DIYing is a craft that can be learned!

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by leejosepho, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    This kind of discussion might never be fully completed, and here are a few more thoughts along the way:

  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Unfortunately this statement

    "The craftsman asks (again rightly), "Is this the best way that I know or am able to do this?"

    All to many times that statement is echoed by home owners who, with limited knowledge, attempt to do work that ends in a cobbled mess that they think is great work..........then someone buys the house not knowing what is behind the wall.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,058
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    ?

    The tradesman (rightly) asks, "Will this satisfy the customer for the price they are paying?"

    The craftsman asks (again rightly), "Is this the best way that I know or am able to do this?"

    You may have them stated incorrectly.
    The "handyman" asks, "will this satisfy the customer for the price they are paying?"

    The professional, who is a craftsman by the way other than those who are in it just for the paycheck, asks, "Is this the best way to do it, period."

    The average DIY'er is trying to save money and therefore may do it the fastest and easiest way, as testified to by the ones who refuse to accept advice from the professional and keep looking for a "second opinion" hoping to find someone who will bless his way of doing it.
  4. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    You forgot about the hack, who only asks, "can I fake my way through this, enough to get paid?"
  5. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

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    Location:
    Licensed Grump
    I particularly like the job where a 2" shower drain was connected to the old 1-1/2" tub drain and the customer says "The other plumber did that".
    I suggest they get him back and have him cut a 2" wye into the CI main - "Well...he threw it in as a freebie while he was here working on...would you mind finishing it as a throw in? Shouldn't take that long...."
    Worse thing there that'll happen is a bathroom flood, and yes, they learned something.
    Then there's the landlord who replaces his NG vent draft water heater with a powervented type, and puts it into the chimney along with the other water heaters and boiler.
    He will likely learn something as well.
    When I was a boy I used to love tinkering with electronics, I'd tear apart radio's and "rebuild" them to discover what made them tick.
    Then there was the day I got home from school to see fire trucks outside my home...I'd apparently cross connected something on the transformer that caused it to slowly overheat, luckily someone heard the smoke alarms and called the fire dept.
    To this day I don't dare touch anything over 24 volt.
    DIY'ing as a craft is fine, as long as you know what you shouldn't be doing, and that knowledge is easy to misinterpret when you look at something as simple as a radio.
    Water, drainage...proceed at your own risk (If you can drywall & paint you can likely undo potential damage...as long as the electrical isn't shorted in a wall/ceiling).
    Gas fixtures...well...think about that radio.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  6. That Learning Curve

    grumpy plumber wrote

    When I was a boy I used to love tinkering with electronics, I'd tear apart radio's and "rebuild" them to disover what made them tick.
    Then there was the day I got home from school to see fire trucks outside my home...I'd apparently cross connected something on the transformer that caused it to slowly overheat, luckily someone heard the smoke alarms and called the fire dept.
    To this day I don't dare touch anything over 24 volt.
    .[/quote]

    Setting the house on fire is one of those
    memories you never forget.......


    In my opinion...
    Tinkerers, and do it yourselfers is probably 90% of the reason
    we need good fire-departments and emergency responce units
    in every town across the country....for the ticking time bombs
    people create and tinker with in their own homes.

    Human error is usually greatley eliminated when someone
    with a lisc. does the work... craftsmen, tradesmen or whatever you
    want to call them......

    and if you think you got a
    "hack" in your home....ask them to show their lisc.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  7. CHH

    CHH New Member

    Messages:
    225
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    While you certainly have a point MPM, the average driver and average obese American contributes a little more than 10% to the emergency response calls. Heck, gang banger fignts and drive by shootings are probably 10% around here.

    Hey, I gotta stick up for the DIYs!
  8. devans175

    devans175 New Member

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Maryland
    The average DIY'er is trying to save money and therefore may do it the fastest and easiest way, as testified to by the ones who refuse to accept advice from the professional and keep looking for a "second opinion" hoping to find someone who will bless his way of doing it.[/QUOTE]

    I suppose this is correct. The average DIY'er is trying to save money. But you should also consider that sometimes it's almost impossible to get a licenced contractor interested in showing up for a small job. I had a simple job that I needed done.. add and AC return... I called 10 different companies and none wanted the job... They didn't say it right out, but the writing was on the wall... it wasn't worth they're time, unless I let them... I'll just say "charge me an unreasonable price"....

