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Thread: 10 Immutable Laws of Home Repair

  1. #1
    DIYer Mr Fixit eh's Avatar
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    Default 10 Immutable Laws of Home Repair

    Firstly, I want to thank all those who contributed to answering my questions.

    Secondly, after having completed several major renovations over the past few years, I wanted to share this little bit of truth - it would be funny except that it is too true

    1. Every job will take 3 times longer than you planned.
    2. Nothing is ever easy.
    3. Every job will cost 3 times what you budgeted - even after you added 20% for 'surprises.'
    4. Nothing is ever cheap.
    5. The hardware store will always be closed just moments before you need that part that will hold up your job until the store opens tomorrow - or worse yet, in two days - after the stat. holiday tomorrow.
    6. Spousal expectations of work productivity are 3 times higher than possible for even the super-human god that you are.
    7. You will need to buy at least one major tool and two smaller tools to complete the job properly - this will lead to at least 3 'discussions', the length and intensity of which will vary proportionately with the cost of said tools.
    8. Spousal contribution of physical work to the renovation tasks will be indirectly proportional to the time from the project's start.
    9. There will be more and more spousally-initiated social engagements the closer you get to the end of the project, while at the same time, spousal impatience to get the job done will increase, the closer you get to the end of the project.
    10. After you complete the first job of it's type, you can complete 10 similar jobs in the same time it took to do the first - with the lessons learned.

    caveat: Of course, none of these laws applies to my wife, who was amazing throughout the renovation ;-)

    Gotta love home repair - if you escape divorce court and the loonie bin, you will get years and years of enjoyment out of said repair - while you both work like a dog to get it all paid off ...... aaahh

    Cheers,

    Steve

  2. #2
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I can relate to most of those.

    The one you miss, is that somewhere along the line you wish you'd done an earlier project a lot better now you know how to do it better. Caulking, for example.

    That's always the killer for me.

    But the greatest bit is when all the individual skills come together. The electrical, the plumbing, the remodeling. Then, you feel like an artist.

    I don't know if professionals licensed in individual trades ever get that feeling, which is a shame.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 12-04-2009 at 04:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    #1 - Wife says I better not have another 10 years to go
    --actually due to injuries unrelated to construction I still have 2 more years to go to meet my timeline
    #3 - If it does we could buy another house
    #6 Fully agree
    #7 I buy the tools that I need, very little discussion if any
    In fact when I was trying to decide between 2 - one more $$ & better - she said to buy the better one
    She didn't want to listen to me complain if I bought the other
    #8 I had to fire her after she dropped a 16' wall on me
    #9 Yup
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  4. #4
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Alot of those can also apply to working on my vehicle, whether it's the newer (now gone) mustang or the old F150.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    #10 is incorrect, since every job will have its own dynamics so any previous knowledge does not apply.
    #11 have a "pre, or post, nuptial agreement" before starting the job, because any extended remodel job will put extreme strain on even the most secure and solid marriage.

  6. #6
    Electrical Engineer jdf405's Avatar
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    I have noticed during my extensive DIY adventures that unfortunate events which have zero probability of happening, happen with regularity. That being said, one could never count on getting that "lucky" with something they would want.
    For example: imagine you are standing on a ladder mudding some drywall. You have the roll of tape on the top of the ladder. A blob of mud falls off your knife, and hits the loose end of the tape roll. In the process it starts the tape unwinding down the ladder and into the bucket of fresh mud.

    You could NEVER get this magic to happen if you tried.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default randomness

    As an adjunct to the tape roll. IF there is any sized opening above a closed area, and you drop something, it will be exactly the size to fall through the hole, regardless of how far the hole is from where the item fell. And if the item is a tool, the chances of retrieving it are inverse to the cost of it.

  8. #8
    DIY Member Firemark's Avatar
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    Don't forget about the Borrowed Tool rule.

    If you borrow it, the chances it will break are proportional to the cost of the tool, causing you to have to buy Two. One to replace the borrowed item and one for yourself.

    My other favorite is "Cheap is Expensive". Every time you take the cheap alternative it always has some fatal flaw causing you to do it over again the right way at full cost.

  9. #9
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdf405 View Post
    I have noticed during my extensive DIY adventures that unfortunate events which have zero probability of happening, happen with regularity. That being said, one could never count on getting that "lucky" with something they would want.
    For example: imagine you are standing on a ladder mudding some drywall. You have the roll of tape on the top of the ladder. A blob of mud falls off your knife, and hits the loose end of the tape roll. In the process it starts the tape unwinding down the ladder and into the bucket of fresh mud.

    You could NEVER get this magic to happen if you tried.
    Tell me about it. Sometimes it is truly unbelievable, some of the stuff that happens. I go out and play the lotto after something like that happens, because I feel like I have better chances of winning the lotto than what just occurred.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  10. #10
    DIY Member Agu's Avatar
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    In any project there's a definable moment that differentiates the true professional from the merely competent amateur.

    When the completely unexpected happens the professional takes a deep breath and goes to plan B. The amateur swears a lot and goes to get a beer.


  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote: When the completely unexpected happens the professional takes a deep breath and goes to plan B. The amateur swears a lot and goes to get a beer.

    Another way to state the above. I was working on a job one time and used a hammer to pound by wrench to get a part started to unscrew it. THe customer asked me how I could get away with being so agressive when he was afraid to do so. I told him, " If I break it, I know who is going to have to fix it, but I know how to do it. If YOU break it, I have to figure out how you did it and then try to find a way to fix it." And while I am doing that the amateur is going to get his beer and drink it.

  12. #12
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaOrange View Post
    Alot of those can also apply to....
    Recorded 4500 years ago was a comment made by Cheops, the Pharaoh around that time, that things never meet budget (time, money). Knowing this, he still went ahead and build Giza pyramid. So, yes, the notion truly does apply to other fields.

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; 10. After you complete the first job of it's type, you can complete 10 similar jobs in the same time it took to do the first - with the lessons learned.

    The lesson you SHOULD have learned was to NEVER do it again. But remodeling is like having a baby. At first you tell yourself, "That is NEVER going to happen again", but in six months you start thinking, "That was really not too bad, and I think I would like to do it again."

  14. #14
    DIY Member Agu's Avatar
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    I replaced all the windows in my house. First window took 4 hours (tiny bathroom window) last window took forty minutes (huge honking picture window). The learning curve is real ....

    Regarding the home handyman, it's not about saving money doing it yourself. It's about justifying the buying of new tools (toys) with the money you saved.

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