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Old 03-24-2017, 09:45 AM   #1
jwslam
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Default Where to learn to do Basic Renovations

So how does someone start learning to do renovations.

I'd like to become somewhat competent in doing bare-bones stuff like laminate flooring and drywalling. I don't currently need any of this stuff done in my house, and I don't know of any friends that need this stuff in the near future.

Where would I go to start learning these skills in a real-world practice scenario? Obviously I could sit at home and watch youtube all day thinking "hey I can do that!"

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Old 03-24-2017, 09:46 AM   #2
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I believe Home Depot do free or very inexpensive workshops in store. I'd start there.

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/ide...workshops.html
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:48 AM   #3
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So how does someone start learning to do renovations.

I'd like to become somewhat competent in doing simple stuff like laminate flooring and drywalling. I don't currently need any of this stuff done in my house, and I don't know of any friends that need this stuff in the near future.

Where would I go to start learning these skills in a real-world practice scenario? Obviously I could sit at home and watch youtube all day thinking "hey I can do that!"
You could help me build my garage!
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:57 AM   #4
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Gut your basement and redo it. Make sure you follow building codes and get proper inspections, but I personally learned by doing and making mistakes.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:02 AM   #5
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Gut your basement and redo it.
That's exactly how I got started and holy hell do I ever need to do it again. I've learned so much since doing it that I go down into the basement and cringe sometimes. Plumbing & wiring, that's pretty straightforward logical stuff. As is hanging drywall. Where things become an art is in the mudding/taping. At times I'm convinced you're either born with the skill or you're not. That's something that needs practice and so much of the finished look of the room depends on it. You can crush everything leading up to it but if you screw that up, it looks like crap. But when you nail it.....good times. Few things are as satisfying as putting the finishing touches on a room you did yourself.

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Old 03-24-2017, 10:02 AM   #6
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Drywalling is not simple.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:04 AM   #7
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That's exactly how I got started and holy hell do I ever need to do it again. I've learned so much since doing that I go down into the basement and cringe sometimes. Plumbing & wiring, that's pretty straightforward logical stuff. As is hanging drywall. Where things become an art is in the mudding/taping. At times I'm convinced you're either born with the skill or you're not. That's something that needs practice and so much of the finished look of the room depends on it. You can crush everything leading up to it but if you screw that it, it looks like crap. But when you nail it.....good times. Few things are as satisfying as putting the finishing touches on a room you did yourself.
This, so much.

After doing my garage, I'll never do drywall again.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:04 AM   #8
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Drywalling is not simple.
It's not too hard either though. It's a giant jiggsaw puzzle for adults that you hang on the wall. And frankly, you can take some pretty good liberties with it as you can cover up a ton of poor cuts with mud
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:05 AM   #9
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That's exactly how I got started and holy hell do I ever need to do it again. I've learned so much since doing that I go down into the basement and cringe sometimes. Plumbing & wiring, that's pretty straightforward logical stuff. As is hanging drywall. Where things become an art is in the mudding/taping. At times I'm convinced you're either born with the skill or you're not. That's something that needs practice and so much of the finished look of the room depends on it. You can crush everything leading up to it but if you screw that it, it looks like crap. But when you nail it.....good times. Few things are as satisfying as putting the finishing touches on a room you did yourself.

I put myself through college doing drywall and taping. Here comes a horn toot, I am damn good at both. Where my heart truly lies is with woodworking though. That is a little more, nuanced, lets say haha.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:08 AM   #10
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I learnt with youtube. The two best I learnt from were

https://www.youtube.com/user/HouseImprovements

and ThisOldHouse

But really you just need to go and do it. No two jobs are the same so you'll always get stuck but that's what youtube and inspectors are for
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:09 AM   #11
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Gut your basement and redo it. Make sure you follow building codes and get proper inspections, but I personally learned by doing and making mistakes.
My basement was developed in 2011

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Drywalling is not simple.
Sorry. I meant basic skills, not simple.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:10 AM   #12
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I absolutely refuse to do drywall now, I will pay someone to do it for me. Other then that yeah, the home hardware route is good, as well google knows all.

