It isn't the weight that gets me, it's the knowledge that I'm probably
capable of connecting the household power grid to the plumbing. Bookcases
and umbrella stands and wine bottle racks--no problem. Plumbing and
electrical--I'll leave that stuff to the pros. ;~)
I would much rather do framing, plumbing and wiring than drywall or
painting. I'm certainly qualified and capable of all of those tasks,
however drywall is bloody heavy and tedious to tape well, and painting
is equally tedious.
A good, detail oriented framer can make a 'waller's job much easier.
Like anyone else, you have to deal with what you were left.
But I never attempt drywall. It's easy to do a half-a$$ jog of it, even
for a so-called pro. Doing a great job at finishing that stuff is a
skill and an art that is maintained by doing it repetitively and taking
pride in your work. I think *anyone* can get great at it, given a few
weeks on the job, but I'll gladly pay the experts to do it.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
Amen, the only drywall I have ever done was approximately an 8' by 8' wall,
i.e. two sheets. I futzed over it for days even when i knew it was going to
be mostly covered by kitchen cabinets and a tile backsplash.
But it will look good, if someone ever takes the cabinets down.
I suck at drywall. Sure it looks great when I am finally done, but I
really don't have to hold the tolerances of a solid surface
I'm in houses, where drywall crews are going at it, at least a couple
of times a week and I clearly see the difference between the hacks and
the pros. It's an art.
Yup, the small jobs take just as much sometimes as jobs 3 x the size.
You have to haul your gear, load up and clean up. Just like the big
In my case, it doesn't matter if I glue up 7 feet or 11 feet of edging
on a countertop. It's a 12-foot sheet regardless.
And, in terms of time, I can fabricate a 12-foot job in the same time
as a 4-foot (give or take a few extra feet of sanding).. the 4-foot
job comes with a customer who can't get her/his head around the
price... the 12-foot customer 'gets it' much sooner.
Small jobs mostly suck unless I can use a remnant which makes up for
Chuckle. That is one lesson my father the house designer always tries to
impart to his customers- they get the most bang for the buck when they
design the house around standard material sizes. He likes to design
houses where the floor decking and roof decking use full and half
sheets, the joists never need trimming, the foundation only uses full
blocks, etc. Wasted materials annoy him.
My husband has a friend who's having some space bumped out of her
2nd floor--the standard giant shed dormer kind of thing. The original
plan was to have the side wall come out to the existing wall, which
would have carried the load nicely. She has some other friend who's
an architect, who said that the dormer would look better smaller, so
now the builder has to transfer the load a couple feet out to the
wall. The net addition is about 15% smaller than the original plan,
she was surprised that the quote didn't come in at 15% less. She's
lucky it isn't more.
On Mon, 31 Aug 2009 10:41:24 -0700 (PDT), Cindy Hamilton
IMO, the architect is right. Shed dormers that go all the way to the
outside wall look dumb. My last house was designed like that, but at
least it was in the back. Whether the "wasted" space is worth the
looks is a matter of opinion. If appearances didn't matter houses
would be windowless cubes.
It was the back of the house in a yard where you couldn't get far
from the house to really see it. I'd have done what the builder first
The architect has also made it more difficult/expensive to insulate.
the builder seems like a stand-up guy, so he'll probably do it right.
Relating back to the original topic, while I can see why one could
NYW and TOH, one of my favorite TV renovation shows is Holmes on
Homes. The guy is capable of a mighty, righteous anger.
It takes more than a few weeks to get good at taping or even hanging it for
that matter...I've been at it for 20 years and I still lean something new
all the time...New and better products , tools , methods , ect....It takes a
while to learn how to walk on stilts , using the ALL the different tools and
be comfortable on staging then it's closet time for a while and
understanding all the different kinds of mud , drywall , screws , beads ,
trim and where they go and installing them , setting up , getting coffee and
making material runs ect..It is a year or so before a rookie is finish
taping (just garages and utility rooms and bedrooms , ect.) and even then he
won't know all the speciality jobs....There is ALOT more to drywall than
taping your little 8X8 bathroom.....For starters doing a "typical" drywall
job requires the right tools...I carry over a 1000 dollars worth of hanging
and taping hand tools including my stilts 1/2 inch drill , screwgun ,
Drywall Cut Out Router , ect , ect.......Not to mention the baker staging ,
pipe staging , platforms and wheels , step and extension ladders , alluminum
extension planks , ect. , ect.....A homeowner will try to get by with a
mudpan , 6 inch knife and a 12 inch knife for taping and his cordless driver
and keyhole saw for hanging while trying to do it off a ladder instead of
stilts or staging...You are at a huge disadvantage right out of the gate and
no matter how good you think it looks it will still pale in comparison to a
pro...Strange how sometimes the difference between a homeowners good job and
my work is so very different...Sometimes I go to jobs and the homeowner will
say " look at this , I taped this wall , looks good , huh ??" I always smile
and say yup , not bad all the while LMAO inside...And the stories I could
tell about going to jobs that homeowners try to start...ROFLMAO...I'm always
polite though , and say , well atleast you tried....Then proceed to cut out
the loose tape and put an 80 grit pad on the powersander and take it all off
and start over...If the drtwall looks like crap , especially the ceilings ,
no matter how pretty the woodwork looks the room will still look cheesy and
cheap...The thing that shows the most seems to be the thing that always gets
The reason for hiring it out is what I call the "Benefit: Bull$h!t Ratio."
It's the amount of crap one has to deal with in doing a task himself
compared to the benefit attained from the same.
The B:B ratio is simply to low to be worth it. Like I said before, you
have to do drywall and keep doing it to be good at it. Framing, and most
of the rest, is like riding a bike to me.
I put roofing in the "too low B:B ratio" category, as well, and not
because it takes any real skill. In my experience, roofing is one of the
cheapest things to hire out. Plus they're in and out in a day and I'm
dry. Or I can be up there for a three days in 98 degree heat. Hmmm. :-)
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
Yes, for me, cosmetic items like taping drywall and painting have a poor
B:B ratio since they both require technique that needs constant practice
to get a flawless finish. Framing, wiring and plumbing aren't cosmetic
and require knowledge to do properly, not much in the way of technique
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