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Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:28 PM

Hi, guys. Tell me what you think of doing DYI home improvements/maintenance.

Personally, I kind if like doing most types of projects. Clearly, unless really skilled and well educated in the subject, some things are not for the average guy - serious wiring or plumbing, for example.

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Reply Hi, guys. Tell me what you think of doing DYI home improvements/maintenance. (Original post)
Denninmi Feb 2013 OP
RevStPatrick Feb 2013 #1
Denninmi Feb 2013 #2
discntnt_irny_srcsm Feb 2013 #3
Warren DeMontague Feb 2013 #4
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #6
Warren DeMontague Feb 2013 #9
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2013 #16
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #5
Denninmi Feb 2013 #7
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Feb 2013 #8
opiate69 Feb 2013 #10
gvstn Feb 2013 #11
Broken_Hero Feb 2013 #13
Warren DeMontague Feb 2013 #14
westerebus Feb 2013 #12
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2013 #15
NRA_SUCKS Feb 2013 #17
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2013 #18
Denninmi Feb 2013 #20
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2013 #21
Fix The Stupid Feb 2013 #23
Mosby Feb 2013 #19
Fix The Stupid Feb 2013 #22

Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:34 PM

1. I think DIY home improvements are awesome!

 

My wife does all kinds of stuff like that.
Usually while I'm cooking us up a nice dinner.

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Response to RevStPatrick (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:41 PM

2. LOL, you almost made me spew my drink all over.

Hey, I think these things should be done in a "most capable" basis. Certainly breaks down gender roles.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:41 PM

3. DIY is awesome but my DIY rules of thumb:

If you see it taking an hour, plan for a trip to the home center during the project for something unexpected.
If the project takes place in the kitchen or laundry areas, be prepared to order pizza and wash the next day's clothes first.
It's sometimes better to hire a pro than need a bathroom and not have one.

just some thoughts...
YMMV

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:43 PM

4. I'm getting increasingly handy as I get older.

At this point I could probably open a side business in appliance repair, based on what I've figured out in the past 3 years.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:58 PM

6. If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

-- Red Green

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:36 PM

9. Handy AND Handsome, dammit! Not to mention, I have huge hands.

And, ladies, you know what that means.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:56 PM

16. Exactly. n/t

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:56 PM

5. I'm not much of a big project person

When it comes to a big job, I will sometimes contract out the stuff. I do all of the small stuff including appliance repairs, general vehicle maintenance other than I don't do my own oil changes anymore. I can fix a washer or a dryer or most anything electronic or electric. I have no less than 5 vehicles to maintain and 5 small gas engines. A house to maintain, including 1/2 acre. We do all the inside painting, but the outside I don't do anymore. I can do most any wiring or plumbing job, but I stick to the small ones like installing an outlet or light and fixing a toilet. I do general maintenance on my HVAC system. I prune my own trees except for the really big ones. I can do general carpentry and have most of the tools for it, but I'm just not that efficient so I contract out all the big stuff and handle the small jobs. I can do small masonry jobs like pouring a small slab of concrete or replacing a few bricks. I have done some big jobs and still do, but I do less and less as I get older. There's always some project that needs to get done.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:04 PM

7. There is always some project.

I need to re-tile my kitchen floor, just vinyl peel and stick, so it's easy, paint my exterior garage doors, and fix a couple of screens that stupid grasshoppers chewed holes in.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:30 PM

8. Shoveling

Really, that's all that can be done right now.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:29 PM

10. I fucking hate it...

As "intelligent", analytical and generally "capable" as I`ve always been told I was, for some reason even the simplest home or car repair will inevitably lead to me using every vulgarity in my repository, as well as just plain making the problem worse. Even if I flat-out know the exact problem and every last little detail about it... just never winds up going right.

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Response to opiate69 (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:09 AM

11. I'm easily frustrated too!

As I get older what used to be fun/challenging seems to be less so and now a source of frustration. All the tiny plastic parts that break no matter how carefully you handle them that seem to crack so easily.

