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codeone
01-06-2009, 06:35 PM
Just a personal thought on DIY. First of all a little about myself.
I hold an Unlimited Electrical License in N.C.
I also hold a Level 3 Inspection Certification from The Dept.Of Insurance in N.C.

Today I inspected a bedroom and bathroom addition by a DIY. A very humble man who was using a DYI book to assist him.

Yes he had a few problems several of which came from the DYI book. We spent adout an hour together going over his project. One of the problems with the book it did not really refrence the codes at least the current ones. It also had some faulty information. This info seemed like it was the authors opinion instead of what the code required for a safe installation. One thing actually caused the boxes to be overfilled.

But you know, that wasnt so bad. (Now I'm probably going to be crucified by some for that statement.) Let me explain. The main thing was the man bought the proper permits to do the job and had the job inspected. This is the most important thing a DIY could do.

Mind you this is my opinion ---- I have a lot more patience with a DIY doing his own work than I do with a liscened contractor who sometimes is worse than a DIY. (May be crucified by some for that statement too.) As a public servant (Officer) our job is to help protect the public, it requires patience,it requires teaching.

Everyone can learn from anyone if they show patience and humility.

Now still in a forum it is very hard to be able to give advice to an inexperienced person. Thats why Ill say again aquire permits, have your work inspected its much easier to get the help you need. Im not knocking the forum it still has its place and will be happy to help if I feel its not to dangerous for an inexperienced person. (Certain friends may crucify for that too)

jar546
01-06-2009, 07:08 PM
Excellent post. The real issue is getting a permit and inspection. That is what needs to happen.

mickeytex
01-06-2009, 07:59 PM
x2 on the good post. I think more DIYers would get permits and inspections if they knew they were working with someone like you.

As a DIYer, i personally love the learning part construction and I appreciate any good info i can get.

Scuba_Dave
01-07-2009, 02:11 PM
I'm a big DIY person
My latest project - 3 story addition
24x36 garage, same size great room, walk up attic
Last year was 15x16 sunroom -on right with wrap around deck
I also dormered the back of the house - Cape
Added a 7x10 greenhouse, 6x10 3 season front porch, added 10x10 onto my pool cabana

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/th_Day30d.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/?action=view&current=Day30d.jpg) http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/th_Day30e-1.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/?action=view&current=Day30e-1.jpg)

I've rewired 90% of my 1950's home
Fixed several problems: overloaded circuit, (2) live (circuits) 240v wires at the bottom of basement stairs, 2 wire lighting in the basement that was shocking me, lack of GFCI outside & in the basement

I ended up buying the 2005 NEC handbook, I've been doing electric work since I was a kid. I tend to over think, over research, & over build everything I do

I've passed all inspections so far, I surpass the insulation requirements by 20-25%. I also buy heavy duty outlets instead of the .50 cheapies
I've done all the design work, LVL beams were engineered to hold the weight. I actually went to the next size in the garage for added support. I'm saving over $75k in construction costs

Chris75
01-07-2009, 02:23 PM
I'm saving over $75k in construction costs

I'm sure alot of people believe this, not saying your not saving any money, just most people dont realize the cost of doing something wrong either. And yes, i'm a DIY also. just not in the electrical aspect. :)

Scuba_Dave
01-07-2009, 02:28 PM
I'm sure alot of people believe this, not saying your not saving any money, just most people dont realize the cost of doing something wrong either. And yes, i'm a DIY also. just not in the electrical aspect. :)

Rough framing alone was going to cost over $45k on the addition
Probably another $20k on the sunroom, another $20k on the dormer
I do things better then the contractor would, it's my house
I don't cut corners

codeone
01-07-2009, 02:31 PM
I'm a big DIY person
I've passed all inspections so far,

Congrats. Not necessarily on passing on getting proper permits and proper inspections. Passing is a plus.

Chris75
01-07-2009, 02:47 PM
Rough framing alone was going to cost over $45k on the addition
Probably another $20k on the sunroom, another $20k on the dormer
I do things better then the contractor would, it's my house
I don't cut corners

So much do you charge for yourself to work on your own house? I mean, your time is worth something, so what did the framing by doing it yourself cost you?

Scuba_Dave
01-07-2009, 02:49 PM
Thanks, I have to say that my building Dept has been a big help
We have a stream on the property, so I had to go thru conservation committee for approval to build. They told me to put every project I wanted to do, I then had 3 years to start the projects once approved by Conservation. This is the 2nd house I have owned & the 2nd one I had to go thru conservation committee

This the old house, before & after
The "2nd floor" is an unfinished attic with pull down stairs
5 layers of roofing on the old roof

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Old%20house/th_Before.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Old%20house/?action=view&current=Before.jpg) http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Old%20house/th_DSC00053.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Old%20house/?action=view&current=DSC00053.jpg)

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Old%20house/th_DSC00124-1.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Old%20house/?action=view&current=DSC00124-1.jpg) http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Old%20house/th_DSC49.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Old%20house/?action=view&current=DSC49.jpg)

Scuba_Dave
01-07-2009, 02:49 PM
So much do you charge for yourself to work on your own house? I mean, your time is worth something, so what did the framing by doing it yourself cost you?

Nothing, my wife works - I'm a stay at home Dad

Cookie
01-07-2009, 02:57 PM
You should rename youself, Mr. Mom. :)

frenchie
01-07-2009, 04:22 PM
Nothing, my wife works - I'm a stay at home Dad

That's a cop-out answer. Clearly being a dad leaves you spare time, or your houses would never get built. So, if you weren't building your house, what would you be doing with that time? Whatever that would pay, that's what it's costing you to provide your own labor, and has to be substracted from the 75k in savings.

I'm not saying you aren't saving anything. DIY has none of the overhead a contractor does, and DIY is the most well-motivated workforce available. But exaggerating your savings, is a grave disservice to others who're considering doing the same.

Cookie wants you to marry her - I'll take care good care of your wife? :p Building houses on my wife's salary sounds like heaven to me.

Scuba_Dave
01-07-2009, 05:37 PM
You think staying at home & taking care of kid is a cop out answer?
Now I know why housewives get ticked off at idiots who say housework isn't work :mad:
How much do you pay your wife to take care of children & the house?
Does the IRS allow you to deduct that from your earnings???

Uh, I'd be cleaning the house, doing yard work, watching TV, maybe scuba-diving for lobsters, swimming in my pool, hot tubbing
None of the other things I do pay me $$

But if my wife asks I'd be working hard on house work - none of the fun stuff :D

So I should have paid someone $80k to do the work & went to work :confused:
So I should work for 5-10 years to pay off a loan for work that I can do ??

Doesn't sound like clear thinking to me
I'm not exaggerating my savings in the least
I bought my last house for $23,600
I put LESS then $40k into it & sold it for $200k
BIG savings, no exaggeration

frenchie
01-08-2009, 08:53 AM
You think staying at home & taking care of kid is a cop out answer?
Now I know why housewives get ticked off at idiots who say housework isn't work :mad:
How much do you pay your wife to take care of children & the house?
Does the IRS allow you to deduct that from your earnings???

Uh, I'd be cleaning the house, doing yard work, watching TV, maybe scuba-diving for lobsters, swimming in my pool, hot tubbing
None of the other things I do pay me $$

But if my wife asks I'd be working hard on house work - none of the fun stuff :D

So I should have paid someone $80k to do the work & went to work :confused:
So I should work for 5-10 years to pay off a loan for work that I can do ??

Doesn't sound like clear thinking to me
I'm not exaggerating my savings in the least
I bought my last house for $23,600
I put LESS then $40k into it & sold it for $200k
BIG savings, no exaggeration



I didn't say being a stay-at-home dad was a cop-out; I said your answer was a cop-out. Read my post again, before you jump down my throat.


YOUR TIME IS WORTH SOMETHING. I'm not talking about the time that you spend being a parent, of course that's worth something, but it's irrelevant to the topic: which is your house-building activity. I'm not talking about your parenting or housework - I'm talking about your other job: the time you spend designing & planning & doing the work on your house. If you were to spend that time doing something else, what would/could it bring in? Suppose you were to hire out as a carpenter, for example, or as a designer.

