How often do you DIY/hire a professional?
Jeannie Nguyen
February 6, 2014 in Design Dilemma
Where do you draw the line from having it become a DIY project or needing to hire a professional? Yes, it depends on each project, but everyone has a different point where they need the extra help.

Share your stories with us and let us know about your last project. Did you hire a professional or did you DIY? What about your next project?

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PRO
Richlind Architects LLC
As a design professional, with a background in construction, I draw the line when I recognize the project is beyond my limits: Time restraint or technical finish tolerances required for the finished project beyond my abilities.
February 6, 2014 at 5:04pm     
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cabingirl13
Well almost every project in our house/polebarn is DIY as my husband can't stand to have anyone else work on our stuff. He is very capable for most projects...one of those handy guys who has worked on almost everything at some point in his life (he was practically born with tools in his hands). His stance is that if he has the knowledge/skill and the tools to do the job why the heck would he pay someone else to do it for him. We did have concrete poured this summer and trust me he wanted to do it himself but I finally talked him out of it because he wanted to spend too much $$ on a Bobcat/excavator. If we were to do a major remodel (structural changes etc.) I would certainly hire a professional for that....but for most of our home projects he has done the work and it has always turned out quite well. All I know is that he has saved us a ton of money over the years and he is a perfectionist...very thankful for that!
February 6, 2014 at 5:14pm     
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Daren M
I am always willing to do as much as I can but draw the line at anything that would need to be inspected or dealing with code. Unfortunately it took me a long time and several thousand dollars to learn that lesson.
February 6, 2014 at 8:15pm     
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Patricia Colwell
I am a designer also and I call in pros for plumbing (major) or electrical (reworking) other than that I am pretty confidant to handle the rest. If I am dealing with roof changes I call an engineer to make sure what I want will be doable.
February 7, 2014 at 5:49am   
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PRO
Connie Elaine's Draperies
We hire a 'professional' for anything that is beyond our expertise or tool supply. Examples of non-DIY are 220 electrical, anything that requires use of a compound miter saw (too expensive for the few things we do), and major jobs like replacing the roof last year and some siding replacement this coming year.

Unfortunately, I know enough about projects to be dangerous to the 'professional'. I cannot stand it when they do not listen to what I want, then do not include it in their bid. Do they get the job? No!!

There are still numerous 'professionals' that have been and still are affected by the economic setbacks over the last years. I find that some of them attempt projects that are beyond their expertise just to make some money. I had a kitchen counter top and back splash project done last year by this type of professional. The counter top tiles were cut with a dull wet saw blade and grout lines are too wide (that's what I get with porcelain tile and 'code'). The glass tile back splash had to be redone twice (3x the materials) for a final look that is still amateur looking. In the process, the workers scratched my stainless steel cook top back splash and ss refrigerator. Adhesive residue was left on many surfaces including the shower curtain in the bathroom they used. Although I demanded some of my money back and received it after finally threatening to contact the CCB, I still have something that is not quality that I see and regret every single day. My big mistake on this project was trying to save a little money by hiring one of the people with a lower bid. My medium mistake was letting them talk me into letting them continue the project even though my knowledge was greater than theirs.

My advice: Always, always ask for at least three references, then check them out. Ask to SEE the work they have done, and make sure that problem resolutions are covered up front and in writing.
February 7, 2014 at 6:54am     
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designgene
I wish I had used our GC less and my own resources more (my own carpenter and painters, my own electrician and plumbers, and my own design with a designer I hired rather than using the GC's). I like the comment about hiring out according to "tool supply," because it also indicates a level of expertise about the work to be done.

Yes, we complained when the job wasn't right--such as crooked seams and nail bumps in the plaster, and design choices made by the cabinet installers who neglected to follow the plans--but our kitchen remodel took weeks longer as a result, and I lost faith in my GC, and a friendship to boot. Yes, he was a friend, and so I didn't check references, and thus didn't learn that his communication style is incompatible with mine, as is his work ethic and his management of MY expenses. I distinctly remember overhearing him say to his plumber that it was okay to charge $200 more than the original bid because his price was low to begin with. Outrageous.

