Author Topic: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do  (Read 6611 times)

mies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« on: September 11, 2019, 04:54:21 AM »
I got a chuckle out of this.

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/diy-home-improvement-projects/

Iíve been doing a lot of DIY work on my house this year fixing things I have neglected because I was too cowardly to tackle them myself when I was younger. Another reason I have been DIYing is Iíve been burned by tradesmen that have charged top dollar and done sloppy work. Iíve found that even if I screw up and have to redo a project, I can do it twice and still spend significantly less than what a tradesman would charge me. I also gain valuable knowledge and skills in the process.

The only items on here I agree with are roofing, foundations waterproofing, and maybe custom work. Even that depends on your skill level, comfort, and willingness to redo the project if you fail on your first attempt.

Unless you are all thumbs or donít have the time to research and do a project on your own, I think it is worth trying to repair or improve things yourself first.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 02:54:51 PM by mies »

theSlowTurtle

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 05:22:25 AM »
I got a chuckle out of this. Iíve been doing a lot of DIY work on my house this year fixing things I have neglected over the years because I was too cowardly to tackle them myself when I was younger. Iíve also been burned by tradesmen that have charged top dollar and done sloppy work for me. Iíve found that even if I screw up and have to redo a project, I can do it twice for significantly less than a tradesman would charge me. I also gain valuable knowledge and skills in the process.

The only items on here I agree with are roofing, foundations waterproofing, and maybe custom work. It just depends on your skill level, comfort, and willingness to redo the project if you fail on your first attempt.

Unless you are all thumbs or donít have the time to research and do a project on your own, I think it is worth trying it yourself first. There are exceptions of course.

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/diy-home-improvement-projects/
Link didn't work, or maybe it's beyond a paywall.

Most DIY projects are definitely doable by anyone. I have really come to have somewhat of a distrust to most contractors/ jobs. I wouldn't say roofing is a non diyer job but it does fall into my "too stressful/category." I try to avoid things that if I run into a problem or out of time it can result in more problems, in this case water damage. Also cutting down trees, I have a healthy fear of a chainsaw


mies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 05:33:59 AM »
I got a chuckle out of this. Iíve been doing a lot of DIY work on my house this year fixing things I have neglected over the years because I was too cowardly to tackle them myself when I was younger. Iíve also been burned by tradesmen that have charged top dollar and done sloppy work for me. Iíve found that even if I screw up and have to redo a project, I can do it twice for significantly less than a tradesman would charge me. I also gain valuable knowledge and skills in the process.

The only items on here I agree with are roofing, foundations waterproofing, and maybe custom work. It just depends on your skill level, comfort, and willingness to redo the project if you fail on your first attempt.

Unless you are all thumbs or donít have the time to research and do a project on your own, I think it is worth trying it yourself first. There are exceptions of course.

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/diy-home-improvement-projects/
Link didn't work, or maybe it's beyond a paywall.

Most DIY projects are definitely doable by anyone. I have really come to have somewhat of a distrust to most contractors/ jobs. I wouldn't say roofing is a non diyer job but it does fall into my "too stressful/category." I try to avoid things that if I run into a problem or out of time it can result in more problems, in this case water damage. Also cutting down trees, I have a healthy fear of a chainsaw

Iím not sure why the link doesnít work. It worked on my phone when I checked it and I donít have a subscription.

I agree with you on the roofing. Itís not that hard to nail shingles, but if you are racing weather, itís better to just hire a roofer. They can send an army of guys to remove and replace all your shingles in a day. They also know what details to pay attention to usually. Itís not on the list, but I would never bother with concrete either. My dad did some DIY concrete work when I was a kid by replacing our driveway apron. It looked terrible. It was all wavy and uneven. You need a cement guys with experience doing concrete to get good results.

fattest_foot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 734
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 09:04:46 AM »
Funny, because I've been looking at our post FIRE housing options, and I was considering buying a piece of land and building the entire house myself. The only thing I was considering hiring out was the foundation because it's really just too big a job. Also I'd have to have someone come out and install countertops, but that's mostly because I'm not about to try to cut something like quartz myself (the risk of me screwing it up and cost if I do is just too high).

