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Do It Yourself - You're cheap, admit it. Now go discuss how to do it yourself with others

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Old 10-30-2018, 7:13 PM
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Default What to do yourself?

Do it yourself? I am too cheap to pay someone unless I just cant do it myself. Head gasket, timing belt and water pump on a Subaru $350 which includes paying the machine shop $100 to shave the heads. The same job from a local shop would run between $1500 to $2500. Slight cost savings there. I have done it to both my Subarus. Front wheel speed sensor on a Dodge Journey cost $150 each installed by the dealer. I bought two for $50 and spent 1/2 hour putting them in. So much cheaper. Hot Tub wiring, wire cost $50 and I already had the inside breaker. Electricians estimate $750. Doing it yourself is fun.
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Old 10-30-2018, 9:08 PM
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I, too, do things myself, where I can and know how. I usually mow my own yard, but being that I am still recovering from a broken foot, I have hired a gardener/landscaper, the same one that most of my neighbors use, to mow/trim my yard. I'd have my 15yo or 18yo doing it, but the mower is buried in the garage somewhere, Nothing like moving into a house, and before you can get settled/moved in, you get in a car accident, breaking your foot. BUT, we've almost got the mower dug out from where it's been buried.

Vehicle-wise, my son has been pretty good about oil/filter changes, radiator flushes, changing brake pads/rotors, serpentine belt, rotating tires, replacing a battery, etc. Between the night of the accident and when he started back to school, he K.O.'d most of these. His sister helped him rotate the tires on her car, cause I made her learn how to change a tire, that weekend.
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Old 10-30-2018, 9:20 PM
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I do it myself because I'm a cheap ß@$†@®∂.
I do all my own vehicle work, oil changes, tire rotation, fluid changes, etc.
Around the house, I had a friend paint the inside and outside for me since it would have taken me months.
Did all the laminate floors myself, along with new faucets, toilets, wiring, etc.

As for the yard, I got a good deal on someone doing it for me, $25/week and they take care of it all. Realized a few years ago that I couldn't do it that cheap, and it gave me 2 hours back to spend with my son.

If you have the interest, willing to learn, tools, space and time, it's often easy. But then again not everyone has the aptitude for tackling some of this stuff.
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Old 10-30-2018, 9:29 PM
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Jack of all trades, master of none over here. Even if I don't quite know what I'm doing, I never back down from the challenge. Except roofing. F that. I'm a farmer, I spend enough time out in the sun and heat. Damned if I'm going to compound it by being on smoldering asphalt at a 4/12 pitch.

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Old 10-30-2018, 9:40 PM
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7 years as a commercial boiler mechanic, 10 years as an ASE certified Auto mechanic, 2 years running a general contracting crew while handling plumbing and electrical, and the rest of my adult life as an multicraft industrial maintenance tech helps with various projects. Tools I have (the wife says too many). I have rebuilt transmissions, put all the laminate flooring in my house, Concrete patio I paid for someone else to do simply because I could not rent the grading and concrete tools and do the job myself and save money. That is the key, Knowing your limits is the key.
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Old 10-30-2018, 9:43 PM
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Jack of all trades, master of none over here. Even if I don't quite know what I'm doing, I never back down from the challenge. Except roofing. F that. I'm a farmer, I spend enough time out in the sun and heat. Damned if I'm going to compound it by being on smoldering asphalt at a 4/12 pitch.

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Been there done that. Fell off a roof 18 years ago when doing metal roofs. Last roof on this house was done by a contractor as I know my limits and hell, Insurance paid for it.
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Old 10-31-2018, 8:17 AM
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I will tackle a lot of things, mostly for the same reason as MMcKenna, I'm a tightwad. Sometimes a job will wind up being too much for me so I really try to do my homework before I break out the tools & profanity. Some of the stuff on the newer vehicles I find to be more trouble than it's worth but anything say '09 and down I'll usually tackle myself, from maintenance to O/H work. Same for plumbing & wiring etc. Outdoor work from just simple yard work to downing trees and moving dirt I'll usually go after. If the tree is too close to something valuable (like my house LOL) and is going to be tricky to get it to drop where I want it, I'll hire that done.

I don't do roofing either, except for minor repairs on shallow pitch. Fell off a hog barn once a long time back...no broken bones but it smarted a good bit.
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Old 10-31-2018, 8:22 AM
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I will tackle a lot of things, mostly for the same reason as MMcKenna, I'm a tightwad. Sometimes a job will wind up being too much for me so I really try to do my homework before I break out the tools & profanity. Some of the stuff on the newer vehicles I find to be more trouble than it's worth but anything say '09 and down I'll usually tackle myself, from maintenance to O/H work. Same for plumbing & wiring etc. Outdoor work from just simple yard work to downing trees and moving dirt I'll usually go after. If the tree is too close to something valuable (like my house LOL) and is going to be tricky to get it to drop where I want it, I'll hire that done.

