Home n00b Tip #2: Simple Projects are Never Simple

So you want to replace your front door do you?  Maybe mow the lawn for the first time?  How about paint a room? These and many other projects would be classified by most logical, rational and sane people as “Simple Projects.” Things that can be done in an afternoon – maybe half a day even… but 8, 10 or 12 hours?


When you are told that something will take only a few hours and one of the following situations applies to you, do yourself a favor and budget at least double the amount of time that you think it should take.  Worse case?  You get to relax earlier then you expected and enjoy your work.

1.  You’ve never done the task before and only 0 and 1 experienced people are helping you through it.

Your one person does not include the oh-so-helpful guy at the Home Depot either folks. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Those guys can tell you that the project will practically do itself and you walk away believing it.  No – your one person is the guy whose willing to tell you that the job sucks and will take “about half a day” but he’s done it before and can try to figure it out a second time.

If you can get more then one person to help, great!  But don’t think it’s going to dramatically cut into your spent project time.  More then a few people on a project usually leads to people standing on the outskirts watching.  Great for an additional set of hands for tool passes or board support duty – but realistically, it might only cut the whole ordeal down an hour or so.

2.  It’s an old house and things have a tendency of being just a little off.

The house of the blog isn’t really old, but at 60 years it’s older then we are.  That said, things were definitely done a little differently back then.  For instance – did you know that they used tar paper underneath our original subfloor?  How about having no insulation in the walls because concrete is good enough?  Maybe you knew that the original  front door opening would be too narrow to fit a prehung 36″.

We didn’t know any of that – and it all costs time to pull out or adjust so that modern things can go in and the house can be saved from the current time warp.

3.  You’ve been given conflicting methods of doing something and aren’t entirely sure which way to go.

This one applies to just about anything, but it is a serious time eater in home repairs.  Best approach?  Research your method in full before doing anything.  Go in prepared by getting all of your supplies before you start.  Granted, not every situation can be accounted for but a little prep time can guard against big time wasters like running out of nails or buying the wrong type of sealant.

Out for now… TheJessle

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