Homeowner Talents? [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Homeowner Talents?


D. Wolfe
06-04-04, 02:02 PM
Congrats to Greenphotos acquiring his new home. Like many of us, it takes certain talents and abilities to maintain your home. Is there a specific ability(or lack thereof)that you have in maintaining your abode?

Personally, I love to paint and am quite excellent at it(35 years experience). I also enjoy finish carpentry. I am absolutely deadly with electricity and wiring...not enough ability to keep from electrocuting myself...

NoUse4AName
06-04-04, 02:16 PM
Just bought my first house in November.

I've done quite a bit in that short time frame:
-Put ceramic tile floors in the bathrooms.
-Painted every freakin' wall in the house(don't want to see another paint brush for awhile)
-Repaired the gutters
-Changed the locks
-Tore up a pointless section of fence and cleared out the junk they had hidden behind it
-Sealed the garage floor with one of those cleaner/paint kits, gotta have a nice place for the car
-Installed some flashing
-Replaced some soffits

Few other minor things and of course now I'm getting into the lawn care stuff with spring setting in

Rob Sandey
06-04-04, 02:17 PM
I was a self employed builder from 16 to 26 so I can do most things: carpentry/plumbing/tiling/domestic electrics/Brick-Block laying/ groundwork-concreting/. Don't like plastering or heights much so didn't it or roofing unless I had too, but thats about it. I only gave it up as the same trade crippled my dad by 47 and I did not want to go the same way. Often thought about going back to it for the dosh but my heart isn't there, isn't the same without my Dad, although that hasn't stopped me renovating our house. But once its finished I am not doing it again. I am going to pile up my wet tools and pee on them once a day to remind never to use them again :cheesy:

ragtopcav
06-04-04, 04:44 PM
Just about to have some builders in for a bit of an extension, I'll sorting my own wiring and plumbing, I'm fitting new windows across the back elevation this weekend [unless my new brake pipes turn up :wink: ] detail joinery, underfloor heating and the marble floor tiles will be my problem too and the bathroom goes in over the next couple of weeks, we'll be doing that ourselves around the builders, I'm paying them to put a new soil pipe in though :wink: .

Ohh and we've just ripped up the old patio at the back of the house, those slabs will be relaid elswhere in the garden to create a path to the greenhouse and sheltered growing zones, roughly halfway along this new path a small patio will be laid and a shady arbour will be constructed there.

Alanb
06-04-04, 05:13 PM
To the detrement of my career, I've spent just about every spare moment (and penny) renovating my house. I'm a complete bodger but I'm also a have-a-go-hero. The highlights so far include plumbing in a completely new hot and cold water system, putting in a patio door in place of an old window and creating a second toilet. Oh, and I have learnt that builder's caulk is the greatest thing known to all incompetent DIY'ers.

Alanb

GearHead
06-04-04, 06:23 PM
when nailing up a picture use extreme caution-The plaster breaks easily...

Dan1
06-04-04, 06:34 PM
i dabble in carpentry for the most part. together my dad and i have built 6 or so shelfs and tables and whatnot to put around the house. i also do some soldering and other minor electronic work. nothing big.

sjhudon
06-04-04, 06:35 PM
when nailing up a picture use extreme caution-The plaster breaks easily...


Lesson Learned! :cheesy:

SaabScott
06-04-04, 08:04 PM
Personally, I love to paint and am quite excellent at it(35 years experience).

I am in the middle of moving 3 rooms around ... Sam moved into Dyllan's room so I could clean and paint Sam's old room.
That is now done ... the computer room has been moved into Sam's old room.
Now I have to finish emptying the computer room (it's bigger than Sam's old room - where to put that stuff? :o ).
Once it is empty, I have to clean and paint it (in the Toronto Maple Leafs colour scheme).
Then we have to move Dyllan and Sam into that room so I can clena and paint Dyllan's old room (again, in the Leafs colours, just differently).
Once done, Sam can move into his old room.


