What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

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t60
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What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by t60 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:17 pm

Have always DIY'd things on my car, never brought it into the shop except for tire replacements, smogging and alignment issues. Just about everything else I do, including tire rotations. I've probably saved thousands over the years, gained a ton of knowledge, and have a bunch of tools now which extend the ROI every time I change my oil, brakes, or other things.

One of my old colleagues got into a bad freeway accident a few years back, which was caused by the other driver going over the median. IIRC the court found a tire repair facility at fault, because they failed to torque the bolts properly (don't know any more details than that). They ended up settling for a six figure sum.

Since I heard the story I've always brought my car in for rotations. It's free anyway, but I used to DIY because by the time I drive there and back, I would have been done. It's such a simple thing, but tires are the only thing that touch the road (hopefully), so I'd rather mitigate the risk to the tire facility in case I mess up the job. That, and I'd have records in case anything crazy happened.

I'd also never touch a gas line in my house, no matter how easy it seems on YouTube. I'll let licensed plumbers deal with that.

aristotelian
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:27 pm

I would not mess with anything electrical unless it is just switching out old ones for new ones.

I do my own coffee roasting, beer brewing, yogurt, and of course taxes and investing.

I would do more gardening and home and car repair if I could, but I run out of time.

pshonore
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by pshonore » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:28 pm

Replace the roof shingles on my two story house. But I have painted the house more than a few times.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by new2bogle » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:28 pm

t60 wrote:Have always DIY'd things on my car, never brought it into the shop except for tire replacements, smogging and alignment issues. Just about everything else I do, including tire rotations. I've probably saved thousands over the years, gained a ton of knowledge, and have a bunch of tools now which extend the ROI every time I change my oil, brakes, or other things.

One of my old colleagues got into a bad freeway accident a few years back, which was caused by the other driver going over the median. IIRC the court found a tire repair facility at fault, because they failed to torque the bolts properly (don't know any more details than that). They ended up settling for a six figure sum.

Since I heard the story I've always brought my car in for rotations. It's free anyway, but I used to DIY because by the time I drive there and back, I would have been done. It's such a simple thing, but tires are the only thing that touch the road (hopefully), so I'd rather mitigate the risk to the tire facility in case I mess up the job. That, and I'd have records in case anything crazy happened.

I'd also never touch a gas line in my house, no matter how easy it seems on YouTube. I'll let licensed plumbers deal with that.


I'm the opposite. Never done anything on my car. But just a few weeks ago replaced my gas stove top including a new hose and couplings to the wall. Easy!

barnaclebob
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:28 pm

Where is the logic in hearing about a tire shop not doing a job properly and causing serious injury and then deciding to only have tire shops do your work so you won't be held liable.

Tire shops probably have some of the worst mechanics in the country. My uncle almost had a wheel fall off on the highway because they broke the lugs somehow. He pulled over in the middle of nowhere because of vibration and only had 2 lugs left. A coworker had brake work done at a tire shop and they forgot to tighten the caliper down and it came lose.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by BHUser27 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:30 pm

What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

I DIY everything I can (obsessively). Last week I DIY'd my own toenail trephination to treat an injury received during a DIY construction project. That said, I probably wouldn't DIY this kind of stuff:

    * Dental work
    * Colonoscopy
    * Appendectomy
    * Etc...
:D

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by lazydavid » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:32 pm

Replacing overhead door springs. It's not a terribly complicated or difficult job, but the consequence of error is death, dismemberment, or paralysis. Very few risks that serious can be completely eliminated for under $200.

I also do most of the work on my car, including complete suspension replacement on my previous car--took 3 of us an entire weekend. Took it to the dealer to have the tie rods swapped though, as they were rusted solid and had to be cut off with a torch.

Also do minor electrical, gas, and plumbing work (call in the experts for anything larger), and roast my own coffee. Last mowed the lawn a decade ago though. :)

Plutus
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by Plutus » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:32 pm

Usually anything to do with changing/removing springs that are compressed and contain a large amount of potential energy. This would include the springs on my truck and the springs on our garage doors. These things will kill you if not removed or installed properly.

bubbadog
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by bubbadog » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:32 pm

Roofing and drywall

renue74
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by renue74 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:34 pm

Anything to do with heights. I DIY tons of stuff and am in the middle of a 6 month remodel of a old house.