To get an accurate idea of how much you saved, you HAVE to substract that amount from your gross savings - to get your net savings.


And I also said, very clearly, that I'm sure you saved money. I'm just trying to get an accurate idea of what you saved. If you count your labor as free, that's not accurate.

Neither is lumping the money you made off market changes, as per your example. You need to compare what it actually cost you (including your time), to what it would have cost you to hire somebody. What you made off the housing market swings isn't relevant: that's profit, not wages. You would have made it even if you'd hired someone to do the work.

Cookie
01-08-2009, 09:04 AM
Geez, Frenchie, I think you are missing the boat on this one, for look at this man's numbers. He is making money building houses. Plus, raising his kids while his wife is out at a pay-job.

Scuba_Dave
01-08-2009, 09:30 AM
Frenchie, your point is pointless

I'm not doing anything else to make money
To say I have to subtract some imaginary number that I could make is stupid
I don't HAVE to subtract ANYTHING
I HAVE saved over $80k VS hiring someone

My last house was sold by the bank at a big loss to avoid foreclosure
The money I made was due to my work, not market change

Dream on

jamiedolan
01-08-2009, 11:19 AM
YOUR TIME IS WORTH SOMETHING. I'm not talking about the time that you spend being a parent, of course that's worth something, but it's irrelevant to the topic: which is your house-building activity. I'm not talking about your parenting or housework - I'm talking about your other job: the time you spend designing & planning & doing the work on your house. If you were to spend that time doing something else, what would/could it bring in? Suppose you were to hire out as a carpenter, for example, or as a designer.

No offense intended to the OP or anyone else.

Frenchie; I just wanted to say I agree with you. I have experienced and tried to explain this to people I know in real life and some people have a really hard time understanding my point.

It's kind of a question of what your skilled at, if the OP is a store manager say and he could make $35 /hr if he worked, he might come out ahead if he was working and hired a contractor.

However for some of us, due to family, health or other personal reasons, we choose not to or are unable to have a regular job. In these cases, you can "save money" if there is nothing else you would have been able to do with your time to make money.

I agree no ones time and labor in a project like this is really free and should not be technically counted as such. But if it make the OP feel better to look at it that way, then it doesn't hurt anyone and make him feel good, so I'm all for it!

Jamie

Scuba_Dave
01-08-2009, 11:32 AM
Just a load of garbage from people who don't want to lose business from DIY people. I've tried to hire "Pro's" in the past. Over 8 plumbers & only 2 showed up to make a qoute. One was off the wall with an insane amount of money. The 2nd one didn't do the work as greed & wasn't paid in full. Over 8 electricians contacted to do work, 3-4 actually showed up & promised estimates. None followed thru
If this is how "Pro's" treat the homeowner then it's no wonder you lose business

Say I got a job for $30k
Child care $12k a year (actually $18k at current rate we were quoted)
Cost of a new car w/commuting $6k a year
Cost of Gas over $3k a year (at todays rates)
Taxes over $6k a year
That's $27k a year

Yes I saved $$, get over it

codeone
01-08-2009, 02:44 PM
My last house was sold by the bank at a big loss to avoid foreclosure
The money I made was due to my work, not market change

Another words you still made money as you say due to your own work by not hiring a contractor?
The money you lost was apparently the money you would have made if the house had sold in a timely fashion?
So in essence you did ok because if you had hired a contractor or contractors you would have lost everything?
This way you still feel good about what you did and still did not lose it all.
Congrats keep it up.

leejosepho
01-08-2009, 02:49 PM
I agree no one's time and labor in a project like this is really free and should not be technically counted as such.

Correct. "Money saved" and "money not spent" are not the same thing. My son-in-law and I have done a lot of work on our own here, and that means we have obviously not had to spend money to pay for the labor we have provided for ourselves. However, I have occasionally taken time off work at my regular job in order to help do some of the two-man work here, and that labor has cost me money even while saving some. Then also, many of us DIYers spend more time doing something than a contractor would have taken, and that factor occasionally ends up costing me more than if I had hired something done. Truly, not even my own labor while working on my own stuff is actually free ... but then the fringe benefits when my wife appreciates the completion of something are almost always invaluable even though she charges me nothing!

codeone
01-08-2009, 03:12 PM
Every one looks at things differently, sometimes its the way a person feels about it.

Making money or losing money are very different things sometimes.

Example a big corp may say they lost money this quarter, in effect what they are really saying we didnt make as much money as last quarter. And they still made a profit.

And it really dosent matter what anyone else thinks if you can justify it for youself, not go broke and feel good about yourself and have high self esteem, as long as you dont look down on others who think differently, And dont try to force their own opinion on someonelse. Life is to short for some of these arguments. They become redundant and a waist of time. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

We need to try to help one another, not hinder and tear down. Do no harm.

99k
01-08-2009, 03:36 PM
I didn't say being a stay-at-home dad was a cop-out; I said your answer was a cop-out. Read my post again, before you jump down my throat.


YOUR TIME IS WORTH SOMETHING. I'm not talking about the time that you spend being a parent, of course that's worth something, but it's irrelevant to the topic: which is your house-building activity. I'm not talking about your parenting or housework - I'm talking about your other job: the time you spend designing & planning & doing the work on your house. If you were to spend that time doing something else, what would/could it bring in? Suppose you were to hire out as a carpenter, for example, or as a designer.

To get an accurate idea of how much you saved, you HAVE to substract that amount from your gross savings - to get your net savings.


And I also said, very clearly, that I'm sure you saved money. I'm just trying to get an accurate idea of what you saved. If you count your labor as free, that's not accurate.

Neither is lumping the money you made off market changes, as per your example. You need to compare what it actually cost you (including your time), to what it would have cost you to hire somebody. What you made off the housing market swings isn't relevant: that's profit, not wages. You would have made it even if you'd hired someone to do the work.

I agree Frenchie... you're spot on. This gentleman has a very good skill set and in my area a good handyman gets $60 - $75 /hr and has a backlog of work. I don't think you're picking on him but instead making a great point.

Nate R
01-08-2009, 03:45 PM
Frenchie's point is very valid. There are some things in which your time is worth something. If it costs me $40 to have my oil changed in my car, and I can do it myself for $16, but it takes me 3 hrs, I'm "paying myself" $8/hr to do the work myself.

Looking at things this way will sometimes show you things that just aren't worth wasting time doing. You don't know how much time you have left on earth.

99k
01-08-2009, 03:46 PM
One great lesson in life that I never really grasped until my mid-forties was that it is better to try to make money instead of saving money. It is better to outsource something you are not proficient at and instead do an extra job in your specialty ... much less stress and a lot more progress. Don't get me wrong, I still DIY jobs ... this summer I installed an trimmed three new windows (I know my quality would probably exceed others) but I outsourced the roof (even though I could do it). Just my two cents:D

Cookie
01-08-2009, 03:56 PM
To me it is better to save money, the money makes more money itself.

Scuba_Dave
01-08-2009, 05:53 PM
Another words you still made money as you say due to your own work by not hiring a contractor?
The money you lost was apparently the money you would have made if the house had sold in a timely fashion?
So in essence you did ok because if you had hired a contractor or contractors you would have lost everything?
This way you still feel good about what you did and still did not lose it all.
Congrats keep it up.

Uh, the house was sold to ME to avoid foreclosure
I made a bundle
Contractors are a waste of time around here
At least until the economy took a dump
Now some of them are begging for jobs & offering great rates

I'm worth more then any contractor I've met
And I've saved at least $80k on this house alone by not hiring incompetent people who do not even show up

If I find a job that pays me over $100k a year maybe then I'll hire people
Oh, but they won't show up anyways

Nate R
01-08-2009, 07:15 PM
If I find a job that pays me over $100k a year maybe then I'll hire people
Oh, but they won't show up anyways

My in-laws just did this for their kitchen remodel. Went terribly, horribly wrong at almost every turn. Having HD install anything is obviously a bad idea. But the independent flooring place did a crappy install, and there were countless other examples. Hiring out can sometimes be a nightmare, too. I'm shocked no one has yet figured out a better business model to streamline the remodeling process for the customer.

sbrn33
01-09-2009, 06:24 AM
My in-laws just did this for their kitchen remodel. Went terribly, horribly wrong at almost every turn. Having HD install anything is obviously a bad idea. But the independent flooring place did a crappy install, and there were countless other examples. Hiring out can sometimes be a nightmare, too. I'm shocked no one has yet figured out a better business model to streamline the remodeling process for the customer.