I'm a business owner so had certain expectations of professionalism, such as when we are entering a new project, we expect our GC to inform us about everything we'd need to know, to educate us in the process. He "forgot" to tell us what his percentage was, nor did we know to ask. He "forgot" to include certain charges in his budget, which we also didn't know we should ask about.

I love my kitchen, but still feel bad about how it happened. Halfway through we negotiated with our GC to have some of the work done ourselves. We hired out, and a job that we would've been charged $1100 for, our carpenter executed perfectly for $250. Outrageous.

So yes. REFERENCES, recent ones, and check them in person.
February 8, 2014 at 2:31am     
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okdokegal
From the pole to the mast to the main power box; I let the pros touch. That much electricity scares me. From the box to elsewhere, I can hack.

Floating a concrete floor smooth, pros. They have the tools and the skills to do it. I can help prep and do rebar and mesh for the pour, but they're going to pour and finish it.

Resanding an old hardwood floor, pros. I've had one of those big sanders buck on me and it is a b*tch to get that sanded out.

Plumbing, anything to the meter, then from the meter to the main shutoff; and anything having to do with the return (sewer) piping being placed and vented properly. If it's stubbed and capped, I can put a toilet on it, put a sink on it, but sewer gas is bad stuff period.

Outside, weeping tile and drainage; I want that one done right with guarantees.

Natural gas, 100% pros. That can equal 'boom' and 'fire' and I will have them do it. I do own a sniffer, one of the three in town (city has one, gas co has one).

If I were to get a granite, corian, or quartz countertopping especially with big pieces, pros. I want that done right, I am not up to handling it.

Installing a new chimney, I can sledge one out but I have the pro put it back.

Furnace install, involves pro mostly because it's gas fired.....

Only other constraint I would look at for a pro to come do is if I had a serious time constraint. Doing X might take me two weeks instead of 3 days, do I need it done that fast....

I bought some materials, bought or rented or borrowed the tools, and gave it a try before diving in to the full job; and found out I don't have the skill to do anything more than trash the job; I couldn't learn how well enough. (laying a NICE brick wall for example, I'm just not good enough....)