But any roofing or framing over 10 feet, I won't do. Also, I will never clean my gutters. It's worth $90 to have somebody do that.

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jesscj
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by jesscj » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:35 pm

I do almost everything myself, all car stuff but that's also my trade. I've remodeled my kitchen did everything but install granite, replaced water heater, rebuilt inside of furnace. Removed my deck and built a new one, i did have someone pour a new concrete patio. Rebuilt my garage door when the main torsion springs broke. Added lighting to a room which had no ceiling lights to begin with. Have installed hardwood and tile flooring in my house. Remove all my railings and built custom ones. Installed a new gas fireplace insert. Drywall painting ECT. I really don't like having to hire someone else,but most of this comes naturally to me.
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bottlecap
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by bottlecap » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:40 pm

Cutting the lawn. Don't enjoy it, takes time, and is cheap to have someone else do.

Other than that, if I'm competent, I'll do it.

I, too, don't get your logic regarding the tires. You would rather get into a completely avoidable accident caused by an incompetent than avoiding the accident completely by competently doing the work yourself?

Plus, if you don't take the car back to get the nuts retightened after your first 25 miles, the tire shop will blame it on you. Read your contract.

JT

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by RudyS » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:09 pm

bottlecap wrote:Cutting the lawn. Don't enjoy it, takes time, and is cheap to have someone else do.

Other than that, if I'm competent, I'll do it.

I, too, don't get your logic regarding the tires. You would rather get into a completely avoidable accident caused by an incompetent than avoiding the accident completely by competently doing the work yourself?

Plus, if you don't take the car back to get the nuts retightened after your first 25 miles, the tire shop will blame it on you. Read your contract.

JT


Good point - I have seen that retighten statement, but have never done it. Best bet is to just do your own rotations, and check torque after 25 miles.

I used to do plumbing stuff, but now I can't get down under sinks, etc., due to my back.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by FloRidaRocky » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:55 pm

Since I heard the story I've always brought my car in for rotations.


Have you considered buying a torque wrench?

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by randomguy » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:09 pm

bottlecap wrote:Cutting the lawn. Don't enjoy it, takes time, and is cheap to have someone else do.

Other than that, if I'm competent, I'll do it.


I do that on anything even if I am competent. At some point you need to decide if your time is more valuable than money. One off DIY can be fun so they get done but routine crap gets outsourced.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:12 pm

I've shifted what I do and don't do as I've gotten older (and more financially independent - it no longer bothers me to pay people the way it used to).
Lawn: I hired someone to do it for a couple of years but I didn't like the job they did AND I actually missed doing it myself so although it was dirt cheap to pay someone - I still do it myself. I think because I work inside 10-12 hours a day I also enjoy the outside time of mowing the lawn - I also take care of the gardens, pool, etc. I enjoy a bit of the hard-scaping - I have installed multiple walkways and patios in various places on my property over the years.
Car: I now hate doing dirty car work. I used to do all my own oil changes and some other work but now my car ramps, oil-filter-wrench, etc. sit in the corner of the garage. Its relatively inexpensive to do most routine car maintenance.
Ladders: My fear of heights has heightened as I've aged so I no longer do anything that requires me putting a ladder against my house. I won't paint my second-story windows nor will I clean out my own gutters any longer. Cheap enough to hire someone else to do it. Ladders hang in the garage unused.
Electrical and Plumbing: Only simple things I'll do myself - have changed out outlets/switches, have changed out faucets/toilets - but that's it - anything requiring a blow-torch I won't do (I think in my state you are supposed to have someone licensed do major items anyway with both electric and plumbing).
Other home-repair: I've put in a floor once and have done a myriad of other projects in the past - but I'm done doing any major or even minor home repairs now - no desire. Life is too short and time is precious - there are other things I'd rather do. My wife tells me I never really liked it (she told me recently she'd have to remove the kids from the house on the weekend project days due to all the swearing) and also reminded me recently that I would usually end up with some type of minor injury during most projects.
Last edited by DaftInvestor on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:12 pm