But everything else seems doable. I've repaired my own roof, run electrical, solved plumbing issues, insulated, and even built cabinets.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7031
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 10:36:19 AM »
Link worked for me, and ah ha ha (my husband has done many of these)
1.  Painting kitchen cabinets.  Done it
2.  DIY custom jobs.  Like forming their own custom shower pan as an example.
3.  Malfunctioning sink pipes, like clogs.  Done it.  This is ridiculous
4.  Installing dishwashers.  Ha, done it twice.
5.  Low water pressure.
6.  Removing walls.  Pu-leeze.  Is it load bearing or not?
7.  Installing new lighting.  Where's the eyeroll icon.
8.  Roof
9.  Waterproofing
10. Installing a GFCI switch. Done it
11. Demolition.  Done it, cuz redid the kitchen.
12. The neighbors (aka, check the property line)

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11250
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 10:55:39 AM »
Hahaha, LMAO. DH and I just finished flipping a house and encountered almost all of these. We didn't have to replace the roof, but we did coat it to eradicate the ugly color. We did use an electrician, because it was faster and easier. DH hired a friend of his who is a journeyman electrician. He and DH replaced all the wiring in the house and moved/upgraded the electrical panel. Switching out a few GFCI outlets would have been a snap.
Oh, and we made money on the house, but then, DH is very experienced in the trades so we weren't paying a lot for outside labor.

As a matter of fact, we did paint all the cabinets, but it's easy to have them turn out like crap if you don't do all the prep and have the right tools. I'll include the listing link just for fun, so you can see how well they turned out, but also note that we sanded and sprayed them three times. It is labor intensive to have them turn out right. Note: these were new, custom cabinets, so we were not going over old paint or stain, which present their own challenges. BTW, if you're thinking about painting your cabinets, The Frugal Girl blog has an excellent tutorial.

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Walnut-Creek/53-Clifton-Ct-94595/home/1554334
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 01:58:12 PM by Dicey »

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3305
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 11:10:50 AM »
Been burned by disinterested trades folks too. There is a reason they are the only people available in a busy market. Tile guy started out great and then by the end he was sloppier than I am. Same for the brick guy.

Next time I choose not to DIY something I'll look for the trades folks via stores that sell the supplies or Nextdoor via people who have used the persons in question.

We had very good luck with hiring a HVAC contractor and roofers. The carpet guys were good. The movers were fine.

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2128
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2019, 12:10:07 PM »
Quote
president of Mr.Rooter Plumbing says unless you are certain you know where the problem is, dismantling pipes can be risky

Does he now? I wonder why the president of a "plumbing and drain cleaning franchise" would say something like that. Seriously though, I thought cleaning out the trap was just part of routine maintenance. If I were making a list of things you should learn to diy, this would probably be near the top of the list.

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2128
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2019, 12:12:39 PM »
Quote
thatís probably a sign this may be a DIY improvement to leave to the pros

Ohhhh, I see... they don't actually know what diy stands for.

mies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2019, 03:25:27 PM »
Quote
president of Mr.Rooter Plumbing says unless you are certain you know where the problem is, dismantling pipes can be risky

Does he now? I wonder why the president of a "plumbing and drain cleaning franchise" would say something like that. Seriously though, I thought cleaning out the trap was just part of routine maintenance. If I were making a list of things you should learn to diy, this would probably be near the top of the list.

That struck me as silly too. I have to disassemble and remove hair and glop from my bathroom sink trap every couple of months. I mean if you tighten it, test it, and tighten again if it is still leaking, you should be fine.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7031
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2019, 03:38:36 PM »
Hahaha, LMAO. DH and I just finished flipping a house and encountered almost all of these. We didn't have to replace the roof, but we did coat it to eradicate the ugly color. We did use an electrician, because it was faster and easier. DH hired a friend of his who is a journeyman electrician. He and DH replaced all the wiring in the house and moved/upgraded the electrical panel. Switching out a few GFCI outlets would have been a snap.
Oh, and we made money on the house, but then, DH is very experienced in the trades so we weren't paying a lot for outside labor.

As a matter of fact, we did paint all the cabinets, but it's easy to have them turn out like crap if you don't do all the prep and have the right tools. I'll include the listing link just for fun, so you can see how well they turned out, but also note that we sanded and sprayed them three times. It is labor intensive to have them turn out right. Note: these were new, custom cabinets, so we were not going over old paint or stain, which present their own challenges. BTW, if you're thinking about painting your cabinets, The Frugal Girl blog has an excellent tutorial.

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Walnut-Creek/53-Clifton-Ct-94595/home/1554334
nice

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2201
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2019, 04:35:18 PM »
Quote
president of Mr.Rooter Plumbing says unless you are certain you know where the problem is, dismantling pipes can be risky

Does he now? I wonder why the president of a "plumbing and drain cleaning franchise" would say something like that. Seriously though, I thought cleaning out the trap was just part of routine maintenance. If I were making a list of things you should learn to diy, this would probably be near the top of the list.

