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Still alive - just tackling a HUGE DIY

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phug

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Thanks for all the awesome code research. We planned to make it freestanding. 3/4 inch gap or so. The house is on a block foundation, so it might shift so we can't tie it into a deck that's on posts tied into piers. And since one end off e deck is 6 feet up, we can't put that in blocks.
 

Photopilot

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Started building my own in 1997. Still own the home but left the state it is in in 2000. Going back to finish it later this summer and sell it. Having a nice home is very cool, building it yourself is a badge of honor.

My favorite quote in the woodworking forums is.

"A carpenter's house is never done"
 
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Jester369

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First roof ledger screwed to the house, awaiting concrete anchors to be installed


In the course of drilling for the anchors, I managed to melt down my hammer drill. I ended up renting a biggun' from the Depot to finish the job - should have done that from the start. So much easier! Here are the two for comparison


First section up (this is a small extension to cover the grill outside of the screened area for rainy day cooking)


First half of the main roof going up




Remainder of rafters installed


Tonight I'll see how much of the second half of the main roof I can get done.
 

MrFoodScientist

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So I installed a bathroom fan in my basement bathroom over the past couple of weeks (five min here, five min there really slows down progress). Felt pretty proud of myself. Then I came here and I am utterly ashamed of my lack of skills.

Seriously, though. Nice work. Love to see how it's coming along.
 

Onkel_Udo

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So I installed a bathroom fan in my basement bathroom over the past couple of weeks (five min here, five min there really slows down progress). Felt pretty proud of myself. Then I came here and I am utterly ashamed of my lack of skills.

Seriously, though. Nice work. Love to see how it's coming along.
We all started somewhere. This guy's patience and skills far exceed mine the in trim details but I can (22 years later) wire, plumb, frame, drywall, refinish hardwood floors, rebuild a Saturn 1.9L motor without manual (random), roof (though I never will again) and do most anything around the house.

All this from a willingness to make mistakes, desire to learn, and written resources (first books, now internet). FYI, I made lots of mistakes...the list is actually endless.
 

cod3ck

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We all started somewhere. This guy's patience and skills far exceed mine the in trim details but I can (22 years later) wire, plumb, frame, drywall, refinish hardwood floors, rebuild a Saturn 1.9L motor without manual (random), roof (though I never will again) and do most anything around the house.

All this from a willingness to make mistakes, desire to learn, and written resources (first books, now internet). FYI, I made lots of mistakes...the list is actually endless.

....worth it?! [emoji1]
 

Homercidal

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99% of the time, eventually it is. Not every job is satisfying and only about half save me actual money (when you put a value on my time) but they all saved me from one of my particular pet peeves...unreliable contractors.
RIGHT??

What is wrong with all of those guys?? You want to call in a "Professional" and you're willing to pay them good money to do a good job.

You are lucky if half of them show up to estimate the job, and then when you finally pick someone, they are there part of the time and leave the job half finished for forever!

It's like they don't actually WANT to get paid!

One thing I've learned is to not pay in advance. That's the best kind of incentive right there. And heaven help you if you hire a contractor that ends up not even knowing how to do the job!

I just end up doing it all myself. I don't really like construction/remodeling (I'd much rather work on a car than our house) but sometimes those guys are just more hassle than they are worth.
 

SleepyCreekBrews

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In the course of drilling for the anchors, I managed to melt down my hammer drill. I ended up renting a biggun' from the Depot to finish the job - should have done that from the start. So much easier! Here are the two for comparison

I've melted down one of those cheap Dewalt hammer drills down too. :mug:
I suspect that big ol' (5/8"?) bit was just a tad outside it's service profile :)
 

HarborTownBrewing

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RIGHT??

You are lucky if half of them show up to estimate the job, and then when you finally pick someone, they are there part of the time and leave the job half finished for forever!

It's like they don't actually WANT to get paid!

One thing I've learned is to not pay in advance. That's the best kind of incentive right there. And heaven help you if you hire a contractor that ends up not even knowing how to do the job!
Truth.

All of this.

Problem around here is, you'll eventually get guys to show up and bid the work but they all want pay in advance. If you don't give it to them, they'll say "hey whatever" and walk out and find a job from someone who will pay them in advance.

I genuinely, oh so genuinely, love working on houses and working with wood. Having bought a house recently and doing a remodel, it just gave me the itch to want to do more of it. I'd like to pick up some side jobs but I just hate dealing with collecting money from people I don't know.
 

