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cvendet1 04-02-2009 07:05 AM

should i DIY or get a pro?
Hello everyone,

I am buying a house and I hope to turn it into a home. The house needs some repairs and it is a foreclosure. I am trying to figure out how much of the work I should try and do my self and I was wondering if you guys could help me decide which would be easy projects and which would not be so easy. So here is what I am planning on doing:

Hanging dry wall ( some of it is ceiling drywall for a bathroom)
Repairing water damaged wood floors.
Removing molded drywall and replacing.
Repairing broken tiles in the kitchen (about 8)
Replacing all of the bedroom doors in teh house ( 6 )
Replacing all the ceiling fans ( 6 )
Refinishing and staining all the hardwood floors through out the house. ( 1800 sq ft)
Installing a bathroom sink
Installing a new front door.
Putting blown-in cellulose insulation in the attic.

Also, will it matter what order I do these repairs in? For example, would i want to drywall first then do refinishing of floors ?

Thank you so much in advance for helping me decide which of these to do and which I should pay someone for.

GBR 04-02-2009 03:31 PM

What have you done before? What is your skill level? Have you used power tools before? What do you think you could do? Ask how to do each item separately, see if the answers fit your skill level. (Especially the ones that will show!) Be safe, GBR

Nestor_Kelebay 04-02-2009 05:46 PM


I think you could do all the drywalling yourself, but I think I'd leave the bedroom doors to a pro. The bathroom sink you could probably do, depending on what kind of sink it is.

Drywalling is made easy by the fact that there is self adhesive fiberglass mesh drywall joint tape. I use this tape exclusively, and find that it works great. One of the biggest problems new DIY'ers have is taping drywall joints, but self adhesive fiberglass mesh tape makes it a no-brainer. Some people claim that paper tape is stronger. My response to that is: "maybe yes, maybe no, but the bottom line is that you shouldn't be relying on that small difference to keep your drywall joints from cracking, and using the fiberglass mesh tape results in those joints being done as well as they can be using fiberglass mesh tape, even for newbies".

Also, when you're doing drywall butt joints, you can use a "curved trowel", available at any decent hardware store. A curved trowel look like an ordinary plastering trowel until you set it on a table top or sight along it's edge. You'll find that a curved trowel has a bend to it that causes it to arch up about 1/8 of an inch in the middle. Since you hold the trowel at a comfortable angle to the wall when using it, a curved trowel allows you to spread a perfectly symmetrical mound of joint compound, about 1/16 of an inch in thickness in the middle, over a butt joint where you don't have a contoured edge on each side of the joint to bury the tape in.

That shallow mound of joint compound is plenty thick enough to cover over a layer of tape, but it's not nearly thick enough to cast a "shadow", or otherwise make it's presence known, even with ceiling mounted light fixtures.

So, with the use of fiberglass mesh tape and a curved trowel, you shouldn't have too much problem with the drywalling.

(I've been plastering for over 22 years, and there are a lot more tricks you need to know to get good results, but none of them are hard to learn.)

You should always do your flooring last. That's because there's a better than even chance that you're going to make a mess of the floor doing the drywalling and painting. You don't want to make a mess of a newly renovated hardwood floor.

kok328 04-02-2009 09:16 PM

Considering myself rather handy, I'd definetly farm out the wood floor refinishing due to lack of skill and the insulation due to the fact that I hate that crap.
The reset depends on your deadline.

cvendet1 04-03-2009 07:08 AM

Thanks everyone.
Here is some more info that was requested on some of the replys.
I am pretty capable at using power tools and I have done quite a bit of dry wall as well as insulation and painting. I have helpd refinish one hard wood floor.

Thank you for all fo the responses so far. I will have to see how much it will cost to put all the doors in. My time line is about 2 months, so we shall see. But, I haven't gotten teh house yet. We are currently locked in negotiations for it.. which are a headache in their own case.. Thanks again

dakuda 08-05-2009 07:08 PM

I would manage all of that myself, except for the floors (a pro would do a much better job than I could) and the blown in insulation. I just don't have the equipment for that one.

Replace the doors before the drywall. Plan it out logically, save the floors for last.

tmhremodel 08-20-2009 12:28 AM

Hanging the drywall you could do yourself but I'd hire out for the tape & mud and texture, finishing drywall is an art and takes a bit if skill ..The hanging of doors same thing, farm it out to someone who knows how.. The sink you could probably do depending on what type of mount.. The flooring should be the very last thing to get done and I'd hire out for that as well.. Insulating the lid you can do it's a nasty job but you can do all that, The fans you can do just remember black to black and white to white and if you have a dimmer or you've got 14/3 or 12/3 wiring, you'll have an additional red wire, so black to black, white to white and your fan will have a blue wire too (for lights), hook that up to the red wire, if you only have 14/2 or 12/2 then at the fan hook up the black and blue wires together and attach those to the black at the ceiling..the tile you could do just be sure the surface is clean before the new install and if there are any cuts involved be sure you've got a good blade on your wet saw... DIY works with alot of projects but there are just some things you really shouldn't tackle unless you have someone there to kinda show you and help you through it..

good luck


tmhremodel 08-20-2009 12:29 AM

you can rent a blower and pick up bags of insol. and get it done just fine...


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