I have to say I love the internet! I had a weird problem where my electronic transmission display in my car was lighting up and showing that I was in both Neutral and Park at the same time while I was really in Drive. A 15 minute Google search came up with 3 threads relating to my older make/model that traced the problem to a broken wire under my left trunk hinge. A relatively easy fix. I never would have figured that out on my own!

So yes, I rely on outside people more than I like but I still find with some internet guides I can tackle a few jobs that would have taken me hours on my own but now are simpler to do myself and a lot cheaper.

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Response to opiate69 (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:56 PM

13. To a tee, your just described my interactions

with car/home repair. I can change oil, or any mundane thing on a car(plugs/wires), it should be an easy thing, but almost always...the easy thing becomes an Odyssey of hardships, from bolts stripping, or outright breaking, or my tool breaking on me...anything that can go wrong, usually does. About 6 yrs ago I was installing a set of shelves in our living room, easy peasy job I thought....I measured the shelf brackets right, and everything lined up, knew were the studs were...then it all went down hill. I drilled holes for the screws I was using, no problem drilling, but half way through putting a screw in I'd hit a point where the screw wouldn't go any further...fight with screw, strip screw, try to figure out why my damn drill can go through it with no issue whatsoever, but my screw's would only go about half way in....anyway, what should've been at tops, and hour job, took 4.

A few days later I ask our previous landlord about that wall in our living room, and come to find out, there is a brick chimney stack behind that wall, where the old fireplace use to be....so there it is, a fucking wall of brick, of all the things.....I swear if I ever dig up a sewer lateral line, I'm going to find a lost atomic bomb or something, and pull a Joe Dirt.

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Response to opiate69 (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:06 PM

14. I've found that, integral to my competence is a realistic assesment of my own incompetence level.

As in, I need to be honest with myself as to what I shouldn't bother to try to take on, as well as if a job is starting to look like it's going to be over my head. Cars, for one, have never really been my area of ability. I can change a wiper blade or a burned out headlight, that's about it. I'm only sort of kidding.

Part of the thing with cars is, the level of necessity of the thing itself; like, how fucked up is life going to be if you make the thing worse by N orders of magnitude? The car is pretty integral to the smooth daily function of the family life. So, for me, it's generally best not to "experiment" too much.

I have made headway with appliance repair because the appliances, while important, can usually be lived without for a few days-- and likewise, the logistics of getting someone in to look at them is always a big pain in the ass: Wait several days or a week for an "appointment" that consists of a window, like, "sometime between 10AM and 4PM" (Who came up with that deal? How many folks can just sit around all day waiting for this guy?) and then invariably "we need to order a part" which ends up being another week or two with another all-day "appointment window".

So, I'm like, screw that. I've discovered that many common problems with, say, dishwashers can be researched on the internet, and parts can be found there, too. When it gets into electrical stuff, that's where I tend to hesitate, but most of the mechanical stuff is fairly straightforward to navigate around.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:57 AM

12. Depends on the job.

Over the years, tar a flat roof, shingle a roof on a victorian style house, replace soffet, drip boards, skirt boards, exterior window trim, glaze windows and wood frame storm windows, pull apart and replace cords inside windows without damaging the frames, plaster, sand, prime, paint interior and exterior, lay vinyl, lay tile, hang cabinets, plumb a kitchen sink, install a toilet, rebuild a toilet, replace a boiler, pour concrete cellar steps after digging out the old chip stone and mortar one, install steel cellar door, sand wood floors, stain wood floors, varnish wood floors and trim, rewire a house from the main box, insulate an attic, built retaining walls for front yard, lay a line to a septic tank, nail down a sub floor, hang gutters, install a patio door,and that's because my old man refused to hire help. lol

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:56 PM

15. I'm a guy who calls himself "lumberjack"

I've done serious wiring, plumbing, carpentry, earthmoving, robot building and programming, boatbuilding, yacht design, cooking, accounting, auto service and website design and implementation.