It comes down to what you need done, what you're willing to do, what your constraints of time are, and of course, budget.
February 8, 2014 at 3:15am     
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PRO
MS Colours Inc
Most of the times pros work looks completed and finished. When we do work that is outside of our skill set there always seems to be that area that looks like it not quite finished.
February 8, 2014 at 3:23am   
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rinqreation
My hub and I are DIY people and we are perfectionists.
We: Replaced a structural wall for a steel beam and all other demo that needed to be done. Replaced some parts of the roof (longhorn beetles..). Rewired all the electric. Insulated all the exterior walls by adding interior prewalls. Insulated crawlspace and added subfloors, re-used the original pine floor. Built a bathroom from scrath, including floor heating. All types of painting. Changed radiators. Installed solar panels. And the list could go on.
The only thing we had done, was plastering/mudding the living room and installing new window frames.
Some things we do slower than someone who does it on a daily basis, but everything looks great. Probably because we both have a technical education.
February 8, 2014 at 10:24am     
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PRO
SoCal Contractor
As an avid DIY and being a professional, here is were I draw the line. If I can visualize myself doing it from beginning to end AND I got all the tools to do it, I'd give it a go. Otherwise, I'd hire a pro (Sub contractor) to do it.
February 8, 2014 at 10:32am     
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santoslhauper
I work for a non-profit, so I have to DIY or I'd blow my budget for the whole house on one guy. Only thing I'm paying for is stump grinding, dirt removal, and foundation leveling. Recently debating with myself on hiring a structural engineer to figure out how to remodel my kitchen, bu not sure I will. I may just not move any walls/ceiling/etc.
February 8, 2014 at 10:34am     
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mcbmd3
My husband and I are complete incompetents when it comes to home improvement, but have been collecting fine furniture for over 30 years. When it was time for a remodel, we hired a designer and architect and the results are stunning. Our favorite furniture is now reupholstered, laid out gracefully, and storage added that didn't exist before in our 1930's city home. For people like us, hiring professionals to avoid expensive mistakes was the only way to go.
February 8, 2014 at 10:35am     
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Denita
I agree 100% with you mcbmd3. I have my strong preferences ...but I hire professionals to help plan and execute. :)
February 8, 2014 at 10:40am     
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rinqreation
Know your own qualities and your limits.
February 8, 2014 at 11:37am     
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jessegee
We're restoring a victorian lounge, we've done all the dirty grunt work like wallpaper stripping, sanding floor and woodwork, and even took off the old fireplace, however we got trades in to plaster and wall paper the high ceiling, put up new coving. So it seems that its height and specialist skill that we're happy to pay for. Coving looks awful unless its done just right. Our ceiling is high and large, to skim over the artex took 4 bags of plaster and it has to go on really quick before it begins to dry, only a plasterer has the muscle power and skill to get a really good long lasting finish under those conditions.
February 8, 2014 at 12:40pm     
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tiamay
Hanging pictures, blinds, curtains, ceiling fans, light fixtures, putting up shelves, rewiring lamps, crown molding, painting - CAN DO.
Electrical, plumbing, carpentry, tiling, landscaping - NO CAN DO.
February 8, 2014 at 2:37pm   
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summilux
We leave electrical, plumbing and anything that involves making a hole in the roof to journeymen. Anything else- nonloadbearing partitions, cabinetry, drywall, paint, tile we do ourselves. This has led to a quandary with our latest kitchen project. As it involves moving a wall, venting an over the range hood through the roof and moving gas, plumbing and electrical, we asked a contractor for an estimate and received a bid for double what I thought it would cost. The figure was revised to halfway between what I had initially calculated and the original estimate (made a $2500 adjustment for us doing the drywall). Still strikes me as rather pricey, so I'm going to get another bid and also consider sub-contracting out to an HVAC company, an electrician and a plumber. I'm aware that the latter option will likely leave me with a mess for a longer duration than having a contractor coordinate the process; this should also be considered when making a contractor vs. DIY decision.
February 8, 2014 at 4:39pm   
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PRO
FINNE Architects
I think architects and designers should try being a contractor at least once. I was the contractor for the renovation of my own house in Seattle. I have great respect for the work and service a good contractor provides.
Attached photo of my own kitchen


February 8, 2014 at 5:01pm     
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PRO
Shuler Architecture
I've been renovating my home for a number of years and while I enjoy laying hands on hammer, if I had the money to hire someone and be done with my long list of projects. Good craftsman have an innate sense of workmanship that I can never match and the quality of the finished product will always reflect this. You can always tell a weekend warrior remodel from a mile away.
February 8, 2014 at 6:12pm     
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PRO
Leo Dowell Interiors
OK I am sure I will ruffle some DIY people's feathers here. Most people do not have the experience or expertise to do what all of the trades provide, besides the exposer to products and installation methods necessary to end up with an award winning project.

Now there are some very talented people out there who can put together exactly what they want, but that is not the norm.

I have been in the luxury home design business for over 40 years now and I can tell you that it is still difficult at best even for me to pull hundreds of different products together and make sure the Architectect, Builder, Landscaper, Cabinet Maker, Roofer, Electrician, Tile Installer, Stone Mason, Plumber, Trim Carpenter, Painter and many many others work together to pull off the dream.
I am usually contracted only after the home owner or several other professionals have not been able to pull all of these parts together.

I am working on a residential project right now, where the home owner was their own general contractor. They beleived they could save a ton of money by ordering all of their materials themselfs and hire the subcontractors. Here is a little of what happened. First they located a stone supplier in Miami who convinced them he could order Mexican Carved Limestone and save them money. $60,000 latter the stone was fabricated but still sitting in Mexico. The distributor was no where to be found and the stone quarry had never been paid! Since I order stone on a regular basis I was able to track it down and get the true story. Yes they lost the money!

