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View Full Version : How handy around the house are you?



Ltlabner
11-09-2006, 07:05 AM
There is nothing I enjoy more than spending a weekend day puttering around the house working on "stuff". I'm 100% weekend warrior but I love to build shelves, hang new lights, fix gutter flashing and patch drywall. I'm certinally no expert but it's fun learning how to do something new.

This is a new found (within the past 5 years) enjoyment. I think it's because I place a strong emphasis on a safe/warm/comfortable home since I am usually in a hotel, car or customers office.

Anyway, where do you stand on the burning question that is deviding america?

oneupper
11-09-2006, 07:14 AM
I fiddle around with computers, take em part, put em together, change stuff...etc. Even fixed my daughter's ipod (which supposedly couldn't be done)

I'm lost around a toilet, a cabinet, the yard and even the car. I have no idea how to use a power drill.

My wife is kind of handy...so that helps.

Homo Electronicus

westofyou
11-09-2006, 09:42 AM
My house is over 100 years old, so I bought a 1951 version of the Home Repair book from Better Homes and Gardens, it's like having a blueprint to your home.

I've done alot of minor work, toilet replace etc... but I don't enjoy it... well more then paying out the nose for it.

BRM
11-09-2006, 09:47 AM
Option 2, Bob. I fiddle around quite a bit with all kinds of stuff but I typically have little idea what I'm doing. I can run some fence or make minor repairs but I'm not much on major projects. My dad helped me build a loafing shed last spring. All I did was swing a hammer and cut where he told me to cut. He's the guru, not me.

15fan
11-09-2006, 09:58 AM
Not a handy guy. I can turn a screwdriver, drill a pilot hole, hammer a nail, and that's about it.

Our house was built in the early 1940s. It had been through a decent renovation before we bought it 3 years ago. Plenty to do, though.

My wife has worked for both a home builder and an apartment construction / management companry, so it's usually pretty easy for her to get the name & number of a handyman to come over to take care of something for us. I work for a decent sized organization and I've gotten to know a couple of the maintenance guys. A couple times a year, they'll come over and take care of a list of a half-dozen things (replacing light fixtures/switches, minor carpentry & plumbing, installing a screen door, etc). My philosophy is that these folks (1) know what the heck they're doing, (2) have the tools, and (3) do great work for pretty reasonable money. I, on the other hand, don't have a clue what I'm doing, don't have anything beyond a basic tool set, and am pretty strapped for time. Therefore, we outsource.

RedsFan75
11-09-2006, 10:03 AM
I worked my way through college doing a variety of jobs... But one of them was working with my uncle as a general contractor. I learned to do almost every part of home building, except Pluming and electrical... SO I choose option 1. :)

Johnny Footstool
11-09-2006, 10:17 AM
I'm halfway between "putter on the weekends" and "pay someone else to do it". Most real repair jobs I leave to the professionals, but recently I've been doing some work on my unfinished basement, making it into a liveable space for less than $1000. I finished the stairwell, installed some outlets, hung a couple pieces of drywall, painted the concrete walls, and got some free carpet from a friend and carpeted the stairs and the "living room" section of the basement. I plan to finish installing the carpet this weekend.

BTW - since this is "my" space, my wife is letting me turn it into a Reds room. And I'm getting a hefty bonus from work this year, so I'm getting a HD home theatre projector, too. I'll post some photos once it's done.

Roy Tucker
11-09-2006, 10:43 AM
I do all right. Maybe not quite #1 but close to it. I won't build an addition onto the house but I can do most everything else. I do it myself mostly because I'm cheap.

I've done my share of ripping out old bathrooms and redoing them, laying ceramic floor tiles, new cabinets and counters, wiring rooms (I leave working at the breaker box to pros though), light fixtures/switches/outlets, basic plumbing (know the difference between copper and PVC), painting/wallpapering/"wall effects", hang drywall (have learned to hire out the finishing, I can do it but they are lot better at it), basic concrete (worked for a concrete company in college), wield my chainsaw with a flourish, new flowerbeds, put in a pond with a waterfall, etc etc.

Falls City Beer
11-09-2006, 10:54 AM
I fiddle around with computers, take em part, put em together, change stuff...etc. Even fixed my daughter's ipod (which supposedly couldn't be done)

I'm lost around a toilet, a cabinet, the yard and even the car. I have no idea how to use a power drill.

My wife is kind of handy...so that helps.

Homo Electronicus

My love is electronics--simple analog stuff. Not good with computers/chips. Can do most things around the house except for plumbing. Can't do anything there.

Chip R
11-09-2006, 10:57 AM
I understand GAC's pretty good with lawn mowers. ;)

KronoRed
11-09-2006, 12:00 PM
Electronics, yes yes.

Something with pluming or nails, no no.

