Reply Felicia Puente

    Also really looking forward to your built-in tutorial! I had priced this several years ago with prefabricated cabinets because I was intimidated about DIY’ing them, but for a cost of $200, I think I can take a chance! 🙂

    November 13, 2019 at 9:14 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Felicia! I totally agree, you can do this! Hoping to have this out in December. Thanks for following along on the blog.

      November 13, 2019 at 10:41 pm
  • Reply Dana

    I’m really looking forward to the tutorial on built-ins! I’ve wanted to do that for a long time so I’m excited to see if it’s something we can manage. Thank you!

    November 25, 2019 at 9:15 pm
  • Reply NK

    Can I have a source for those curtain rods?

    June 13, 2020 at 7:39 pm
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