    I figured it out on my own... bought the supplies and did it myself for 25% of the price.... No experience... and a pretty nice job, if I may say so myself!!

    Sorry... I just had to pipe in...
  9. Mort

    Mort New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    CA
    As I've gotten a little older (and perhaps, even a little wiser) I've really come to appreciate professional tradesmen/craftsmen. Getting a job done in less time than me DYIing and with the added bonus of getting it done right the first time has made me a believer. Painting, plumbing, carpentry, electrical, etc are all things I've tried over time. That I never ruined anything was probably dumb luck. Watching someone with skill and experience do those things helps me sleep better too ;)

    Mort (who still mows the lawn and washes the car.....for now)
  10. Old Dog

    Old Dog G.C. 22+ years(in 3 states)

    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Hawaii
    A few things DIYER'S need to realize...

    I just needed to add my 2c's as I sit here reading the threads(too sore to sleep,Showed a couple of my young guys the right way to replace termite eaten floor joists in 24" crawl space without causing more damage than we were fixing!)
    A DIYER needs to figure out why they are doing the work as opposed to hiring a contractor.Is it just to save money, or is it the satisfaction that can come from doing a project and doing it well, maybe both.Where most people get in trouble is they assume any one can do what we do, that the years of experience count for nothing.They can watch someone for ten minutes and jump right in and do it just as well as a pro.
    One of the things I see all too often is DIYER'S think they should be able to do it as fast as a pro can. Speed comes with training and "hands on" experience.
    As I've gotten older I find myself more willing to help the younger guys in the trades and give advice to homeowners who ask for it.
    I cringe sometimes when I hear the advice given out by people in the big box stores.I've jumped into those conversations numerous times mostly because of the downright dangerous advice that is given.It amazes me how people will question your advice because it is more difficult=the correct way as opposed to clerks easy=the wrong way of doing things.(I DON'T KNOW LADY,I'VE DONE THAT REPAIR ABOUT A 100 TIMES AND THE CLERK HERE WORKED AT A FAST FOOD OUTLET LAST WEEK,WHICH ONE OF US DO YOU THINK IS RIGHT?)
    Now before all of the DIYER'S jump all over me and call me bad names,I'm not saying you should'nt try to do projects on your own.
    Just realize what your limitations are. Do research on your own.Read up on products,tools,proper procedures,codes...
    And please, if your going to ask advice of a professional,FOLLOW IT!
    We wouldn't tell you to follow these 5 steps if it could be done in 2.There is a reason why we do what we do in a certain way.It's the correct way, the proper way, the safe way.You can get professional results too if you take your time and don't cut corners.
    (Long reply,I KNOW,1:40 A.M. IN HAWAII,MAYBE i CAN GET SOME SLEEP NOW THAT i GOT OFF MY SOAPBOX!)
  11. D.Smith

    D.Smith New Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Georgia
    I just want to add this. I think DiYer has been or know of someone that been done wrong before and think they are better off doing it themself. Or they saw it done and thought it looked easy ie TV.
  12. devans175

    devans175 New Member

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Maryland
  13. CHH

    CHH New Member

    Messages:
    225
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Well it's a good question but it seems to me that the correct answer may be counter-intuitive. A "yes" might be a good thing or it might be a bad thing...:)
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2007
  14. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Messages:
    1,404
    Location:
    Licensed Grump
    No lie, I've seen it almost come to that.
    I betcha Cass, RUGGED, MasterPlumber Mark, HJ, Markst and numerous other plumbers here could tell stories.
    It usually starts with a "discrete" call from the wife..."I think my husband screwed something up...I don't wanna insult him but...."
  15. abikerboy