I don't do roofing either, except for minor repairs on shallow pitch. Fell off a hog barn once a long time back...no broken bones but it smarted a good bit.
You were lucky. I was lucky enough only to have a compressed vertibrae and a fracture sternum after the 35 foot fall to the ground. I can attest the fall is perfectly painless, It is the sudden stop at the bottom that is the SOB
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Old 10-31-2018, 8:51 AM
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You were lucky. I was lucky enough only to have a compressed vertibrae and a fracture sternum after the 35 foot fall to the ground. I can attest the fall is perfectly painless, It is the sudden stop at the bottom that is the SOB
Yeppers, and it was totally unnecessary too. A turbine vent had come loose (broken internal bracket) and I just had to go up there and fix it. Temp had been in the teens overnight, was just into the 20s. There's a lot of humidity in any livestock building just exhaled by the animals. There was a nice big patch of frost around the vent, extending out almost to the eaves...which would have been gone in a couple of hours thanks to Mr.Sun. Feet went out from under me and off I went like a bobsled. The eave was only about 11' up and I'd picked up enough speed despite starfishing myself that I landed about 6' away from the wall and rolled. I'm sure that made it less serious by eating up some of the energy...the downside was large gravel (creek rock) where I landed. Had a wrenched shoulder and was black and blue all over but that was it. ER doc gave me a good chewing for it. But hey I was 26 years old and still full of pee and vinegar. Very lucky indeed. I try very hard not to do stupid stuff like that no' mo' because it hurt bad enough and took long enough to heal up 30 years ago!
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Old 10-31-2018, 9:02 AM
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Yeppers, and it was totally unnecessary too. A turbine vent had come loose (broken internal bracket) and I just had to go up there and fix it. Temp had been in the teens overnight, was just into the 20s. There's a lot of humidity in any livestock building just exhaled by the animals. There was a nice big patch of frost around the vent, extending out almost to the eaves...which would have been gone in a couple of hours thanks to Mr.Sun. Feet went out from under me and off I went like a bobsled. The eave was only about 11' up and I'd picked up enough speed despite starfishing myself that I landed about 6' away from the wall and rolled. I'm sure that made it less serious by eating up some of the energy...the downside was large gravel (creek rock) where I landed. Had a wrenched shoulder and was black and blue all over but that was it. ER doc gave me a good chewing for it. But hey I was 26 years old and still full of pee and vinegar. Very lucky indeed. I try very hard not to do stupid stuff like that no' mo' because it hurt bad enough and took long enough to heal up 30 years ago!
I hit a dew spot on a tin roof, feet gone, claw hammer through roof but slipped out of my hand. Tried the gutter but it just landed on top of me...lol
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:01 AM
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The eave was only about 11' up and I'd picked up enough speed despite starfishing myself that I landed about 6' away from the wall and rolled.
That's a pretty good trajectory. I'd give you a solid 9.3 for distance.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:28 AM
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I did the falling off the roof thing in my younger days. Just as I was stepping on to the ladder, the bottom slipped and the ladder fell out from underneath me. I always envisioned it looking like a Wile E Coyote cartoon. I walked away although not without some pain and a lot less dignity. Glad to have that scratched off my bucket list.

As far as a DIY guy, I'm all in whether it's automotive or work on the house. Being a cheap @#$%^ is the major contributor but I always figure if others can do it, so can I. Also, I have more skin in the game and have an incentive to do it right.
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:26 PM
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Also, I have more skin in the game and have an incentive to do it right.
Yeah, that's the way I look at it with the auto repair stuff.
Many years ago I let a local lube shop change my transmission fluid and filter. There was a cross member in the way of removing the pan. Rather than remove the cross member the way the manufacturer said, they put a bottle jack under the tail shaft of the transmission and jacked up the whole thing to get the pan out.

Of course I got about 150 miles down the road when I realized that my transmission had been blowing out fluid from the front seal. They'd damaged the mounts, seals and stretched some of the bolts enough that I had to get the transmission replaced. A pointless argument with them led nowhere.
I've learned that some mechanics don't really care. I know I'll do it right, I'll do it cheaper, and I've never had a vehicle leave me stranded on the side of the road.


As for the roofing tricks, I managed to fall partway through a ceiling once. Good times….
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Old 10-31-2018, 1:00 PM
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Yeah, that's the way I look at it with the auto repair stuff.
Many years ago I let a local lube shop change my transmission fluid and filter. There was a cross member in the way of removing the pan. Rather than remove the cross member the way the manufacturer said, they put a bottle jack under the tail shaft of the transmission and jacked up the whole thing to get the pan out.

.
I've had to "do battle" a few times with cable or phone techs and auto mechanics. One big problem I've run across is that they can't think outside of their box when a problem arises. About 20 some years ago my wife was driving a Ford Taurus. It was still under warranty and had gone through three transmission in about 10K miles. The last one had "gone bad" right out of warranty and the dealership now wanted to charge us for another transmission. In my mind there way that transmissions were going bad that fast so off to their arbitration I went. After doing my own research I found that a transmission speed sensor was faulting intermittently and causing the transmission to shift inappropriately. I took my findings to another dealership, explained our problem and they replaced the sensor at no cost. The car ran fine for the next 5-6 years when we sold it.