I'm tired just thinking about it! :o :cry:

Want to help Wolfeman? :cheesy:

Anyway, I helped my brother finish my basement (next house I will do it myself).
That included framing, drywall work, painting, installing lamenated flooring.
I have also built a shed (12'x9') in the backyard.

I'm sure there are other things I have done (this is our 4th house - 3rd bought brand new), but I just can't recall them now. :roll:

D. Wolfe
06-04-04, 08:21 PM
To the detrement of my career, I've spent just about every spare moment (and penny) renovating my house. I'm a complete bodger but I'm also a have-a-go-hero. The highlights so far include plumbing in a completely new hot and cold water system, putting in a patio door in place of an old window and creating a second toilet. Oh, and I have learnt that builder's caulk is the greatest thing known to all incompetent DIY'ers.

Alanb

Caulk was invented for the DIY and can mask many small imperfections....I use it after painting baseboards to give the stop near the drywall a very fine edge.

greenphotos
07-04-04, 03:09 AM
Where can I get this Caulk stuff?

ragtopcav
07-04-04, 05:21 AM
Where can I get this Caulk stuff?
Screwfixdirect [online]
B&Q
Wickes
Focus
Homebase
Wilko
I'll stop there, it comes in tubes like the silicone sealant, you need a caulking gun to apply, don't get the plastic gun the cheapo steel ones [about 1.99] last years.

Paco
07-04-04, 06:05 AM
Caulk aka Gripfill!!! That stuff is fantastic :wink:

In the past two years our house has had:

New floors, walls, ceilings, wiring, heating, plumbing, windows, chimney stack, loft conversion, two new staircases (one spiral), plus all the decoration...that's right, it's a new house inside a 17th century shell... :roll: Would have been cheaper to build a new house from scratch (seriously :cry: )

Luckily my duties have been restricted to some stud-walling/dry lining, wiring and plumbing of the heating system (some, not all!!). I reckon I could have had a crack at most of it with reasonable success, but unfortunately I couldn't take 5 months off work :cheesy:

Oh and I spent my last summer holiday re-roofing a barn in Spain, way to catch some rays!

TFatC
07-04-04, 06:06 AM
Hmmm, I am not very good with household thingies :oops: I still cannot get a decent earth on wood to weld it! :o

If any of you DIYers fancy a holiday in Scotland with a Saab or two to play with, let me know! :cheesy: :cheesy:

Stuart
07-04-04, 07:34 AM
I'm rubbish at 'big' DIY (bricklaying, plastering, electrics, plumbing etc.) but I'm very good at little 'DIY' ie. putting up shelves and ensuring that they're dead level, putting up pictures in the correct place, adding door knobs and handles to cabinets etc. and making sure that they're all lined up - I'm very precise :)

I'm a very good cook so I do all the cooking in our house - doesn't count as DIY but I get an awful lot of satisfaction through serving people with good food.. 8)

jnorris
07-04-04, 08:26 AM
I can put up a mean shelf! Minor plumbing, roofing work and tiling also seems to have gone fairly well. :D

greenphotos
07-04-04, 08:41 AM
I'm a very good cook ... I get an awful lot of satisfaction through serving people with good food.. 8)

Me too, I love cooking, gonna get a lot of opporunity in our new house and we have a fantastic kitchen so it's great fun. Even got a wok attachment for the main gas ring which makes it a whole lot easier.

Mark
:cheesy:

MonkeyMan
07-04-04, 10:24 AM
Hmm...I have an assortment of trickle-down skills from my dad, who was a professional carpenter for several years.

BEN

GearHead
07-04-04, 10:50 AM
I am the mechanicaly inclined in our house so I fix things when they break.ie vacum cleaners.

dmtinker
07-04-04, 12:10 PM
I've had my house 3 years and so far I've:
Put in new hardwood floors
Built and hung all new kitchen cabinets
installed a dishwasher
installed a disposal
knocked out 3 walls
built a staircase
rewired 80% of the house
replumbed 50% of the house
and now I am refinishing my basement.