I can do most things around the house and have, but I am to the point that I don't like to do boring, repetitive things like painting and tiling. I remodeled a whole kitchen (including moving plumbing and electrical) and didn't mind, but ripping up tile and re-tiling a bathroom I lost interest.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by JDCarpenter » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:34 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:I've shifted what I do and don't do as I've gotten older (and more financially independent - it no longer bothers me to pay people the way it used to).
....


This is so true. Some tasks are enjoyable enough to continue doing even if not technically cost-effective--minor chainsaw work, bush-hogging our acreage, grading our driveway, etc. Don't know if I'll ever take out loadbearing walls or reroof a house again though....
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AlwaysBeClimbing
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by AlwaysBeClimbing » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:39 pm

Won't touch:
Roof re-shingling(very dangerous IMO, and really need a crew)
Gutter replacement( need specialized equipment to do the job right)
Garage door torsion spring replacement( too dangerous for any money saved)
Large tree removal( eg. 70 foot tall maple, risky to life limb and property )

Everything else around the house I've either done or would feel comfortable doing.

The only automotive work I'll do anymore is simple fluid changes or easily replaceable components(eg. brake pads/shoes, filters, wipers, accessory belts...), which rules out most drivetrain work. I let the shop do the tire rotations, they're free so why bother.

afan
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by afan » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:44 pm

Anything dirty or dangerous.
Complicated things that it is really important to get right. I would never try to write my own asset planning documents, but I can do my own taxes. If my taxes were complicated I would hire someone.

I do simple plumbing repairs, but no soldering. I do trivial electrical work, but would never run a new circuit. In my area I doubt I could get a permit to do it myself anyway.

I never found auto repair fun or interesting and nowadays the first thing they do is plug it into expensive computers. Not worth acquiring the hardware.
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WaffleCone
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by WaffleCone » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:44 pm

I just spent $2200 on 22 yards of mulch and soil, spring cleanup, and bed prep. It would have taken me a month to do the work myself, squeezing it in after work and on weekends in-between kids' activities. The longer it goes, the harder it gets to cleanup. And it's not worth vacation time to do.

I'm sure someone will reply with how their landscaper does cleanup and spreads mulch for $10 yard. I probably could have paid less if I shopped around more but we got it done when we wanted it, are happy with the result, and feel like we paid a living wage to the guys who did it. We saved way more than $2000 with other DIY landscape jobs so I don't feel bad about this.

While the guys were mulching, I replaced a part on my heater for $175 which would have cost $600 for a tech to do it. Took me 45 minutes.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:48 pm

WaffleCone wrote:I just spent $2200 on 22 yards of mulch and soil, spring cleanup, and bed prep. It would have taken me a month to do the work myself, squeezing it in after work and on weekends in-between kids' activities. The longer it goes, the harder it gets to cleanup. And it's not worth vacation time to do.

I'm sure someone will reply with how their landscaper does cleanup and spreads mulch for $10 yard. I probably could have paid less if I shopped around more but we got it done when we wanted it, are happy with the result, and feel like we paid a living wage to the guys who did it. We saved way more than $2000 with other DIY landscape jobs so I don't feel bad about this.

While the guys were mulching, I replaced a part on my heater for $175 which would have cost $600 for a tech to do it. Took me 45 minutes.


We all have our preferences - I would have paid to have the heater fixed while enjoying working outside in the yard (although 22 yards is a LOT - I've got a 10 yard weekend limit myself). Also - you need to learn a good "kids' activity" is working out in the gardens :)

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by jebmke » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:50 pm

anything involving a chain saw or a wood chipper
almost anything on the car
Wills

also, I don't deliver my own mail.
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:53 pm

JDCarpenter wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:I've shifted what I do and don't do as I've gotten older (and more financially independent - it no longer bothers me to pay people the way it used to).
....