They have!! It's called a General Contractor.

Scuba_Dave
01-09-2009, 07:28 AM
Actually $80k saved, 10 year home equity loan would have cost us $108K
So I saved even more!!!
Oh, and of course I didn't save hundreds of dollars on the garage door I just installed by myself
And I didn't save thousands of dollars running my 60a sub panel to my shed, rewiring 90% of my house, adding (2) buried circuits out front for my Christmas display, adding another 6 outside outlets, installing my own radiant floor heat & tiling my bathroom, shower & hallway
And I didn't save thousands by installing my own patio out by the pool
And I didn't save thousands by doing my own landscaping
I didn't save any $$ by installing a solar water heater for my pool
I don't save any money with my 24x30 veggie garden
I didn't save any money by growing my own pumpkins
And I didn't save any money by doing my own design work/plans for the addition

:D

hj
01-09-2009, 08:02 AM
This info seemed like it was the authors opinion instead of what the code required for a safe installation. One thing actually caused the boxes to be overfilled.

Yet later you imply that you passed it. Getting a permit and inspections is completely useless if the improper work is going to be allowed. If that is the case, why go to the expense and trouble of getting either a permit or inspection? In that case the only thing a permit does is upgrade his taxing appraisal so he pays more each year.

Ian Gills
01-09-2009, 08:08 AM
Dave, they are making fair points and Frenchie has helped me immensely with advice on my DIY remodelling so I do not agree that those on this forum are against DIY, far from it.

In my case, I earn over US$100,000 a year so the time I spend on my house is always a loss to me versus hiring a professional and me getting on with my day job. It quite simply takes me longer than them to do the same work.

So I do DIY because I enjoy it, not really for the savings because these are false economy but for the joy of soldering pipe; the excitment of an open electrical panel and the smell of new metal stud framing. But because the cost of my labor is so high I always try to use the best parts. I cannot afford to be doing the job again. That's why my toilet is a Cadet 3 and not a Toto!

For me, the best way to have saved money was to have done none of the work at all. Houses are money pits.

GabeS
01-09-2009, 08:16 AM
I think Frenchie's point is valid. The acually time he was spending on his house, he could have been making money. Therefore that potential earnings(minus taxes, commuting, etc.) must be subtracted to figure net savings.

However, some people look at it this way:

Remodeling basement between hours of 7-9pm. Normally watching TV between those hours. Now fixing basement. Therefore saving money.

This is the way people look at it, but it's still wrong because someone could still be working those two hours doing something, and those potential earnings MUST be considered when calculating savings.

Now if Scuba enjoys what he's doing, then great. But his savings is not 80k. It's 80k minus his potential earnings during the time he's working on the house.

jwelectric
01-09-2009, 08:20 AM
By these calculations he made $40k/year (tax free - .

What do you mean tax free?

CR
01-09-2009, 09:05 AM
What do you mean tax free?

I was trying to say that for OP to get the money to pay someone $40k to do "x" amount of work, OP would have had to earn $40k + taxes at some other job. So he's (ignoring the semantics of the word "saving" for the moment) saving not just the $40k, but the $40k+taxes that he would have had to earn.

jwelectric
01-09-2009, 09:09 AM
I was trying to say that for OP to get the money to pay someone $40k to do "x" amount of work, OP would have had to earn $40k + taxes at some other job. So he's (ignoring the semantics of the word "saving" for the moment) saving not just the $40k, but the $40k+taxes that he would have had to earn.

If he saved $40k then he has a captiol gain of $40k that should be declared on his income tax. Of course this does not have to be declared until the house is sold but it is still there and can not be left out of the equation.

CR
01-09-2009, 09:46 AM
I think Frenchie's point is valid. The acually time he was spending on his house, he could have been making money. Therefore that potential earnings(minus taxes, commuting, etc.) must be subtracted to figure net savings.

However, some people look at it this way:

Remodeling basement between hours of 7-9pm. Normally watching TV between those hours. Now fixing basement. Therefore saving money.

This is the way people look at it, but it's still wrong because someone could still be working those two hours doing something, and those potential earnings MUST be considered when calculating savings.

Now if Scuba enjoys what he's doing, then great. But his savings is not 80k. It's 80k minus his potential earnings during the time he's working on the house.

I don't see the couch example is wrong. If what I do during my leisure time is something that saves money vs something that costs money - I feel I get to count that as money saved.

If I had a hobby (or 2nd job) making little wooden widgets that I sell at craft shows, and make $80k a year after non-labor expenses (that's a lot of widgets) - would you say that I don't really make $80k a year?

If I make $80k a year at my current day job but I could do different work (that I don't enjoy) that would pay $100k a year - then would you say I actually only make $60k a year?

I think I understand your point - that time=$. But I believe the choice for most DIY is between working overtime (if that's an option) or getting a 2nd job (if that's an option) vs spending that time doing something they actually enjoy - and saving some money at the same time. Why would I want to work extra hours at a crappy job so I can pay someone else to do something I actually would enjoy doing myself?

GabeS
01-09-2009, 10:47 AM
I'm not saying to get a second job and hire out the work. I'm not saying why or why not.

Simply stating that your time is worth something and you must put a number on your hours.

In his example, he says he saved 80k but doesn't say how many hours he spent on the job. I'm guessing a ton. Those hours have to be considered.

CR
01-09-2009, 11:31 AM
If he saved $40k then he has a captiol gain of $40k that should be declared on his income tax. Of course this does not have to be declared until the house is sold but it is still there and can not be left out of the equation.

This is a good point - he'd be able to offset the capitol gain if he paid someone else to do the work. However, there is a lifetime $500,000 exclusion on profits from sale of your home (assuming he's married and it is his primary residence).

Scuba_Dave
01-09-2009, 02:29 PM
Houses are only money pits if you buy wrong
I bought my last house for $23,600, sold it for $200k
I put less then $40k into it, no money pit there
Pure profit

Your right I could have been making money
Oh wait I already covered that


Say I got a job for $30k
Child care $12k a year (actually $18k at current rate we were quoted)
Cost of a new car w/commuting $6k a year
Cost of Gas over $3k a year (at todays rates)
Taxes over $6k a year
That's $27k a year

Yes I saved $$, get over it But i guess if I ran for President & won I could have made $200k or more a year

No Capital gains, didn't pay any on my last house, won't pay any on this house


Just is no point in discussing this any more

Glad you agree

Ian Gills
01-09-2009, 02:48 PM
I love to flog a dead horse!


Houses are only money pits if you buy wrong
I bought my last house for $23,600, sold it for $200k
I put less then $40k into it, no money pit there
Pure profit

Perhaps but not necessarily. This could have just been market driven. In other words, if you had spent nothing at all and done nothing to it it may have sold for 180,000 rather than 200,000!

You would have been 20k up, with lots of spare time to do other things!

In the current market I have lost almost 60k on the value of my house compared to when I bought it. Add to that the 50k at least that I have put into it (probably half through DIY) and I am a sucker.

So the real way to make money is...buy cheap at the bottom of the market, spend and do nothing on the house, and sell again at the top of the market. If we all just knew where the top and bottom were we'd be laughing!

Economics teaches us to specialize, which is why I'd never let HJ near the electrical or jwelectric near the plumbing! But if they wanted to work something out between themselves then that's just fine. So if you really are earning that much...stop wasting your time on your own home and become a builder/developer.

Scuba_Dave
01-09-2009, 03:04 PM
If I had done nothing at all the roof would have collapsed
5 layers of shingles, a few broken rafters, leaks - it was only a matter of time
The house would NEVER have sold for more then $50k
Something about the gagging smell of cat urine in a house that drives buyers off. That plus lack of insulation, leaking shower area, leaking laundry, loose wires, patchwork wall coverings, 12 layers of flooring peeling & pulling up in the kitchen
Plus a lot more I could list, they were lucky to get the $23k

The majority of the money spent was on a septic system - required
The Town was actually puzzled when I went in about putting in a septic system to replace the cesspool. Since I bought the house for cash no bank was involved - which would have required a new roof & septic before closing.