OldRightHander
11-09-2006, 06:14 PM
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41061

Enough said.

vaticanplum
11-09-2006, 06:55 PM
I'm good with electrics. I can wire a lamp, deal with wiring in walls and outlets, all kinds of electronics and that kind of stuff. It's really pretty simple. Funny though since I'm so petrified of fire and believe that anything like that can cause it. I spent a summer hanging lights in a theater and my ex-boyfriend is a musician and sound engineer/producer with his own studio, so that's no doubt where a lot of that comes from.

The rest of it I can do, but I prefer not to. The only thing I'm awful at is hanging pictures. I always seem to hit the part of the wall which causes plaster to cave in and the wall to buckle or something.

SunDeck
11-09-2006, 08:19 PM
Three kitchen remodels later, I realize the dumbest thing I ever did was to pick up a hammer in front of my wife and not crack myself in the skull with it.

I remember this like it was yesterday:
We had a shed in the back yard that was riddled with termites. The siding was corrugated steel, and other than being old it was in good shape. In fact, it was worth saving for its character. Also, the neighborhood was historic, and in order to tear it down and rebuild, I'd have to go through the peculiar and excrutiating hell known as an historic commission review.
So, I propped up the roof, tore out the walls and replaced them, put the siding back on and lowered the roof back onto the shed. It looked exactly like an old shed except now it had pressure treated wood sills and framing.

The wife came out when I had the job done, took one look at it and said,
"Oh man, have I got plans for you, carpenter boy."

Thirteen years later, I finally put my foot down and told her I'm done. If she wants something other than paint or landscaping done, she's gotta hire a contractor.

KittyDuran
11-09-2006, 09:14 PM
I like to "putter"... so-so with building things, i.e. furniture, cabinets - but as long as you can give me directions I'm usually OK. Electrical stuff, i.e. wiring outlets, etc. about the same - fine as long as I have a manual or a book.

Much better with electronics, esp. computers - going back when you had to install all the software and format the hard drive. It's so much easier now... but once in a while I'll get out on the DOS prompt just to experience the "good" old days... :p:

Can hookup cable, VCRs, DVDs, receivers pretty much with one eye tied behind my back - also pretty handy at formatting/programming electronics as well. I used to be a real sucker for technology - unfortunately it's been going so fast I'm at least 5 years behind (still haven't gotten an ipod or player yet).

Plumbing tho' is a mystery... I usually yell for my Dad or hire someone else to do it. :eek:

Spring~Fields
11-09-2006, 10:10 PM
It had better be plug and play or I have to do gofer duties. I did ok this year with replacing a door knob, I was shocked. Then I got all encouraged and happy and tried installing a new shower head, it leaked.

Virginia Beach Reds
11-09-2006, 10:18 PM
My dad is bob villa. He has been the team lead on several projects (built 2 cool storage sheds with CABLE TV!, installed 22 windows in 2 days, etc). I am his gopher. I get him the tools he asks for. I've learned quit a bit just doing that. I can now install toilets, ceiling fans, light electrical. of course, I can wire a computer, electronics hookups in a heartbeat. I like doing it until the directions come in every language but English or the directions are translated POORLY.

OldRightHander
11-09-2006, 10:41 PM
Aside from my little mishap patching the ceiling last year (broken after I put my foot through from the attic trying to put in insulation) I'm not too bad. I'm not much with mechanical things, but I have managed to put in wood floors in two rooms and I put in a new toilet the other day. I prefer yard work to working indoors though.

remdog
11-09-2006, 10:46 PM
Hammer, meet nail---usually the one on the left thumb. :eek:

BTW, my first ex-wife was very good with engines, especially Porsches. Unfortunately, she wasn't all that good at driving Porsches. (Think scrapmetal in 0-60 seconds.) :evil:

Rem

BoydsOfSummer
11-10-2006, 12:58 AM
I can barely fix a sandwich, although my gut says otherwise.

TeamCasey
11-10-2006, 05:50 AM
Plumbing should be easy ........ but it isn't!

I've tried to repair faucets, toilets, etc. I can't seem to ever get the correct replacement part. I'll even take the old part to the store and think that I've got a good replacement, only to find that the threads are slightly different. Quite frustrating.

GAC
11-10-2006, 06:31 AM
I understand GAC's pretty good with lawn mowers. ;)

The investigation is still ongoing. But I've never let broken bones and 2nd degree burns ever get in the way of home repair. It sure didn't stop Wiley Coyote, and it ain't gonna stop me.

Bones heal, hair and eyebrows grow back; but being able to stand back on your crutches and bandages at the end of the day and admire a job well down?... Well, unless you've ever been there and experienced it, it's really hard to explain the euphoric feeling one experiences from that and the Percocet.