This is so true. Some tasks are enjoyable enough to continue doing even if not technically cost-effective--minor chainsaw work, bush-hogging our acreage, grading our driveway, etc. Don't know if I'll ever take out loadbearing walls or reroof a house again though....


And some things are worth doing for the experience of learning how in anticipation of doing them again in the future. At my age--not so much anymore.

I learned at an early age that I would not paint.

Later I learned that I had progressively less tolerance for doing things that hurt my back, were very "nasty," were potentially dangerous or very expensive if I screwed up, or required "fine" work and patience. Those things became easier and easier to pay someone else to do.
Last edited by Doom&Gloom on Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NightFall
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by NightFall » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:00 pm

lazydavid wrote:Replacing overhead door springs. It's not a terribly complicated or difficult job, but the consequence of error is death, dismemberment, or paralysis. Very few risks that serious can be completely eliminated for under $200.


+1 I would never load or unload a spring in a garage door myself. The risk of serious injury or death is way too high. In fact, I don't even want to be in the garage when it's being done.

lakpr
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by lakpr » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:09 pm

Lawn mowing. Did it for a couple of years myself. But now have serious allergies to anything grass related, glad to pay someone $50 a pop to mow the lawn.

At least through the summer, it helps a neighborhood kid earn a little money

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by nick evets » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:11 pm

If you do most things on your car, surely you have a floor jack, and if you pick a lift point midway between the tires (assuming you have an appropriate spot) you can quickly lift both tires off the ground on a side, making it easy to DIY 'tire rotation'. Fast and simple. I don't do the clockwise method -- just front/back when I think of it.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:22 pm

NightFall wrote:
lazydavid wrote:Replacing overhead door springs. It's not a terribly complicated or difficult job, but the consequence of error is death, dismemberment, or paralysis. Very few risks that serious can be completely eliminated for under $200.


+1 I would never load or unload a spring in a garage door myself. The risk of serious injury or death is way too high. In fact, I don't even want to be in the garage when it's being done.


While I definitely agree with you when it comes to TORSION spring doors, side lift assist springs are easy and safe to DIY. I have 2 garage doors, one of each type. I only mention this because some readers may not realize there's a difference, and your post doesn't differentiate.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:23 pm

I'll add that growing up, my Father did everything because he couldn't afford to pay someone. I try to do things myself allowing for my patience and my time available for the task, but it is nice being able to afford to pay someone sometimes. I appreciate knowing how to do the things and it is useful even if hiring someone (to see if they know how to do it properly and if they are scamming you).

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:30 pm

The only things I have paid a professional for since I became a DIY'er are as follows:

wasp nest removals from up high and in the walls
medium sized tree removal
a new gas line being run to my kitchen (crawlspace and line sizing issues i didn't want to deal with)
an upcoming granite counter installation.
I'll be paying for a new roof and gutters this summer too.

DIY projects include:
New tile shower including plumbing work requiring sweating some pipes
Kitchen overhaul including building some cabinets from raw sheet goods and doors from dimensioned lumber
Many garden beds, some multi tiered in a hillside
All car work including all fluids, brakes, wheel bearings, sensors, struts.
Reupholstered my car seats from a cowhide rug
Chicken coop with electricity (not entirely to code but its safe...) and mini brooder coop combo
Lightweight summer bivy sack for backpacking

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by Sandi_k » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:10 pm

We've done a lot of DIY over the years. Now, with bad knees and backs, our choices are defined by the physical limitations. In addition, anything (like roofing) where a crew is more efficient (or need more bodies to lift heavy materials) makes sense to us. So that would include:

- Roofing
- Garage door replacement
- Granite/quartz countertop replacement
- Tiling floor and walls/backsplashes
- Overhead work like drywall installation/mudding/taping
- Heavy yardwork
- Deck rebuilds

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unclescrooge
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:23 pm

I've done house painting, and would never do it again.

In fact, apart from restaining the patio furniture every few years, I'm not doing any project that requires me to break a sweat.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by bertilak » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:57 pm

unclescrooge wrote:I'm not doing any project that requires me to break a sweat.


