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Discussion Starter #1
So I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that a lot of people on the board can work on a car. My question is who here can work on a house and what level of skill do you have. Oh and lets throw out fun tools and "I can't live without" tools everyone has. Any fun projects recently or up coming?

My level of skill is probably equivelent to an experienced apprentice. I can handle plumbing (any and all), electrical (almost any and all, I have never installed a break box originally or hooked up a house to the grid, but I have added on to a breaker box and done oodles of other electrical work), framing, drywall, painting, wood flooring, roofing, crown molding, concrete, retaining walls, etc. About the only things I have little or no experience with is foundations and tile work (taking care of that last one next weekend).

Currently I am doing a renovation of the first floor of my house. New floors (bamboo through out), pedestal sink in the half bath (which requried a ridiculous amount of replumbing the bathroom, all of which runs directly above my central air unit making it a PITA to get to), a couple of new cabinets in the kitchen, painting all of them white, granite tile counter tops and subway tile backsplash. Currently done with the floors and the bathroom. My wife and I still need to tackle everything else.

Probably my 3 can't live without powertools are my power drill, circular saw and saber saw. My next acquisitions are a compound miter saw (tired of borrowing my Dad's or father-in-law's) and a table saw or a jig for my circular saw.
-Matt
 

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Not only can I not really work on a car, but I also am not handy with my hands. I can paint really well though. Always wanted to get into the rent house business, but not being very handy means I would have more money always going out then ever going in. This is something I should really learn how to do. . .
 

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I'm getting more ballsy, but still not very in depth especially since I rent an apartment. I did recently re-seal my bathtub because the crap they use was molding over. Once I have my own property I think I'll find myself doing a lot more of my own stuff?
 

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I consider myself pretty skilled in with home improvements. I'm on my 2nd remodel. I flipped a condo last year for a 100% profit doing all the work myself. Once my current place sells I have my eye on a place that will be a total gut job....and I cant wait to tear it apart! With each project, I lean more on what to do and what not to do. I wish I had a workshop and better place to lay out my tools.

I've considered quitting my corporate job and going into remodeling as a full time career. With the crappy housing market, people will be staying in their places longer creating a greater need for renovations (I suspect). I've always been creative and outside of my car, have found home improvements a great outlet.
 

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I finished remodeling the basement a couple of months ago. I basically ripped everything out and started with a clean slate. Framed and insulated the walls, replaced the windows, added closets, moved doorways, new electrical wiring along with 5 new breakers for the basement alone, new ceiling, added a bigger shower to the bathroom, etc. I did everything other than mud & tape and install the carpet which I could do either one, but I would rather pay someone for those jobs.

I would also say my skill level is equivalent to an experienced apprentice. My next couple of projects include installing a fence in our backyard, and ripping out the carpet on the main floor and refinishing the oak floors underneath. I would imagine this winter I'll be remodeling the main floor bathroom as well.
 

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[quote author=danielj link=topic=117202.msg2452858#msg2452858 date=1215701776]
I consider myself pretty skilled in with home improvements. I'm on my 2nd remodel. I flipped a condo last year for a 100% profit doing all the work myself. Once my current place sells I have my eye on a place that will be a total gut job....and I cant wait to tear it apart! With each project, I lean more on what to do and what not to do. I wish I had a workshop and better place to lay out my tools.

I've considered quitting my corporate job and going into remodeling as a full time career. With the crappy housing market, people will be staying in their places longer creating a greater need for renovations (I suspect). I've always been creative and outside of my car, have found home improvements a great outlet.
[/quote]

That's cool. It can be a risky business to start if you don't have clientelle in mind. It's like the guys who want to start mowing lawns on the side, but have no clients on the list that want their lawns mowed. Then you just waste time and money asking people that already have their lawns mowed. If you're serious about this get a couple of people you know that want their house or condo renovated. Then you already have some business lined up and they can pass the word around to their friends or neighbors. I wouldn't quit a corporate job just yet, because you never know if this could blow up in your face.
 

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[quote author=Mindless link=topic=117202.msg2452843#msg2452843 date=1215701567]
I'm getting more ballsy, but still not very in depth especially since I rent an apartment. I did recently re-seal my bathtub because the crap they use was molding over. Once I have my own property I think I'll find myself doing a lot more of my own stuff?
[/quote]

X2. I rent but feel the need to upgrade a little here and there. My girlfriend and I did a basic freshening of the bathroom including paint, light fixtures, towel racks, mirror etc. You should have seen how ugly the stuff was when we moved in. For the $150 and time we are throwing away, it's well worth it to have better living conditions. Painted the bedroom and living room too.

Can't wait to get a house, although I am sure I will always have a project going on. I need to learn some on the home repair front, but now I just research and try it. Need to rewire the laundry room for 240v in a week or two for when the washer and dryer come in.
 

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Being as I am an Electricians Apprentice for a part-time gig. I can't live with out my tester.

