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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Advice for Newbees

Deborah and I had a discussion about what advice we would give people who choose to do work on their homes. We came up with several good tips that we sure wish we had followed. If you want someone to talk you out of a project I'm your man!!!!!! (Been there. Done that. Blogged about it and have the scars to prove it...)
Anyway, here they are;

The right tools are crucial. They save you time, never be afraid to buy tools, you will always have them.

Whatever you estimate a project is going to cost, DOUBLE IT!

However long you think a project will take, DOUBLE IT! If you have small children in your family, DOUBLE IT AGAIN!

NEVER gut the place if you plan to live in it any time soon. Although it is fun to remove the bad stuff you will be overwhelmed when you look at how much you have to put back together. Work one room (or maybe two) at a time.

Don't EVER lose focus on the end result.

Fix the roof leaks or isolate them before you paint any rooms below where the water falls. There is no point in doing a job twice.

Don't pay someone after they have done the job. Pay them after they have done the job right.

Black wire to gold screw, white wire to silver screw.

And finally, if at first you don't succeed, use a BIGGER hammer!


At 11/03/2005 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, brother!! Preach it!!

At 11/03/2005 8:52 AM, Blogger John said...

I agree totally. AMEN.

I might add that you should never, ever move a house unless you are willing to double the time and cost again.

Two, never underestimate the value of good reference books. Find them, buy them, keep them, and use them. You won't regret it.

At 11/03/2005 11:56 AM, Blogger K said...

I'll add to that: "Think about and live with your plans for a room for a while before you start trying to implement them." Could've saved me some headache in the kitchen.

At 11/03/2005 2:45 PM, Blogger jmpottery said...

Nice advice. I remember your electric tip by the mantra "Black to Brass.. Black to brass". Somehow it sticks in my head that way.

I second the big hammer tip too. Whenever I have trouble demo'ing something I find my framing hammer usually does the trick.

Jason @ House on Clover

At 11/03/2005 9:18 PM, Blogger Jocelyn said...

good advice Gary. I totally agree with the not gutting the entire place and living there- we didn't do that and I'm glad.

At 11/03/2005 9:59 PM, Blogger Greg said...

All good advice. I'll also add: Do the big jobs first. If you need kitchen and baths redone to make the house livable then do them. They are expensive and time consuming. Get 'em out of the way before you piss away the money on trivial things and lose most of your energy.

Oh, and my electrical mantra is: "One of the wires is Hot, but it’s not White Hot". Meaning, of course, that the white wire is not the hot wire.

At 11/03/2005 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was taught by grandpa' - White to white, black to brass, otherwise, you'll be on your a$$

At 11/04/2005 11:19 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Another blogger, http://jbsides.blogspot.com/ posted a link to you and I am tickled she did!!! We just bought an 1890 Victorian this summer. We have been looking for almost three years and this was the 13th house we looked at. Lucky 13, I hope.

Thanks for the advice to we newbees. The Deputy and I are pretty much novices when it comes to this stuff, but we are going to learn as we go. Problem is, where do we start first?

I will be back often! btw, LOVE the color of the living room.


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