DIY can be MORE expensive than pro...

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If you don't know what you are doing, maybe best to call a pro...
There was a homeowner who had a low wattage water heater which worked fine on a 240V 15 amp breaker. Then one day a heating element went out...
The homeowner replaced the heating element, except purchased a higher wattage heating element (wrong element). Then when the heating element was installed the breaker kept tripping.
So the homeowner purchased a new water heater and this new water heater was a higher wattage then the old water heater. The breaker again kept tripping.
Then the homeowner replaced the circuit breaker with a new 15 amp (double throw) breaker. Same problem. Homeowner kept turning on the breaker to try to get the water heater to work...
Then with the wires to the water heater disconnected and the breaker turned on, there was no voltage to the wires. Seems the wiring was "fried"!
In the end the homeowner had to pay for an electrician to install new higher amperage wiring and a higher amperage breaker, plus had the cost of the new heating element, the new water heater, and the new 15 amp circuit breaker.
All of this could of been avoided if the homeowner had replaced the heating element with the correct wattage element!
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Bill wrote:

that you crack the porcelain the first time you try it.
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I took the time to discover this possibility before I replaced my first toilet.
A little research is always worthwhile, and usually easy these days.
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Less destructive and costly:
Normally I have my driveway sealed professionally every year for about $65. I'd had it done two years in a row, and it looked really good when the sealers came around last spring, so I said bag it.
Well, last week I looked at the driveway and it really needed sealing. If I didn't the driveway would be rubble by spring with all the wet and freezing and thawing that goes on around here.
All the pros have moved south by now, so I went to Lowe's and got the supplies to do it myself. A cheap brush and 5 pails of the cheapest driveway tar they had: $105.
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On Oct 17, 1:23 pm, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

re: If I didn't the driveway would be rubble by spring with all the wet and freezing and thawing that goes on around here.
Please explain that statement.
I live in western NY, near Lake Ontario. I know all about wet and freezing and thawing.
My asphalt driveway is over 20 years old and has never been sealed - not once. There's not one sign of the "rubble" you speak of.
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On Fri, 17 Oct 2008 11:29:59 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

We just put in a brand new driveway (tore out all the old asphalt, laid down a new stone bed, then 2 weeks later, laid down 2" of asphalt), and I'm debating whether to seal it next spring or not. I get conflicting answers all the time. The paving company says to seal. Your experience defies this advice.
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KLS wrote:

about what they put down to stretch the life of existing non-heaved asphalt, around here. Good that they waited 2 weeks for settling problems to show up, but I hope they also compacted the gravel more than just by having you drive on it.
-- aem sends...
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Yes, they went back and forth many times with their massive roller equipment, and after 2 weeks of driving on the stone, there weren't visible tracks (thank god), indicating good compaction. Yes, the standard now is 2" of asphalt for new driveways, sadly, and the price isn't pretty. It was about $1,500 more than just resurfacing the previous -1" (and I was pissed when I realized how thin the top layer was) that was on top of the main layer of asphalt, so I'm hoping never to deal with this again.
But should I seal it in the spring? Therein lies my question. Perhaps I should.
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wrote:

Do they "seal" the interstate?
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wrote:

GOOD POINT! :D
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KLS wrote:

the original concrete road. Unless the original concrete failed completely, you can't get a much better substrate than that. Sometimes the original concrete joints telegraph right through the asphalt.
-- aem sends...
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If that is true, let it go and put in a new driveway with proper base. Mine is 30 years old and was sealed once, about 25 years ago. I found it is a PITA to do and there is no damage after all those New England winters.
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OK Bill. Where did this story come from? How about even a link to the page.
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http://tinyurl.com/5r66uw
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
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If you don't know what you're doing... get an education first, these days it's easy to ask and get qualified answers

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Sure, there's always a risk of failure in any DIY project, just as there's a risk of failure in a professionally-done project. It's just the risk is lower if it's a pro (hopefully), and the liability is theirs, not yours.
But what is often neglected is the cost in dollars versus the cost in time. When it comes to larger projects, how much is your time worth if a project will suck up every waking non-work-related minute for days or weeks? Is the money you save on redoing the kitchen yourself really worth all the extra days you have to wash your dishes in the bathtub? If you're not a flooring expert, is it worth the savings in dollars to take longer to install a hardwood floor yourself than to have a professional do it much more quickly and with less of a chance of problems after?
My wife and I are about to rehab a foreclosure house we purchased from Fannie Mae. It needs a lot of cosmetic work and it will take a lot of time to re-do the kitchen, replace carpets in the bedrooms with hardwood, abate the stink of the previous owners (smokers), and paint _everything_. We both work 50--60 hours a week, so to get this place ready to move in by the end of November, we'd have to do nothing in our spare time but work on the house.
So we figure it's worth it to shell out some dollars to professionals for a few of those tasks/projects rather than pay the price in loss of sanity, grumpiness and a complete lack of lovin' until close to Christmas...
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-snip-

Or years.
The converse is 'How much enjoyment do you get out of just doing the work yourself.'
I've been digging a basement out for 20 yrs, off and on. 5 gallons at a time of wet heavy clay. Money wise I probably started losing money a few years ago. Convenience wise it has been a loser from the gitgo.
But I've been getting a good workout through our long cold winters. And next winter, when I will likely put a floor down in 1/2 the basement, the level of satisfaction will be without equal.
When shit goes wrong- and it does from time to time- I write it off to educational expenses.
Jim
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DIY *should* be more expensive than a so called pro, after all, a DIYer should be using better materials and doing better quality work than the pro since they aren't trying to make a profit. It's also an excuse to buy new tools, though after a while of DIY you have most everything already so there isn't anything new to buy.
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DIY jobs go bad, sometimes because of inexperience, others because job is bigger than anticipated.
DIY is a learning experience, if you hang in thru bad jobs that experience pays off in future
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When the "breaker kept tripping", after making a single change (replace the heating element), wouldn't you think that the first thing to check is that maybe the changed item is the problem?
Mike O.
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