That struck me as silly too. I have to disassemble and remove hair and glop from my bathroom sink trap every couple of months. I mean if you tighten it, test it, and tighten again if it is still leaking, you should be fine.

To avoid having to actually disassemble, I use a plastic tool that looks like a fish backbone. I think it's called the Zip-It. I wish I owned the patent on the damn thing because it can even clean out clogs from a bathtub drain. Mine cost me less than $5 and turns what would otherwise be a messy and lengthy chore into something that takes me less than a minute per drain. No tightening, no risk of accidentally creating a leak. I weep at the beauty and efficiency.

alienbogey

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2019, 10:07:59 PM »
Done 11/12 on the list.

Paint kitchen cabinets?  LOL.  Completely remodeled the entire kitchen including homebuilt cherry/spalted maple cabinets.

mies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2019, 05:18:08 AM »
Been burned by disinterested trades folks too. There is a reason they are the only people available in a busy market. Tile guy started out great and then by the end he was sloppier than I am. Same for the brick guy.

Next time I choose not to DIY something I'll look for the trades folks via stores that sell the supplies or Nextdoor via people who have used the persons in question.

We had very good luck with hiring a HVAC contractor and roofers. The carpet guys were good. The movers were fine.

Tradesmen that donít take pride in their work is the main reason I try to DIY as much as possible.

I had a chimney sweep ďrepairĒ some mortar that had popped out of from between my chimneyís bricks a few years ago. He did a really lousy job. I think he just used some Quikrete mortar repair. It looks like a tube of caulk and you just squirt it in where the mortar popped out. He got it all over the face of the bricks and it looks like he never tooled it properly either. It looked like he just ran a finger over it.  I paid over $300 for that.

This year, I noticed more mortar had come loose. I went up to to inspect the chimney and saw a bunch of other mortar that was cracking and could be picked out with your fingers. I figured instead of burning more money on sloppy workmanship, I would give repointing my chimney a try. For around $200 in tools and materials, I was able to completely repoint the chimney. The only reason it cost that much was I needed to buy an angle grinder and tuck pointing wheel to rake out the old mortar joints. That was $130 right there.

If I ever need to do it again the future it will only cost me about $6 for another bag of mortar and a couple of days worth of work. One day to clean out the joints and another to reapply the mortar. My first try at repointing looks better than that supposed professionals work. Iím actually kind of annoyed. My repointing work still looks sloppy because of the mortar the last guy got all over the place. It did feel good grinding out his shitty mortar repairs :D
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 05:22:26 AM by mies »

SheWhoWalksAtLunch

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
  • Location: Western NC
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2019, 10:20:51 AM »
Last night I told the DH about this article.  We had a good laugh.  Between the two of us we've DIY'd everything on the list, most of it together.

Oh, how I love that man.

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1832
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2019, 11:44:52 AM »
We pay professionals to do major work to city code: roof replacement, gas line plumbing, bathroom gutting and rebuild, major HVAC work (e.g., new furnace installation). Weíll probably hire an electrician to replace the old, confusing circuits. We might have attempted at least some of the bathroom ourselves if it werenít the only one in the house. We didnít want to be without a functioning bath/shower for more than a week. Fortunately, these big projects have been few and usually far between.

Otherwise...donít paint kitchen cabinets? Yeah, right. Husband and I painted our cabinets before he and a buddy installed them, after theyíd gutted the old, crumbling, mismatched cabinets and counters. They rebuilt the entire kitchen, including plumbing, and replaced all the floors in the house, too. Husband and another friend installed siding on the house. Weíve painted all our own walls, and husband does all basic plumbing/electrical/HVAC maintenance.

(Iím not lazy, just not particularly handy. I handle the finances and budget for these projects.)

CCCA

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 569
  • Location: Bay Area, California
  • born before the 80's
    • FI programming
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2019, 11:49:31 AM »
the list and some of the justifications are a bit crazy.  I've done 7/12 on the list and would do more if the opportunity presents itself. 




Slow2FIRE

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2019, 05:21:56 PM »
I got a chuckle out of this. Iíve been doing a lot of DIY work on my house this year fixing things I have neglected over the years because I was too cowardly to tackle them myself when I was younger. Iíve also been burned by tradesmen that have charged top dollar and done sloppy work for me. Iíve found that even if I screw up and have to redo a project, I can do it twice for significantly less than a tradesman would charge me. I also gain valuable knowledge and skills in the process.