I remember a bunch of years ago when I renovated the basement of a house I owned, and I decided to invite my dad because he was good at it. But I didn't want him to actually do much work because he was getting older. I thought I could siphon off his knowledge and we could have that cool father and son moment of sharing stories and beers while casually doing to basement. I even had a Peter Gabriel theme song in my head for this moment, and I hoped that I would gain little pearls of wisdom from the old man.

It was in my head a totally disney script in real life.

In reality it was like doing a project with a slightly drunk Satan as your foreman.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:10 AM   #13
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Where my heart truly lies is with woodworking though. That is a little more, nuanced, lets say haha.
You should pursue the hell out of it then. Good woodwork is nothing short of beautiful. If you have the mind for it, give it all you have. I wish I was better at it but I don't have an artistic side like you apparently do which would also explain your skill with mud.

I get a ton of enjoyment out of bringing power and water into rooms that didn't have it before. Or improving what was there before. That's about where my skills top out.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:11 AM   #14
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Drywalling is not simple.
Measure, cut, screw, mud, tape, mud, sand. Proper tools an technique are key though. Unless it's a stairwell. #### stairwells.

Adding two sconces to a single separate switch to a circuit. That took me longer to figure out than it did to drywall my basement.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:13 AM   #15
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Adding two sconces to a single separate switch to a circuit. That took me longer to figure out than it did to drywall my basement.
OMG don't even get me started on two way and three way switches
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:17 AM   #16
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drywalling, like everything else reno, is just experience, and learning from mistakes. Once you do it a couple of times, it's not that bad.

My suggestion for renos, is rip everything down.
What I mean by that is, one of my first big renos, I was redoing the main bathroom. When I first started, I was going to keep the existing cabinet, sink, mirror etc. Make a long story about a long project short, I ended up ripping everything out, drywall, ceiling flooring, everything, it was down to the studs.
Had I skipped the nitpicking and done that to begin with, it would have saved me a lot of time.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:22 AM   #17
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Drywalling is easy. Mudding and taping is not. I will always pay someone who knows what they're doing to mud and tape for me.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:28 AM   #18
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I absolutely refuse to do drywall now, I will pay someone to do it for me. Other then that yeah, the home hardware route is good, as well google knows all.

I remember a bunch of years ago when I renovated the basement of a house I owned, and I decided to invite my dad because he was good at it. But I didn't want him to actually do much work because he was getting older. I thought I could siphon off his knowledge and we could have that cool father and son moment of sharing stories and beers while casually doing to basement. I even had a Peter Gabriel theme song in my head for this moment, and I hoped that I would gain little pearls of wisdom from the old man.

It was in my head a totally disney script in real life.

In reality it was like doing a project with a slightly drunk Satan as your foreman.
Ha.



I had my father in law help me finish off some electrical I had already roughed in. I ran the wire to a switch in my storage room from the wrong outlet so he switched it around and rather then pull a new length of cable he re-used the cable that was in there and in doing so moved the box to the other side of the door at chest high to use the shorter cable. You would have had to open the door into the room, walk in, close the door and then switch on the light remembering that it was a foot above where a switch should be.

When he came to see my finished basement, first thing he said was - "I see you moved that switch".

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Old 03-24-2017, 10:28 AM   #19
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It's not too hard either though. It's a giant jiggsaw puzzle for adults that you hang on the wall. And frankly, you can take some pretty good liberties with it as you can cover up a ton of poor cuts with mud
Putting up drywall is not the hard part. Taping and mudding is an art and a skill. Sorry I just take offense when someone who is doing renovations does a job like painting and dry walling and think because their job is complete they they successfully finished the job right. It's ok if you're going to live in the house for a long time and don't care about imperfections but I guarantee you if an actual inspector or professional in the field came and looked at it they'd likely want to tear down the walls and start from scratch instead of fixing it.

I'm a painter and when I built my basement I hired a professional drywaller even though I could have technically done it myself. But there is no chance it would have looked good to someone who knows the trade.

If saving money is what you are after and you don't care much about quality then knock yourselves out but don't be surprised when it's time to sell and people start looking at all the imperfections and start low balling you or even worse, just walking out.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:29 AM   #20
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Drywalling is easy. Mudding and taping is not. I will always pay someone who knows what they're doing to mud and tape for me.

Exactly this. ...and it is the difference from a job looking good and a job looking like an amateur did it.
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