Owner's manuals are for idiots.

And at least I do know the proper way to use (and store) an awl. ;)

Do-It-Yourself home repair is a high risk occupation. It's a percentage game where you learn to accept the good with the bad.

S*** happens! :lol:

RFS62
11-10-2006, 06:32 AM
GAC raises a lot of money for local charities by selling tickets when he has a project planned. It's quite a spectacle.

GAC
11-10-2006, 06:45 AM
Plumbing should be easy ........ but it isn't!

I've tried to repair faucets, toilets, etc. I can't seem to ever get the correct replacement part. I'll even take the old part to the store and think that I've got a good replacement, only to find that the threads are slightly different. Quite frustrating.

REAL men enjoy good plumbing.

Plumbing is easy. Especially working with PVC. And the high you get from the PVC glue and primer makes you want to stay down in the crawl space under the house for days. :lol:

True situation:

In our last house I was replacing the PVC plumbing under the end of the house for the kid's bathroom. Me and a buddy (who is a plumber) went down and cut out all the bad PVC plumbing and were in the process of measuring/cutting the new.

My oldest boy "forgot" that we were down there, and that no one was to use THAT bathroom (toilet).

I won't go into details from there, but it wasn't pretty. ;)

Again.... S*** happens! :lol:

I could write a book on my (and my family's) home repair experiences over the last three decades.

Falls City Beer
11-10-2006, 08:43 AM
Plumbing should be easy ........ but it isn't!

I've tried to repair faucets, toilets, etc. I can't seem to ever get the correct replacement part. I'll even take the old part to the store and think that I've got a good replacement, only to find that the threads are slightly different. Quite frustrating.

This is exactly right. It takes a real delicate touch that I don't possess.

GAC
11-10-2006, 09:24 AM
Working with old style copper and/or iron pipe plumbing is a pain in the rear. Especially when it comes to brazing the pipes. It has become alot easier to do with the advent of PVC.

And I refuse to do most any type of electrical around the house. I've put in a couple ceiling fans and dimmer switches where outlets already existed; but that's as far as I go.

minus5
11-10-2006, 09:35 AM
The investigation is still ongoing. But I've never let broken bones and 2nd degree burns ever get in the way of home repair. It sure didn't stop Wiley Coyote, and it ain't gonna stop me.
:


Cool! You must own that nice Acme brand tool set :)

You can always tell when I have to do any type of plumbing around the house because the kids always learn a new word or two.

GAC
11-10-2006, 11:17 AM
Cool! You must own that nice Acme brand tool set :)

You can always tell when I have to do any type of plumbing around the house because the kids always learn a new word or two.

I'm trying to get my oldest boy to go into plumbing. He already has the crack for it. :lol:

http://www.reemco.com/bed_and_bath/mastodon4.jpg

KittyDuran
11-10-2006, 12:52 PM
Just say NO to crack, GAC! ;)

Red in Chicago
11-10-2006, 01:56 PM
i wish i could be handy around the house, but i'm afraid that i'll end up making it worse, so i don't even bother...on the other hand, my brother could be the next mcguyver

Johnny Footstool
11-10-2006, 03:15 PM
I'm trying to get my oldest boy to go into plumbing. He already has the crack for it. :lol:

http://www.reemco.com/bed_and_bath/mastodon4.jpg

I wish I could un-see that.

Jpup
11-14-2006, 05:51 AM
It had better be plug and play or I have to do gofer duties. I did ok this year with replacing a door knob, I was shocked. Then I got all encouraged and happy and tried installing a new shower head, it leaked.

tape is your friend.

pedro
11-14-2006, 08:31 PM
I can write a check.

vaticanplum
11-14-2006, 09:07 PM
I can write a check.

You're a perfect man Pedro.

pedro
11-14-2006, 09:32 PM
You're a perfect man Pedro.

I'm in the middle of having my kitchen and one of my bathrooms remodeled. I'm going to get quite good at this "check" thing I think.

gonelong
11-15-2006, 10:17 AM
I have helped build decks, roof houses, and stud walls, A few weeks ago I helped my brother put in a concrete sidewalk.

Personally I have fixed plumbing leaks, fixed drywall, put in a drop ceiling, put up a ceiling fan, installed a toilet, put up siding, tore a few things out, put a few things in ... heck, I've even helped lay brick on a few houses. I mostly did this earlier in life because I could and I needed to.

I don't mess much with electric very much, plugged a screwdriver into a live 220 box once. Once.

Last year I had my basement finished, I paid somebody else to do that and took a few extra jobs with my side business pay for it. Everybody was much happier that way. I wasn't always working on the basement and it was done in a couple of months. I probably could have done about 80%+ of it myself but figured what I do on the side is much easier, safer, and more effective use of my time.

GL