Author Topic: DIY Fatigue -- I need encouragement!  (Read 3414 times)

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1068
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
DIY Fatigue -- I need encouragement!
« on: February 02, 2015, 06:22:11 PM »
It's been one of those days.  For several months, I have been working on my old house, renovating and fixing things as I try to get it ready for sale.  This is basically my last financial boat anchor from my less fiscally savvy days; I owe enough on the mortgage that it needs to be in top condition for us to at least break even on the sale.  I'm cash flowing the renovation work and paying $1k/mo PITI on the vacant house.

I've done a bunch of neat work on it, ranging from a great looking bathroom remodel (shower done from scratch, extensive tile work, etc.) to a kitchen that is coming together with custom cabinets that I reworked and built from scratch, granite countertops, more tile.  It's all been fairly cheap from a materials standpoint, just lots of slow labor as I learn to do things I haven't done before.

I finished grouting some backsplash tile tonight and started tallying up all of the work that remains to be done.  It feels overwhelming, and I'm bleeding cash every month it's not done.  I am about to start stripping the roof for a new metal roof, I have to replace 4 windows in the front of the house, 2 doors, hang drywall on the garage ceiling, strip popcorn ceilings in the rest of the house and texture, paint everywhere, new carpet in 3 bedrooms, laminate in the dining room..

Did I mention I have a full time job, I'll be overseas half of March, and my homeowner's insurance is going to drop me in April if I don't get the roof replaced?   

Somebody tell me it will end, and it will be worth it when it's done..   :-)

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
Re: DIY Fatigue -- I need encouragement!
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 06:36:50 PM »

Rezdent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 813
  • Location: Central Texas
Re: DIY Fatigue -- I need encouragement!
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 06:39:02 PM »
Hi kendallf!
Don't stare to hard at what's coming, but do look back at what's done.
You've done a huge amount so far!

Sounds like the roof is next.  Any chance of roping in a helper?  My BIL used to be awesome to grab but sadly he passed away.   We've since hired from those "work for a day" places for some stuff or used teenage neighbors.  Both of these are a bit iffy but you sound like you could use the help.  Don't mention that you'll be out of town though - better safe than sorry.
Want to mention again how much you've already done - amazing.  I've done rehabbing while living in a place and gosh it gets depressing if you just stare at the mountains ahead of you instead of seeing the miles behind you.  Hang in there and keep us posted.

MsPeacock

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1554
  • Location: High COL
Re: DIY Fatigue -- I need encouragement!
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2015, 07:04:01 PM »
Are the carrying costs lower than bringing in someone to finish the work faster? Some jobs are relatively unskilled (popcorn ceiling, painting...). Lots of projects - if it takes you months to finish vs. getting on the market (and hopefully sold) that much quicker, would you come out ahead?

TheMoneyBadger

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 36
  • Location: Midwest, USA
    • The Money Badgers - Fearless Pursuit of Financial Independence
Re: DIY Fatigue -- I need encouragement!
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2015, 07:07:35 PM »
It will end and it'll be worth it.  Not only will the value be higher, you'll walk away with all sorts of new skills!  Congratulations on the work done so far and good luck with everything ahead.  This too shall pass...

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1068
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: DIY Fatigue -- I need encouragement!
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2015, 07:26:37 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement, people!  I have been working on houses continuously since early 2013 and probably just need a break.  :-)

Hi kendallf!
Don't stare to hard at what's coming, but do look back at what's done.
You've done a huge amount so far!

Sounds like the roof is next.  Any chance of roping in a helper?  My BIL used to be awesome to grab but sadly he passed away.   We've since hired from those "work for a day" places for some stuff or used teenage neighbors.  Both of these are a bit iffy but you sound like you could use the help.  Don't mention that you'll be out of town though - better safe than sorry.
Want to mention again how much you've already done - amazing.  I've done rehabbing while living in a place and gosh it gets depressing if you just stare at the mountains ahead of you instead of seeing the miles behind you.  Hang in there and keep us posted.

I will have some help on the roof.  I used to be a roofer, and my brother's a roofing contractor and we did my current house's roof last year.  Other than some fascia repair, it's a pretty straight forward job.  Luckily, I'm not living in the house, but I am driving a big triangle from our new place, to work, then down to the old house.. about 20 miles each way.

