A lot of people will tell you not to try and reinvent the wheel. If a script has been written, or a styling effect developed that accomplishes what you want, why spend time trying to create the effect yourself?
I can see their point, and in some situations, I agree. If you are on a tight deadline for a project, you often don’t have time to develop that functionality from scratch, and it therefore makes more sense to adapt the structure already developed by someone else.
I do feel, however, that web developers do need to try and create an effect from scratch when they have the opportunity. There are a couple reasons why I feel this is the case.
The other main reason for creating something yourself is because you never know how another point of view may help to create a superior solution to a common problem. Challenge yourself to see if you can improve the solution. I guess you could call this ‘modifying the wheel’. If you are going to try and develop a better solution, you should study the ones already out there. Try to see their strengths and weaknesses, and see how you can improve the weaknesses while not losing the strengths.
So over all, I say go ahead and reinvent the wheel. Challenge yourself to create a better solution, and in the process, increase your knowledge. Remember, the first wheels were stone slabs. I tend to think the wheels currently being manufactured for cars, bikes, etc. are probably a little bit better solution.