Next they hired a custom cabinet maker who assured them he was more than capable of supplying their elaborately detailed cabinets. One year after receiving his requested deposits, he informed the client he was going out of business, and he had spent their money, another $50,000. Yes they lost their money!

Now you might say these people have more money than good sense, but I see this same thing happen on some level every day. Everyone is an expert these days, just ask them! When you start a project you will be told no problem, no problem. When it does't start to turn out right, you will be told it can't be done the way you wanted it to be. There are a thousand things that can go wrong on a project from the size of a grout joint to floor material thickness not being taken into consideration when designing the house.

Part of the problem these days is everyone only specializes in their on own area of exspertise. But the consumer thinks everyone will visualize all of the parts for the total concept. NO THEY WILL NOT! To state the obvious most (not all) are only interested in selling you what they sell with out requard to any of the other parts. Why you ask? Because it is easier, less work, less responsibility, faster. I am not telling you anything you don't all ready know.

It is my exsperience that the you need a second set of experienced eyes who understands the level of details you think you are going to get, and knows how to make it happen. How someone could pull this off with no experience or even with a different level of experience, GOOD LUCK! This morning I started off correcting details on the job site with MY Tile Installer, next I went to MY cabinet maker to explain some more details and have a prayer meeting about the dead line, next stop by MY wrought iron fabricators to answer questions on a vintage style stair rail based on French Details.

We have a saying in the business, "you are what you have been exsposed to". I don't know what business you are in, but if someone told you they could take over your job tomorrow, what would you tell them? I don't repair my own car or fix a cavity, or do my own books, but I do know how to create every inch of a luxury house and how to deal with all of the problems that will come up. It's what I call "Putting Out Fires. We do all day every day.

I am just saying.............

Leo Dowell Interiors
February 8, 2014 at 7:27pm     
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santoslhauper
LDI, much of what you wrote is the reason I prefer to DIY everything. There are simply too few contractors with the correct mix of skills, integrity, and knowledge around, so most of the time one pays a lot of money to contractors for poor quality product. I have integrity, some knowledge, and am somewhat skilled in a range of jobs. Am I a master tile setter? No. Luckily I'm not charging myself that much. But I've done my share of tile setting and I know how it's supposed to be done. What knowledge I don't have I can gain. What skills I don't have I can learn, or adjust my project to fit (no medallion patterns in my tile).
I'm going further than the typical DIYer, partly because of my skillset, experience, and tools. I'll build my own cabinets, lay my own floor, drywall, fabricate my own lamps and furniture, and recently decided I'm going to make my own steel front door.
And I do work on my own car (mechanics are worse than contractors).

The difference between you (or any good professional) and me is not that I can't do it -
it's that you can do it quicker, more smoothly, more efficiently, and right the first time :D .
I don't let any of that stand in my way, and the only person I have to satisfy is me (and I can be pretty lenient on myself).
February 8, 2014 at 7:51pm     
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summilux
I will be the first to admit that as a DIY, I take too long to make something, often make mistakes and at the end of a project can point out those mistakes I was not able to correct. I try to learn from my mistakes. In the end, I invariably feel a great sense of accomplishment at putting something of myself into my house and belongings. There are many things you don't want to take chances with and as an adult should figured out what they are. There are also many things where as Bum Phillips said "the only thing I can't stand more than losing is not having the guts to try".
February 8, 2014 at 9:33pm     
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einportlandor
I paint, strip wall paper, mow, haul compost, make flower beds, plant trees, etc. I do low cost, low tech, low risk jobs. Anything high-risk or high-cost gets hired out to professionals.

For big jobs I work with an outstanding contractor who has an excellent design sensibility, demands top notch work from his employees and his subs, and values open communication. He remodeled my kitchen last year and will start my bathroom next month.

I have tremendous respect for the trades. They work for years to develop their skills and if you hire carefully they are worth every penny you spend. I always ask their advice and find they often give me ideas I wouldn't have thought of on my own.

