The case for doing it yourself

So I get asked from time to time: “Why don’t you guys hire out a lot of this work that you do on your house?” The first, and probably most obvious answer to that, is $$$$. It’s just cheaper to do it ourselves, and that’s generally what we can afford. (And if we had the money to pay someone to do all the renovations, wouldn’t we just have bought a renovated house instead?)

But there’s three other common answers. You never know what you’re getting when you hire someone else, no one will care about your house as much as you do, and incompetency is not as uncommon as you’d think amongst paid professionals.

To wit on that final point:

Rusty nail on the fence

This was from the guy that I hired as my main subcontractor on the basement remodel work. As part of that project, we had him stucco the outside of the new wall that got built where the garage doors were. To access that wall, he had to take off 2-3 of the fence planks right by the house where the fence runs into the house. And when they put them back in, one of his geniuses just used whatever nails they had laying around the house, in this case, a common interior nail that ain’t galvanized or treated for weather.

Because it’s a lot of trouble to go to the store to buy some deck nails or all-weather screws or generally replace what was there in the first place. After just a few months, it’s completely rusted and was starting to work itself out of the wood. All three planks were the same story.

This is the kind of thing you’d expect from a newbie, not someone you’re hiring because you just don’t have time to do it yourself and who is supposed to know what they’re doing (and I’d hope, far better than I do. Since they’re, uh, professionals who get paid to do it and all.)

We finally got around to painting the stucco to match the Hardieplank on the back of the house this weekend. Story and photos of that to come shortly.

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