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skwpt 09-16-2007 07:57 PM

Knee deep in joint compound
 
Hello from New England.

After owning my first house for over three years, I finally got my hands dirty. I'd been interested in home improvements for the longest time, but I never had the confidence to make that first proverbial cut.

Then my family came to the rescue.

Way back in the day, we (mostly my father) restored an 1805 Colonial/Federal. My contributions were scraping wallpaper off horsehair plaster walls and peeling paint down to bare wood. That was the extent of my home improvement experience. I can paint. Big whoop.

Years went by, but I was a renter for most of them.

Six weeks ago, I decided to tackle the largest room in my 1948 Cape. The walls were covered with ugly, textured, floral paneling and I wasn't sure if it would be less labor intensive to tear everything down or skim coat the paneling.

My father came down to consult, help, and act as general contractor. Over several weekends and one long stretch that consumed most of my summer vacation, we pulled down the paneling, cut it up with a circular saw and threw it out with the trash, removed all window and door casings and floorboards, scraped decades of painted-over wallpaper, repaired and resurfaced the walls, insulated the windows, primed and replaced the casings (but had to shim them because of the paneling that was no longer there), installed crown moldings, and primed and painted all the wood trim and the walls and ceiling. We also replaced two hideous, mirrored bi-fold closet doors with louvered doors. One we use as a closet and the other as our home office.

I am so excited with the results and so encouraged with everything I learned, I am thinking about what I can do next. But mostly, I want to read up on this forum and see what everyone else is doing.

Lately I have become obsessed with the caulk gun and phenoseal. I see gaps everywhere!

slickshift 09-16-2007 09:49 PM

I think you've come to the right place
Welcome

skwpt 09-17-2007 05:14 PM

Thanks, slickshift. Lots of good reading here.

AtlanticWBConst. 09-17-2007 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skwpt (Post 63345)
Hello from New England....I am so excited with the results and so encouraged with everything I learned, I am thinking about what I can do next.....

That is great. The key to starting your own DIY home projects is to start off according to your "abilities" ..... as you grow in your experience, knowledge, skill, and self-confidence, you can move up and tackle bigger projects.
If you jump in over your head and take on too much, you can discourage yourself.

When you see the good results of your hard work....it's encouraging and self-inspiring.

Welcome to the site and good luck on your future projects.

Sammy 09-17-2007 07:23 PM

Ya know they make caulk guns that hook to air compressors...

You can have empty caulk tubes spitting out like spent shells from a .50 cal in no time!

But take your time with projects like I do. Look at it long and hard and imagine the results and potential pitfalls. Plan your work and and things will work out fine.

skwpt 09-18-2007 07:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sammy (Post 63490)
Ya know they make caulk guns that hook to air compressors...

:eek

I really like this one (borrowed from good old dad).

http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepa...aulkingGun.jpg

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst
The key to starting your own DIY home projects is to start off according to your "abilities" ..... as you grow in your experience, knowledge, skill, and self-confidence, you can move up and tackle bigger projects.
If you jump in over your head and take on too much, you can discourage yourself.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sammy
But take your time with projects like I do. Look at it long and hard and imagine the results and potential pitfalls. Plan your work and and things will work out fine.

Very good advice, and I intend to take it.

My father, whose home restoration project became an additional full-time job for more than a decade, told me he wishes he'd spent more time with his family and less time working on the house. I reminded him that we were all working on the house: quality family time! <snort>

Seriously, though, he told me a couple weeks ago that I have to figure out what my time is worth and decide which jobs I want to tackle and which jobs I want to hire out. I'm good at finish work: I suspect that few contracted painters will spec out or take the extra time I did to patch nicks and holes in the trim, use ONETIME on all the set-in nail heads, apply two coats of primer, seal knots with an extra dab or two of B-I-N, sand between every coat, and then apply two finish coats of paint. However, I have no intentions of trying to install site-finished hardwood floors in my kitchen! I will leave that to the professionals, as soon as I save up that extra $$$.


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