Tone_Depear
07-04-04, 12:15 PM
I rock at building sheds.

sunnydude
07-04-04, 01:05 PM
I am on my second house. First one had new windows, roof, remodeled both bathrooms, landscaping and interior paint. Current house (2x size) has new windows, doors, remodeled kitchen, hardwood flooring and new yard in the coming months. Can never seem to stop working on the house.

Rob Sandey
07-04-04, 02:28 PM
We all are good at saying how good we are at DIY, anyone get any pictures. :cheesy:
Heres our bathroom and kitchen,, the worst two rooms in the house to do IMO. Where our Kitchen is now used to be the downstairs loo, utility room and the coal shed. I knocked them all 3 into one and fitted these units.

sunnydude
07-04-04, 02:32 PM
Would those be Maple cabinets? Our kitchen is the same color, cabinet design with Stainless appliances. Looks nice.

Rob Sandey
07-04-04, 02:35 PM
Thanks, my Mrs is good at colours and things. I wish they were maple, they are MFI sale specials. Billie had to have the bleedin great stainless cooker thing :o There are only the 2 of us. I don't think we have ever used more than 2 of the rings at one time.

sunnydude
07-04-04, 02:42 PM
I will have to dig up the pictures of our kitchen. We have maple cabinets thanks to an uncle who worked for a distributor. :D Wife got stainless if i got big screen tv. Fair trade as i wanted both!

Rob Sandey
07-04-04, 02:58 PM
Found some old photos of the dining room, before and now after

D. Wolfe
07-04-04, 04:36 PM
Very nice jobs, there Rob...I belive you qualify for the distiction of , "Bona Certifed Rock Hard High Scale DIY"!!!

Alanb
07-04-04, 05:29 PM
Rob,

Having done all of the sort of work you have myself (to a much lower standard), I am deeply impressed.

Alanb

bassist5
07-04-04, 05:32 PM
I have no talent whatsoever when it comes to homebuilding.. When it comes to destroying things tho... :roll:

whitesaab
07-04-04, 07:27 PM
I've always done all the jobs around the house myself because I've never found many tradesman who can work as well as they talk :cheesy:. Most of them have overinflated ideas of their own technical abilities & over inflate the prices accordingly.

We had the chance to buy a building plot 3 years ago & decided to give this self build lark a bit of a bash. If you're not frightened of hard work ( or heights) I can recommend it.

I've only used paid labour( mainly paid friends) to help with frame erection, some blockwork & slating the roof
(expensive bit). Everything else, second fix & finishing joinery, plumbing & heating, electrics,joint taping , decorating & even landscaping ,we've done ourselves.

We now live in a house that's worth three times the mortgage but I have the body of a 108 year old man and Alison has the body of a 93 year old woman, which is actually 2 years younger than when she started the build. :cheesy:

There is nothing about DIY that is overly complicated. Yes there are some things that have potential for danger if you don't know what you're doing, but given that the man from the Electricity company that connected my house to the mains managed to reverse the two conductors , giving me live earths :oops: :oops: , having just told me that he'd worked for the company for 20 years, I would reckon that a good amateur is a damn site better than a bad professional.

D. Wolfe
07-04-04, 10:27 PM
Great story Whitesaab...and congrats for having the courage to DIY....your last sentence about bad professionals is classic!!!!