Only cut through a live wire once, and it wasn't pretty.
 

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[quote author=weezerfan84 link=topic=117202.msg2452872#msg2452872 date=1215702008]
[quote author=danielj link=topic=117202.msg2452858#msg2452858 date=1215701776]
I consider myself pretty skilled in with home improvements. I'm on my 2nd remodel. I flipped a condo last year for a 100% profit doing all the work myself. Once my current place sells I have my eye on a place that will be a total gut job....and I cant wait to tear it apart! With each project, I lean more on what to do and what not to do. I wish I had a workshop and better place to lay out my tools.

I've considered quitting my corporate job and going into remodeling as a full time career. With the crappy housing market, people will be staying in their places longer creating a greater need for renovations (I suspect). I've always been creative and outside of my car, have found home improvements a great outlet.
[/quote]

That's cool. It can be a risky business to start if you don't have clientelle in mind. It's like the guys who want to start mowing lawns on the side, but have no clients on the list that want their lawns mowed. Then you just waste time and money asking people that already have their lawns mowed. If you're serious about this get a couple of people you know that want their house or condo renovated. Then you already have some business lined up and they can pass the word around to their friends or neighbors. I wouldn't quit a corporate job just yet, because you never know if this could blow up in your face.
[/quote]

I would NEVER quit my job without being firmly rooted in another if the other job involved me being self employed. I need the steady income and benefits. I would then leave once I was rooted in the new role.

I would start by doing home staging remodeling and my realtors who've seen my work said they would hire me on their projects. I could do this part time until I became established with business.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
[quote author=KeepJeepin link=topic=117202.msg2453250#msg2453250 date=1215709210]
Being as I am an Electricians Apprentice for a part-time gig. I can't live with out my tester.

Only cut through a live wire once, and it wasn't pretty.
[/quote]

Damn.

Never done that before, but I can picture it. I only ever managed to spark something badly once and it was with my tester. I was testing to see if a couple of wires were live and I accidently crossed power and ground with one tester probe. The spark burned my retinas bad enough that I had the after image for about 30 minutes and it melted the tip of the probe down about an eigth of an inch. I have fried myself a few times with house hold current. Once in my enthusiasm for getting a socket replaced I forgot to turn the breaker off. That was fun. Another time I accidently brushed my pinky across a bare contact in the panel of my hot water heater changing the temperature on it...120v isn't pleasant...240v HURTS (high enough voltage that I grounded through my butt sitting on the cement). The other time was from the discharge of ceiling fans. I was wiring a couple up and they had to use the final ground wire back to the breaker box due to the circuit design in the two rooms...well I flipped off the breaker and went to change the wiring on one of the switches and ZAP. I checked the current and was like "WTF! The breaker is off!". I checked again and I saw the voltage dropping slowly on the tester and I couldn't figure out what was going on. Took me about 5 minutes of scratching my head to realize that the fan had to have capacitors in it, which is why it was retaining current for several minutes after the breaker was turned off and slowly bleeding down when I was testing it.
-Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My wife and I are talking with my mother-in-law and father-in-law as well as my brother-in-law about starting a family business of home flipping. My in-laws are retired and my father-in-law wanted to spend a lot of his retirement working on homes since he loves it. They also have quite a bit of bank to work with along with massive skills (much more my FIL then my MIL, but she is pretty handy as well, a little like myself and my wife, I have the skills and my wife is an excellent assistant who doesn't like power tools, but can paint and spackle like no-one's business).

My brother-in-law is also pretty handy, but he has more to learn then I do (I have a couple more years of age and experience then he does). Anyway, my brother-in-law doesn't really want a real career when he graduates from college this winter and wants to flip homes and I love the work as does my wife and father-in-law (my mother-in-law could take it or leave it). The extra money wouldn't be bad either. The issue is that I mostly like my job and the pay and benifits (including retirement) are really, really nice and are not dependent on the housing market doing well. So if we all did it, it would be part time for me...which means I end up losing time with my son if I am working weekends and nights (of course I am sure he'll be coming to the job site with some manner of regularity).

My in-laws have a place that they are renting currently and needs some modest renovating before they put it on the market to sell it. They are planning to rent it for another year or so before renovating. We are going to use that as a trial flip to see how well everyone likes it and how it fits in to our lives. I would personally like to start out slow doing maybe 1-2 places a year and work our way up. I think my brother-in-law wants to start in the deep end doing it full time, but I know I am not ready for that kind of time commitment. We'll probably tackle places that need modest to extreme renovations after the house my in-laws are renting which means probably 2-3 months per place if most of us are only doing it part time (2-3 evenings a week, maybe a full weekend a month and a few saturday's and sundays in there plus maybe taking a few days off work). Anyway, if I love it enough and it earns enough money I would certainly consider quiting my job to do it full time, I just don't see it being worth while losing all of my benifits for it.
-Matt
 

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I've done a little bit of house work. ;)

As far as tools... If you're doing any electrical work... get one of these:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=158088-72068-GT-11&lpage=none


azazel1024,

Right now isn't a good time to get in the flipping market. You will need to be able to afford payments on the place for MONTHS. The house next to me was flipped two years ago and finally sold.

