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Home Renovators!


Almost everyone who knows us, also knows that we are DIY home renovators.  But, what is a DIY home renovator?  What does that mean?  Allow me to explain.

We are a rare breed of human.  We're superhuman.  We aren't natural.  We're supernatural.

We see into the future.  We don't gaze upon the work to be done, we visualize the finished result.  We peer into the possibility of a potential project and see what others cannot.  With our house, even our realtor tried to talk us out of it.  "Too much work", she said.  Scoff.  Quiet thy tongue, mortal.  This is our destiny.

We walk through walls.  Literally.  To our home, we've added 12 new doorways and closed off 10 old ones.  We changed the floor plan drastically to make more sense and to add 550 square feet of livable space.

We wear tool belts that shame Batman.  He may have a grapple gun for quick repelling and bat-shaped boomerangs to stun bad guys, but we have tools that shape steel, slice wood, shoot nails, and bond materials.  Batman may have items meant for destruction, but we sport the goods for mass construction.

We have immunity to the elements.  We breathe dust.  We shake off electrocutions.  We eat lead.

Our marriage (with God (the ultimate Renovator) intertwined as the third strand in our cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12) defeats the enemy on all fronts.  This article by a leading home renovation magazine states that a poll they took of their readers showed that over 12% of them have seriously considered a divorce while knee deep in a renovation project.  That's sad, of course.  But, rest assured, the most difficult project is no match for us.

All the joking aside, we really are different.  Major DIY home renovators are certainly the minority in this country.  I found this article online and really liked it.  It is a list of 9 things to do to keep your sanity during a home renovation.  It points out many of the difficulties that one will face when attempting even a small home improvement project, much less a large scale one.  Most people simply aren't cut out for it long term.

Proof that we are on the extreme end of DIY home renovators is the following list I also found online.  It listed 10 home improvement projects that you should NOT attempt to do yourself.  Yeah, we have already performed 8 of the 10.  Pshh.

  • Tree Removal
    • Cutting down trees, or even removing branches requires climbing and working with dangerous tools from a high distance off the ground. This is disaster waiting to happen, and definitely something better left to professionals who are trained and paid to do this.
  • Home Additions Or Structural Changes
    • Knocking down walls might seem like a simple task, but behind those walls could be electrical wiring, gas pipes and plumbing that can cause huge problems in your home. Rather than taking a chance, consult a contractor first!
  • Paving Your Driveway
    • Paving stones can turn a boring driveway into a focal point. And while they look relatively simple to install, the reality is that the measuring and positioning of paving stones can be tremendously time-consuming. (Think of it as a game of Tetris on steroids.) But a team of professionals can cut installation down to a day, depending on your driveway size.
  • Electrical Work
    • It's one thing to flip a fuse switch to the power in your home on or off, but another to attempt to repair faulty wiring or any other electrical issues without professional help. Working with electrical wires can be deadly and the proper precautions and knowledge are crucial.
  • Plumbing Repair
    • Unless it's something simple like unclogging a toilet or fixing a drain, messing with plumbing can cause major dilemmas (Just think about an overflowing toilet or unstoppable burst in a pipe...not fun). It's always better to ask a plumber before trying to tackle any plumbing issues on your own.
  • Repairing An Above Ground Pool
    • While we're sure most people wouldn't attempt to tackle a project like this on their own, we figure we should mention that it would be extremely dangerous to make these repairs. All it takes is one loose piece of siding, and the entire pool could collapse.
  • Roof Repair
    • Besides the fact that working on top of a roof is very risky because one could easily lose their footing and slip, it can also be detrimental to your home's structure if you don't know the proper way to install or repair roofing. If you are going to check the roof for damages or cleaning gutters, bring a friend and proceed with caution.
  • Installing Siding
    • If done properly, siding can last for years. But if siding is not securely installed, weather conditions can tear it off, or seep underneath, causing harm to the frame of your home. Rather than taking this chance, it's safer to have a professional install it properly.
  • Adding Or Replacing Windows
    • Specialized tools and methods are required to properly install new windows to make sure they are well insulated and secure. While it can be costly, a professional can ensure that you'll be comfortable in your home for years to come.
  • Creating An Outdoor Kitchen
    • We're the first to admit outdoor kitchens are fantastic, but attempting to put one in yourself could be disastrous. It might seem easy enough (a little flooring and a grill-station) but you could end up with a half-finished patio and plumbing gone awry. So while it might be tempting to build one in your backyard, ask yourself if you'll really use the kitchen year-round...and then, of course, call in a pro. 

2 comments:

Pictures! lol! I love your home and your lovely sidekick too! I can't wait to see the end result. We went through building a home....and considered each other a partner...against the rest of humanity. (a.k.a. The people working for us.) It can be done. We are still married and have lived here for almost ten years. All of the glory goes to God. He held us in the palm of His hand...and gave us wisdom that we didn't have. High fives from Team Vonallmen :)

DIY is fine; saves cost, promotes self-sufficiency and all that. Still, professional services are necessary and important in one particular count : feedback. Wouldn't hurt to have more than a few minds contemplating the thing, a few eyes to see problems and detail, and to offer solutions with experience and training to back them up. And the technical capacity to see those through. It's up to you though.

Sarai @ Edmunds General Contracting

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