What's the worst that can happen? I could fuck it up, I suppose, in which case I would then call in a pro.

I probably would draw the line at dentistry or surgery.

I never learned anything from something I did right the first time.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:03 PM

17. Every time I tried, my ex would kill the idea

 

Literally told me I'm simply not good enough and we'd spend X00's on getting a professional.
So it's been kind of beaten out of me, which sucks now that i'm divorced and living in a DIY-lover's dream of a home...
it's fine, but needs work... lots of it. none of it that really requires a professional.
sadly my exwife did a very good job of beating, viciously, that drive to do anything right out of me.

but I'm competent enough when it comes to home wiring, carpentry (literally in my blood as well as two years of woodshop in school) and engineering / design. I'm cheap but not where it matters. Usually I go to the lowest reasonable cost, but if the better idea is the top-shelf wangle, then it's the top shelf wangle. Toilets, however, can be discount!

I'm thinking of expanding and covering my deck in the spring and perhaps replacing the trailer walls with dry wall... assuming I canget my deflated ass to do it.

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Response to NRA_SUCKS (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:37 PM

18. What is the worst thing that can happen?

If I'm attempting to fix something, it's because it is already broken.

I've found ample proof that the people who answer the phone at 1-800-experts are usually no smarter than I am.

The first and hardest step is taking the hammer and crowbar to the existing trailer walls.

If someone says "you don't know what you're doing", the answer is a) of course not. What's the benefit of repetition? or b) "I know what I'm doing. I'm trusting me; I KNOW what I know."

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:06 PM

20. I usually ask myself that.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:36 PM

21. Well yeah... if the "worst" involves ambulances or fire trucks, I might think twice.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:29 PM

23. effin eh! This..right here.


Summed up my feelings exactly.

Thank you.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:03 PM

19. I really like most home projects

I find most home projects relaxing, where I just do the work and don't have to think about anything else.

Some I don't like, my so wants recessed lighting in the kitchen for example and I will have to climb up into the "attic" via a outside vent to do it, so far I have put this off for a couple years, lol. I think I might hire someone for this eventually.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:46 PM

22. Ask away....I practically re-built my house, by myself :)



All I did was buy books and learned on the 'net. I have a basic knowledge and operating skills with the tools, but nothing will teach you more than just 'doing it'.

Rewired 80% of my house.
Moved the bathroom - did all the plumbing.
Moved the washer & dryer - did all the plumbing and electrical
Framed a new wall (non-load bearing )
All the drywall, mudding and taping, etc.
Built a 2 stage, 2 story deck for my pool.
Built a deck with a bar near the pool

Everyone should buy a fixer upper once in their lives, lol. I learned LOTS. Whatever I couldn't do, I payed a professional to do it (some Kitchen wiring and final hook-ups to panel).

It all depends on how far you want to take it. I figured (rather naively in my youth), that I could attempt something 2-3 times, learn from my mistakes, and still be cheaper than paying someone. Let's just say, this isn't entirely true...lol.

Also, the tools. I am lucky - I sell tools for a living, but my advice is DO NOT cheap out. If you are buying a mitre saw, for gawds sake, buy a good one. Dewalt makes the best. I bought a cheap KING CANADA 12" compact mitre saw - couldn't figure out why my angles were all screwed up. Turns out the bracing on these is so weak, you can twist and turn the entire arm under load....yeah, that was upsetting...every 45 angle was just off by THAT much...

Also, I know times are tough out there and my situation is a little unique, but try and buy your own tools. There will be a time when you will need that certain tool in the future. After borrowing tools for so long, you just get fed up and start buying them. I have more tools in my shop than a Snap-on truck and I know , one day, I'll need them again.

Would I do another one? The wife and I had this talk the other day...I'm just not sure I have another one in me. The naivety I had was actually a bonus at the time - If I knew then, what I know now, not sure half the projects would even have gotten started, let alone finished.


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