In addition it was a 912 sq ft house
With the new roof & enlarged "2nd floor" (pull down stairs -so classified as an attic) the house could easily be upgraded to almost double that size. Without my adding that area the house there is now way it would have sold for as much as it did

Current house we also bought very well
With the current market drop we are still even
Once the addition/garage is finished I expect the value to jump by $100k or more (and taxes - bummer)
We have no plans on moving, we spent a lot of time looking for this house

Scuba_Dave
01-09-2009, 03:20 PM
This is a good point - he'd be able to offset the capitol gain if he paid someone else to do the work. However, there is a lifetime $500,000 exclusion on profits from sale of your home (assuming he's married and it is his primary residence).

Nope, from the IRS:


Even better, there's no limit on the number of times you can use the home-sale exemption. In most cases, you can make tax-free profits of $250,000 (or $500,000 depending on your filing status) every time you sell a home.

Ian Gills
01-09-2009, 03:28 PM
Then taxes aside (which you would need to pay on the sale of a 2nd property) why are you not fixing up investment properties for sale or rent?

Scuba_Dave
01-09-2009, 03:40 PM
I probably should
But in today's economy too risky for us
A house on our street has dropped in price from $289k to $239k & hasn't sold yet. I can do the work on our house with my son here, traveling to another site would be a problem. And the cost of daycare is astronomical around here - $70 a day = $18.2k a year is what we were quoted
If I could buy a bargain house again I would - but prices are not that low around here any more. Once my son is in school all week we'll look into other options.
I still have a lot of work to finish up, but once that is done I want a PT job. MIL is here 2 days a week & has helped out a lot with watching my son while I work on the house

Chris75
01-09-2009, 05:15 PM
Boy, I'm glad I opened my mouth. :D Funny thread BTW... My whole point was that when someone takes 10 hours to do a job in 1 hour and they still think they saved money is the funny part.

Scuba_Dave
01-09-2009, 05:19 PM
Yeah, I'm laughing all the way to the bank :D
Oh wait, I don't need to go to the bank because I saved all that $$ :p

TedL
01-09-2009, 05:33 PM
I think that some of the electrical experts should recognize their ignorance of another code...the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Several are repeating "Code" that was changed in the 1990's. The "rollover to new home" provision alluded to was repealed back then. What came into the IRC was an exclusion for gain on the sale of a principal residence (for 2 out of past 5 years) of up to $250,000 for an individual, $500,000 for a couple. Repeatable, not just once in a lifetime. And pro-rated if you own for less than 2 years. E.g., 12 months ownership gets you half the full amounts.

That's legitimately tax free, per the code.

Please don't seek to give tax advice without a rudimentary knowledge of the relevant code, the IRC.

frenchie
01-10-2009, 10:12 AM
Just a load of garbage from people who don't want to lose business from DIY people.

If that was even a little bit true, why the heck would I post here?

For what it's worth, about half my work is with DIYers. You need to get over your prejudices, and actually bother reading what I wrote. I've said TWICE that I am sure you saved money. Need me to say it again? I AM SURE YOU SAVED MONEY. Did you catch it this time?

Please try being a bit less defensive, okay?


The question I was asking, was simply: HOW MUCH did you save? Not counting your time exaggerates your savings. It's innacurate, and misleading.

All I'm asking, is that you not be misleading - that you be accurate in your descriptions. I am NOT saying that you should not DIY. Every situation is different, and people need accurate info to make informed decisions. The picture you painted was not accurate, and that's what I was challenging you on.


Example? I have a client, who DIY's a lot of the work on his place. He's also an attorney - there is NO WAY he's saving money by DIYing anything, when he could be making hundreds of dollars an hour on lawyer stuff.

But he enjoys it, and it's worth the "wasted" money to him: fair enough, then. But any talk about "I saved..." would clearly be false. It costs him money, no matter how you look at it. But who wants to work all the time? He enjoys it, and so it's worth it to him.

At the other end, I have another client who's a sound editor, he makes about 30/hr at his job; but the work isn't steady, so he has a lot of free time. And he used to work construction, so for things like demolition, or drywall, or painting, he can save bucketloads of cash by doing it himself. No matter how you look at it, he's saving money.

But when he starts doing finish cabinetry on his kitchen, it saves him more money to hire me: because I'm much faster than him, by a large enough margin. Also because I can teach him the tricks, rather than his having to learn the hard way & re-invent the wheel every time; which saves him time, saving him more money.

The last time I saw him, he'd just done a bunch of re-wiring, and has decided that next time he'll hire it out: an electrician will charge 3-4 times what he makes an hour, but (in his own words) "would probably be ten times as fast". So I gave him my electrician's phone number.

He's still going to do his own soundproofing work on the studio he built in his basement, though; because it's cheaper to do that himself than to hire it out.


Every situation is different, and you need accurate info to make informed decisions. Not pie-in-the-sky misrepresentation.

Cookie
01-10-2009, 11:01 AM
Maybe the attorney is up to his eyeballs in debt, but doesn't want to work at lawyering stuff for anymore hours per week and instead of going into debt any further, decides to do it himself. Then, he is saving money.

It doesn't matter how much money you make, if you don't spend any, then you saved it.

Scuba Dave stays at home taking care of his kids, and builds houses. That is his job. What on earth do you want him to subtract?

Hey Dave, if you should account for your time, then, according to the rules of accounting, you should PAY yourself. That should be ADDED on, not SUBTRACTED.

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 11:41 AM
I am accurate in the $$ I saved
Actually given the interest that we would have paid on a loan I under estimated my savings

frenchie
01-10-2009, 11:51 AM
Hey Dave, if you should account for your time, then, according to the rules of accounting, you should PAY yourself. That should be ADDED on, not SUBTRACTED.

That works, too - but wages get substracted from profit, not added.

Either way you count it... the point is just that his time is worth something. It shouldn't just be ignored.



I am accurate in the $$ I saved
Actually given the interest that we would have paid on a loan I under estimated my savings

No, you haven't; not untill you somehow account for the time you put in.

It doesn't matter whether you do it by comparing it to "potential earnings" of those hours, or by dividing your savings by the hours you put in & calling that wages, or... some other equitable calculation. But you can't just leave it out and call that accurate. Because it's not accurate, it's incomplete & misleading.

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 12:10 PM
It's complete. it's accurate

Cookie
01-10-2009, 12:22 PM
Well, Frenchie you should pay yourself a lot less when starting out, and if you got investors even less. So, Dave, could pay himself, 1.00 a hour, then, that is what is subtracted from the profit, not what he would/could had made if he was still working as a brain surgeon.

INFACT, and a FACT, some people don't even take a salary.

frenchie
01-10-2009, 12:40 PM
It's complete. it's accurate

How so?

You started off saying you saved 75k, then switched to "at least 80k" - your breakdown of the contractors' bids comes to 85k. You also mentioned 40k in materials... still not sure if that was included in the 75-80k, hence needs to be substracted, or if it's completely seperate & the bids were for labor-only.

Whatever that number is, it's 4 pages later, and I still have no idea how much time you put in: might have been a thousand hours, might have been 40 thousand hours, might have been 100 thousand hours, might have been... whatever. I have no idea, because you refuse to give me a clue.

I don't even know how long you had the house, or how much time you typically spent on it, to be able to make a SWAG about it.


That's complete, and accurate? Come on. With that info, we might be talking about 35k in savings, divided by 10 years of 30-hour weeks, or we might be talking about 80k in savings over a 2 years of weekends.

That's not very accurate - it's vague as could be.


And when I asked for more info, so we could maybe get an idea - all I got back was defensive BS about how I supposedly don't want to lose business to DIYers. Or a blunt assertion, now, that it is complete & accurate.

Are you kidding me?



Well, Frenchie you should pay yourself a lot less when starting out, and if you got investors even less. So, Dave, could pay himself, 1.00 a hour, then, that is what is subtracted from the profit, not what he would/could had made if he was still working as a brain surgeon.

