DIY (Do it yourself)!


#1

Hi All,

I didn’t see, or couldn’t find, a DIY topic for those brave pioneers and adventurers who dare to take control of their own home improvements (a group of which I aspire to join!).

So, this topic is for all master and novice craftsmen alike to share their knowledge and stories of all things DIY.

I shall start. I recently moved into a new house which is in a somewhat reasonable condition however there are lots of little changes that could be made to improve its overall aesthetic. One of which is the carpet, it’s old and is a terrible colour. However, underneath the carpet is lovely pine floorboards so we decided that instead of replacing the carpet we’ll attempt to restore them.

Due to some time constraints, we decided to hire a professional to perform this task which was due to take place this week. Unfortunately, they’ve now cancelled and can only reschedule in a months time - which is too late.

After lots of deliberating between my wife and I, we finally decided to Do It Ourselves. We’re now in the process of consuming as much knowledge as possible to prepare us for what’s ahead.

My DIY story is only beginning but hopefully, this topic will also serve as a place for everyone no matter where you are in your DIY journey to share your experiences.

So:

  • Do you have a great/horrible/bizarre DIY story?
  • Like me, are you currently somewhere in the DIY process?
  • Do you have grand DIY aspirations ?

I’d be interested to hear about them and I’ll update this topic with my DIY story as it progresses.

Cheers,


#2

Moved this to hobbies as I think that’s the appropriate category for it.

Also, I have to re-grout my bathtub and am sooooo not looking forward to it. I know it’s not the most major job in the world but it’s a level of DIY that I haven’t done before (previously limited to repainting and spackling type stuff), so I’m nervous about it.

Also also, what a find! Pine floorboards under bad carpet seems like a diamond in the rough.


#3

Thanks M_o, I’m still getting used to the different forum categories.

I also have to re-grout the tiles in my bathroom and I’ve never done it before either so I feel your pain! Let me know how it goes.

It’s an old property that we moved into so we did hope that there would be floorboards underneath as it’s common with this type of property. However, the state of the floorboards is another matter. The ones we’ve unearthed so far will require A LOT of sanding and some minor repairs.


#4

Wow.

Came over yesterday as an ex GAFfer and as it would happen, I actually spent the entire weekend doing exactly what you’re about to do.

We closed on a house 9/5 and spent nights last week tearing up carpet, pad, tack strip and staples to expose the hardwoods underneath (oak). then rented a drum sander and sanded off the top coat and stain.

We stained and put a couple coats of top coat (poly) on yesterday. It came out a bit rough yet, so i’m planning to go buy a palm sander and do the entire thing in 220 grit to hopefully smooth it out some.

What a coincidence!


#5

It’s reassuring to hear about your experience from the other side RedlineRonin! How did you find the whole process?

My main concern isn’t the sanding but the repairs to the woodwork, i.e. filling gaps in the wood where it’s splintered or replacing a plank. I guess hardwood is more durable so you may not have had that issue.


#6

Well, you can buy stainable filler for cracks and to do smaller repairs. e.g. when you pull up the tack strips, there may be nail holes to fill, or if there’s a strip across the entry way where the carpet separates, that may have some bigger holes also. You simply squirt the filler in (as little as possible) and use a putty knife to flatten it with the surface of the floor.

We didn’t have any complete planks that were replaced at all, just filling in cracks and small knicks, nail holes etc.

The whole process was def a lot of work (we did three bedrooms), and ours is not perfect. We should have had better technique with the drum sander, as we did end up with a few lines. We also ended up with stain a bit darker than intended. That said, we were probably out ~$500 for materials and rental of a sander and my buddy was thinking ~$2K if we would have had it done professionally

A lot of (hard) work for sure, but learned a lot!


#7

While this isn’t a home improvement post, I cobbled together a Hitbox using an old Switch box just before the new Marvel Vs. Capcom came out. It came out better than I expected and I’m proud of it! (the hitbox, not the game) Let’s not even talk about the shoebox I tried using first that got destroyed.

I haven’t bothered with shortening any of the wiring inside the case because the switch box isn’t permanent. I’d love to make some sort of wood case for it, but I don’t know the first thing!


#8

Just moved into our first owned house a few weeks ago, so I’m definitely into this thread!

Our first wiring attempt ended…poorly. We tried to install a overhead light in the bedroom and sort of destroyed the fuse, need to get an electrician out because that thing is dead as a doornail. PROTIP: Don’t connect hot wires to your ground by accident.

Second wiring attempt to replace the hideous porch lamp that was way too small to accept our TP-Link SmartBulb was MUCH more successful!

Then added some sweet numbers to our mailbox to replace those hideous wooden ones.

Also replaced our Thermostats with NEST E’s, but need to get the HVAC guy out since the power to the Thermostat in the bedroom is dead. It worked for a while, but then just died one night. The Thermostat in the living room is getting power so hopefully it’s not a major thing, but I’m not gonna mess with the Furnace. Noooooope I’m good.


#9

I like the font on the numbers. Looks nice!

We did some electrical this weekend also. Replaced all the outlets and grounded them to the metal boxes (our house is older, built in '55).

I also installed a NEST and am loving it so far; very handy. Make sure to screw around with temps a lot when you first install it. that’s how it gets to know “you” as far as temps you like, when you’re home etc.


#10

Thanks! I know right, it’s such a cool font in combo with the bronze. They’re self-adhesive ones from Home Depot, so didn’t require much effort to install but they really make the whole look pop.

The house hasn’t even dropped below 61 degrees internally yet, so the NESTs haven’t gotten a workout. I set them to 60 and called it a day so far, that’ll change a lot in the Winter though.


#11

Thanks for the advice, I’ll need to buy filler as there are other small holes that I’ve spotted and I’m sure I’ll unearth more as I progress.

After reading a bit more about, it definitely looks like hard work! You did well to finish 3 bedrooms over the weekend.

I’ve just hired the floor sander and edger for the weekend! Also, I’ve booked in my Dad for an extra pair of hands to help.

If anyone’s interested in before and after pictures, I’ll happily share some.


#12

Yeah we “finished” in the sense that we put the last coat of poly on yesterday afternoon, but it needs to “cure” for 4-7 days or something. And it finished a bit rough so we still need to lightly sand and then wash, but it should be good after that!

I’d be very curious to see before/afters. I didn’t even think of that, but we should have done the same.


#13

The GF and I walled up the extra door to our master bathroom yesterday! We framed it and drywalled it all by ourselves. Needed to run out and buy a circular saw, since the jigsaw we had was just not cutting it for 2x4s hahah.

That was super cool to see finished!