Biggest Task DIY'ers Would Like To Know?

14 Replies

I am just curious. I have been in the construction industry for a long time and I see many investors struggling with different aspects of investing when it comes to repairs and capital expenditures. I have seen many things in this industry from very good work to very terrible. I guess my question here is if you are a DIY'er, what is the one task you would really like to be an expert at? Thanks.

Refinishing wood floors. I can't seem to ever get enough sanding done to get all the stains out. Impatient I guess. When we gest a property with covered wood floors we always try to get them back to original condition.

I would like a lot more expertise in working on exteriors. Rebuilding large porches, reroofing complex roofs, stripping and residing a house built way back when. I always feel like a bumbler on those tasks working alone, no matter how much I study and practice. And I'm terrified of working above 15 feet off the ground on a ladder.

@Arlan Potter I definitely do not know your market but have you ever considered leaving some of the staining in the floor? We have some older neighborhoods that we leave the stains in some of the floors and seal over them. Some seem to really like this older look.
@Hai Loc I was thinking most people would say electrical and plumbing. In my experience these are the areas that most people want to be able to fix due to the costs. I have noticed most do not touch HVAC as well
@Shaun Palmer I find that plumbing and electrical you need a license. Any other kind of remodeling you can call an average joe to do like framing drywall painting flooring etc...

Fixing & skimming old plaster walls.  I've made great progress, but I'm still deathly slow.  I'm good at most mechanical and carpentry stuff, that's pretty straightforward measure, cut, assemble. Walls is a deathmarch, it's like sculpting something flat!

Replacing kitchen cabinets and counter tops to not only look professional, but to also do so without spending an arm and a leg. 

@Johann Jells Definitely agree with you on this one.  I invest in an area where there are not too many plastered walls nowadays but I used to live in Pittsburgh where it was the norm.  It is definitely an art.  Drywall is much easier to work with.

Originally posted by @Shaun Palmer :

@Johann Jells Definitely agree with you on this one.  I invest in an area where there are not too many plastered walls nowadays but I used to live in Pittsburgh where it was the norm.  It is definitely an art.  Drywall is much easier to work with.

 Problem is demoing out plaster and lath is so time consuming and expensive, and then you have stud walls that need to be shimmed because they didn't bother making them straight when it was going to be plastered. No contractor wants to bother, I've gotten some really crappy gut and drywall jobs with out of square and out of plumb walls.

@Shaun Palmer I consider myself to be an experienced novice DIYer on my own house, saving money and involving my 5 kids when I can. As a family we demo'd the old wood fence and have one post and panel left to install of 112' of PVC fence, 70' of HOA brick wall helps. Only labor I've paid is $20/kid, haha. But I have to share a time I wasted a whole weekend trying to "save money" since "I know electricity, I don't need no stinkin electrician". I got a short on a circuit that only covered two bedrooms. Replaced the breaker to figure out that wasn't it. Disconnected outlets in succession and trial and error to try and find the short. Found the outlet where the short would trip to find the wire run with the short. Went on a long wandering Lowe's run to find the wire I should use, fish tape, etc. Came home to spend an hour or two in my attic in FL, and finally bypassed the short from box to box with 25' of new wire and all was good. Only took me at least 12 hours of trial and error and head scratching to find the work needed, and then probably twice as long as a pro to run one simple wire. An electrician would have likely found it quickly, fixed it quickly, and billed me reasonably.
I hit post too soon....The short was from one room to the other, so I had to go up and over. One small access hole cut and patched in the drywall above each box. The end result was professional, but the path to get there was anything but...

roofing, refinishing floors, and how to install a prehung door with a plumb line so it is straight.

Roofing is the biggest pain point.  We do most of the remaining work ourselves.   But I do not like to drywall, plaster and paint so I will hire others to do these jobs.

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