Home Improvement, DIY, fixing things.

  • 1AlanZSky

    Posts: 1505

    Jan 21, 2014 10:43 PM GMT
    If something is broken do you fix it yourself? When was the last time you did any plumbing? Electrical work? Wallpapering? I will be honest. I am rubbish at them. I know how to use a screwdriver, use a hammer. Use those electrical drills. I know how to use the majority of those tools, it's just that I don't use them much.






    Do you spend a lot on home improvement?

    http://queercents.com/2009/06/05/why-do-queers-spend-more-on-home-improvements/
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    Jan 21, 2014 10:50 PM GMT
    Painting, wallpapering, things like that I have helped my family with before and can do it.

    Other home improvements and work, my dad usually helps me with. He has a background in construction work and enjoys it. Since my parents are retired, they have the time and enjoy it, and I am usually busy with work.

    So it works out for me because I don't have to pay extra labor costs.

    When my ankle/foot/leg was broken this past summer, my parents stayed with me for two months, so to keep my dad busy, he helped with several little home improvement projects.
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    Jan 21, 2014 11:06 PM GMT
    i don't touch wiring to much. I can change new fixtures etc. I do all the rest myself, plumbing, flooring, painting etc. And no one wants to be in a room I have wallpapered… LOL.
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    Jan 21, 2014 11:24 PM GMT
    The last time? I did a bit of plumbing and wiring when we had the sub-zero spell last month and the pump house froze up. Squirrels chewed a big hole in the insulation. But that was emergency repairs, and I'll have to re-plumb the whole thing in the summer. So far, nothing that I built from scratch (my house, workshop, greenhouse) has needed repair, but there is a lot of legacy crap around the farm. The choice is usually whether to try to "fix" something or just scrap it and start over from scratch.

    During the holidays, I poured footings for a new deck. I don't really desire any more deck, but there's this bit on the windward side of the house that I've never finished - leaves a door hanging in space. I just haven't progressed since then because it's not urgent and the weather has been unpleasant.

    Sunday I started re-wiring the engine on my boat. Certain things that were considered "safe" 40 years ago need updating. And there are a lot more electrical gadgets now, that require heavier main cables. I got all the grounds updated. Will have to send for a few more parts to do the hot side. I already built a new main panel and re-wired or replaced everything attached to it. But that stuff is just recreational for me. Next comes the hard part: I have to sew new curtains and covers for the cushions. icon_confused.gif I hope they don't suck.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jan 21, 2014 11:30 PM GMT
    I've done lots of plumbing and electrical.
    I've installed laminate flooring.
    Power tools !
    LOL.
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    Jan 22, 2014 12:13 AM GMT
    I can do things, but have very little patience for it. Simple things I will do, but it's a lot easier to call in someone who knows what he's doing. Especially when time is limited.
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    Jan 22, 2014 12:25 AM GMT
    Yeah all the time, Im quite the handy man
  • Fishingcamp

    Posts: 9

    Jan 22, 2014 12:55 AM GMT
    Done everything, but wallpapering lately.
  • SHYUTGUY

    Posts: 40

    Jan 22, 2014 12:57 AM GMT
    I'm not much of a handyman but I definitely wouldn't mind renting one if they showed up looking like this!

    OAT3.png
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    Jan 22, 2014 1:04 AM GMT
    That's one thing I don't like about most gay guys I've met...They are incredibly useless! I grew up on a farm. I can fix my own car, weld, do construction, plumbing, electrical, etc.
    The guy I'm currently seeing is 40 and he doesn't know how to change a door bell or a light fixture...It's nice feeling useful...but it's kind of a turn off, like the guy is needy or something...
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    Jan 22, 2014 2:50 AM GMT
    Assembling the right tools and parts, and watching a couple of the many how-to videos on the internet, makes a lot of home repair/improvement jobs do-able.

    The pressure switch on the well water pump (private wells in this area) needed to be replaced.

    41483QZXzWL._SL500_SL160_.jpg

    Friends with plumbing experience and even one company I called, never quite got around to doing the job. I generally don't like plumbing jobs, but I decided it was time to replace the switch myself.

    One stop at a large plumbing supply store and $12.95 got me the switch. The guys behind the counter seemed to like helping DIY guys.

    Next I watched videos on the internet. I watched the best one a couple of times.

    One day I decided that all I would do is assemble the right tools (including two 3/4 inch wrenches, teflon tape, work light) and draw a diagram of the existing wiring.

    I won't say that the job was easy. But I figure I saved about $175 by not having a plumbing company do the job.

