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My DIY Budget

What is My DIY Budget?

Who is My DIY Budget For?

Anyone considering a home improvement project, no matter how big or small will benefit from visiting My DIY Budget. Whether you plan to hammer every nail yourself, be your own general contractor, hire out the entire job, or anywhere in between, My DIY Budget will be the place to start.

What will you find at My DIY Budget?

My DIY Budget visitors will find ideas from projects done by real people. Not just what the project looks like, but what it really cost! And not just what a project costs in some unknown place, but what it cost a real person in your own home town.

My DIY Budget project owners will find the tools they need to build a complete and accurate project estimate. Track what has been spent on the project and what is still needed to be spent. The My DIY Budget tools not only track the original estimate and spending, but they give you a projected final cost estimate based on the track record of your original estimates vs your actual costs.

My DIY Budget project owners will find the tools they need to build a complete and accurate list of materials. My DIY Budget is a collaborative project management tool for DIY project owners. Just find a project that is similar to yours, import the details from that project, and adjust to your specific needs. My DIY Budget takes the guesswork out of what you need to get the project done. Learn from what a real person needed to complete a real project, tools, labor, building permits, right down to pounds of nails.

The My DIY Budget project planning tools keep the project running smoothly by managing your checklist of what has been done and what still needs to be done. Planning the Saturday morning shopping trip is made easy by printing out your shopping list and taking it with you. No more forgetting those little things and making extra trips.

How it all started

We decided to do a major yard renovation project and started designing the yard on paper. We decided that the old fashion pencil and paper approach was too slow and after a couple days of research I found software packages for both landscape and interior designs. Wow, what a difference that made, every DIYer needs one of those. It took us several months and countless changes to finally come up with our ultimate "backyard resort".

With the design done we started planning the project using spreadsheets and to-do lists. Figuring out costs and suppliers for the demolition, fence, patio, plants, etc. Between having to constantly reformat the spreadsheets, figure out what we need to buy and finding prices, the desire to just chuck the whole effort is impossible to resist! If you're not a first time DIYer, you know that chucking the whole effort is a guarantee that your budget is toast and you'll blow past it like a "speeding bullet".

Technology to the Rescue, Or Not!

One day I had a real bright idea. Since the landscape and interior software that I was using made such a difference, why not use a software package to plan and manage my project, problem solved!!! Or so I thought.

I started searching for software to plan and manage my project with but, the more I searched the more discouraged I got. I found plenty of basic spreadsheet formats to plan my project with, but I was already doing that, so no help there. After 3 months of searching, I gave up and resigned myself to using spreadsheets. Don't get me wrong, spreadsheets work and are a far cry better than pencil and paper. But, not everyone has the time or patience to create and constantly reformat spreadsheets.

My AHA Moment

One night I was working on my spreadsheets, which were getting more complicated and harder to work with every time I added another part of the project. Adding the patio deck meant another sheet had to be setup and formatted. I had to figure out what materials I was going to need, like how many pounds of nails, screws, planks, footers, etc. Add a row for each item, look up the things I already had prices for, search the Internet for prices I didn't have, sum up the totals, add the formulas to estimate the costs and link all of that to the summary sheet!

I'm reviewing my estimates and shopping lists, hoping that I didn't miss anything and thinking that there has to be a better way to do this. When all of a sudden the idea of writing my own project management software dawns on me. I'm a Software Engineer and Project Manager so writing a tool to do this isn't something that I have to wait for someone else to do for me.

So that night the idea for My DIY Budget was born!