Things we learned doing DIY projects together


#1

The link is to an article on Catholic Exchange by a mom who celebrated her wedding anniversary with her husband buy building a shed together.
catholicexchange.com/en/node/64252

her focus is building togetherness, learning cooperation, communication, patience and other skills that build a strong marriage.

I thought it would be fun to share stories of DIY, and how home improvement projects have helped (or hurt) our family relationships, and just funny stories in general. A couple of posters have been sharing on-going projects and renovations, which are certainly not always fun.

so: what did we learn through home improvement?

Never choose a check pattern wallpaper for a room in an old house that does not have true walls, angles, level floor. you will produce a room that could be used as psychological torture.

Like the author of the article, I can attest if you can wallpaper a room together without killing each other, your marriage can withstand any challenge.

Assume that professionals you consult will flat out lie to you about products, techniques, colors, finishing necessities, costs, estimated amount of product needed, etc. Get a second and third opinion, always.

Measure twice, cut once (learned this from my dad, he was right, as he was in so many things I ignored thru the years).

Never assume a project is so small you don’t need permits and inspections.

In tornado country a storage shed or even a doghouse needs tiedowns.

Different products are required for different climates in different parts of the country. Roofing, siding, paint etc. that work in the Midwest don’t always work on the Gulf Coast or in the desert.

If there is a job you really hate (painting in my case) botch it up royally the first time you try it, and he will never let you do it again.

If you buy an old house and plan on stripping layers of old wallpaper and paint, take out extra insurance to cover tendonitis and carpal tunnel, and buy several boxes of bandaids before you start.

never give a 14 yr old boy a butane torch to strip paint from the exterior trim.

If your children can survive working with you, without getting clobbered by either of you, your family can survive any crisis.

“washable” describing any surface does not necessarily mean you can wipe of stains with a damp sponge, it might include sandblasting in its definition.

expensive high quality paint intended for the specific situation is cheaper in the long run than cheap paint from the discount store. for paint, go to the paint store not the chain discount store, esp. for mixing colors. Paint at last a 3 ft square section of the room before judging, in all light conditions, together, whether or not you like the color.

also re paint: men do not see colors or name them the same way women do.


#2

Here’s what we learned:
Do not be surprised if a $50 wallpaper removal and painting project becomes a $10,000 project

Be careful who you ask to help, and if you do ask for help, be VERY explicit in your instructions to them

Do not consider doing heavy remodeling while undergoing serious infertility treatments. Hormones + Hammers + Unhappy Husbands = Sobbing wife

Your feet can go right through ceiling tiles. So can hammers.

If you don’t really know how to do wiring. Don’t try.

We learned so much from our DIY house that we hired builders and are starting from scratch on our new one!


#3

on that note, I am going to watch Money Pit, which I tivoed before I went on vacation (love what DD did with their house, she got smart and hired professional painters.).


#4

Measure twice, cut once (learned this from my dad, he was right, as he was in so many things I ignored thru the years).

“washable” describing any surface does not necessarily mean you can wipe of stains with a damp sponge, it might include sandblasting in its definition.

expensive high quality paint intended for the specific situation is cheaper in the long run than cheap paint from the discount store. for paint, go to the paint store not the chain discount store, esp. for mixing colors. Paint at last a 3 ft square section of the room before judging, in all light conditions, together, whether or not you like the color.

also re paint: men do not see colors or name them the same way women do.

Oh yeah, “I cut it 3 times and it’s still too short”!

Sandblasting… The previous owners of our place thought it’d be correct (according to “Sell Your House 101”) to PAINT the stone fireplace in the basement den with cheap white paint! (they also painted all of the oak trim throughout the house - want some lesson/tips on stripping/sanding?)

Men see in 16 colors, and “peach” is a FRUIT… PERIOD.

Surviving a DIY/Remodel project?
Women:
#1… keep the towel, pillow, or artsy-fartsy gadget’s color scheme that “inspired you” to remodel a completely functional and working room hidden… until after the project is done… then you can realistically justify spending 5K+ to accommodate a dollar store accessory’s “vision”… and we’ll (men) accept the “why”.
#2… Men are analog & linear. We paint THIS WAY, or THAT WAY… and drips & spots WILL WIPE/SCRAPE OFF… either pick up a brush and do something, bring me a cold one, or stay out of the room
#3… If you want to “help”, leave the brassiere in the drawer and bend over frequently. Give us a that “sneak peek” and a lame reason/excuse to justify our lack of remodeling/handyman skills.

Men:
#1… It doesn’t’ have to make sense… just do it.
#2… realize that “Mushroom” is a color, not an edible fungus that is sautéed and put on a good steak. Don’t forget that masking tape & razor blades are your re-model friends… support them!
#3… We can only hope… enjoy it if it happens!

… Save the admonations… enjoy the laugh of what we’ve all been through…

We’re in the final phases of remodeling our main floor bathroom. Sitting around & talking we came to the totally frightening realization that within 12 years of living in our house there are only 3 (THREE) surfaces that haven’t been altered.
1 - Dining room ceiling
2 - Living room ceiling
(done in some weird splatter process with sparkles - can’t re-paint without damage)
3 - driveway.

EVERYTHING else has been re-done/changed!
…exterior: siding, doors, trim, windows
…interior: paint, trim, walls, fixtures, kitchen, baths, floors, EVERYTHING!!!


#5

I love my wife, but I have learned that our marriage isn’t strong enough to wallpaper together ever again.


#6

I work …let him do the DIY things.
Kathy


#7

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