INFACT, and a FACT, some people don't even take a salary.

Come on, Cookie. I'm just trying to get an idea of what his returns actually are. Why are trying to twist things?

Are you just playing around, yanking my chain?

You pay yourself what you can afford. To figure that out, you need an idea of how much time you put in, versus how much money you made.

That's my point: without that basic information, "I saved 80k" doesn't tell us anything at all.

Cookie
01-10-2009, 12:43 PM
My point which I am fully entitled to, is this,
what this man did prior to building houses and taking care of his kids does not relect at all, in what he is doing now.

It is very simple to understand Frenchie. Why are you being rude? I am not.

My question is this, why on earth do you want him to subtract what he could/would make if he was still working at whatever he was doing prior?
Why does this apply to you? He is not working at it. His job is what he is doing now...

This minute, not a year ago, not 10 years ago.

AND, if you know anything about business, you would know that many business owner/employee does not take wage. That makes their business less in value, but they sometimes, defer their salaries with interest, until, the profit hits a certain point.

I certainly, am not pulling any chain, maybe you are just a tadbit defensive?

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 12:58 PM
Very complete, very accurate

Cookie
01-10-2009, 01:01 PM
Dave aren't you glad you came? lol., welcome. :D

frenchie
01-10-2009, 01:10 PM
Cookie -


I'm not sure what I said, that you thought was rude.

But I am feeling a little aggravated that, when I asked a simple question 4 pages ago, all I got was a lot of attitude and some personal attacks.

I've been told my question is "stupid", and "a load of garbage from people who don't want to lose business from DIY people". I was accused of not valueing scuba's parenting & housekeeping, and you yourself said I was "missing the boat on this one".


I'm still not sure what part of my question is not making sense to you or Scuba. I'm completely at a loss, as to why anyone is getting defensive about any of it, or attacking me.

The question is completely straightforward, and it's a valid question. If he saved 85k by putting in 800 hours - that's not the same thing as if he saved 45k by working 20000 hours. I'm just trying to find out where, on that continuum, he came in. Why is that such an offensive question? It's a perfectly valid, useful question, I think.


I've seen people nearly bankrupt themselves, and/or end up living for years with non-useable parts of their house, because of this kinds of vagueness. It's a valid question, I meant no harm in asking it, but I'm getting really tired of the brush-offs & personal attack coming my way.


Scuba -

repeating it, doesn't make it true.

Cookie
01-10-2009, 01:17 PM
Well, being asked, if I am pulling your chain is not exactly nice, and implying I am twisting things, too Frenchie. Just not nice.

GabeS
01-10-2009, 01:26 PM
I'm with you frenchie. He still hasn't said how many hours he worked on the house. I also asked the question some pages ago with no response. They are both saying a lot of nothing.

Cookie
01-10-2009, 01:28 PM
Well, Gabe, at least I am not being rude.
That is saying something.

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 01:28 PM
Well why don't the two of you get together, hire an accountant & figure it out

frenchie
01-10-2009, 01:31 PM
Well, being asked, if I am pulling your chain is not exactly nice, and implying I am twisting things, too Frenchie. Just not nice.

I was honestly wondering if you were joking.

The fact that many start-ups don't make a salary, when it was you who first raised the issue of couting his hours as salary... It seemed like such an out-of-context issue to raise, that I wasn't sure you were serious.

Sorry if I offended you, that was not my intent. I was honestly asking if you were kidding around.

Cookie
01-10-2009, 01:35 PM
Frenchie,

Please reread some of your posts from the start.
I got to run now, and make money, :D

frenchie
01-10-2009, 01:45 PM
Frenchie,

Please reread some of your posts from the start.


I have. Three times. You might want to do the same with Dave's posts.


No problem, I can sit here all day & type the same response over & over :D

Cute, Dave. Very cute.

Obviously, it's pointless trying to get actual information out of you - you just wants to boast, not explain. And now, it appears, you're just out to taunt me.

Fine. Boast away, Dave - feel good about yourself. I've got better things to do than trying to salvage anything useful to anyone out of this non-discussion.


I'm sorry but the hours are irrelevant to the question of how much I saved VS hiring someone

No, it's not. But that's okay, you've succeeded in making me not care.

Congratulations. You win.

TedL
01-10-2009, 04:59 PM
A few thoughts from an accounting perspective:

Opportunity costs (the other things one could have done with hours spent on something) are not recognized costs. They most certainly should be part of the decision making/planning, but they don't get recorded as costs.

Some people, myself included, are prohibited by employment contracts or laws from engaging in the practice of their profession other than for their employer. As an overtime ineligible manager, my salary is fixed and cannot be increased by working additional hours. I cannot get a second job or moonlight in my profession. I could flip burgers or don a red or orange apron, as there would be no conflict of interest. Then I would pay taxes of 40% on my $10 or so per hour, before turning it over to a contractor. So, I'd be working 10 hrs or so in one of the boxes to pay for an hour or so of pro time. The fact is, my day job is 100% mind work; it's a welcome break to do things with my hands.

Overall, taxes create a tremendous, if often overlooked, incentive to be self sufficient. If Al gets paid for painting a room in Bob's house, and Bob gets paid to mow Al's lawn, easily half the money exchanged could (or, rather, tax codes say should) go for taxes, at least in NYS. (8% sales tax; 15% federal self employment tax; 7% state income tax; 25% federal income tax; some added on to payment; some deductible when computing others). So, even if each gets paid the same, one has to work 2 hours to be able to purchase one hour of the other's time.

jadnashua
01-10-2009, 06:19 PM
I think something is missing here. Working for yourself on your own home may truely not be a "cost" if during that time you would have no incling, plan, or intent of spending that time in some other profit generating endeavor. That fact that you COULD be spending that time earning money, really is somewhat irrelevant if you WOULDN'T do it. So, if I (or anyone else) chooses to use part of my non-wage earning time to do something on my house that otherwise would require paying someone to do, since the money pool is only based on what I earn, and I wouldn't earn it instead of working on the house, it is indeed a savings in out-of-pocket expenses. Now, whether that is a prudent thing to do, or the fact that a pro would be able to do it faster and maybe better (subjective evaluation, depending on the task and the skill of the person doing the work) is somewhat irrelevant if that's what I want to do.

Now, if I give up time I WOULD or SHOULD be working at my normal paying job, then it truely has a bottom line cost, and depending on what you are being paid (or earn), may or may not be cost effective.

Do you figure the cost of taking a vacation as the total of what you paid to do it plus what it cost you in time not working? Say you can earn $5k in a week, and you spend $5k on the vacation, did it really cost you $10K? If you'd decided you weren't going to work that week because you needed a vacation and wouldn't have worked anyway, does that change the bottom line cost to that $10K? Depends on how you look at it, the same as doing work on your own house...

Slow down and smell the roses...

codeone
01-10-2009, 06:25 PM
You can keep arguing this till the cows come home, your not going to get everyone to agree on what was made. Why keep it up? He apparently enjoys what he does. So whats the BIG deal? This debating about his profit is not why I started this thread. Give it a break!

Dunbar Plumbing
01-10-2009, 07:49 PM
A strong diet of tootsie rolls will give you excessive gas.