    Plus, it's rewarding.

    Last comment: It's great to have had a Dad who knew a lot about plumbing, electrical, and automotive repairs, and shared his knowledge.



  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jan 22, 2014 3:12 AM GMT
    I haven't in recent years but I used to. Owned quite a few shop tools: Chop saw and drill press as well as the more common skill and jig saws; orbital, belt and disk sanders… and a panoply of hand tools, etc.
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    Jan 22, 2014 3:58 AM GMT
    I do most everything myself. Only simple electrical and plumbing, though, like changing out a toilet or installing a chandelier.
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    Jan 22, 2014 5:51 AM GMT
    ShyUtGuy saidI'm not much of a handyman but I definitely wouldn't mind renting one if they showed up looking like this!

    OAT3.png
    I don't think that's how you're supposed to wear a tool belt. I'd be happy to show him how it's done, though.

    I can fix almost anything in a house, but I'm not much good at repairing cars. In my first Jaguar, I used to keep a soldering iron for those times when the solder on the circuit boards cracked. (Oh, the stories I could tell you.) But now I'm afraid I'll yank off the high-pressure hose instead of the low-pressure one.
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    Jan 22, 2014 5:52 AM GMT
    jockfever saidAssembling the right tools and parts, and watching a couple of the many how-to videos on the internet, makes a lot of home repair/improvement jobs do-able.

    The pressure switch on the well water pump (private wells in this area) needed to be replaced.

    41483QZXzWL._SL500_SL160_.jpg

    Friends with plumbing experience and even one company I called, never quite got around to doing the job. I generally don't like plumbing jobs, but I decided it was time to replace the switch myself.

    One stop at a large plumbing supply store and $12.95 got me the switch. The guys behind the counter seemed to like helping DIY guys.

    Next I watched videos on the internet. I watched the best one a couple of times.

    One day I decided that all I would do is assemble the right tools (including two 3/4 inch wrenches, teflon tape, work light) and draw a diagram of the existing wiring.

    I won't say that the job was easy. But I figure I saved about $175 by not having a plumbing company do the job.

    Plus, it's rewarding.

    Last comment: It's great to have had a Dad who knew a lot about plumbing, electrical, and automotive repairs, and shared his knowledge.





    :/ A pressure switch is pretty darned easy. But... FWIW, I had the opposite experience. A Dad who knew absolutely nothing about plumbing, electrical, or automotive matters... but tried, failed, flew into a rage, and started throwing things around. I've been cleaning up his messes since I was ten years old. Had to learn it all empirically and by going to the library and reading up. Even in the 70's, I had to carry water 200 yards to the house in buckets all winter, because he couldn't figure out how to lay pipe so it wouldn't freeze. The first time I came home from college for xmas break, he had all three tractors bogged down in the mud up to the chassis, each hooked up to the next with a chain. Just waiting for me to come home and dig them out. icon_redface.gif He's been gone for nine years now. I figure it will take me another 20 years to finish cleaning up all his messes. The ones I know about so far, anyway.

    BTW: I did have to change out a pressure switch that Dad installed, just last fall. Sort of miraculously, he actually did use a flex conduit for the wires - totally beyond his usual modus. But... he didn't have bulkhead fittings for the conduit, so he just left it hanging loose at either end. A frog got inside the switch through the opening and went all frankenstein across the 240V terminalsicon_rolleyes.gif Started a little fire, melted down the wires. Come to think of it, I'm going to have to tear down that pump house too, and rebuild it from scratch. And everything that it's attached to... I think I'll have another glass of wine and try to forget about it until next year.
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    Jan 22, 2014 6:19 AM GMT
    A lot of stuff is not worth fixing. That is the repair parts cost more than a new one or raw materials to DIY are more expensive than buying the item. Time wise however I can save 2 hours if I replace my front disc brakes myself and performance is better cus I can use superior quality parts. Electrical and plumbing are certainly worth doing yourself .
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    Jan 22, 2014 6:30 AM GMT
    Yeah... after last month's little spin-out on the ice, I could fix my 1990 4-runner again, but for the same money I could probably buy something 10-years newer. For now, I've just got it parked in the back of the garage, with the damaged side turned away... icon_cry.gif
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    Jan 22, 2014 7:49 AM GMT
    I would say minor items I am handy, when I purchased my foreclosure apartment. I did all the painting, repaired some lighting, changing the toilet flappers in my toilets since they were leaking. However, major items I need a contractor to do.
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    Jan 22, 2014 8:00 AM GMT
    I'm totally useless at any of this, which is why I'm very happy renting and leaving any such worries to my landlord.
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    Jan 22, 2014 11:10 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidWith the exception of installing granite countertops and refacing the kitchen cabinets, I did a complete remodeling of a studio apartment I had in Chicago. I installed beautiful vinyl flooring that looked like hardwood floors. I installed it at a 45 degree angle which created a very modern effect and also created the illusion of more space; something that is usually a good idea to do in small spaces like a studio. I also had to drill holes into metal windows to install vertical blinds; not a simple/east task, mind you. I built a shelving and Murphy bed combo in an alcove along an entire wall. This allowed me to create a space-saving effect by hiding the bed when not in use and also allowing large storage space on either side of the bed. The doors that covered the Murphy bed when hidden along with the closet space on either side were bi-folding mirrored doors that went from floor to ceiling which I also installed. It created a very cool effect when the Murphy bed was up and the mirrored doors were closed. It was like having an entire wall with mirrors. In a studio space this gave illusion of doubling the space which made it look more spacious and roomy. The depth of the closet and Murphy bed area from front to back took only about fourteen inches of space.

