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Thread: DIY Again

  1. #1
    Code Enforcement codeone's Avatar
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    Default DIY Again

    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)

  2. #2

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    Excellent post. The real issue is getting a permit and inspection. That is what needs to happen.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  3. #3
    Project Manager mickeytex's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    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



    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

  5. #5
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
    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.

  6. #6
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris75 View Post
    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

  7. #7
    Code Enforcement codeone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
    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?

  9. #9
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    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



    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  10. #10
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris75 View Post
    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
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  11. #11

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    You should rename youself, Mr. Mom.

  12. #12
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
    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? Building houses on my wife's salary sounds like heaven to me.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  13. #13
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    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
    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

    So I should have paid someone $80k to do the work & went to work
    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
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  14. #14
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
    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
    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

    So I should have paid someone $80k to do the work & went to work
    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.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  15. #15

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    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.

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