Rob Sandey
07-04-04, 11:41 PM
Thanks Alan and Wolfie :cheesy: Whitesaab makes a good point in the UK there are many many cowboy builders. I worked on the same building sites as many of them in the past. Seems that pride in the job is not that common a thing nowasdays. But a lot of it is institutionalised in the trade, I remember one site agent whos favourite term was "get it up whatever takes". And the price work ethos is the more you do the more you get paid which of course leads to shortcuts. When I was laying blocks you were paid 9.80 for every square meter of blockwork you did, obviously we worked as hard and as fast as we could, with the agent shouting whatever it takes in our ears, so you get the picture. Good money but not work I would be that proud of. :o The last few years I was in the trade I worked for an old school large Cornish firm that built for the local authorites. Schools, police stations, Truros new court house and council houses, the difference in the quality of work was nothing short of amazing. They were jobs to be proud of rather than pound note lash ups. Whoops sorry went on a indulgent trip down memory lane there.
Of course I have been out of the loop for over 10 years and things may well have got better but I doubt it. We are going to have to have a new roof soon, a job that I won't tackle on my own, to high :o and it has asbestos content in the old tiles. Luckily I know a very good local firm but they do cost more than some of the quotes we have had. I would rather pay the extra and have the piece of mind.

Tone_Depear
08-04-04, 12:08 PM
Well Rob - Gauntlet down!

http://www.swissworld.co.uk/house/img/toilet.jpg
Toilet

http://www.swissworld.co.uk/house/img/kitchen03.jpg
Kitchen

You have to bear in mind it's a VERY small house. Still, we're in the middle of exchanging, so 2-3 weeks from now, we'll have a whole new one to ruin!

Rob Sandey
08-04-04, 12:54 PM
Very nice indeed Tone, did you do all that yourself.

Alanb
08-04-04, 02:19 PM
Very coveniently, I can't find any pictures of my handywork :lol:

Alanb

D. Wolfe
08-04-04, 08:58 PM
Tone, I will be happy to send you a brand new Kohler Toilet seat and lid with chrome hinges(or brass) if you never, ever, absolutely not show that Circus Toilet again on this website. I would get dizzy standing in front of it just to take a leak!!!

MonkeyMan
08-04-04, 10:23 PM
NICE toilet seat!! :lol: :lol: :lol: 8)

BEN

TFatC
09-04-04, 03:14 AM
Hope nobody takes offence, but having read this thread through, I wuld live to invite Rob S up for a months holiday! IF he finishes the house before that, he can start polishing the Saabs! :cheesy: :cheesy:

ragtopcav
14-04-04, 05:47 PM
Prior to full bathroom suite 'extraction' it was necessary to change the stopcock, rather than upset the neighbours I got one of those freeze down kits, I froze the pipe, left it a few minutes as told, I checked water flow in the kitchen and behold no water :D , so I unscrewed the stopcock from the housing, just at that moment the ice plug failed :evil: now I'm getting wet trying to force the new stopcock over the mains pressure gushing out all over the subfloor :evil: what can only be described as comedy [now, not then] I'm soaking wet, dash out into the street knock off the water to all the local houses :roll: and fit the stopcock, which now works well, that job went swimmingly :lol:

Rob Sandey
14-04-04, 11:52 PM
Ohh I can feel your panic, I too have had plenty of comady moments with plumbing luckily none of them have been in my house. :o :lol: I've found, in the past, if using the freeze kits it pays to turn down the mains pressure before you start. The neighbours probably wouldn't notice and you give the ice a better chance to work, but I suppose thats really no use to you now :roll:

I remember working in a trench and digging with a bar and pick, as there were to many services running through the area for a JCB, throwing the bar in for the umpteenth time only to see a massive spark and FFFZZZZZT sound as the bar pierced the mains supply for half the site. SCAREY :! Also upset my Dad somewhat as it was a MoD site (quite close to where Jim lives) and he got one hellova an earbashing from the main contractor. I couldn't repeat what was said but the general consensus was that I was a Fwit.
Ohh and there was that time when I covered Mevagissy quay in raw sewage in the middle of summer. I will spare you the details but I am still not keen to go back there even now. :o Plenty more to tell, but you get the idea, excrement happens :roll:

Thanks for the offer TfatC but that doesn't sound like much of a holiday to me. I've building work and car polishing a plenty at home waiting to be done :o :cheesy:

