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Simple DIY Projects For First-Time Insourcers

You may not spend your free time watching HGTV and wondering what it would be like to live off the grid. You may not consider yourself handy at all. But have you considered the financial benefits? Mechanics, carpenters and even just general ‘handyman’ services can charge well more than the average American earns per hour at their desk job. This means if you can do these simple DIY projects yourself – it will make good financial sense. There’s also a great deal of pride that comes naturally with a job well done.

So whether you’re new to the DIY scene or are just looking for new simple DIY projects – this article is for you. Let’s get started.

simple DIY projectsWashing Your Car

Let’s start with an easy one. How about washing your car yourself instead of paying for a car wash. Car washes can be very expensive. Many places cost at least $7. For that money you can buy an entire bottle of good car wash soap.

To get started washing your own car, here’s what you need: a sponge, a hose, a nozzle for the hose, car soap and a towel for drying if you feel so inclined. You can watch videos on YouTube for exactly how to give your car an effective wash. It’s not that hard and it really doesn’t take much time to do it yourself.

Changing Your Own Oil

While the first job will get you clean, this one will get you dirty.

Changing your oil requires a little more work than washing the car. Though no more time. Usually much less actually. To change your own oil, here are the basic steps:

  • Jack up the car (use jack stands underneath the car for safety)
  • Unscrew the oil drain plug
  • Change the filter if it’s time for that (usually done about every three oil changes)
  • Put the plug back in and the filter back on
  • Refill the engine with oil
  • Lower car back down

See – it’s pretty simple. It’s definitely one of the simple DIY projects nearly anyone (with a place to work on their car) can do.

simple diy projectsPainting

Professional painters can be costly. Instead, consider getting out the rollers and doing it yourself. These simple DIY projects often come with ample help. Stores like The Home Depot, Lowe’s and others offer classes and professional assistance. YouTube has approximately one million videos on the subject. And painting is actually so simple to do that you may not need any training.

Painting is also a fantastic DIY project for beginners because it’s very motivating to see your results. They are quite obvious and quite transformative. And if you want to DIY this project but would like a little assistance – invite friends. Ask them to bring a roller and you’ll provide all the drinks and pizza they can eat.

Build a Website

A DIY website can be started for a very low price. You simply need to buy hosting and a domain name. Hosting can be as little as $4 per month with a domain name costing even less per month. Install WordPress for free and you’re ready to begin posting content.

Mind you, building a good website is very, very difficult. But if you’re just looking to start a hobby blog – a website that be a great DIY project. You don’t even need to know anything about coding.

Pest Control

Pest control can be quite costly. Thankfully, there are many anti-bug supplies you can buy and quickly deploy on your own. And it’s a deeply satisfying feeling to know you’re protecting your home from infiltrators….even if the infiltrators are tiny insects. Of the many simple DIY projects, this one is pretty basic as well. Do a little learning and take action on those rodents!

Getting Started with a Project

YouTube is a fantastic tool for learning how to complete a DIY project. You get to see exactly how something is done. You can pause and follow along. You can even check the comments to see if there’s anything the author forgot to include. Blogs are often handier if it’s a very technical project where it’s best to read about how it’s done.

Or, if you prefer learning with someone in-person, recruit a friend to show you the ropes. I find that people who are good with DIY are also good (and willing) teachers.

Which of the simple DIY projects will you try? Do you have any tips for first-timers?

Money Save Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I paint my own furniture since I could not find what I wanted. It was far cheaper than paying for furniture that came the way I wanted. I also do minimal plumbing tasks (replace plunger, replace toilet seat, snake a drain)

    • Yup. Pretty simple, and saved you a ton vs. buying new! Nice job!

  2. There is a reason that painting is costly. It’s time-consuming, and not quite as simple as you imply.

    In order to apply a paint job that lasts and looks good for a long time, you end up spending about the same amount of time (in some cases, more time) preparing the surface as you do applying paint to it. This usually involves scraping & caulking, and possibly some sanding. If the old paint job is in bad shape, or the underlying surface has problems, it could also involve some repair work, which is also time-consuming, especially if you aren’t already experienced with that sort of thing.

    • Yup, it’s time consuming, but many of us aren’t really as busy as we think we are. Take away TV and many of us earn back 4 hours each and every day!

      • “Take away TV and many of us earn back 4 hours each and every day!”

        Wouldn’t work for me. I quit watching TV pretty much completely about 10 years ago. Before that, I watched maybe 2-4 hours/week. It’s hard for me to even imagine watching an electronic mind-sucking device 4+ hours per day.

        I recall reading (about 15 years ago) in “Flow” (by Csikszentmihalyi) that the average person considered TV watching and sex to be interchangeable activities, and thinking that either the average person had a really lousy sex life, or Csikszentmihalyi had a really amazing TV set.

        • Ha, sorry Howard. I somehow forgot that you’re not a TV guy. In general though, people sure would gain a lot more time if they just threw their TV set out the window. 😉

  3. That is certainly the advice that Don Lancaster gave in his book “The Incredible Secret Money Machine”. Great book! The technology has changed a lot since it was first published (about 40 years ago now), but the underlying ideas are timeless. Too bad it’s out of print. Used copies of the paperback are available on Amazon at ridiculously high prices, but you can find it for free on Don’s website.

    He does not appear to be interested in updating that book. Maybe I should write one loosely based on it 🙂

  4. Some great tips and info to get folks thinking!

    Been insourcing for years. I just can’t justify paying somebody to do what I can, unless I just don’t have the expertise or proper equipment . There have been times, though, after completing a project, such as laying tile, I decided to let the professionals do the rest of the house. When we had our last house built, we did all the interior and exterior design, even sourcing the supplier. I also did all the drawings for the builder. Save good $$$ by doing these tasks ourselves. One’s got to know one’s limitations, though. There are some things left to others.

    • Sounds like you’re pretty well-rounded Keith! And it sounds like you’ve saved quite a bit of coin over the years as well! Good for you!

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