When I hear people bad-mouth contractors and trades people as a monolithic group I think of all of the crummy remodel jobs I've encountered over the years that were done by good-intentioned homeowners who didn't really know what they were doing. Too often work was done without permits, was not code compliant and was often jury-rigged. In one house I owned (remodeled by former owners) we found live electrical wires in the walls. In another house I briefly considered buying, highly combustible materials were used to construct an illegal basement bedroom. The list of "homeowner specials" I've seen goes on and on. Yes there are some bad contractors out there but I've also seen many DIYers over-rate their construction knowledge and skills. Maybe I've been lucky but I'm regularly blown away by the competence and professionalism of the vast majority of the people I've worked with in the building trades. I really admire them and the work they do.
February 8, 2014 at 9:44pm     
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henryelkhoury
Very Nice lighting and shadows espesialy the displacement of everyting
February 9, 2014 at 12:44am   
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charleee
I DIY everything inside the house, but the outside I leave for professionals. I hate bees and we seem to have the world's largest collection of them.

LDI, most people don't have the BUDGET for what all of the trades provide.
February 9, 2014 at 2:22am     
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okdokegal
@FINNE and others... I grew up with remodeling, my dad literally rebuilt the entire house while we lived in it... later years, I studied engineering... and they started out by hiring retired from the trades people to run the labs that were required at the beginning. We learned; what could and couldn't be done, hands on (not quite working in trade) of the materials we would later be designing with. As one fellow said, you don't KISS (keep it simple sweetheart) and the shop foreman shows up with blood in his eye, the biggest wrench he could find in one hand and your prototype in the other to force feed it to you one end or the other...

These later years, with very little budget, I have learned to do what needed doing. Sometimes I buy materials and tools (or rent or borrow) and practice first. Can I do it; can I learn to do it right, or is it beyond me. I have spent my time at big box Saturday classes; one place I moonlighted for a friend who owned several rental properties (I can take out carpet, wallpaper, plasterlath or drywall like a pro) and did some hands on learning. Some jobs, I pick the corner that doesn't matter to start, and try to finish where it's most visible so I can add that much more experience to it. Recently, I dealt with learning PEX, how to work with it; and how to run a pneumatic nailer to install flooring. I sacrificed good material and took that as part of a) can I do it, b) can I do it RIGHT, c) is it beyond me and I should hire the pro? d) am I ready to go do the task "for real"?

Realizing where you're over your head is very important, and where to hire the pro, is a most important thing. My earlier comment is my sum of where I won't tread, from experience. I see a lot of other posters that have sorted that out, they don't have the skills or they don't wish to tackle X, Y, Z, and choose the pros.

Time constraints, yes; especially when dealing with weather and habitability issues. I had some with weather this winter; and living in a remodel/building zone can be more of a challenge than some are willing to deal with. Two weeks for me to do it, or three days for a pro, there can be 'some things can't wait'...

I also agree with a lot of the ones commenting; about when you do hire, choose carefully.
February 9, 2014 at 4:00am     
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Jessica
Having grown up with a lot of handy men in the family, ( a master brick and stone mason, carpenter, plumber, and farmer) I usually have a good idea what a project might require in terms of time, effort, and resources. My rule of thumb is that if the job requires specialized tools that I don't own, or knowledge that would cause a beginner like me to take double or triple the time to complete, or if it is something dealing with gas or electric where a mistake could go up in flames potentially causing serious harm, I let a pro do it. One thing I did learn is that owning the right tool for the job makes a world of difference in how difficult it is to DIY.
February 9, 2014 at 4:24am     
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diyher
as you can tell by my user name DIY Her :)) we are pretty much DIY'ers
My husband and I have replaced doors, woodwork, trim, some electric, most plumbing and installed wood floors and one tile floor. I've refinished and stained cabinets in my previous house along with many furniture pieces throughout the years.
I do all the inside painting and with the help of houzz came up with great ideas to redo our kitchen on a maximum $12,000 budget, that included lower cabinets, quartz countertops, a walnut island counterop, silgranit sink and faucets and a backsplash and 3 new lights. Just placed an order for Conestoga Wood cabinets all unfinished for our lower cabinets. Hard Maple I am painting myself, the Cherry cabinets I am staining myself and my husband and I will be putting them together and installing them ourselves. I painted the old upper cabinets myself with a pro paint sprayer.