About lawn mowing and sweating ... I have given that up completely. Last time I mowed I started to get heat exhaustion. It was a hot day. Dizziness set in. I was stumbling.

Now here's the thing that woke me up. A huge shadow passed over me as I was mowing so I looked up and there were vultures circling me! They were pretty low! I'm sure they weren't really after me but it was enough to shake me from my stupor!
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Watty
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by Watty » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:10 pm

Roof work or any other high dangerous work.

When I was a teenager I worked several summers in a nursing home. All of the residents were elderly except for one guy that was a quadriplegic who was in his 30's. He had tried to save money by doing his own roof but he fell off and was paralyzed.

Seeing that can make a lasting impression on you.

Paying someone do do work like that is not just shucking off the risk on someone else since I figure that someone who does that all the time is a lot safer doing it than I would be.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:16 pm

I don't do self surgery or heavy duty landscaping. Giving up the big landscaping jobs came after I assessed the time to do a big job around our house. I figured I could get it done over the summer if I worked after work till dark and every weekend sunlight hour. No thanks.

Most of the other things mentioned in the thread, I've DIY'd and will continue to along with lots not mentioned.
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by JGoneRiding » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:56 pm

I feel the need to point out that plumers don't do gas lines. Just saying. I do agree with gas line sentiment plumving on the other hand is fairly easy. I don't diy it when it is hard to get to

Edit. Turned on auto correct swear it's worse then when off!

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:06 pm

JGoneRiding wrote:I feel the need to point out that plumers don't do gas lines. Just saying. I do agree with gas line sentiment plumving on the other hand is fairly easy. I don't diy it when it is hard to get to

Edit. Turned on auto correct swear it's worse then when off!


That must vary by state. I'm practically certain they "do gas lines" here--propane, can't speak to NG.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:21 pm

BHUser27 wrote:
What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

I DIY everything I can (obsessively). Last week I DIY'd my own toenail trephination to treat an injury received during a DIY construction project. That said, I probably wouldn't DIY this kind of stuff:

    * Dental work
    * Colonoscopy
    * Appendectomy
    * Etc...
:D

I wouldn't either, but someone once did perform his own appendectomy:
During an expedition to the Antarctic, Russian surgeon Leonid Rogozov became seriously ill. He needed an operation - and as the only doctor on the team, he realised he would have to do it himself.May 5, 2015. source: www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32481442

https://www.google.com/search?q=man+who ... 8&oe=utf-8
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:15 pm

bertilak wrote:
unclescrooge wrote:I'm not doing any project that requires me to break a sweat.


About lawn mowing and sweating ... I have given that up completely. Last time I mowed I started to get heat exhaustion. It was a hot day. Dizziness set in. I was stumbling.

Now here's the thing that woke me up. A huge shadow passed over me as I was mowing so I looked up and there were vultures circling me! They were pretty low! I'm sure they weren't really after me but it was enough to shake me from my stupor!


HAHAHA!

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by bestplans » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:17 pm

Anything except investing (I'm all thumbs)

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by whomever » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:42 pm

so I'd rather mitigate the risk to the tire facility in case I mess up the job.


I don't get that logic.
1)The risk might be me dying because an untorqued wheel sends me into a bridge abutment. Having my heirs sue the tire shop is cold comfort.
2)One of the rare times I let a commercial shop work on my car, they overtorqued a wheel stud, stripping the threads. I discovered it the next time I changed the wheel. Unfortunately on that model of car, replacing the stud required destructive disassembly of the hub, and reassembly required dealer only special tools, which I had to machine myself. This hints at why I do my own car maintenance: because I want it done right.

Anecdote: for that hub reassembly, the factory manual specified 'CRITICAL: torque bolt X to the value specified in table 29'. Table 29 didn't list said torque. I took the manual to the dealer and asked what the right torque was, assuming they would have had a corrective update to the manual. After a great deal of back and forth, with my pointing out they had sold me a deficient manual, they told me to go ask Jasper and Clem, their mechanics who performed said procedure. So I found Jasper and Clem eating lunch, and asked what torque they used. The response was 'Weeeeel, I dunno, we just snug 'em up real good'.

