Author Topic: Two upcoming major projects (1 minor)  (Read 3540 times)

adam

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Two upcoming major projects (1 minor)
« on: March 15, 2012, 08:16:57 AM »
I need to figure out if I can do one or both of these by myself or not.

We will be moving back to my first house this summer, probably August.  The wife wants to make some improvements, and I agree with her.  I have two major, and one minor project on the list and I'm trying to figure out if I can find the tools and the knowledge necessary to complete each.  Its isn't so much 'can I do it' as 'is it worth the investment of my time' when I might risk screwing it up.

Project1 (minor): Fencing in the back yard.
I will need about 80 feet of wooden fencing that must match the neighbor's.  To either side of the house is about 15 ft and 16 ft where I will need two gates.  One must allow about 10 feet of clearance, the other just an access, so call it 3-4ft.  I've wanted to put a fence up since I bought the house, but never got around to it and then I rented it out for the last 2-3 years.  This is both for the dog as well as for storing the boat out of sight (hence the 10 ft gate).  I expect (haven't verified yet) that this should cost me $500-$800 in materials.  I'm fairly confident I can do this myself, maybe with some neighbor's help.  My current tenant (a former neighbor, long story) said that he would do it himself if I bought the materials and reduced his rent some given figure that would be less than what I would pay someone to put it up.

Project 2 (major): Wood/Pergo flooring.
This is one thing we want to do after the tenant leaves, but before we move in, when the house would be empty.  So I am a little concerned about the time it would take me, someone who has never done this before, vs paying a professional.  This seems like a fairly common DIY project, so I figured I would ask if anyone here has had experience and what that was like.

Project 3 (major): screened in porch.
This we can do after the move is complete.  I helped my father in law build a deck before the wedding (it was for the band), so I'm somewhat confident I can frame it up and all that, but I don't know about the roof.  So time isn't such an issue, and I would potentially have the help from my father/brother in law.  Does anyone have experience with a project like this? What do I need to be aware of, what do I need to watch out for, etc?

Basically these are all in the planning stages.  We just checked out flooring prices last weekend, so I figured it would be time to start contemplating how all of this is going to come together.  And I was hoping for advice, so you got any?

sol

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Re: Two upcoming major projects (1 minor)
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 08:52:59 AM »
My wife and I have done both of these projects without any major difficulty.  The flooring should be pretty straightforward, that one I definitely recommend you do yourself.

The fence we built was a much more time consuming project.  We probably spent less than 1k on the materials, but it was many many weekends of work.  Even if you're not quite the perfectionists that we are, there is significant labor involved in digging all of the holes, mixing and pouring the concrete, getting everything levelish, putting up the actual fence, and then building and hanging the gates.  Our fence was complicated by having to make our own pickets out out of eight foot lengths, so I spent a lot of time on the miter saw.  If you can get premade fence boards, it might not be so bad. 

adam

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Re: Two upcoming major projects (1 minor)
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 09:45:31 AM »
I looked at the pre-made fence sections and it would be between $380-$600 just for those pieces depending on the style.

HeidiO

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Re: Two upcoming major projects (1 minor)
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 12:58:35 PM »
I've done pergo in a previous house.  Not hard at all.  I mean, it takes time and all, but the fencing is a lot harder than laying pergo.  You'll enjoy it - it gives instant results.  My wife is a perfectionist and I still think we finished our upstairs (around 800 sq ft) in a day.  Except for baseboards.  That took 2 years.
Heidi

adam

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Re: Two upcoming major projects (1 minor)
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2012, 01:34:19 PM »
I've done pergo in a previous house.  Not hard at all.  I mean, it takes time and all, but the fencing is a lot harder than laying pergo.  You'll enjoy it - it gives instant results.  My wife is a perfectionist and I still think we finished our upstairs (around 800 sq ft) in a day.  Except for baseboards.  That took 2 years.
Heidi

We were in Lowes again today and looked at flooring again. They have a deal where they do the whole house install for $379 if you pick a laminate that's $2.98/sqft or more.  Problem is this deal ends May 2nd. I guess we will have to take our chances if something similar comes up in August.  Unless you all think this really is a simple enough project. 

If we did take this on, what tools am I going to need?  I figured a circular saw to be able to cut the boards to size. What else? What's a sneaky cost I'm not thinking about? We're installing over concrete so I'll need probably $400 worth of moisture barrier...

BenDarDunDat

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Re: Two upcoming major projects (1 minor)
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2012, 07:33:50 AM »
I used a cheap compound miter saw, a plastic hammer, and some kind of tool let's you hammer without damaging the flooring, there's some kind of handsaw you need to cut the bottoms of door frames,  shims.  The standard stuff.  f you have any weird angles due to stairs etc, I recommend a jigsaw.   

To do over again, I'd also buy a brad nailer for the molding.  I ended up needing one anyway for my kitchen, and I could kick myself for not having one for my flooring project.

AJ

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Re: Two upcoming major projects (1 minor)
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2012, 04:06:32 PM »
We were in Lowes again today and looked at flooring again. They have a deal where they do the whole house install for $379 if you pick a laminate that's $2.98/sqft or more. 

Bah! If you're even the tiniest bit handy, laying laminate is a breeze. Much easier and less time consuming than building a fence. All the cut edges go underneath the baseboards, so you don't need a special saw (circular saw is fine). We bought a $15 kit that included 1/4" edge spacers, a little plastic square to hammer, and a bent piece of metal so we could tighten the edges. MMM or Jacob would probably just fashion their own versions of those for about $1, but $15 isn't bad if you just want to get to it. Seriously, I am not handy by nature (though I'm learning), I have terrible manual dexterity, and this was the first real DIY house project I tackled. If you can build a fence, you can do this.

That said, I wouldn't go with laminate again*. If you get the cheap stuff, you really see it after just a couple years of wear, and the expensive stuff costs almost as much as wood. We are going with the vinyl wood planks when we replace our floor. We are in a flood zone, so moisture is a big concern. Otherwise, we would choose wood.

*I'm also kind of biased. The same year we installed our laminate a pipe broke and leaked into our kitchen. It was a slow leak, and we didn't catch it before it ruined the new laminate floors we had JUST laid down.

BenDarDunDat

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Re: Two upcoming major projects (1 minor)
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 11:49:36 AM »

That said, I wouldn't go with laminate again*. If you get the cheap stuff, you really see it after just a couple years of wear, and the expensive stuff costs almost as much as wood. We are going with the vinyl wood planks when we replace our floor. We are in a flood zone, so moisture is a big concern. Otherwise, we would choose wood.


Our laminate looks great after 2 years.  Just the standard stuff you buy at Sam's and it's survived a pipe burst..though we did catch ours in time.  I'd say our only issue is that it's not quite as easy to clean as wood.  With wood, a little Murphy's or polish on a dust mop and you are done.  Laminate tends to show detergents much more, so you have to be pickier about what you clean with or there will be a film.