The only items on here I agree with are roofing, foundations waterproofing, and maybe custom work. It just depends on your skill level, comfort, and willingness to redo the project if you fail on your first attempt.

Unless you are all thumbs or donít have the time to research and do a project on your own, I think it is worth trying it yourself first. There are exceptions of course.

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/diy-home-improvement-projects/
Link didn't work, or maybe it's beyond a paywall.

Most DIY projects are definitely doable by anyone. I have really come to have somewhat of a distrust to most contractors/ jobs. I wouldn't say roofing is a non diyer job but it does fall into my "too stressful/category." I try to avoid things that if I run into a problem or out of time it can result in more problems, in this case water damage. Also cutting down trees, I have a healthy fear of a chainsaw

We have a two story house on a hill with a steeply angled roof, no way in hell is it worth it to me to save a few bucks to risk injury.  Much rather let someone who does that job all the time handle it.  The task may be simple, but it sure isn't easy (for our house).

calimom

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1012
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2019, 08:07:09 PM »
I would surmise that the general subscriber to that weighty tome has that in one hand and in the other the TV remote while trying to find The Price is Right

Do we even WANT them up on ladders or operating Skil Saws?

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3305
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2019, 10:52:15 AM »
Been burned by disinterested trades folks too. There is a reason they are the only people available in a busy market. Tile guy started out great and then by the end he was sloppier than I am. Same for the brick guy.

Next time I choose not to DIY something I'll look for the trades folks via stores that sell the supplies or Nextdoor via people who have used the persons in question.

We had very good luck with hiring a HVAC contractor and roofers. The carpet guys were good. The movers were fine.

Tradesmen that donít take pride in their work is the main reason I try to DIY as much as possible.

I had a chimney sweep ďrepairĒ some mortar that had popped out of from between my chimneyís bricks a few years ago. He did a really lousy job. I think he just used some Quikrete mortar repair. It looks like a tube of caulk and you just squirt it in where the mortar popped out. He got it all over the face of the bricks and it looks like he never tooled it properly either. It looked like he just ran a finger over it.  I paid over $300 for that.

This year, I noticed more mortar had come loose. I went up to to inspect the chimney and saw a bunch of other mortar that was cracking and could be picked out with your fingers. I figured instead of burning more money on sloppy workmanship, I would give repointing my chimney a try. For around $200 in tools and materials, I was able to completely repoint the chimney. The only reason it cost that much was I needed to buy an angle grinder and tuck pointing wheel to rake out the old mortar joints. That was $130 right there.

If I ever need to do it again the future it will only cost me about $6 for another bag of mortar and a couple of days worth of work. One day to clean out the joints and another to reapply the mortar. My first try at repointing looks better than that supposed professionals work. Iím actually kind of annoyed. My repointing work still looks sloppy because of the mortar the last guy got all over the place. It did feel good grinding out his shitty mortar repairs :D

FWIW if you aren't frequent DIY kind of person and need an angle grinder for one or two projects - go to Harbor Freight. They have a grinder for $10-$15.

I have several. They CAN be kind of wimpy but as long as you don't let them get hot they soldier on. I have one good DeWalt grinder for grinding, The HF grinders have knotted wire wheels, sandpaper discs, cutting discs, etc. Allows me to switch abrasives by switching power tools. They are assigned low friction tasks.

mies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2019, 03:16:26 AM »
Been burned by disinterested trades folks too. There is a reason they are the only people available in a busy market. Tile guy started out great and then by the end he was sloppier than I am. Same for the brick guy.

Next time I choose not to DIY something I'll look for the trades folks via stores that sell the supplies or Nextdoor via people who have used the persons in question.

We had very good luck with hiring a HVAC contractor and roofers. The carpet guys were good. The movers were fine.


Tradesmen that donít take pride in their work is the main reason I try to DIY as much as possible.

I had a chimney sweep ďrepairĒ some mortar that had popped out of from between my chimneyís bricks a few years ago. He did a really lousy job. I think he just used some Quikrete mortar repair. It looks like a tube of caulk and you just squirt it in where the mortar popped out. He got it all over the face of the bricks and it looks like he never tooled it properly either. It looked like he just ran a finger over it.  I paid over $300 for that.