We are drawing the line at countertop installation and under sink mount installation. That will be done by a professional. Although our island countertop will be wood and ordering from a wood countertop company that also has the option for DIY'ers to buy and put the top finish on yourself saving a LOT of $,$$$. This we will be installing ourselves.

Installing window replacements, or a whole new front door with sidelights, replacing roofs or rain gutters on an 18ft high house, that all goes to a professional. Only time we had someone install our wood floor was when we needed it done within a week because of going through a mortgage refinance before Christmas and didn't have the time to have it done quickly.

We do it ourselves when we know we can, so it allows us to have the money for professionals when it's beyond our knowledge. I'm just lucky that my husband knows enough about electric and plumbing to do most repairs and installs in that area. He installed any new lights and is now going to install LED lights inside some of our new glass door kitchen cabinets. :)
February 9, 2014 at 6:50am     
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PRO
Leo Dowell Interiors
When you reach the ripe old age of 65 you don't keep your opinions to yourself anymore.

If you are doing something for yourself and you are the only person you have to please, that's one thing. But if you are going to advertise yourself as a expert to the world, that's another. My clients have always been people who's expectations were way beyond what most would accept. There are many levels of expertise in the design business. In Europe a trades person used to be required to serve a two year apprenticeship for good reason.
It has taken me a lifetime of studying architectural details, products and how to accomplish very complex details and interiors that only a handful will still take on.

I am not knocking anyone who wants to take on repairing their own car or design their own interior. That's great!

But when you advertise you can provide world class, award winning luxury homes and interiors, to people who can afford it, that's another. (Sorry name dropping) When RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company International hired me as a freelance designer to design their president's personal office, they had 16 of their own interior designers on staff! But they did not deal with that level of luxury. This was for their World Headquarters in Winston-Salem N C. Heads were on the line for the results to be the Best of the Best. Every item had to come with a history (in writing), and be one of a kind. From the Chinese urn in the bookcase to the $200,000 area rug on the floor, it had to be right. By the way this was only one of two times in my 40 year career that I was told there was an Unlimited Budget! No, no, no it is not fun to have an unlimited budget, just the opposite! Your neck is on the line that not only everything will be perfect but will impress everyone like oh I don't know , the President of the United States.

I am not making this up folks. That is actually what I was told. So who am I to say this is the best in the world?

. Don't fool yourself to think it is that easy.

A well trained naturally gifted musician picks up a violin and starts to makes beautiful soulful music that makes you cry, Now you pick up the same violin, it's your turn!

"I have spent a lifetime studying how to accomplish what some would say is impossible"

I am putting together a book of bazar and unbelievable stories of the life of a designer. Let me know if this either bores you to tears or if you would buy one.

Thanks for putting up with me.
Leo Dowell Designer
February 9, 2014 at 8:06am     
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chrisweigand
I do:
Painting
Carpentry (rough and finish)
Decorating
Design
Landscape / anything outside
Cabinets
Odds and ends

I hire:
Plumbing
HVAC
Electrical
Finish Tile / Masonry
Wallpaper
Flooring

I learned the hard way that I am not a Plumber or Electrician. Not enough hours in the day or money in my wallet for me to do that stuff DIY :)
February 9, 2014 at 8:34am     
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syncope
I'll do a bit of simple sewing but that's about it. I hire anything else. Oh, I've done painting in my younger years but wouldn't now. If the kids can't (or won't) do it, I hire it out or it goes undone. I'd rather pay to have it done right than have the stress of figuring it out, doing it wrong and paying double in the long run. I bow in awe to those who can DIY successfully. My parents were such people but I didn't get that gene.
February 9, 2014 at 3:49pm     
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PRO
Lisa Hoyt Design
WOW! WELL SAID!!! Thank you Leo! I completely agree!!
February 9, 2014 at 4:06pm     
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PRO
Mark Bischak, Architect
I do everything myself, up to about 15 minutes before . . . the ambulance arrives.
February 9, 2014 at 4:49pm     
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PRO
Leo Dowell Interiors
If your work has not appeared in magazines and won awards for exceptional detail and quality, my clients won't hire you. I demand more from the sub contractors than my clients because I speak the same language as the sub. I also know where the total concept is going. A client asked one of my cabinet makers one time if they liked the cabinet details so far? He replied well you are asking the wrong person, I am only one note in this whole concerto, but Leo know how all of the parts are suppose to come out in the end. I will tell you this though on every project I have done for him I questioned the individual pieces until I saw the finished product all come together better than I could have ever imagined.

