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Old 07-27-2009, 05:13 PM   #1
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


To all the experienced and not-as-experienced (I'll declare myself to be the latter!) DIY'ers:
What rules do you have for yourself? Things you won't touch and why?

Here's our list of never do's:
1) any large project (redo entire kitchen, patio, lay hardwood flooring throughout house) we simply don't have the time!
2) electrical and plumbing (too risky! What if we make a mistake At best, we'll put-up a new celining light.)
3) things that require scaffolding (I know one of us will fall!)
4) repair pool or complicated equipment (CAC, water heater)... anything we know nothing about... then again, most equipment repairs also violate rule #2!

Things we do or would consider as a DIY:
painting, replace interior doors, flooring (one room), insullation, small masonry projects, virtually all landscaping (outside of major hardscape projects like patios/retaining walls). Landscaping and painting are the areas we have the most experience...

I would also love to hear what some pro's wouldn't do (outside their sphere of expertise....)

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Old 07-27-2009, 06:53 PM   #2
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


I do not shingle roofs! I do do not make sewer repairs! I do not change car mufflers!
I have done most of what you have on your list, over the course of time.
However time has slowed me down somwhat!

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Old 07-27-2009, 07:26 PM   #3
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


Usually I don't figure out what I'll never do until I've actually done it once before. I tend to learn the hard way.

So far, finishing concrete (I'll still prep and form), brick veneer, and drywall taping are on the list.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:30 PM   #4
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


Anything huge like a whole kitchen or bathroom, and anything that could affect the structural integrity of the house. For example I would not attempt to redo the foundation walls on my own. Minor structural repairs I may attempt, but I usually rather have a pro give tips.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:43 PM   #5
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


I don't do large concrete work
I did pour the small foundation for my shed
I've also poured 2 slabs for hot tubs

I prefer to hire someone to mud drywall
I don't install AC/lines - no tools or knowledge
---but I only need small window units - just turned one on for 2 hours today for the 1st time

I've done about everything on a car you can do

Other then that I have or will do everything
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:05 PM   #6
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


I have worked in aviation since 1996. I consider my self a proffessional in certian areas of that field. Having said that there are other areas of this field I would be highly relunctant to offer advice. Lives are at stake. I feel the same way about home repairs. My few posts here reflect that theme. If I think it will reflect negatively on my spouse or our future well being I call in a proffessional. I highly respect their time in grade.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:13 PM   #7
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


Laying brick. I will frame it, finish it or fix it but I will not brick it.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:19 PM   #8
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


I'd urge DIYers to stay far away from waste-side plumbing and serious HVAC/mechanical work. I think every thing else in residential construction is within the reach of anybody who's reasonably smart, physically able, and willing to devote enough time to reading (books, web). You also need to start small and take advantage of every opportunity to work with and learn from pros. That said, there's a long list of stuff that I find cheaper and/or more pleasant to sub out than to do myself (major insulation and drywall, hardwood floor finishing top my list).
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:45 PM   #9
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


I will not do anything with electrical (not even a light switch) and absolutely nothing with natural gas or HVAC. And no roofing for me, thanks. It's all too dangerous.

I've learned my lesson from my failed attempts at anything to do with plumbing. Plumbing looks so easy to do. Notice I said "looks" easy to do. IMO, it's not. Plumbers earn every dime they get. Except for the guy who came out to unhook my dishwasher and to "fix" the leak from my bathtub 4 years ago. He did more harm than good.

I've installed pre-hung interior doors (single and French), insulation, laminate flooring, ceramic tile, wall paper, hung drywall and mudded & sanded it, sealed the attic and installed baffles, trim work, painted, landscaping, brought home the bacon and fried it up in a pan.

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Old 07-27-2009, 10:11 PM   #10
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


Quote:
Originally Posted by gma2rjc View Post
I will not do anything with electrical (not even a light switch) and absolutely nothing with natural gas or HVAC. And no roofing for me, thanks. It's all too dangerous.