This year, I noticed more mortar had come loose. I went up to to inspect the chimney and saw a bunch of other mortar that was cracking and could be picked out with your fingers. I figured instead of burning more money on sloppy workmanship, I would give repointing my chimney a try. For around $200 in tools and materials, I was able to completely repoint the chimney. The only reason it cost that much was I needed to buy an angle grinder and tuck pointing wheel to rake out the old mortar joints. That was $130 right there.

If I ever need to do it again the future it will only cost me about $6 for another bag of mortar and a couple of days worth of work. One day to clean out the joints and another to reapply the mortar. My first try at repointing looks better than that supposed professionals work. Iím actually kind of annoyed. My repointing work still looks sloppy because of the mortar the last guy got all over the place. It did feel good grinding out his shitty mortar repairs :D

FWIW if you aren't frequent DIY kind of person and need an angle grinder for one or two projects - go to Harbor Freight. They have a grinder for $10-$15.

I have several. They CAN be kind of wimpy but as long as you don't let them get hot they soldier on. I have one good DeWalt grinder for grinding, The HF grinders have knotted wire wheels, sandpaper discs, cutting discs, etc. Allows me to switch abrasives by switching power tools. They are assigned low friction tasks.

It's probably a good idea that you don't stress the Harbor Freight ones. My wife worked at a job site where they bought Harbor Freight angle grinders for their guys to use. They burned them out daily. They weren't up to the task. I've been burned by cheap Harbor Freight tools too, so I try to steer clear of them for most items. Buy it nice, or buy it twice isn't true for a lot of items, but it does seem to be true for most tools.

I got an 11 amp 4.5" DeWalt angle grinder that was around $90 at Home Depot. It worked like a champ. It's not something I will use very often, but I'm happy to know I will have a decent tool that works when I need it the next time. Hopefully my chimney repointing holds for several years before I need to go at it again.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2201
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2019, 09:15:36 AM »
Been burned by disinterested trades folks too. There is a reason they are the only people available in a busy market. Tile guy started out great and then by the end he was sloppier than I am. Same for the brick guy.

Next time I choose not to DIY something I'll look for the trades folks via stores that sell the supplies or Nextdoor via people who have used the persons in question.

We had very good luck with hiring a HVAC contractor and roofers. The carpet guys were good. The movers were fine.


Tradesmen that donít take pride in their work is the main reason I try to DIY as much as possible.

I had a chimney sweep ďrepairĒ some mortar that had popped out of from between my chimneyís bricks a few years ago. He did a really lousy job. I think he just used some Quikrete mortar repair. It looks like a tube of caulk and you just squirt it in where the mortar popped out. He got it all over the face of the bricks and it looks like he never tooled it properly either. It looked like he just ran a finger over it.  I paid over $300 for that.

This year, I noticed more mortar had come loose. I went up to to inspect the chimney and saw a bunch of other mortar that was cracking and could be picked out with your fingers. I figured instead of burning more money on sloppy workmanship, I would give repointing my chimney a try. For around $200 in tools and materials, I was able to completely repoint the chimney. The only reason it cost that much was I needed to buy an angle grinder and tuck pointing wheel to rake out the old mortar joints. That was $130 right there.

If I ever need to do it again the future it will only cost me about $6 for another bag of mortar and a couple of days worth of work. One day to clean out the joints and another to reapply the mortar. My first try at repointing looks better than that supposed professionals work. Iím actually kind of annoyed. My repointing work still looks sloppy because of the mortar the last guy got all over the place. It did feel good grinding out his shitty mortar repairs :D

FWIW if you aren't frequent DIY kind of person and need an angle grinder for one or two projects - go to Harbor Freight. They have a grinder for $10-$15.

I have several. They CAN be kind of wimpy but as long as you don't let them get hot they soldier on. I have one good DeWalt grinder for grinding, The HF grinders have knotted wire wheels, sandpaper discs, cutting discs, etc. Allows me to switch abrasives by switching power tools. They are assigned low friction tasks.

It's probably a good idea that you don't stress the Harbor Freight ones. My wife worked at a job site where they bought Harbor Freight angle grinders for their guys to use. They burned them out daily. They weren't up to the task. I've been burned by cheap Harbor Freight tools too, so I try to steer clear of them for most items. Buy it nice, or buy it twice isn't true for a lot of items, but it does seem to be true for most tools.

I got an 11 amp 4.5" DeWalt angle grinder that was around $90 at Home Depot. It worked like a champ. It's not something I will use very often, but I'm happy to know I will have a decent tool that works when I need it the next time. Hopefully my chimney repointing holds for several years before I need to go at it again.