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:14 PM
Quite capable of doing ALL that work myself thanks

One of the pics from when we 1st bought the house

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Home%20Stuff/Dormerstart.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:17 PM
The LVL beams in the garage

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/Day8b.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:18 PM
The foundation after backfilling & gravel

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/3quartergravel.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:19 PM
The 1st wall went up around Oct 5th 2008

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/Day1a.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:21 PM
Sunroom that I built, and showing the snow from the last storm

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Home%20Stuff/3-windows-back-of-house2.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/xmas/DSCF4691.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:27 PM
Decking on the garage - oops thats the attic
Ready to start the next floor

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/Day21b.jpg

Here's the garage

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/Day11Flooringe.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:28 PM
Most of the walls up, I-beams installed & working on the attic

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/Day20c.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:29 PM
The 16" LVL's in the garage were just under 200 lbs each
The 16" LVL in the great room were much easier

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/Day30.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:33 PM
It was nice getting the garage done with the next floor on
I did have a friend help me get the bigger windows & doors up onto the deck

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/Day12windows.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:35 PM
Of course the wife was bummed as she lost the 2 windows in the kitchen that face West. But when I remodel the kitchen the sink will face the back yard & the sunroom is already open to the kitchen

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/Kitchenwindows.jpg

The brown cabinets are Temp until I'm ready to put the radiant heat floor down

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/DSCF4281.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:39 PM
Back deck behind the pool & the picnic table I built

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Home%20Stuff/DSCF4352.jpg

Part of the patio area I put in

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Home%20Stuff/DSCF4340.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Home%20Stuff/Patio.jpg

Pool cabana extension 10x10

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Home%20Stuff/Skylights-in2.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:50 PM
One of the best parts of the area is the 24x30' garden for veggies
Due to the water table I had tomato plants grow over 8' tall
I need to build a lattice system out there & overhead support

You keep dreaming & being jealous there guy
We are not flipping this house, we are keeping it
The fact that YOU are not competent to build what I can build is just a fact you will have to live with

I figured you as a teacher, those who CAN'T....teach :D

And I made OVER $100k on the sale of my last house Thanks
You really need to pay attention to the facts I have stated in this threads instead of pulling out little tidbits to make yourself feel better

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Plants/GardenJune1st.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:55 PM
Oh, I also have a huge Halloween & Christmas display every year
This year was smaller as I was spending all my spare time on the addition

http://holidaves.com/Pictures/Halloween/2008/DSCF4599.JPG

http://holidaves.com/Pictures/Christmas/2007/Front-Yard8.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-10-2009, 08:58 PM
This Christmas was a much smaller display

http://holidaves.com/Pictures/Christmas/2008/DSCF4688.JPG


With the snow storms a lot have been buried
We are supposed to get up to 10" of snow tonite

http://holidaves.com/Pictures/Christmas/2008/DSCF4685.JPG

jwelectric
01-10-2009, 09:03 PM
One of the best parts of the area is the 24x30' garden for veggies
Due to the water table I had tomato plants grow over 8' tall
I need to build a lattice system out there & overhead support You didn’t get those seeds from a man named Jack did you? He had some powerful beans also.


You keep dreaming & being jealous there guy
We are not flipping this house, we are keeping it
The fact that YOU are not competent to build what I can build is just a fact you will have to live with I am not a bit jealous of any person on this earth and don’t have to boast on my accomplishments in order to make myself feel good. I might not be very competent but I did build every building on this farm but of course I did have help. I just am not enough of a bear to raise 200 pound trusses up on a 36 x 120 foot barn all by myself but then again……….


I figured you as a teacher, those who CAN'T....teach :D I think you have this a little off kilter here. Those who KNOW teach and those who don’t know rely on the inspector to keep them straight.


And I made OVER $100k on the sale of my last house Thanks It has gone from $75K to $100K which leads me to think that you are full of manure and the truth does not live in your mind.

You really need to pay attention to the facts I have stated in this threads instead of pulling out little tidbits to make yourself feel better I am trying as hard as I can to pay attention to the facts but your facts keeps changing from post to post. I don’t need to pull tidbits out of anywhere to make myself feel better. I feel just fine where I am at and with what I already have.
It is you who are reaching for the stars and trying to make everyone who reads this thread think that you can do anything short of walking on water.

Now I leave you to your own self praise and hope that it doesn’t cause you to have some sort of complex

Cookie
01-10-2009, 09:33 PM
Dave, this is my neighbor's house at Christmas time, every year! You ride in a circle around the house and can view it from all sides. It really is spectacular to see. That is there hummer all done in lights, lol.

Cookie
01-10-2009, 09:40 PM
Good people to do this and the electric bill I hear is very high during the season.

Cookie
01-11-2009, 05:51 AM
I think what you did with your house was wonderful. I loved the round stone design. Keep up the good work, your family is lucky to have you.

frenchie
01-11-2009, 07:26 AM
Sunroom that I built, and showing the snow from the last storm

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/xmas/DSCF4691.jpg

FYI, Dave, you have a venting problem, or an insulation problem, on that roof in the picture above - those icicles. Might want to make that next on your list, if it hasn't been taken care of since you took the pictures. You're either paying to heat the outdoors, or facilitating rot in your roof, if you leave it like that.

I work solo a lot, so - for the record - I have absolutely no doubt you did all the work yourself. With the right equipement, anything's possible. I am curious how you handled a couple of things. First would be, how did you get the 200lb beams up alone? That's one bit where I'd have definitely hired some help. How did you handle it? I'm always willing to learn new tricks. The other one is, what's your system for tilting up walls, working alone?


It's clear to me that you could contribute a lot of useful information to this forum.

Scuba_Dave
01-11-2009, 08:54 AM
We've had one snowstorm after another
Just had another 4-5 inches dumped last night & still snowing
Freezes, thaws icicles everywhere. That was the worst day for my house after the big storm so I wanted to take pics. The neighbors house is older & poorly insulated - they have icicles all the time
Every roof in the area has had icicles

The sunroom is unheated at this point - only about 40-50 out there right now. Once I take the wall down fully between the kitchen & sunroom I'll have heat installed. I'm going to put down radiant floor heat with tile. A ~6' baseboard will go along the peninsula that will border the kitchen. I did radiant in the bathroom (no radiator) & the hallway & it works great. At some point a solar array will go on the new addition roof. It was designed with a long slope facing South just for this purpose

New Master bath on the 2nd floor wil also have radiant floor heat
The exisitng 2nd floor bath will have a towel heater ~600w as a heater. Going from the old R7 roof insulation to R38 I don't expect to need much heat up there. I used to shut off the bedroom at my last house & let the Temps dip to 50. But the wife sorta objects to that :D

I wasn't sure how to the tackle the LVL beams
So I started with the smaller set of 11 7/8" for floor support
Garage walls were all built & tied together
I used an electric hoist to pull the long 24' wall shown - the 1st wall thyat I started around Oct 5.. I left the cable in place to hold the wall, I also added a heavy duty rope at a 2nd point
I lifted one end of the LVL up & walked it up a ladder onto the opposite the existing house. On the other side I had 2x scrap laid out. As I pushed/pulled the LVL up onto the wall the scrap fell between the LVL end & the foundation. This prevented the LVL from slipping back down. In addition 2x scrap was on either side of the wall so the LVL could not slide sideways down the wall

I then went to the opposite side & walked the LVL up the other side
The supports were all built in advance, the outer wall had a "pocket" built where the LVL would "slide" in. Once the LVL was up (flat on the wall) I then tilted it up & the far end slid into the pocket. It actually worked MUCH better then I had hoped. If you have handled LVL then you know they are a royal pain to move around. I would not suggest to anyone to try this alone, but I'm stubborn. I did have friends who volunteered to help on weekends. But this is my "job" & I hated the idea that they woudl need to give up a day on the wekeend to help me

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/DSCF4487.jpg

leejosepho
01-11-2009, 08:57 AM
I'm a big DIY person
My latest project - 3 story addition ...
I'm saving over $75k in construction costs ...

Not having to pay someone else for labor is not the same thing as actually saving the expenses of getting things done. I have never paid anyone to get any work done on my house, but my son-in-law and I still have to be fed and provided with an occasional shower, laundry services and so on. So then, a bit of clarification here would begin with something like this:

What did it cost you to be able to show up and provide the labor for your own work? To report an actual saving, that amount would have to be deducted from what you might have had to pay someone else.



I'm sure a lot of people believe [they save money by doing work themselves], not saying your not saving any money, just most people don’t realize the cost of doing something wrong either.

Scuba_Dave does not seem to have that problem of costing himself time and money by having to re-do his work ... but yes, that is a caution nearly everyone should at least consider.



Rough framing alone was going to cost over $45k on the addition
Probably another $20k on the sunroom, another $20k on the dormer



So how much do you charge for yourself to work on your own house? I mean, your time is worth something, so what did the framing by doing it yourself cost you?



Nothing ...