The major problem with it was it was priced outside of the local market. It wasn't a bad price for what they had done, but I bought my place, pre-fixed up for ~$40k less. That and the local market was stagnat due to the loss of jobs at Delphi and GM.

I have already spent ~$20k and have another $5k of roof I am putting on. Next year is siding...
 

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just finishing on my house now, only thing I haven't touched is teh bathrooms...here's a couple before/afters to give an idea.


It's an older home and yes was very outdated as my wife grandparents bought it brand new in '65

Before


During


After...not 100% done, as i still have bifold/trim, toe kicks under the cabinets, and a few other small things to complete.
 

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Flipping can really pay. I feel I was very lucky with my last property. However, the market is much different today than it was a year ago. My advise would be to buy, fix and rent. Right now you can buy low, rent and when the market rebounds, sell for a much greater profit than you can if you were to sell now. The problem now is it's difficult for first time buyers to get loans. Lenders are much more cautious about lending money today than they were before.

In Seattle, there are so many condo conversions rents are going through the roof. If I didn't need the cash out of my current place I'd rent it out and accumulate a few rental properties. If you buy in the right market, buying and renting can be an excellent short or long term investment strategy. Given the number of hands you have on deck, this should be an easy task for you.
 

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I work in a bank in our loan review department and we have plenty of customer's that strictly buy, fix up, and then rent out. The key is getting good renters who want to take care of the place as much as you do. So sometimes you have to pay $80k for a house that would have better renter's than say a house that cost $30k. There's also plenty of apartment complexes, duplexes, and town houses going up in my town of Fort Smith, AR as well. We are also getting a shopping center with right under 20 stores in it. I can literally pee on to the property of it from where it's getting built, since it's getting done right behind my apartment complex. The noise sucks but my mom will have a very close place to work at as a part-time job, since she retired from Whirlpool, and now works part time for a Pernod Ricard (the guy that makes Kaluha, Stoli vodka, Wild Turkey, Malibu, and few other liquors).
 

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[quote author=NotQuik link=topic=117202.msg2453676#msg2453676 date=1215715009]
just finishing on my house now, only thing I haven't touched is teh bathrooms...here's a couple before/afters to give an idea.


It's an older home and yes was very outdated as my wife grandparents bought it brand new in '65

Before


During


After...not 100% done, as i still have bifold/trim, toe kicks under the cabinets, and a few other small things to complete.

[/quote]

Good job on the home improvement as well!! I wish I knew how to do that.
 

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I do Heating ventilation and air conditioning. My cant live without tool?
kline 10 in 1 screwdriver.


and my digital gauge manifold w/ external temp sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah I have a Husky screw driver with a ratcheting shaft that can also be rotated to 45 and 90 degrees. It accepts standard power drill bits and has room for a 3" extension and a 'bit holder' in the butt of it that can hold 12 bits. Best $5 I ever spent.

Right now the first 'flip' as it were probably won't be for about a year, I think my in-laws are planning on renting the property until the housing market starts to improve. Deffinitely not getting in to it in any big way until it is starting to show a fair amount of improvement.

Some of the kitchen work.

A floor to ceiling narrow little cabinet was here, time to take out the wall!


This fricken stud would not come out the way the builders had attached it, especially with the electrical wiring running right across the top of it, had to drill it using 1/4", then 1/2" and finally 3/4" bits near the top and then ripping it down..the top 5" are still up in the soffit.


Gotta get my son in on the power tools early. My wife freaked and made me wash his hands afterward (its just saw dust!?!)


Now where in the hell do I drill for the screws to hold these cabinets up in their new position???


The new (old) cabinets up


In the kitchen took out the 15" base and 15" top cabinet next to the fridge and installed 18" cabinets in their place. the floor to ceiling 12" deep cabinet and moved the top 30" cabinet over and installed two 15" cabinets below (1 new one and one that had been by the fridge). Also up top will be a custom wine rack (done building it) and the 15" cabinet from by the fridge. The 3 cabinets I had to buy I got at the Habitat for Humanity restore...dirt cheap, $115 for all 3 and they are the same style, just slightly different colors and all cabinets are getting painted white as it is.

Here are the floors going in.

The first cuts almost always seem to be the hardest ones with hardwood floors (and bamboo). Course the final ones also suck because you are exhausted.


The money shoot!


The floors are done!


No pictures of the plumbing work or the bathroom at the moment.
-Matt
 

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this was my job until people got scared of the economy and stopped buying. I wont touch eletrical I hate it. But I can do tile, framing, semi roofs, drywall, decks etc. Im pretty dam good at drywall and flooring though. Now I am a pool boy and probably will just get out of construction forever as a main job and just continue it on the side.
 
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