Hits and misses of DIY projects, both big and small.

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Can I Do This Myself?

7/13/2009 10:34:14 AM

Tags: question to readers

Fixing leaky plumbing, repairing broken steps and painting the house are all jobs that many of us hire someone to do for us. But during this downturn in the economy, cash for necessary repairs might be in short supply.

Are there any fix-it projects that you have taken on recently, that you previously would have hired someone to do? In the comments section below, tell us about the projects you have attempted and how it went.

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7/15/2009 7:49:56 PM
I do much like you guys; I have chickens and goats and have been doing a lot of scavenging and creating. It all looks good, but the challenge came when the Walmart pool I buried had the pump wear out. Now, my eventual intention was to build a natural pool/pond with a plant "chlorinating" bed. At this time we just don't have that kind of money and it's the middle of the summer. I didn't want to spend money on replacing a low-quality pump and inadaquate filter, but I also couldn't afford to hire a pool tech, nor would one probably want to mess with our "inground" pool. So, I bought a good pump and sand filter that will eventually handle our chemical-free pool, wired a switch and GFCI outlet, built a pump-house, installed a regular skimmer on the sand 'n sun, and plumbed the pump and filter. It works like a dream! The first 24 hours I kept waiting for something to blow up, but it's been over a week and no leaks, fires, or explosions!

crista barker
7/15/2009 2:37:50 PM
Recently I got some chicks and then realized I would need small pen, then a larger pen...and the project grew. Instead of buying a pen, I used found materials in my barn, and made a small box pen set on trestles...while I pondered what to do when they needed a larger pen. I looked up chicken tractors in Mother Earth news, got some ideas, gathered some more materials and made a 4foot by 8 feet outdoor pen,that can be moved around the yard. Then I set to building an 8foot x8 foot permanent pen inside the barn...all by myself and all with found materials in my barn and $26.00 for chicken wire, and a box of screws. This may not seem like a big deal to someone who does this sort of thing all the time, but I am a professional- healthcare business owner who doesn't hardly know one end of a jigsaw from the other, so I am very proud of myself. I had considered asking someone to build these pens for me, and then decided that I am an intelligent woman, and could do it myself if I had a good picture to work from. It took a lot longer to build it myself, but I did it. The best part was the look on my family's faces when they saw my "projects". I m still smiling !

Alex McKenzie
7/15/2009 12:41:34 PM
The more home repair projects I do, the fewer I see value in hiring someone for. Tiled shower enclosures, various kinds of plumbing, some electrical work, I've done those and more. They're mostly pretty easy, as long as you start with good directions. The only things I'm really not willing to do involve a fair degree of danger if they're done wrong: I'm not willing to replace a breaker box, and I'd prefer not to add a new sub-panel, and I'm hiring someone to do my roofing. Other than that... I'll hire someone if I don't have time to do the job right.

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