    abikerboy DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    VA
    There are certain things where diy'rs have to do out of basic neccessity. Take the guy, for instance, that feels lucky to pay his utilities, buy diapers for the baby, pay the hospital bill where that baby was just born a few months ago, and to have just a few bucks left over for frozen pizza and super cheap ground beef for dinner. This is where if you're smart, you'll spend the $25 for a permit, and have it inspected. As a homeowner, and I diy'r, I think this is something that should be regulated. This is where our inspectors come in handy. When it comes to stupid things, like soldering pipe together, let us learn ourselves. If we mess up, and ruin a nice finished basement full of fancy furniture, then thats our dumbness....BUT....when it comes to something that can kill, like plumbing a gas line into a water heater, or rewiring a service line, if we dont get a permit and have the inspection, and something goes wrong, the diy'r should face charges of negligence, even in his own home! I know my own limits, and from owning my own home, Ive learned that when there is something beyond what I can do myself, I can go to the mortgage company, and take out an equity loan...even if there is very little equity, the mortgage company does want me to keep my house in top shape, and so far, they've always found a way to make it work and to apply a short term, low interest loan to the mortgage for repairs. Take for example to diy'r stupidity, an electric water heater that I installed at my mom's house when I was only 16 years old! She had an electrician come in and wire it, and I had my first experience with sweating copper pipe. It looked like crap....probably 2 pounds of solder on each joint, and another pound or two on the dirt basement floor....but it held for almost 25 years...until just last year when another problem caused one joint to leak. At the time it was put in, I was young, and I didnt want to touch the electric, but was so proud of plumbing in that copper line. Lol!!! It saved her money that she didnt have back then, and when the time came to redo my work, I knew how to solder, and Ive been through classes on the electrical, so I managed to cut it all out, laughed like h**l at my work, and put it all back right this time!!!! If it had of failed back then, no harm to anyone. Just a flooded basement from my own stupidity, and a couple of hours with a sump pump, then would've had to figure out some way to call a plumber in anyway! As for myself being a diy'r now, I do it because I like to learn...I like the challenge, but at the same time, I do have enough contacts with people at every level that I can call up a good friend and say "hey, is this done right?"~and if it's not, Im usually shown how to do it the right way.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2007
  16. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    "The Fall of Man"

    I believe that the division of labor into a zillion discrete fields, each requiring a complex learning curve and government certification, is the worst thing that has ever beset humankind.

    I long for the old days, where each person knew how to construct and maintain their own home, grow and cook their own food, make their own clothes, and so forth.

    Most people are only adept at one thing--and that one thing is generally something unrelated to one's basic survival needs, like being a lawyer, salesman, or accountant.

    Is this progress? I don't think so.
  17. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    That is essentially the industrial revolution, and you are absolutely correct. It took the head of house out of the house and turned gardens into lawns.

    Today there are "intentional communities" where people are again doing things that way.

    Correct again.
  18. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Yes, and after I dropped out of the corporate world, I visited and lived in a dozen or more of them, ranging from farming communities to spiritual communities to alternative health communities, but never found one that exactly fit my needs. I tried to get a Taoist-based communbity going, but gave up after a few years.

    How about you? Have you logged on to www.IC.org recently?
  19. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    849
    Location:
    cold new york
    The Industrial Revolution Has Helped And Harmed Us> We Have Learned To Optimize Certain Processes> But We Must Value The Process Of Thought That Created The Industrial Era>

    When We Move Out Of The Chaotic Frenzy Of The Industiral Era< And Learn To Avoid Making People Into "specialized" Mechanical Gears< We Will Begin To Appreciate Parts Of The Era< For Now There Is A Love Hate Relationship>

    I Wonder What People Were Saying During The Rennaisance When Michelangelo Had Plans For A Helicopter> Or What Folks Were Saying About The Wright Brothers> Two Great Examples Of Non Specialists
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2007
  20. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Messages:
    1,404
    Location:
    Licensed Grump

    What about C++, Java, & PHP programmers, IT designers, computer engineers?
    They're specialized.
    You wouldn't be posting here without them.
    You miss the old days?
    Um ... whadaya doin' here?
    Sorry to offend, but I couldn't ignore that point.
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