Once again: It is not realistic to say it costs us nothing to work on our own homes when in fact we must either spend or otherwise benefit from someone’s money in order to remain alive and be available for doing any work at all.



[“Nothing” is] a cop-out answer.

No, it is merely a short-sighted one.


So, if you weren't building your house, what would you be doing with that time? Whatever that would pay, that's what it's costing you to provide your own labor, and has to be subtracted from the 75k in savings.

Not necessarily, and someone else has clearly addressed that matter.

The real issue there would be about determining or discovering an actual value or personal gain achieved by providing his own labor, and that could be done by subtracting all actual hard-cash expenses (for materials and consumables) from the sale price if he ever sold the house. The remainder, then, would be his own “value added” or the amount of his personal contribution in the form of labor ... and he could then compare that amount to whatever amount he might have earned elsewhere to see whether or not he really came out ahead at the end ... and of course, all of that is even still relatively subject to his sense of personal pleasure or accomplishment in having done whatever he has done.

Scuba_Dave
01-11-2009, 09:03 AM
Notice the cupola in the other picture :)
I sort of inherited from someone who's neighbors made fun of them
The neighbors joked that airplanes would be landing if they put it up on the house. I was happy but a little worried to take it. It's HUGE & barely fit in the back of the truck. I used the 20' long rafters as a ramp. The chain hoist pulled the cupola up the ramp onto the great room floor. Then once the attic floor was completed I repeated the process
The next step will be onto the roof

Someone else gave me the double Anderson doors for free
I bought a 3rd door ro make the triple door "wall"
That was the last lower wall to go up - not counting the gable walls
With the snowstorms I'm on a forced "time off"
I've switched to inside projects - remudding & painting the front entrance after a new door/window were installed

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/Day30a.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/Day30e-1.jpg

Here's another pic of those icicles - they only lasted 2 days
There is probably some heat leaking up into the ceiling as the drywall has not been mudded yet. The entire roof has ice shield due to the skylights. It was actually water tight before I roofed

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/xmas/DSCF4677.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-11-2009, 09:06 AM
I've never had to redo my work Thanks
I build & insulate to surpass code
The money that I save by DIY I put some back into better materials

frenchie
01-11-2009, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the answers, Dave.

The LVL 'walk up" is pretty ingeneous... I can very much relate to the "too stubborn" part! :D

So the icicles are just from freeze/thaw outdoor temp swings... that's cgood. Especially if you've got I&W on the whole roof: that stuff is vapor-proof, you need to make extra-sure there's no humidity getting to the roof deck, or if there is that it's really well vented.

How long's the tyvek been out in the sun? Careful with that, it degrades under UV exposure. There's other housewraps - vapro is one - that are more UV resistant. I don't know about easyguard, I'm not familiar with it. Push comes to shove, replace when the time comes for siding...

Pretty impressive work. Kudos.

Scuba_Dave
01-11-2009, 09:48 AM
The tyvek will need to be replaced, too long outside
But I needed to protect the plywood
I "lost" a year due to a broken rib
And it wasn't construction related really
They had poured the foundation, taken the forms off
I put a plank across from the back patio to the new foundation & was measuring to calculate the garage floor, walls etc
Either I slipped or some dirt gave way & I fell

I would have been fine...except for that plank
I landed right on it - side 1st - broke a rib
I ended up in the area dugout & walled in between the new foundation & the old patio - no way out. I thought I just knocked the wind out of myself. So I struggled up & managed to crawl up the side

5 days later my wife made me go to the Doc & have an X-ray :(
Nothing really they could do, but that ended construction for that year
This past summer I twisted my knee out by the pool, so the addition is 3 months behind

I'm getting to old for this :D
Thankfully this is the last major construction
Wife has agreed (insisted?) the Great Room wil be unfinished until the rest of the house is done :rolleyes:

Kitchen remodel including the new sunroom
Finish 2nd floor dormer inside
My main interest is getting the garage ready to go - floor poured
Then the new driveway
Then reside the house
At least then from the outside it will look done

I put a lot of hard work into this house
So I guess I'm a little touchy when people seem to tear into me on it :(

Terry
01-11-2009, 09:57 AM
I know a lot of people that build their own homes this way.
When I broke into plumbing, ones of the other guys, Merlin Blue, used to take throwaway ABS fittings and take them home. He would split the pipe out of the fittings in his spare time, and then used them in his home that he was building.

In 1989 I added on a back wing to my mothers home, from plans I had drawn when my father was still living. The big beam across the back was an 8x20 and twenty feet long. I rented a jack lift, that worked with a lever, sort of click, click, clicked it up there.

I always pay someone to pour my concrete though. They earn it.
And the electrical. Wayne Ramsey did that for me.

Scuba_Dave
01-11-2009, 10:09 AM
The walls were prebuilt in place before being raised
Process varied by the wall, but I drilled a hole at the base of one stud in the wall. I then ran a steel cable to the far side & secured around whatever structure made sense

On many of the outer walls you can see blocks nailed in
These blocks depending upon their location either prevented the bottom of the wall from kicking out, or prevented it from going "over" - a bad thing. In addition I had a heavy duty rope that I tied to the top of each wall before being raised. The top rope also prevented the wall from going over

Wall is framed out, then the top is raised up on 2x scrap so I can grab the wall & lift it up. Wall is sheathed & raised up more - maybe 3 scraps of 2x. Tyvek & windows are installed. Then I lift up each end & raise it stuffing 2x scrap under each side in turn. You can only go so far using this method. 2x braces are attached to each side - & they can swing down as the wall is raised further. I lift the wall, braces swing down & hold the wall up. Secure wall, next set of longer braces. You get to the point where the wall is angled at a 45 degree angle - critical mass. I put more 2x bracing up, then I nail 2x scrap into the floor. As I push the wall up, the braces slide over each succesive 2x. Sort of like a ladder on the floor. Once each brace slidesd over a 2x on the floor the wall can't slip back. Eventually the weight shifts & the wall can be "easily" raised upright

Again, this is not an easy task - but it's how I did it
2 people would make it MUCH easier. The wife did "help" me with 2 sections. The front 16' wall/window was the heaviest. But she would make noises at every creak that scared me :D
And I would have to wait for the weekend. So I came up with the bracing method

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y105/Daveywb/Construction/Day16h.jpg

Scuba_Dave
01-11-2009, 10:25 AM
My last house was built in 1905 & was a mess
It had been added onto, changed & no attention paid to how things should be done. I found a 2x inside a wall that wasn't even nailed in !!
I went to school to be an Architect many years ago. But it was just too dang hard to design anything on a PC back then. So I fell into PC work which did well up until Y2k. I've been building since I was a kid, my dad was an (electrical?) engineer. Me & my brother were the (non-paid) help. Running electric, build a pantry, finishing the basement. The basement work was a bonus - my brothers room. That meant I had my own room - so we didn't mind
Moving back to MA after the blizzard of 78 (missed it) I finished the new basement on my own - Dad was the inspector. I did the walls - drilled & bolted into cement (PT should have been used), I used what my dad supplied. Insulated, wired & sheet rocked. As a side note its not a good idea to use a power saw to cut drywall...in the basement...with smoke alarms all wired together :D

The building Depts at both Towns were surprised that I did my own plans, and that they were very detailed

My last house was rewired by "someone". Live wires in a box behind the baseboard. Live wire in the yard (lawn mower detected it) that used to go to a shed. Multiple live wires in the crawlspace. Wires in the bathroom that were never connected

I redid what I had too, but it was basically just outlets. The biggest was a 30a dedicated circuit for a 24k wall AC

After buying this house I decided to formally train myself in electric
Funny - we can pull our own permit here for electric - not sure on plumbing. I'm under the impression we can't do plumbing. I've replaced leaking faucets, but not much more

I bought the 2005 NEC handbook, its the only book I have for wiring
I've been on another DIY site for maybe 4+ years now. I've learned more in 4 years then I have the rest of my life. I don't rely on "hand-me down" knowledge, I double check everything I am told
#1 rule for me is electricity can kill you

I looked into DIY concrete garage floor - definitely agree not something I will try

WayneGretzky
01-11-2009, 01:07 PM
Another thought to a long thread that seems pretty simple.
He is a stay at home dad, that is his job.
If it took 20,000 hrs to build what does it matter? If those hours would have been used to watch t.v. and take naps on the couch during the daytime, he has still saved that money.
If a person took holidays from a wage paying job, then one could figure that part out, but he is a stay at home dad and maybe the child care wasn't what it could have been but he did save that money.
Maybe i am looking at this wrong? I don't think i am but correct me if i am wrong.

leejosepho
01-11-2009, 03:57 PM
Maybe i am looking at this wrong? I don't think i am but correct me if i am wrong.