    I also installed wall shelving (strategically around a 42" LED television monitor which I also installed on a swivel bracket that could be turned horizontally up to 90 degrees in either direction) and cabinetry and shelves that required compression poles from floor to ceiling which kind of gave the effect of a Herman Miller style appearance.

    I bought flush-mount speakers by Kraftwerk and installed them into the drywall and ran wiring behind the baseboards to hide the wires. The type of flush mount speakers I am referring to have a thin metal grill that is paintable which you paint the same color as the wall in order to camouflage their appearance. These are just little tips to not only create functionality but also create the illusion of more space. A bulky speaker takes up space.

    Also, installed a clear glass vessel sink which made the bathroom really pop. I did all the plumbing to make that work as well. In the past I have also sweated copper in order to move water lines.

    For a short time, I also painted professionally so I also painted the pad; the easiest task compared to everything else.

    For a short while, I was an interior design major at a pretty well known school in Chicago. So I like to not only build and create but I also like to design. My approach to design is about form and function with equal emphasis on space-saving beauty and super-efficient functionality.

    Maybe I can find some photos somewhere and try and post them here to show some of my work. Let me get back to you on that.


    Impressive. icon_cool.gif
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    Jan 22, 2014 12:46 PM GMT
    I can do a lot of things, but I leave the hardcore electric to the profs. Problem is finding the time! Faster to call someone in.
  • TDSmoove

    Posts: 131

    Jan 22, 2014 3:50 PM GMT
    My house is 44 years old, very sound but it has it's middle aged personality quirks. The previous owners took care of it, they just never bothered to upgrade anything really. So the first to go were the Harvest Gold kitchen appliances, sink and a cook-top. I swear that shit was older than me. So the part of the article about the new appliances, yeah that's me all day. Installed more insulation in the ceiling as well as blown in the walls. I built a new retaining wall for some of the flower beds, laid down new sod, repaired the masonry in the fireplace, resealing and chalking the doors and windows, currently doing some interior painting which I think this is the first coat of paint in that house since the Nixon administration. Replacing all outlets, fixtures and minor wiring/mounting issues. Sanding and re-staining many of the wood features. Plumbing I don't mess with,although I had a water feature that's built into the house that needed all new LED lighting and a pump replacement so that was interesting.
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    Jan 22, 2014 5:11 PM GMT
    When it comes to home improvement , i fancy professionals .
    But i love to work on everything on wheels .icon_smile.gif
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Jan 22, 2014 5:27 PM GMT
    I can do most of it though I wouldn't try to wire or plumb a whole house- I think those require a professional. But I can do it. When I moved into a high rise condo I gave away most of my tools because I simply don't have the storage space. I'm in the process of repainting the place now. Very slowly. I used to want to learn to lay brick (got that idea from reading about Churchill) but then I moved into a grand house with an enormous brick patio and a supply of bricks behind the garage. I moved the attack of bricks to a better spot but then never touched them again. Some ideas are better left in the mind....
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    Jan 22, 2014 5:31 PM GMT
    When we sold our last house I said no more renovating, fixing old appliances, plumbing wiring etc. So we got a house that we THOUGHT wouldn't require doing stuff.

    WRONG!icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    When I was a kid I highly resented my slavedriver Dad making me do/learn a lot of this stuff. Now I'm grateful. Thanks Dad.