NickTheGreat

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...One thing I've learned is to not pay in advance. That's the best kind of incentive right there. And heaven help you if you hire a contractor that ends up not even knowing how to do the job!

I just end up doing it all myself. I don't really like construction/remodeling (I'd much rather work on a car than our house) but sometimes those guys are just more hassle than they are worth.
Outside the residential world, it's common to withhold 10% until the job is done and everything is completely done and working.

Obviously residential is different, as there's not really progress billing and as long on site.

My house is getting windows and siding this summer. I didn't pay the window guys until the last day, and am doing the same with the siders. :)
 

Onkel_Udo

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RIGHT??

What is wrong with all of those guys?? You want to call in a "Professional" and you're willing to pay them good money to do a good job.

You are lucky if half of them show up to estimate the job, and then when you finally pick someone, they are there part of the time and leave the job half finished for forever!

It's like they don't actually WANT to get paid!

One thing I've learned is to not pay in advance. That's the best kind of incentive right there. And heaven help you if you hire a contractor that ends up not even knowing how to do the job!

I just end up doing it all myself. I don't really like construction/remodeling (I'd much rather work on a car than our house) but sometimes those guys are just more hassle than they are worth.
:off:
It is kind of the modern problem that we (as a society) have created.

The reliable, quality, consistent contractors have plenty of work as sub's to builders or commercial work. They might pick up a job for a homeowner but they will demand a large portion up front because they have been burned before.

The mediocre ones will drop your one-time job for a whiff of a recurring gig (see above) and suck at estimating their productivity so never finish the job before yours on time to start your job and the circle continues.

The crappy ones have no time management, estimating, QC or people skills. Sadly, they often can do quality work you just will never know because they will never show up.

I have had luck with exactly three contractors in my lifetime of owning old houses. First contractor I ever hired replaced my main sewer line and hit all three requirements (on time, quality work, cleaned up after themselves). Second was a heating/air/plumbing company that did some work for my (now ex-) wife while I was in Iraq and they hit two of the three (on time, quality work).

The last is one I still use as a referral to other folks. Exceptional trim carpenter and general handyman but he does it is as side work so you have to be a bit flexible (rarely on time completion). Cleans up after himself like you would not believe and even did more than was "bid" on two occasions when prior poor quality work from others was just bugging him. His estimating skills are terrible so every time he has done work for me (actually, on two houses I was helping prep for sale for others) or others I have made a point of telling them to plan on giving him more than what he bid if they are happy with the work because he will always run way over on time and will not ask to be compensated for it.
 

Bowtiebrewery

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I'd be happy to pay a good contractor/plumber/electrician if he could actually be on time, come out and quote when they say they will, and do the job right.

So far I've found that a little research a bunch of mistakes and a whole lotta' learning has been less expensive, more rewarding, and keeps my mind super-active. I tend to do all my own electrical, plumbing, tile, painting, and landscaping. Only time I ever paid so far to have something fixed was HVAC related, and even now, I've got enough know-how to generally diagnose and fix if I have the time and equipment.

Things I can't do or won't do:
* I will not get up on a 3+ story sloped roof to replace shingles and do chimney caps... I don't have a tall enough ladder or an understanding enough wife.
* Repave my driveway
* Cabinet building. I don't have the right equipment, the skill, or the patience.

Needless to say, I have a ton of respect and admiration for what Jester is doing in this thread. I've built a few houses in my life, but never from start to completion, and never by myself. Just bits and pieces.
 

Homercidal

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I must say the best work I've had done was when we first bought our house. I had some menonite guys come over on recommendation to check out the basement and level up the floor. They were there first thing in the morning, worked steady and cheerfully all day, cleaned up after themselves, did great work, and they cost significantly less than the regular guys.
 

Bowtiebrewery

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I live right outside of Fairfield County in Connecticut... Look it up... lots of rich people live here... I'm not saying that to gloat (I'm not rich) I'm saying that it totally pushes the prices up in just about every service category. And whats worse is that most people who do the work have no sense of pride in what they do or their timeliness. I'd love to have a great contractor experience like that. Funny thing is I used to work for my Uncle who is a GC. Always early, almost never beat him to the job site. Instilled in me to have good work ethics and clean up the site. Never ever leave nails or screws around. Best job as a 'kid' I ever had. Worked hard, got paid little, but learned more than anyone my age was.
 
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When I was contracting in the Tahoe area I had what I called my +4 quality promise with all my contracts. In return I had only 1 requirement from them.