I've hired electricians - good, competent electricians - and later found mistakes in their work. With cars or wiring, the difference is that someone doing it for a living has to do it fast to survive. I can spend the time to do it right.


Another thing I don't understand is hiring out the risk. Brakes are an example - I know people who won't work on their own brakes because they don't want the risk of breathing asbestos. I can't bring myself to do that. If I just didn't want to work on brakes for whatever reason, fine, I'd hire it out - but I can't bring myself to say 'I used the car and wore out the pads, and would be happy to replace them except for the health risk, so I'll let some minimum wage guy get cancer instead of me'. I can't not work on them for solely that reason. I wore them out, so I'll assume the health risk of replacing them (which is pretty negligible if you work slowly and carefully).

Roofs are a good example of things that kind of need a crew. I'll do a shed roof, of help a neighbor who's having a roof party, but it's not really a solo job unless you have a really rainless season. Drywall is another - it's pretty hard to do solo.

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FIREchief
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by FIREchief » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:09 am

JGoneRiding wrote:I feel the need to point out that plumers don't do gas lines. Just saying.


????! If plumers (sic) don't "do" gas lines, who does?
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

msk
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by msk » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:39 am

Economic commonsense says that stuff done by pros is done more efficiently than by DIYs. Unfortunately taxes mess up simple economics and we all end up DIY when young, less so as we accumulate wealth. The more steeply progressive a country's income tax scheme is, the more DIY and less economic efficiency overall. Some years back I decided that my free time was worth $250/hour. If I can save >$250 for each hour I spend on the thing, I'll do it myself. Just decide what your free time is worth. All of us have the capacity to learn most trades, be it to a low skill level (that's how we have pros!). In my younger days I was surprised that a neurologist friend was spending his time on a lot of semi manual labor. E.g. landscaping and endless weekends restoring a Jaguar E-Type. What a waste, although an absorbing hobby. He could have helped quite a few extra mechanics with their neurological diseases. Difficult to price hobbies right...

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bottlecap
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by bottlecap » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:37 am

I'm amending my answer. In addition to not mowing the lawn, I prefer not to paint, and will not get on my roof due to the steep angle.

JT

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jharkin
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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by jharkin » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:42 am

FIREchief wrote:
JGoneRiding wrote:I feel the need to point out that plumers don't do gas lines. Just saying.


????! If plumers (sic) don't "do" gas lines, who does?



It depends on the plumber. Many (possibly most?) sates have a separate gas-fitting license. As long as a plumber holds that license they can do gas. Most plumbers I have dealt with do both.

As always - codes and regulations are local so this may vary by location.


whomever wrote:Another thing I don't understand is hiring out the risk. Brakes are an example - I know people who won't work on their own brakes because they don't want the risk of breathing asbestos. I can't bring myself to do that. If I just didn't want to work on brakes for whatever reason, fine, I'd hire it out - but I can't bring myself to say 'I used the car and wore out the pads, and would be happy to replace them except for the health risk, so I'll let some minimum wage guy get cancer instead of me'. I can't not work on them for solely that reason. I wore them out, so I'll assume the health risk of replacing them (which is pretty negligible if you work slowly and carefully).


I assume you know that asbestos was banned, including brake pads and shoes, over 30 years ago. I believe your risk of being exposed to is nonexistent unless you are working on a rarely driven old car.

The dust of semi-metallic pads is not great for you either, but if you work careful and wash everything down with liquid brake cleaners spray before taking stuff apart and keep good ventilation Ive never had an issue.
Last edited by jharkin on Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by jharkin » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:50 am

I wont DIY things that take expensive specialist tools and take a lot of experience to do it right.