Harbor Freight tools have been banned at my workplace due to safety concerns.

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3305
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2019, 12:18:52 PM »
Been burned by disinterested trades folks too. There is a reason they are the only people available in a busy market. Tile guy started out great and then by the end he was sloppier than I am. Same for the brick guy.

Next time I choose not to DIY something I'll look for the trades folks via stores that sell the supplies or Nextdoor via people who have used the persons in question.

We had very good luck with hiring a HVAC contractor and roofers. The carpet guys were good. The movers were fine.


Tradesmen that donít take pride in their work is the main reason I try to DIY as much as possible.

I had a chimney sweep ďrepairĒ some mortar that had popped out of from between my chimneyís bricks a few years ago. He did a really lousy job. I think he just used some Quikrete mortar repair. It looks like a tube of caulk and you just squirt it in where the mortar popped out. He got it all over the face of the bricks and it looks like he never tooled it properly either. It looked like he just ran a finger over it.  I paid over $300 for that.

This year, I noticed more mortar had come loose. I went up to to inspect the chimney and saw a bunch of other mortar that was cracking and could be picked out with your fingers. I figured instead of burning more money on sloppy workmanship, I would give repointing my chimney a try. For around $200 in tools and materials, I was able to completely repoint the chimney. The only reason it cost that much was I needed to buy an angle grinder and tuck pointing wheel to rake out the old mortar joints. That was $130 right there.

If I ever need to do it again the future it will only cost me about $6 for another bag of mortar and a couple of days worth of work. One day to clean out the joints and another to reapply the mortar. My first try at repointing looks better than that supposed professionals work. Iím actually kind of annoyed. My repointing work still looks sloppy because of the mortar the last guy got all over the place. It did feel good grinding out his shitty mortar repairs :D

FWIW if you aren't frequent DIY kind of person and need an angle grinder for one or two projects - go to Harbor Freight. They have a grinder for $10-$15.

I have several. They CAN be kind of wimpy but as long as you don't let them get hot they soldier on. I have one good DeWalt grinder for grinding, The HF grinders have knotted wire wheels, sandpaper discs, cutting discs, etc. Allows me to switch abrasives by switching power tools. They are assigned low friction tasks.

It's probably a good idea that you don't stress the Harbor Freight ones. My wife worked at a job site where they bought Harbor Freight angle grinders for their guys to use. They burned them out daily. They weren't up to the task. I've been burned by cheap Harbor Freight tools too, so I try to steer clear of them for most items. Buy it nice, or buy it twice isn't true for a lot of items, but it does seem to be true for most tools.

I got an 11 amp 4.5" DeWalt angle grinder that was around $90 at Home Depot. It worked like a champ. It's not something I will use very often, but I'm happy to know I will have a decent tool that works when I need it the next time. Hopefully my chimney repointing holds for several years before I need to go at it again.

Yeah I tried cheap tools at work and the guys would kill them in short order. Basically they would run them close to the stall speed and they would get really hot, and die. They were even doing that to good grinders too.

Finally I had to teach several how to make power tools last. And air tools must be regularly oiled. Nobody wanted to do that either. Naturally those died within a month or so each. Good grief. Once I figured out who the worst offenders were I would hand them the heaviest and biggest grinder we have. Of course they complained. Well, if a person can't be easier on the light duty tools they can't use the light duty tools.

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3305
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2019, 12:20:23 PM »
Harbor Freight tools have been banned at my workplace due to safety concerns.

I'm genuinely curious - like what? Want to avoid whatever you and your's have learned.

FireHiker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1140
  • Location: So Cal
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2019, 05:43:22 PM »
I would surmise that the general subscriber to that weighty tome has that in one hand and in the other the TV remote while trying to find The Price is Right

Do we even WANT them up on ladders or operating Skil Saws?

Ha ha ha, that is a GOOD point!

We have done several items on the list. My husband's father (and uncle, and brother in law, and etc) was a general contractor, now retired. My husband can do most house-related things. Soldering pipe in the attic? Moving plumbing? Installing anything electrical? And all to code. I think we've established that we, the participants here at MMM, are not your average Readers Digest subscriber as Calimom points out. :)

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2201
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
  • www.theliveinlandlord.com
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2019, 06:57:44 PM »
Harbor Freight tools have been banned at my workplace due to safety concerns.

I'm genuinely curious - like what? Want to avoid whatever you and your's have learned.