I've learned my lesson from my failed attempts at anything to do with plumbing. Plumbing looks so easy to do. Notice I said "looks" easy to do. IMO, it's not. Plumbers earn every dime they get. Except for the guy who came out to unhook my dishwasher and to "fix" the leak from my bathtub 4 years ago. He did more harm than good.

I've installed pre-hung interior doors (single and French), insulation, laminate flooring, ceramic tile, wall paper, hung drywall and mudded & sanded it, sealed the attic and installed baffles, trim work, painted, landscaping, brought home the bacon and fried it up in a pan.
Plumbing scares me as well, but electrical I don't mind doing but I'm very careful in my ways, I don't rush it. If I'm not sure I get an electrician involved to tell me how to do it.

I want to learn plumbing and attempt it but what scares me about it is a very small leak could turn into a disaster, and it may only happen after the wall is all closed in. That's a huge mess. Most (not all) electrical mistakes will simply trip the breaker right away, or not work period. I did some 240v work recently and also worked in the panel, that was a tad more scary.

Roofing is something I would never touch. Like say I had to add a roof vent I'd get someone else to at least do that part, such as cut the hole and seal it off. Toying with the idea of a whole house fan but I'd want to vent it directly outside, not in the attic, so I'd want a vent pipe installed for that. I'd do everything but that part.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:38 AM   #11
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


On a job I typically sub-out electrical, plumbing, HVAC, masonry (Stucco,foundations, block walls, brick work, large footings, etc.), Water proofing, Large roofs, Large siding jobs, gutters, excavation (large), wells, septic, and insulation (large jobs).

I will do small electrical and plumbing repairs if necessary (example if damaged during demo) but usually will call in plumber or electrician to check them.

On my house I will do plumbing, electrical (yes, I get permits and have it inspected), roofing, siding, and insulation. Other then these specific examples the trade work listed above would still most likely be contracted out depending on the size and scope of the project. If the project is large like say an addition or new home, I would be more likely to contract the majority of the work out so as not to cause time and budget overages due to emotional attachment. That said if it was to have built ins, custom mouldings, intricate flooring details, etc. I would probably do those projects myself.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:51 AM   #12
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


I'm one of those people that pretty much refuses to pay anybody to do anything on my house, with two exceptions.

I don't do air conditioners. No tools or skills for anything but wiring them up. Fortunately a good friend is an AC guy so the last AC I replaced on my house cost me parts and lunch.

I don't do roofs. Just gave $12,000 for a new one.

Everything else is on the table!
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:02 AM   #13
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


I'll DIY anything with the exception of the main stack. When I first started tearing my house apart, I couldn't even consistantly hit a nail. Using the power of the internet...
Whenever I hired a pro to do something for me, I always say, I could have done a better job. The difference is speed. A project might take me a year of weekends and nights while a crew of pros may be able to knock the project out in a month or less.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:34 PM   #14
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


nothing. necessity makes for lessons learned fast. pretty much everything listed i've done.
things i'd rather NOT do is a different subject...... that would be most of the above... lol
.... i truly don't think ANYone enjoys working on the smelly end of toilets...but ya do what ya gotta do

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Old 07-28-2009, 01:05 PM   #15
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just curious... what DIY would you NEVER attempt


yeah, cesspool and waste pipe work.... needless to say, I wouldn't touch that either.

Mercifully, my father in law is a very experienced and has done numerous bathroom remodels on his own. But I would even dissuade him from touching the major plumbing lines in the basement. Some things should just be left to pro's...... Funny how most posters have similar lists. Thank God for masons, plumbers, roofers, and electricians!

(one more thing I would get a pro for: installing french doors. I know I COULD do it theoretically... but the interior doors we bought several years ago (hardwood / stained glass for 6 ft doorways) were SO HEAVY that we couldn't even budge them one inch.)

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