Are the carrying costs lower than bringing in someone to finish the work faster? Some jobs are relatively unskilled (popcorn ceiling, painting...). Lots of projects - if it takes you months to finish vs. getting on the market (and hopefully sold) that much quicker, would you come out ahead?

I struggle with this, and I intend to sub out the drywall work, for example.  I don't have a lot of cash reserve and I'm saving in tax advantaged accounts, so that limits my ability to pay others, which is probably a good thing.  I have several friends who started to let a contractor do "just this one thing..." and watched 30-40k flow away when the "one thing" became the "next thing".  :-)

I can carry the expenses but it would feel better if it were my next restoration project that was going to have a huge profit potential, or at least be a cool historic house that we want to live in.  I took cash out of this house in 2006 to buy ten acres of rural land, you know, because "they aren't making any more land!  How can you lose?" 

Yeah, that land's worth some tiny fraction of what I paid currently, but I will hang on to it as long as this house goes away.  :-)

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 761
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: DIY Fatigue -- I need encouragement!
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2015, 11:19:15 AM »
Sounds beautiful!

Maybe too beautiful?  If you are planning on selling anyway are there any of the projects you have planned that you can step down a notch or two? Just a regular roof instead of a metal roof for example?  Though the roof might be a bad example as presumably a buyer is willing to pay more for a brand new metal roof than a brand new standard roof.   

My parents sold their long-time house 2 years ago.  They are perfectionist DIYers who do great work.  They spent far too long getting everything perfect and finishing up all their projects to the level of detail that they would want to live with.  They could have put the house on the market months earlier if they had lowered their standards slightly.  (Their lower standards would still be higher than typical construction quality).

The perfect is the enemy of the good.  Especially when you won't get any benefit from living amongst your work.

thurston howell iv

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: DIY Fatigue -- I need encouragement!
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2015, 01:03:20 PM »
kendallf: I'm in a sort of similar situation. Purchased a home in November- turned out to be more of a money pit (needed lots of work). Figured I could DIY most everything since I know how to do most of the work myself. Forgot it's been 12 years since I tackled a full renovation.  Started asking around and found a guy who worked for $15 an hour. Then, he brought his family (all hourly- he was the foreman).  He even stated that it was not my inability to do the work but that sheer manpower was simply a way to take huge chunks out of the project.   I have a full time job as well so it's been only weekends for us. (still not done- but much closer!)

Yes, we've paid them a few grand but, I'm that much closer to being finished AND I even learned a few new tricks along the way!

Try and hunt down some reliable workers that actually know what they're doing and will do solid work and you can be done in no time!

Keep on truckin' brother, you're almost there!!!!!

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1068
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: DIY Fatigue -- I need encouragement!
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2015, 03:06:15 PM »
Sounds beautiful!

Maybe too beautiful? 
..
The perfect is the enemy of the good.  Especially when you won't get any benefit from living amongst your work.

Well, I'm not a perfectionist, so I have that going for me!  Seriously, I am trying to be mindful of this.  The metal roof is actually about even on material costs and easier for me to to install. 

kendallf: I'm in a sort of similar situation. Purchased a home in November- turned out to be more of a money pit (needed lots of work). Figured I could DIY most everything since I know how to do most of the work myself. Forgot it's been 12 years since I tackled a full renovation.  Started asking around and found a guy who worked for $15 an hour. Then, he brought his family (all hourly- he was the foreman).  He even stated that it was not my inability to do the work but that sheer manpower was simply a way to take huge chunks out of the project.   I have a full time job as well so it's been only weekends for us. (still not done- but much closer!)

Yes, we've paid them a few grand but, I'm that much closer to being finished AND I even learned a few new tricks along the way!

Try and hunt down some reliable workers that actually know what they're doing and will do solid work and you can be done in no time!

Keep on truckin' brother, you're almost there!!!!!

Good to hear you're making progress!  I have a line on a local guy who has done some work on my friend's house; I hope to use his guys for drywall and interior paint, at least. 

I called about the roof permit and I hope to get all of the measurements done and the materials list worked up tomorrow.