An ammeter that literally melted in someone's hand, pliers that sheared off, a pair of diagonal cutters when the diagonal part went flying when someone was cutting a stubborn wire, files that snapped, and screwdrivers where the handles split. Probably the melting ammeter was the worst. Some non-NRTL electronics here and there that have CE endorsement but not UL safety certification (which isn't to say they aren't perfectly safe, not everyone wants to go to the expense). There have also been cuts on cheap toolboxes that had jagged edges on the inside.

I don't know if anything has changed since then. Haven't checked. Also, the list may not be complete, it's just what I remember from gossipping with the Industrial Hygiene guys.

aasdfadsf

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 113
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2019, 12:50:36 PM »
Most of this list is just plain ridiculous. This however might be my fave:

Quote
ďAside from the risk of forgetting, or not knowing how to turn off the live power to whatever is being worked on, thereís the possibility of getting shocked,Ē says Fowler.

If only there were things called "circuit breakers".

WhiteTrashCash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2019, 06:06:48 PM »
Well, for what it's worth, the previous owners of our house thought they could DIY pretty much everything in the house and now we've had to spend a lot of money to redo everything. DIY only makes sense if you are smart, competent people instead of people with turnips for brains like the folks we bought our house from.

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2019, 06:43:54 PM »
I've done all of the projects on their list, but I haven't done my neighbors.  None of them are super attractive, to be honest..   


 


driftwood

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 346
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2019, 01:31:06 AM »
Fear mongering is a normal tactic for click-bait. You can see the same tactic everywhere you turn, especially if the way to be 'safe' is to pay more money to an established industry.

I wouldn't make a hard list of things a DIYer shouldn't ever do. Instead I say do your research when evaluating if you want to DIY a project. YouTube and other resources are pretty awesome at showing you how to do something and what to expect.

Some people have "DIYed" entire houses and done a fine job. Some have tried to plunge a toilet and have failed miserably. It depends on the person, their attention to detail, and willingness to plan and learn a new task.

mies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2019, 04:01:57 AM »
Well, for what it's worth, the previous owners of our house thought they could DIY pretty much everything in the house and now we've had to spend a lot of money to redo everything. DIY only makes sense if you are smart, competent people instead of people with turnips for brains like the folks we bought our house from.

I know that feel. My house is full of handy man hack jobs. Most of my projects this year have been about un-fucking poorly done DIY jobs from previous owners of my house. I still have a long way to go, but the plumbing and electrical that is exposed in my basement looks much better now.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11250
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2019, 05:32:26 AM »
Well, for what it's worth, the previous owners of our house thought they could DIY pretty much everything in the house and now we've had to spend a lot of money to redo everything. DIY only makes sense if you are smart, competent people instead of people with turnips for brains like the folks we bought our house from.

I know that feel. My house is full of handy man hack jobs. Most of my projects this year have been about un-fucking poorly done DIY jobs from previous owners of my house. I still have a long way to go, but the plumbing and electrical that is exposed in my basement looks much better now.
Hopefully you knew this when you bought the house.

mies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2019, 06:40:45 AM »
Well, for what it's worth, the previous owners of our house thought they could DIY pretty much everything in the house and now we've had to spend a lot of money to redo everything. DIY only makes sense if you are smart, competent people instead of people with turnips for brains like the folks we bought our house from.

I know that feel. My house is full of handy man hack jobs. Most of my projects this year have been about un-fucking poorly done DIY jobs from previous owners of my house. I still have a long way to go, but the plumbing and electrical that is exposed in my basement looks much better now.
Hopefully you knew this when you bought the house.

A few I did. Some were surprises we found after taking down wood paneling or looking under ceiling tiles. Some of it I wasnít aware was done poorly because I didnít have enough exposure to stuff that was done well to know that I had bought a house with crappy DIY work. Live and learn.

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3305
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2019, 08:51:46 AM »
Most of this list is just plain ridiculous. This however might be my fave:

Quote
ďAside from the risk of forgetting, or not knowing how to turn off the live power to whatever is being worked on, thereís the possibility of getting shocked,Ē says Fowler.

If only there were things called "circuit breakers".

Man, every homeowner ought to know how to turn off the gas meter, the water meter and the main breaker of a house. That goes along with knowing how to check the fluids in one's own car. And the tire pressure.

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3305
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2019, 08:56:31 AM »
Harbor Freight tools have been banned at my workplace due to safety concerns.

