3 Things To Definitely Buy (Not DIY)

12 Jul
Croissants

Very obviously, I did not make these. But they look delicious!

Oh, I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time. Because as much as I believe that most things are safer/healthier/cheaper/tastier when DIY’d rather than purchased, there are just some things that I just won’t take on myself. For example:

1. Croissants. Have you ever looked at a croissant recipe? Mon dieu, those little pastries are involved. In The Joy of Cooking, the recipe takes up more than a page – and the only ingredients involved are flour, butter, milk, yeast, salt and sugar. The rest of the copy is devoted to explaining how to beat up butter, and knead dough, and refrigerate and fold and roll and refrigerate and fold and roll and refrigerate and fold and roll and refrigerate and bake. Just reading about it makes me tired. So I leave croissants to the professionals.

2. Massage. I’m a firm believer in the benefits of massage. A good, professional massage therapist can help resolve all manner of aliments: headaches, running injuries, backaches, even chronic pain. And a good portion of why they’re so effective is because they use their hands for healing. When someone touches you in a caring way, that alone can help improve your health. For example, studies have shown people who have their hand held by a friend during scary or painful medical procedures experience less pain and fear than those who don’t have a hand to hold. And that’s just one area of study – there are others, of course. And you cannot get that effect yourself. (Unless… [Insert tasteless multiple-personality joke here.]) ANYWAY. Massage is best left to a general Someone Else to get the benefits of touch, and to a massage therapist in particular to get the most effective pain relief.

3. Large-Scale Electrical Work. Last year, Rob and I refinished our basement. Well, we hired someone to help us with parts of it, after we had a very long debate about DIY or buy. It was the electrical re-wiring that needed to happen (including: add 10 lights, 5 new outlets, 3 new switches, a new circuit and a new breaker) that sealed our Buy decision. Because electricity is dangerous when you don’t know what you’re doing, and sometimes even when you do. Small-scale things – putting in a new outlet, for example, or adding a light fixture – are DIY-able if you’re careful. But even when you have a good layman’s understanding of how electrical wiring works, a small mistake could mean immediate electrocution (and possible death!) or, later on, a very destructive fire. (The latter happened in my childhood home, so I speak from experience here.)

Agree? Disagree? What are the three things you absolutely won’t DIY?

(Thanks to ze_nuno for the flickr photo.)

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8 Responses to “3 Things To Definitely Buy (Not DIY)”

  1. jgeinosky 07/12/2011 at 8:59 am #

    Last year for Mother’s day I made a Greek lunch for my mom, aunt, and grandmother. This included Baklava and (though not Greek) my great grandmother’s croissants. I had heard that both were time consuming and generally painful, but when I made them neither seemed nearly as bad as I had heard and actually liked making both. Perhaps I just find the process of making food more relaxing and enjoyable than most…

    • Amanda 07/12/2011 at 10:55 am #

      Oooh, how’d they turn out? My fear with the croissants is putting in hours (or, what seems like hours) of work and then having a tough-not-flaky pastry. (Also, homemade baklava sounds divine!)

      • Christen Bain 07/29/2011 at 9:17 pm #

        I’m with J on the croissants. I wouldn’t make them regularly, but as often as I eat croissants at home, it’s a fun thing to do, though it does take the day (with laundry going at the same time, I feel super domestic).
        Follow the directions with lots of rolling, folding and butter adding and rolling, folding and butter adding, you can’t go wrong in terms of flakiness.

        I will say that you do have to enjoy baking (and have space for all that rolling and folding)

  2. tanya swanson 07/12/2011 at 9:21 am #

    For me, its haircolor. I’ve tried countless times to remain blonde at home, and it always comes out orange!

  3. Rebeca Oliveira 07/12/2011 at 11:08 am #

    Plumbing! Husband can hook up a washer and put in a sink, but anything beyond that, I request a pro.

    I buy my veg– even the ones I that live in my backyard. I hire gardeners to grow them for me, because I KILL anything green just by looking at it wrong.

    A good haircut/color, and bikini and underarm waxing. Certain things are worth seeing a professional for. Plus, I am not that bendy.

  4. Anna Dunn 07/12/2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Dishwasher detergent. I’ve found recipes online before, but those little Cascade Action Paks are amazing! Especially since I have a husband who “forgets” to rinse plates…

    • Amanda 07/13/2011 at 7:43 am #

      Oh, dishwasher detergent is on my list of topics to tackle! I’ll have to try the action paks first, though… we struggle to get the silverware and glasses clean enough.

  5. Alexson @ Bigger, Better, Best 07/25/2011 at 11:53 am #

    My husband and I DIYed our basement electrical and found that once we got the hang of cutting Romex without making any nicks, it was easy to understand how to make it safe and functional. We even passed city inspections on the first try, which we didn’t even do when we built our deck!

    BIG ditto on never DIY waxing. Yeowza.

    Car repairs are on my Buy list, too. I am sure I *could* change oil and air filters, but I’m so disinterested, it’d hardly be worth it.

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