Alanb
15-04-04, 04:19 AM
After reading Raggy's story and after having spent the afternoon plumbing I had a dream last night about the house flooding due to my incompetent work :o

Alanb

heli-saaber
15-04-04, 11:39 AM
I can identify with all of what's been said in previous posts! Nice kitchen Rob - like the SS range cooker. I had a couple of interesting "experiences" in our previous house. Shortly after we moved in I left my PC plugged in one night, wall socket switched "off", but came down in the night and saw the PC's LEDs glowing. Investigation showed that most of the power sockets were wired wrongly - live power on the "N" terminals - the previous owner had owned the electrical contracting company that had rewired the house and given it a safety certificate! That company went bust shortly afterwards.

Having had the complete house (200 year-old stone cottage with a "house" extension built on) re-plumbed by a professional, I decided to install an electric shower in the bathroom (I'd asked the plumber to put in the mains feed but he "forgot"). Thought I'd located all the hot and cold pipes under the floor so got to work with my jigsaw, not realising that the pipework somewhat erratically routed (several feet more than actually needed). Suddenly heard this strange metallic sound and the saw started bouncing up and down - followed by an ominous "hiss". Raced downstairs to turn off the stop-**** - yes, I'd cut a nice neat slot in the mains cold pipe! The only consolation was that it was in exactly the place that I needed to cut the pipe to put in the tee piece.

I still indulge in DIY in this (newer) house but there are some jobs that I don't have time to do (anyone know a good bathroom installer?) or the skills (gas-work). In any case, looking after 4 Saabs takes up most of my spare time - when I'm not doing the garden, walking the dogs, cooking and re-arranging the layout of the garage (aka Saab-shed) - not necessarily in that order. Oh, and I sometimes help to restore old helicopters (for a local museum) in my "spare" time. Never a dull moment ...........

ragtopcav
15-04-04, 03:20 PM
Just a couple of pictures guys, windows going in, new outline in blue bricks, I'll take some of the bathroom with it's delightful dark brown suite prior to extraction tomorrow.

Alanb
15-04-04, 04:40 PM
Finally plumbed in the second toilet I installed and, to celebrate, I found a suitable car magazine, some bog roll and then gave the pan its christening :cheesy:

I now have new windows to fit this weekend. No idea how to do it but I'm sure that lots of trial and error will sort that out :nono; Fancy giving me a hand Raggy? :cheesy:

Alanb

ragtopcav
15-04-04, 04:51 PM
.I now have new windows to fit this weekend. No idea how to do it but I'm sure that lots of trial and error will sort that out :nono; Fancy giving me a hand Raggy? :cheesy:

AlanbI busy fitting a bog :wink: still waiting for the bath to turn up :o

Tone_Depear
15-04-04, 05:36 PM
Very nice indeed Tone, did you do all that yourself.

With a little help from some Swedish flat-pack people!

Rob Sandey
15-04-04, 11:44 PM
Excellent :wink:

alan forsyth
16-04-04, 04:47 AM
i'm a carpenter /joiner / chippie and i can't be arsed doing it when i get in unless severe nagging is involved.i prefer working on my saab :cheesy:

TFatC
16-04-04, 07:09 AM
i'm a carpenter /joiner / chippie and i can't be arsed doing it when i get in unless severe nagging is involved.i prefer working on my saab :cheesy:

The two golden rules of life:

Never buy a joiners house and never buy a mechanics car, precisely for this reason! :cheesy: :cheesy:

Rob Sandey
16-04-04, 08:24 AM
i'm a carpenter /joiner / chippie and i can't be arsed doing it when i get in unless severe nagging is involved.i prefer working on my saab :cheesy:

Couldn't agree more, even though I am out of the trade now it has still taken me 3 1/2 years and lots of nagging to get our house done, and its still not finished :o
Only one room to go :roll:

Matthew
17-04-04, 11:44 AM
During the Easter weekend I helped a friend dig out the trenches for a house extension. We started with an untouched driveway, and finished with three trenches.

