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Old 06-12-2012, 10:07 AM   #1
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Household DIY - Do you do your own?

I am totally useless with DIY. If it wasnt for my boyfriend, I likely would not even have furniture, except for a sleeping mat and a small table and chair. Maybe I would even opt to live in a tent, to prevent house maintenance. Even assembling furniture is what I call a nightmare, as for painting and decorating, forget it until the walls start crumpling and nature starts making its way into the house.

What about you? What DIY are you good at? What do you hire somebody to do?

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Old 06-12-2012, 10:18 AM   #2
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When I bought my first home as a young married, I did just about everything myself out of financial necessity. Plumbing, carpentry, electrical, even a new roof.

Now I live in a condo so I don't have to worry about the outside, just the inside. I still do stuff but no more of the heavy duty work. Painting, minor electrical and plumbing, etc.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:28 AM   #3
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I've always been a do-it-yourselfer. That was borne of being the oldest of 5 siblings and having a father who was a country doctor. That last part of my statement is the true reason. Daddy could sew you up and you'd never see even the tiniest scar, but he didn't know which end of a screwdriver was up. Also, when Christmas Eve rolled around, it always seemed that he would get called out for a house call just at the time toys had to be assembled. So...I was the one who was charged with the task.

Fast forward many years later when I was a young single mother (newly divorced) with little money and three active children. Again, I was the one who put things together and built things for the children. I even learned to repair my car.

I have a very analytical and mechanical mind so building/repairing isn't intimidating to me. I actually enjoy the challenge.

As for our home, Glenn built this house from the ground up all by himself and he knows every nook and cranny quite intimately and he can fix anything and I mean ANYTHING!

At this point in our lives our age is the only thing that restricts us from tackling some building/repair tasks around the house. So far we haven't met anything we can't handle. Although the back area of the house probably needs a new roof and he's been talking about doing that some time this year. I'm going to try to talk him out of doing it himself because he has no business doing such heavy work. He's had three back surgeries and still thinks he's 19.

I guess until we fall face first into a project, we'll continue to do it ourselves.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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Buonasera Mel,

Ciao...

D I Y ... Interesting topic ...

Firstly, I am creative, artistic, a publishing journalist and a good Equestrian ...

However, when it comes to Handy Man or Handy Lady Tasks, it is best left to experts ...

Have lovely evening.
Margi.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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I used to do a bit of everything, electrical, simple plumbing, painting, woodworking. Not so much anymore, though I still do the electronics and put together furniture.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:13 PM   #6
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The DH is a self-sustaining person. We do all fixes/maintenance ourselves from pumping out the septic tank to replacing the sump pump to refinishing floors to roofing to putting in floors to resurfacing the driveway. Yeah, it is a lot of work, but we don't pay people to do what we can do ourselves. Learn to do it yourself. It isn't that hard but it does require muscle and commitment of time. I love the end results of what we've done--the concrete sink/vanity in the bathroom, the ash butcherblock countertop in the kitchen, the hardwood floors, the oak cabinets in the bathroom...so many projects. And, what we have done that has required inspection, has all passed.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:25 PM   #7
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Thought experiment:

1. Hire a painter (or get an estimate) to paint a room.

2. Go to Home Depot or Lowe's (or other big box home improvement store) and cost out the materials and supplies. Assume mostly disposable useables (more expensive but you don't have to clean them for the next job.)

Subtract #2 from #1. This is the cost of labor, assuming that you can do the job as good as the painter. Maybe you won't do it as good as them but you'll learn on the job, particularly after the second or third room. In interviewing painters, tell me which of the two of you is smarter, the painter or you? (Hint: they're painters. You don't need even a high school education to become a painter!)

If your experience is anything like mine you'll find out that three-fourths* of the expense of a professional painting job is labor cost. Myself, I can't afford to pay that much for a skill that is not that hard to learn.

The main cost in painting your own house is tedium. It's boring!!! Booorrrrriiinnggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!


* Labor could be as high as 80-90 percent of total cost.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:39 PM   #8
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The rule of thumb is 1/3 of the cost is materials, 2/3 is labour, at least here in Ontario. The floor we just did would probably run about $12/15 a ft. Our cost--well, there was the cost and time to make the saw mill, the cost to buy the logs, the cost to buy the farm to have a place for the saw mill and where to dry the wood, the tools to take the rough logs and make them into flooring, the time spent converting the logs into lumber and then into boards for the fooring, putting down the flooring, sanding it, and finishing it. The thrill of looking at the finished product and knowing it is 100% made in Canada, priceless.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
...The main cost in painting your own house is tedium. It's boring!!! Booorrrrriiinnggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!


* Labor could be as high as 80-90 percent of total cost.


The main cost in painting your own house is the commitment of your time when you could be doing something else that's more fun, dealing with the frustration that comes with tackling an unfamiliar task and possibly having to redo parts of it to correct errors.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:51 PM   #10
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I've mostly done all of my own room and house painting. I'd rather deal with the boredom of painting than deal with paying somebody to let them deal with their own boredom while I deal with not having the money I paid them so I wouldn't be bored.

How many home improvement jobs are really that much fun? It's the thrill of saving money and the thrill of it turning out good that motivates most of us DIY types. It's the thrill that even an amateur can sometimes do a pretty damned good job!
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