On the car:
Once upon a time (20s) I would DIY everythign up to clutch replacements and head gaskets. Today I will DIY anything that is less than a 3 hour job and doesn't require specialized expertise. i.e I DIY oil& fluid changes, tire rotations, belts, brake jobs, basic stuff like spark plug replacements and simple bolts on's - starter/alternator/etc. A timing belt job, valve adjustments, major suspension work, etc I will leave to the mechanics who do it every day. They can do in a few hours what would take me a whole weekend.

House:
I will DIY painting, light carpentry, most electrical and simple plumbing.
I wont DIY a major drywall job (Its not complicated but the pros have a technique that can only be learned with experience), floor refinishing, roofing, a full electrical service upgrade. I wont DIY gas work (my state wont permit homeowners). I wont DIY anything that requires excavating like septic work and building the patio.

Yard:
I DIY pretty much everything.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by tibbitts » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:59 am

t60 wrote:Have always DIY'd things on my car, never brought it into the shop except for tire replacements, smogging and alignment issues. Just about everything else I do, including tire rotations. I've probably saved thousands over the years, gained a ton of knowledge, and have a bunch of tools now which extend the ROI every time I change my oil, brakes, or other things.

One of my old colleagues got into a bad freeway accident a few years back, which was caused by the other driver going over the median. IIRC the court found a tire repair facility at fault, because they failed to torque the bolts properly (don't know any more details than that). They ended up settling for a six figure sum.

Since I heard the story I've always brought my car in for rotations. It's free anyway, but I used to DIY because by the time I drive there and back, I would have been done. It's such a simple thing, but tires are the only thing that touch the road (hopefully), so I'd rather mitigate the risk to the tire facility in case I mess up the job. That, and I'd have records in case anything crazy happened.

I'd also never touch a gas line in my house, no matter how easy it seems on YouTube. I'll let licensed plumbers deal with that.

That's an odd example with the lug nuts - I would have thought you would have concluded the opposite.

I forgot to tighten my lug nuts once (okay, maybe twice...), but the wheels don't just fall off - they wobble. I knew what the problem was as soon as it happened.

Overhead door springs are something I'd never do. I was very lucky when I was working on one and it let go. Won't do that again.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by spammagnet » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:04 am

Roof repairs. I'm not afraid of heights but know the risk of serious injury is high. Also, as we age, our balance is not as quick to adjust as it once was and we get more brittle. (I'm not 90, but I'm not 30, either.) Besides which, I now live in a condo. Let the HOA do it. :D

I'm very capable of DIY for extensive carpentry, plumbing, gas, and electrical work following code, and appliance repairs. I pay skilled craftsmen to do tasks where the finished appearance requires practice to look good: floor and wall tile, plaster repair, fine wood surfaces, etc. I don't have the experience to get it right the first time. Cosmetic mistakes become glaring errors.

Because car maintenance now require special tools and information resources, and used fluids require disposal, I have those done at a shop somewhere. I do swap out easy stuff like batteries, bulbs, air filters and wipers.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by jlcnuke » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:19 am

category 1 - Stuff that requires working at heights. I wasn't scared of heights when I was younger, but I'd prefer to avoid places I could reasonably worry I might fall to my death now that I'm older.
category 2 - Stuff that requires skills I don't have and can't reasonably acquire in a time and cost-efficient manner (i.e. specialized services like medical procedures, legal representation, etc).
category 3 - Things I don't enjoy and can pay someone else a reasonable sum to do it for me instead (such as lawn-care for example).
category 4 - Stuff I would need to be "licensed" or otherwise certified to do legally and am not. Fortunately for my remodel budget, I can do most things in my own home without a license or certification. I did pay the plumbers to put in the new natural gas lines though as it fit into category 3.

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Re: What kind of stuff would you never DIY, assuming you could?

Post by spammagnet » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:24 am

msk wrote:... In my younger days I was surprised that a neurologist friend was spending his time on a lot of semi manual labor. E.g. landscaping and endless weekends restoring a Jaguar E-Type. What a waste, although an absorbing hobby. ... Difficult to price hobbies right...

I doubt he was doing it to save money. More likely, as a distraction from the stresses of his day job. People who do things as a hobby usually don't evaluate them from an economic perspective, other than affordability.

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