Friday, June 8, 2012

DIY tips

Building a modular home or any home often leads to a loooooong to-do list.  Try to make your life a little easier with these DIY and home improvement tips from me.  Actually, some are more of a "warning" than a "tip", but you'll get  my drift.

Make a plan.  Your plan should of course reflect the order in which things should be done, time it will take, cost, etc.  I think you can see the value in this, so I won't pontificate on it, but I will tell you a true story.  And I will give you the moral of this story right now: Don't be me.  I didn't make a plan once (alright I try to go plan-less all the time, but I don' recommend it).  Anyway, I decided to repaint a bedroom.  I gathered all of my painting supplies, and set to work sanding and cleaning the walls.  Next, I primed the walls and let that dry.  I set to work painting for painting for the next two days, a really beautiful chocolate color.  It looked pretty darn awesome!  And then I painted the ceiling white. (In case you don't get it, a plan would have come in handy here. Take my word for it.)  Moving on...

Do what's necessary!  (Or, to be clear, don't do unnecessary things!)  For example, unless you can afford a landscaper (I wish!), use your natural surroundings.  Instead of removing trees, consider giving them a little trim, and leave them there.  Instead of moving a boulder, plan around it.  Our yard is full of trees, and yes, they're a pain to mow around.  But they're beautiful.  And frankly, it's easier to mow around them than to cut them down, drag away the branches, and cut up the wood.  Also, several boulders turned up when we dug our foundation.  Rather than haul them away, we kept the nice ones and plan to plant around them.  (In 2023.)

Budget your projects. The harsh reality is that your project, no matter how big or small will cost up at least 35% more than you anticipate.  This is something that bites me in the butt all the time!   I guess a good rule of thumb is to add 50% on top of what you think your project will cost, and if you can afford that, yay! Just painting buys me at least three extra trips to Home Depot!   Halfway through painting I need more paint, or the dog runs off with my paint brush (happened!), and I need to buy a new one.  And I never budget for those extra trips! Then end up eating only stale bread for two days to save money.  Again, don't be me!

Be realistic about your skills.  Some things you just have to be brutally honest about.  If your toilet is backing up into your tub and that "water" is flowing out of the tub and onto the floor, I don't have to tell you that if you're not a plumber you should probably call one, do I?  Similarly, if you think you can fix a faulty electrical outlet with a knife, well, you probably really need an electrician.  Whatever your project, think carefully.  Not only is your budget important, but so is your skill level.  If you get half-though a project and you find you can't finish it yourself, you're going to call a professional anyway, thus messing with your budget big time!  I'm really struggling with whether or not I am able to do my patio installation project myself.  But, it could be an interesting future post if I tackle this myself, and can't finish the project.  The title might be something like "Who needs a patio, when you could have a Shallow Hole?" or "How to find a good Chiropractor"...  We'll see.

Phew, all this talk of DIY and projects, and it's the weekend!  Home Depot in the morning and I think I have two things I'm gonna cross off my to-do list.  But it's not a promise.  More of a threat than a promise.






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