The cable techs? Oh that's a story all by itself.....
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Old 10-31-2018, 1:24 PM
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The cable techs? Oh that's a story all by itself.....
Yeah, that's the difference between a good tech and a bad tech. Can they deal with things when they don't fit into the minimal training they get?
Far to often they train using a few basic scenarios. Good techs can extrapolate from that, make decent on the spot decisions, and complete the task. Other tech come to a grinding halt because the situation doesn't match their training.

I lucked out when I had my cable internet (no tv) installed. I pre-ran all the cable and all they had to do was install the cable modem in my garage right where the cable TV feed came in from the pedestal. I installed an electrical outlet, UPS, a shelf to mount the modem on, an RJ-11 jack for the phone feed to the house and an RJ-45 jack for the Ethernet connection to my router.
I got a good tech, he came in, did his thing, plugged it in and tested. He was gone in 30 minutes. But before he left he thanked me for making it easy. They were scored on how many installs they could do in a day. I saved him a bunch of time so he was able to exceed the goals for the day.
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Old 10-31-2018, 1:46 PM
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I like to do it myself when it makes sense to do so.

I re-sided and re-insulated my house & garage back in 2008. Stripped everything down to the 2x4 framing, sealed all of the framing seams with silicone, etc., reducing wintertime natural gas usage by 40%. That was an interesting project! The window/soffit/gutter work was hired out. I also do things like basic plumbing, wiring, drywall, and so forth ... am currently installing gigabit Ethernet and cable TV in every room of the house. Next up is a full bathroom gut, followed by finishing about 2/3 of the basement.

I do not like getting on roofs, so that work will be done by a contractor when the time comes.

Also do my own landscaping work, basic vehicle maintenance, and so forth ...
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Old 10-31-2018, 2:08 PM
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Yeah, that's the difference between a good tech and a bad tech. Can they deal with things when they don't fit into the minimal training they get?
Far to often they train using a few basic scenarios. Good techs can extrapolate from that, make decent on the spot decisions, and complete the task. Other tech come to a grinding halt because the situation doesn't match their training.

I lucked out when I had my cable internet (no tv) installed. I pre-ran all the cable and all they had to do was install the cable modem in my garage right where the cable TV feed came in from the pedestal. I installed an electrical outlet, UPS, a shelf to mount the modem on, an RJ-11 jack for the phone feed to the house and an RJ-45 jack for the Ethernet connection to my router.
I got a good tech, he came in, did his thing, plugged it in and tested. He was gone in 30 minutes. But before he left he thanked me for making it easy. They were scored on how many installs they could do in a day. I saved him a bunch of time so he was able to exceed the goals for the day.
I've gone a number of rounds with both the phone and cable companies. We've had multiple phone lines at home for years. When we had POTS lines the phone company came out and mixed up our lines with a neighbor down the street. It to a bit to figure this out. The phone company came out multiple times to address the problem but could not get it resolved because 'there weren't enough cable pairs in our neighborhood" I finally had to fix the problem myself after hours.

When we switched from POTS to VOIP with the cable company, the techs couldn't handle multiple lines. I sat down with them to explain the wiring and show them how to complete the installation. They still couldn't figure it out even with the help of a visit from their supervisor!!! I eventually blew my cool and told them to get out. I wasn't particularly proud of that but boy were they frustrating to deal with.

On the other hand,when my son ungraded to 1GB internet speed at his house, the cable company insisted that a tech visit and install the modem. We'd done the drop to the room, set up the UPS and had upgraded some of the networking before the tech arrived. The tech was done within 30 minutes despite having to re-terminate a connection on the pole. He obviously knew what he was doing. What a world of difference.
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Old 11-01-2018, 8:12 AM
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Right now I am waiting for a New alternator for my 1976 Motorhome that may or may not fit. Big Block Dodge engine with an Oreilleys 78 amp lifetime warranty alternator that has been replaced 5 times in the last 4 years. Going to try a 2 year only Mopar alternator thatis supposed to be approximatly the same size as the original and rated at 50/120 amps just like the newer Denso units that work great on the small blocks but take quite a bit of modification to fit the Big block. Should be interesting. Some upgarding of the charging circuit will be in order also.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:14 AM
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Yikes, 78 amps for an RV? That thing must have been working hard if it was charing house batteries too.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:31 PM
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That's a pretty good trajectory. I'd give you a solid 9.3 for distance.
Yeah, not sure how fast I was going but it felt way too fast! Pretty well shredded my insulated coveralls on the nail heads. Gravity always wins.
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Right now I am waiting for a New alternator for my 1976 Motorhome that may or may not fit. Big Block Dodge engine with an Oreilleys 78 amp lifetime warranty alternator that has been replaced 5 times in the last 4 years. Going to try a 2 year only Mopar alternator thatis supposed to be approximatly the same size as the original and rated at 50/120 amps just like the newer Denso units that work great on the small blocks but take quite a bit of modification to fit the Big block. Should be interesting. Some upgarding of the charging circuit will be in order also.
Oh, those wonderful lifetime warranties! I used to have a Ford diesel pickup that would eat a starter about every 6 to 8 months. Bought a lifetime replacement at NAPA, they got so they dreaded seeing me walk in lugging that big heavy SOB...
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