Perhaps the greatest thing about DIY projects, besides that great feeling you get after a job well done, is the ability to completely customize a project to fit your exact functional and aesthetics needs. Not everyone is super skilled with bandsaws and screwdrivers, though. If you have some custom needs for your home–big or small–don’t be intimidated about the fact that you may not have ever worked with someone before; we’ve got some tips:
Gather lots of inspiration You’re going to need to have a clear picture of what you want before you bring other people into your plans. It’ll waste their time if you’re not sure of what you want and you’ll waste money with them trying to figure it out. Don’t be afraid to find photos of similar things you want; the more information the better.
Know what you’re willing to spend, but be reasonable Custom made stuff costs more. There, we said it. But it costs more because it’s high-quality, made to last and created exactly the way you want it. It’s worth it. Do a little research on the type of item you want made and don’t quote some overseas-manufactured price when given an estimate from a local craftsman on what it’ll cost.
Ask people you trust for recommendations Online sites that rate and allow reviews is great, but look to your friends first. Dig deep into your social networks and ask folks who they’ve used.
Consider an online custom match-making service Etsy used to have Alchemy (and hopefully will have it again) and CustomMade.com‘s Maker Matching service helps you connect with folks who, well, make things. It’s like eharmony for custom work. Pretty cool!