18 DIY Projects That Are More Expensive Than Buying Ready-Made

Starting a DIY project is a way for you to make your creative ideas a reality. But in this article, you’ll find a list of 18 DIY projects that are more expensive than buying ready-made items.


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Making your own clothes might seem like a good way to save money, but it can be costly. Fabric is pricey, and sewing machines are expensive. According to the New York Times, a person can spend anywhere from about $100 to over $15,000 on a sewing machine, but more expensive doesn’t always equal better.


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According to Statistica, the U.S. jewelry and watch market value is 69 billion USD. But even still, making intricate jewelry can be very expensive when you weigh up the price of the tools you’ll need to make it and the materials you’ll have to buy.


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Vivino says that an average bottle of red wine (3.6 rating) costs $15.66. To cut this cost, many people try making their own wine. But the price of the fermentors, hydrometers, and siphoning units can make this pastime expensive. This is especially the case if you don’t have any of the materials yet.


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Making your own mugs and plates out of clay and then firing them in a kiln is a very satisfying process, but it’s also one that’s expensive. Installing a kiln or a charcoal pit is a large investment. SDS Industries says that kiln costs vary tremendously, ranging from around $700 for compact kilns to over $20,000.


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Some computer repairs are relatively straightforward, but others involve many parts that can be pricey. Electrical components are not made to last anymore, so you have to also calculate the shelf life of your computer and make sure that any repairs will be worth it.  


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The figures from Fixr say that simple, ready-made nylon curtains for a small fixed window cost $25. But making your own curtains can be a more expensive project when you consider the price of the fabric, the cost of the pattern, and how much time you’ll spend making them.


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Blowing glass and making your own tumblers and light fixtures are rewarding pastimes that take a lot of time to learn and master. But aside from this, they’re also very expensive, as you must buy all of the equipment, such as graphite reamers, blow hoses, and paddles.


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Trying to repair a broken game console might be more expensive than buying a new one. You must weigh up the price of the broken part, its shipping, and your labor, then make sure that this doesn’t exceed the value of the console.


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According to HomeGuide, most homeowners spend $100 to $500 on interior doors or $300 to $1,500 on exterior doors. Some try to cut this cost by making their own doors. If you have to invest in carpentry equipment, then buying the doors ready-made will be cheaper.  


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Making soap is enjoyable but often works out more expensive than buying a bar of soap from the store. When you make soap, you have to calculate the price of the essential oils, which are expensive. Unless you’re making soap with the same scent over and over again, DIY soap will be more expensive than shop-bought.

Vintage Entertainment

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Many people like to restore vintage entertainment pieces like film projectors as part of a DIY project. But restoring this old equipment is often expensive as the parts are no longer in production and are pricey. Because they are often fragile parts, shipping them is expensive. 


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Many people are keen to make their own paintings to hang in their houses rather than buy artwork. But painting can prove to be more expensive than buying art when you consider how long it’s going to take you. Good oil paints are also very expensive.


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Buying security cameras and installing security equipment yourself can be more expensive than paying for a complete, professional security package. These packages often also come with a warranty, which will save you money on any repairs in the future. You would not benefit from these perks with a DIY system.


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Buying replacement pieces for your refrigerator can be expensive. If your refrigerator is old, you may find that you’ll soon need to replace other, more expensive components of it. Finding old parts is time-consuming and depending on the make and model of your unit, it might be expensive.

Audio Equipment

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We’re living in a throwaway world where, when things break, people discard them rather than repair them. Because of this, the price of old parts, especially audio equipment, is very high. Getting the right tools to fix a piece of equipment also proves challenging.

Wooden Furniture

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DIY furniture projects involving wood often end up being more expensive than buying a new piece of furniture. This is because lumber is expensive, and treated wood that has already been sanded and varnished is even more expensive. Any furniture you make has to be very sturdy, and the right tools are often pricey.

Home Theater

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Putting together your own home theater might be more expensive than having a professional complete the job for you. When going through a professional company, you might get a discount on a bundle of technical equipment, which you wouldn’t get when buying the products alone.

Smart Home

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Many smart home packages will sync your home with your electronic devices. But doing these renovations yourself might prove to be expensive. Buying the sensors, controllers, and other devices is pricey, so many smart home setups offer discounts on some of their tech.

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