I'm genuinely curious - like what? Want to avoid whatever you and your's have learned.

An ammeter that literally melted in someone's hand, pliers that sheared off, a pair of diagonal cutters when the diagonal part went flying when someone was cutting a stubborn wire, files that snapped, and screwdrivers where the handles split. Probably the melting ammeter was the worst. Some non-NRTL electronics here and there that have CE endorsement but not UL safety certification (which isn't to say they aren't perfectly safe, not everyone wants to go to the expense). There have also been cuts on cheap toolboxes that had jagged edges on the inside.

I don't know if anything has changed since then. Haven't checked. Also, the list may not be complete, it's just what I remember from gossipping with the Industrial Hygiene guys.

Yeah, that would scare me off too. I don't know if they are better than they were but I've had pretty good luck with their stuff. I don't ask much of it either. Their recent run of big fancy toolboxes are nice. I have a couple at work. I tend to choose Fluke meters although I have a couple of clamp meters of unknown origin. One is Craftsman but makes Craftsman meters? The other is a Chinese brand but so far, so good. I'm not measuring circuits on a rocket, just basic checks +/- a volt or amp. I like the little Chinese clamp meter b/c it inductively reads DC current. I have a mix of good brand name tools and a few HF specials. When the budget allows I buy quality brand stuff.

Kaydedid

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 218
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2019, 06:57:04 PM »
To be fair, my husband is a plumber and HVAC guy and sees really shoddy work a LOT.  The sad part is about half of it was done by other tradespeople!  Good tradespeople really are worth their weight in gold.  Fun fact: in the great state of Wisconsin, you need a license to swap out a kitchen sink (for pay, not DIY), but absolutely no training to redo natural gas piping or work on furnaces, both of which can kill people if done wrong.  Absolutely no idea why more houses haven't blown up.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3768
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2019, 08:10:23 PM »
To be fair, my husband is a plumber and HVAC guy and sees really shoddy work a LOT.  The sad part is about half of it was done by other tradespeople!  Good tradespeople really are worth their weight in gold.  Fun fact: in the great state of Wisconsin, you need a license to swap out a kitchen sink (for pay, not DIY), but absolutely no training to redo natural gas piping or work on furnaces, both of which can kill people if done wrong.  Absolutely no idea why more houses haven't blown up.

I had a new water heater and expansion tank installed in 2017 by a licensed plumber. I recently discovered galvanic corrosion on the pipe connected to the expansion tank. Luckily (or not), I used one of the bit companies, so they have fancy language guaranteeing the work. We'll find out if it'll apply now. And this time, I know a lot more about plumbing.

Fomerly known as something

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 806
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2019, 08:16:27 PM »
I just replaced all the lights in my house myself.  Now If I were moving lights it'd be one thing but swapping fixtures umm, easy DIY.

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3305
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #38 on: November 22, 2019, 09:52:31 AM »
Answers to my own question about who makes Craftsman multimeters: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/craftsman-multimeters/

scottish

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1469
  • Location: Ottawa
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2019, 06:10:47 PM »
To be fair, my husband is a plumber and HVAC guy and sees really shoddy work a LOT.  The sad part is about half of it was done by other tradespeople!  Good tradespeople really are worth their weight in gold.  Fun fact: in the great state of Wisconsin, you need a license to swap out a kitchen sink (for pay, not DIY), but absolutely no training to redo natural gas piping or work on furnaces, both of which can kill people if done wrong.  Absolutely no idea why more houses haven't blown up.

Natural gas has really really smelly additives, so you can detect it at small concentrations and take actions like shutting off the gas. 

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3305
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2019, 07:54:42 AM »
What's the deal with smelling nat gas sometimes when driving past a nat gas valve/pressure regulator/??? on the side of the road?

There is one locally that sometimes smells when we pass it.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5903
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #41 on: November 28, 2019, 09:27:56 AM »
My husband has done everything on the list. The only thing we donít do is installing and cutting granite countertops.

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6033
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2019, 10:39:01 AM »
What's the deal with smelling nat gas sometimes when driving past a nat gas valve/pressure regulator/??? on the side of the road?

There is one locally that sometimes smells when we pass it.

Report it to the gas company pronto.   People could die.   Multiple houses could get blown to smithereens.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11250
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Readers Digest list of DIY projects you should never do
« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2019, 10:44:27 AM »
My husband has done everything on the list. The only thing we donít do is installing and cutting granite countertops.
I loves me a man who knows his way around a DIY project!