No, you are not wrong since almost anything is better than paying somebody else to serve as your own child's parent.

codeone
01-11-2009, 06:15 PM
WOW most views and replies on the electrical side!

leejosepho
01-12-2009, 03:03 AM
Reading and asking questions is a great way to learn!

codeone
01-12-2009, 04:37 AM
Reading and asking questions is a great way to learn!

Yes this may be true.
However this thread turned out to be more bashing and arguing than anything very informative. Very disapointing.

Each one has a point after a while it gets old listening to the same ones not getting anywhere.

Also in the pics of the framing I did spot code violations I could go into,however If I remember correct he mentioned he passed his inspections. Could be he had an inexperienced inspector or he corrected the violations before the inspector arrived. I dont know it doesnt matter unless someone wants to know for their benefit and would like to ask. Also codes could be different from here to there. Wouldnt think they are that much different except for the snow loads imposed in that area.They should be stricter.

Oh forgot to mention I also have Certifications in Building, Plumbing, Mechanical and Fire here in N.C.

Anyway I dont think theres a need to be overly critical of this man or his work. He enjoys it and gets satisfaction from it. He apparently pulled his permits and got his inspections and is happy with his results. Good for him.

frenchie
01-12-2009, 06:03 AM
However this thread turned out to be more bashing and arguing than anything very informative. Very disapointing.

I dunno, I think we turned it around, in the end, right? Buried the hatchet & moved onto more informative topics. The last page, anyways...

ScubaDave, weigh in, here. We're good, now, right?


Also in the pics of the framing I did spot code violations I could go into,however If I remember correct he mentioned he passed his inspections. Could be he had an inexperienced inspector or he corrected the violations before the inspector arrived. I dont know it doesnt matter unless someone wants to know for their benefit and would like to ask. Also codes could be different from here to there. Wouldnt think they are that much different except for the snow loads imposed in that area.They should be stricter.


?? I didn't spot anything wrong. Maybe I need to look closer? What did you notice?

GabeS
01-12-2009, 06:12 AM
I agree. No sense in keep driving the same points home over and over. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Some things are black and white and others are up for dipute.

What did you notice wrong with the framing? I'm sure Scuba would like to know. I don't thing he wants his house falling down.

frenchie
01-12-2009, 07:36 AM
WOW most views and replies on the electrical side!

Nope. Jar's "DIY electrical" has more views. Although this is the highest replies.

But don't put too much stock in those stats: the entire forum got erased, last year, and we had to start anew. It's quite possible that there were longer threads, before that. We'll never know. All those threads are lost, forever.

Scuba_Dave
01-12-2009, 09:29 AM
Yup, I'm good
Been sick since New Years so I'm worn out & cranky

Since the (garage) addition is unfinished I'm not sure how I can have code violations? Rough framing won't be done for another month or longer if the snowstorms keep coming in. If you did spot something I'd like to know, I tend to overbuild & like to surpass the code. If there was something missed I'd correct it

Sunroom was inspected, rough, electric, insulation
Inspector wanted some lag bolts on the "ledger" board where the rafter ties for the flat ceiling at the top of the cathedral ceiling. Other then that he saw no problems. Not a quick inspection either, he took his time & checked everything out

codeone
01-12-2009, 05:57 PM
Mind you some of the pictures are hard to tell alot of detail. Tried blowing them up looses detail. It appears some of your headers are not doubled and you do not have jack studs under them. Your flashing appears to be installed wrong under the windows however its hard to tell. Did you ptu you bottom flashing on befor you installed the windows? Yout house wrap did you x and fold in at the windows? Then did you v up the wrap at the top of the windows put your flashing on after the window was installed then fold the wrap back over the flashing and tape the cuts? How long do they allow you to have untreated wood exposed to the weather before covering?

Again remember its hard to see all detail, and you do have codes that may differ some from N.C. to where you live. Also you may have already taken care of some of these concerns since you have taken these pictures.

Also you have done well considering you had to take so long off. It may have been advisable to have had some help to get your project dried in sooner. However I like you like to do things myself and sometimes its to my detriment also.

On you building where you have the jalousie windows did you install top plates? Also on all your rooms did you install double top plates. Again you didnt show all walls after completion. Pictures can be hard to go by.

Hang in there and work with your inspector, Im sure he will help you if any of these are any of his concerns. Remember he is a public servant. I hope he works well with you.

Scuba_Dave
01-12-2009, 07:30 PM
Actually all the headers will be triple insulated header
The third triple header is not in place until after I add insulation board
Jack studs are under every header
In some cases cripple studs are not under windows
I go back & add them as I cut 2x & have "extra"

Flashing was installed on sill plate before the windows were installed
Then house wrap folded in, then more flashing
Local code only requires house wrap, which I found strange
But in looking at new houses that's all they had
The other DIY site recommended the window wrap/flashing for a proper seal

I have double top plates everywhere
I'm not sure which building as the greenhouse has jalousie windows as does the pool cabana. The pool cabana has double top plates - basically just to match the existing structure. Since double top plates are not required if the rafter sits on top of the stud. But with the length of the big jalousie window I would have done it anyways. They weren't that concerned with the pool cabana either, again I went with 2x10 instead of the 2x6 rafters required. Mostly to support a solar water heating system for the pool. The jalousie window also has solid support in between the 3 window "panels". All the jalousie windows were free from a guy changing his 3 season porch to a 4 season

The greenhouse they barely gave a 2nd look, I doubled up the rafters & went w/2x10's instead of 2x6's which is all that was needed.

There is a house in Town that a guy has been working on for over 5 years, wood exposed. They don't seem to have a problem with it

Thanks for the input

svcalypso
01-13-2009, 11:23 AM
I don't cut corners

I agree - when we put an extension over our garage for a home office we used a crew for the framing work and did the rest ourselves (or subbed it out - electrical and sheetrock). I did all the insulation myself. When the inspector came round he said "you did this yourself, didn't you ?" We thought "uh, oh -yes ....." he said he can tell when a homeowner does it because they invest the time to get the insulation in properly, around all the areas where there may be heat loss.

Time is money right ? and my time is free ?

also

Code is code, but done right is done right

frenchie
01-13-2009, 07:51 PM
That is very true. A contractor looks at fiberglass and thinks: hassle, boring, itchy. Tries to get it over with as quickly as posible. And because most customers never see it, there's no "impress the client" mileage to be gotten, no incentive to do a quality job.

A homeowner looks at fiberglass and thinks: lower heating bills, a more comfortable house. Does it with care & attention, because the incentives are there, for him/her.

It's like I said: the most motivated work force available out there.


RE code vs. done right... a friend's sig line on another forum goes: "code is the minimum grade to pass. You build to code, you pass; congratulations, your grade is a D."

codeone
01-14-2009, 02:10 PM
RE code vs. done right... a friend's sig line on another forum goes: "code is the minimum grade to pass. You build to code, you pass; congratulations, your grade is a D."

I like your friends line! The problem is everyone seems to try to do as little as they can for as much as they can. There are still some contractors who do good quality work, however their either hard to find or to busy to get to your work because they do such good work. Its a shame the world we live in is so driven by the dollar.

leejosepho
01-14-2009, 02:36 PM
It's a shame the world we live in is so driven by [love for] the dollar.

Yes, for that is the root of all evil.

GabeS
01-14-2009, 03:45 PM
That's the way it has to be, unless you can come up with a better system.:)

leejosepho
01-14-2009, 05:25 PM
That's the way it has to be, unless you can come up with a better system.:)

Mankind has already come up with that one and could not possibly come up with any other, but a much better one certainly does still exist:

“‘You shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great command. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’”