Mine
1. Show up on time.
2. Be honest with them and the projections.
3. Do 100% the best work I could as if it was my own project.
4. Clean up EVERY DAY.

All they had to do.

1. PAY ME ON TIME!


Man I got screwed so many times by homeowners I started having to get an 80% upfront payment and only ask for the remainder after the last tool was put away.

Cheers
Jay
 

Stillraining

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Commercial jobs I get 20% up front..Homeowners I get 50% , that should tell you something right there.

What exactly does it tell you?

That It goes both ways.. There are just as many flaky home owners as there are contractors.
But one thing is for certain.....No mater whom you work for ...Get it in writing!
 

Onkel_Udo

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Commercial jobs I get 20% up front..Homeowners I get 50% , that should tell you something right there.

What exactly does it tell you?

That It goes both ways.. There are just as many flaky home owners as there are contractors.
But one thing is for certain.....No mater whom you work for ...Get it in writing!
As I mentioned when I started this thread degradation, "society" created this situation. Much like many things in life, we all suffer together for the bad actions of some.
 
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Jester369

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Weekend efforts....

Got all but the last two rafters up. A few of the boards that were delivered promptly twisted so badly that they are unusable, and my truck is currently out of commission so I have to wait before finishing up the rafters and overhang.


(just noticed that in the photo it shows three rafters missing - I did end up wrestling one of the corkscrew boards into place)

I had intended to use a long, threaded rod to create a tensioning method to keep the small wing roof supported without external bracing, but it was completely ineffective. So I decided to fabricate a steel truss instead. Put a small notch in the top and bottom of the rafters and welded the truss in place.


(there will be NO closeups of the welds, as they look like Colossus snot, but they are strong)

Had trouble reaching the ground clamp to the truss, so I had to improvise


Got some more decking up


Done for the day

 

Stillraining

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I dont know why you would have bought forks for that machine ...you wont hardly ever use them..:p
 

froot

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I dont know why you would have bought forks for that machine ...you wont hardly ever use them..:p
Good excuse to get grain in by the pallet. That is once Jester figures out a design for the brew shed and bar. 😊
 
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Jester369

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Goofed off for the holiday weekend, but got a little more done prior to shenanigans. Got half of the overhang framed.



 

Stillraining

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I bet your anxious to sink the last nail and get brewing again! And ready for "Next" on your list of life's goals.!..:)
 
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Jester369

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Good weekend

Underlayment installed

I didn't need ice guard, but I had some left over from the main roof and figured I'd use it up. Finished the rest with just 30# felt.

What do you do when you need to install a 15' long piece of really flexible trim board but are working alone? You improvise a cradle to hold one end


Facia boards installed


Halfway through shingling


Roofing done!


Next up will be a much smaller, but similar roof for over the front door. Then at some point i need to come back to the porch and install the actual support posts - a combination of square steel tubing and cedar - and get it all screened in.
 
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Good weekend

Underlayment installed

I didn't need ice guard, but I had some left over from the main roof and figured I'd use it up. Finished the rest with just 30# felt.

What do you do when you need to install a 15' long piece of really flexible trim board but are working alone? You improvise a cradle to hold one end


Facia boards installed


Halfway through shingling


Roofing done!


Next up will be a much smaller, but similar roof for over the front door. Then at some point i need to come back to the porch and install the actual support posts - a combination of square steel tubing and cedar - and get it all screened in.
Well get busy why don't ya'...LOL

Lookin good Jester!

Cheers
Jay
 

TomWaggle

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Just found this thread. Definitely looking forward to the rest of it.
 

Stillraining

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Well I'm getting BORED...........Brew some beer in that new box for pete's sake damit man!...

You know Im pulling your chain ...RIGHT!..:D

Carry on.
 

phug

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Thanks for all the awesome code research. We planned to make it freestanding. 3/4 inch gap or so. The house is on a block foundation, so it might shift so we can't tie it into a deck that's on posts tied into piers. And since one end off e deck is 6 feet up, we can't put that in blocks.
Hey, thanks everyone for your input back there. We got the deck done with the exception of the guardrail, and it passed the building inspector's visit. So thanks again.

Jester, I'm impressed by how much you're able to get done by yourself. It was hard building the deck while wrangling the dogs, and the 6 yr old, and the 1.5 yr old between my wife and I. Two people is barely enough when you've got the kids thrown into the mix.
 
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