To help us, we used several weapons of mass destruction. Namely a jack hammer...
http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/jack_hammer.jpg

...a mini-dump truck...
http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/mini_dump_truck.jpg

...and the star of the show... a mini-digger!
http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/mini_digger.jpg

Apart from the fence and gate we'd already removed, this was the scene before work began:
http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/before_work_began.jpg

Driveway tarmac broken up:
http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/after_tarmac_broken.jpg

Clearing the tarmac with the mini-digger:
http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/clearing_tarmac.jpg

Digging the first trench:
http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/digging_first_trench.jpg

When building a house extension, it's customary to find at least one dead body. Here's where ours was:
http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/dead_body.jpg

Going was very difficult, even with the digger as from a depth of around 9 inches the soil was solid clay with large stones:
http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/clay_toil_trench.jpg

All trenches finished and staked ready for concreting:
http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/trenches_finished.jpg

The edging on opposite the house and next to the paving was set into 18 inches worth of footings-grade concrete. trust me when i say it was a nightmare to remove, even with the jack hammer.

We laboured for four days to do this, and were quite pleased with the result. Never again!

Cuba
18-04-04, 07:17 PM
STOP WORK....TOOLS DOWN!!. I'm sure I can see Roman artifacts in that trench.

SaabScott
18-04-04, 07:33 PM
During the Easter weekend I helped a friend dig out the trenches for a house extension. We started with an untouched driveway, and finished with three trenches.

The edging on opposite the house and next to the paving was set into 18 inches worth of footings-grade concrete. trust me when i say it was a nightmare to remove, even with the jack hammer.

We laboured for four days to do this, and were quite pleased with the result. Never again!


I'm speachless! :o
Canadians would never tackle soemthing like that! :cry:

Matthew
15-05-04, 02:18 PM
Here's a question for you DIY experts out there. (Skip to the end to the question in amongst the ramble.)

I am preparing the garage of my new home to be a mini-workshop (it's not a large garage). The walls are concrete block on one side, and breeze block on two sides. Floor is bare concrete.

I need to seal the walls, motar and floor for a dust and grit-free environment. I intend on applying a PVA mix to the walls, concrete sealant to the floor. I'll then paint the walls with smooth masonry paint, and the floor with tough garage floor paint.

Wall motar is very weak and crumbles easily. The container of PVA says that I can mix it with different quantities of water for either a bonding agent or a surface sealer. I'm wondering if a bonding agent is something added to a fresh motar/concrete/cement mix prior to application :-?

Question: what is the difference between a bonding agent and a surface sealer, and which do I need for this task? TIA :)

Rhino2.3t
15-05-04, 02:44 PM
if you're only sealing just use a mix with water.. use this on the floor as well before the garage paint - it stops the conrcete degrading and making more dust. bonding agent use is when actually using PVA as part of the 'mix'.. as far as i can see youre not mixing cement here - so just seal it 8)
if its really dusting up or ha been laid for a long time i.e. not fresh concrete (and much dryer as a result), mix it up a little stronger - slightly less water and a bit more PVA.
hope this helps!

p.s. check that your garage floor paint isn't water soluble - some floor paints resist oil/petrol but dissolve under frequent water/pressure i.e. parking a car in the same spot with wet tyres...

Matthew
15-05-04, 06:00 PM
Thanks for the help Rhino :) The garage floor paint I have is solvent based, so should be okay.

I received a few update pics on the house extension. Concrete foundations have been poured, with work on the walls progressing well.

http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/walls1.jpg

http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/walls2.jpg

http://www.hexfiles.com/saabcentral/ricks_house_extension/walls3.jpg

Rhino2.3t
15-05-04, 06:20 PM
excellent. that lot's not going to blow away!