I guest I am going to keep explaining what I do for a long time to come. I work for people who have built their empires by finding people who are experts at what they do and then they let them do their thing. While designing a private residence for NASCAR racing legend Junior Johnson once, I said Mr Johnson you are going to have approximately two hundred recessed can lights in this house. You might want the electrician to supply them to save you money. He thought for a few minutes and replied Leo the electrician will not know if you plan to use a special can that lets the bulb swivel inside of the can or if it is a low voltage, or a special beam spread bulb, besides where to find them, I think you should supply the cans. I wonder how he became famous?

And he was right, I use three levels of lighting when I am designing a house. General, task, and ambient. And when Mr Johnson wanted to call from his telephone from one of his planes to turn on his jacuzzi and stop the water when it was full so he could slip in as he walked into the master bath, he knew I could take care of it.

I guess it all depends on what your expectations are. Of course I asked a design magazine editor once why she showed so much amateur stuff on your cover? She replied, because our readers don't know the difference!

There are some out there who do.

Leo Dowell
February 9, 2014 at 10:10pm     
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Sigrid
I practice on unobtrusive places. I'd paint the inside of a few closets before I tackled a room (and having done closets, I hire pros). It's helpful to figure out what is easy and you can do and what you can't (or don't want to do).

I always hover over the pros and ask questions. I learn a lot this way. If someone's working on your stuff and you hang out and chat, you will learn a lot. Ranging from what brands break down most often, what all the various, poorly labeled knobs, devices, features of your heating system are and where they are in your house (often in different rooms or on different floors, in my experience) or that the previous tenants had a complicated sound system wired through the floor.
February 10, 2014 at 1:13am     
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PRO
Studio M Interior Design
DIY for me is a continual process. I only hire a professional if I don't think I can do it perfectly on my own. That being said, I don't mind getting down and dirty for some home improvement or DIY! It's therapeutic :)
February 10, 2014 at 7:20am     
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Tess van Dijk
When I call a professional is when it's a large job that is physically too demanding or too complex for me to do. I've completed plumbing, electrical, floors, cabinets, counters and flooring. I don't stretch carpets or install windows anymore or do roofing. These are just jobs that are too dangerous for me at my age. I've built two houses and remodeled six. I'm almost finished with the seventh. My father was a contractor and I worked with him for several years. One thing I do use is free design services that are offered by my local DIY centers. Some of them are really helpful with new materials that are entering the market.
February 10, 2014 at 8:24am     
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Ryan Fitzgerald
Leo, with all due respect I think you're in the wrong conversation... not many Houzzers have 500 Million in the bank. I doubt I could afford one of your bookshelves, much less hire you for a whole project. The real-world contractors don't have nearly your level of expertise or connections.

To the original question- I will hire out for structural carpentry work, anything regarding putting holes in the roof, septic plumbing and tile. The only reason I don't hire out electrical work is because part of my job is wiring up high voltage equipment, so I am very familiar with the risks involved. Comparatively speaking, household wiring is cake.
February 10, 2014 at 10:58pm     
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syncope
Leo, so glad to know that such accomplished people are participating on Houzz and adding their expertise to the mix. Looking forward to seeing your contributions to Houzz dilemmas.
What a wonderful way for people from all walks of life to learn from each other!
February 11, 2014 at 7:13am     
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Denise Tuminaro
We have almost completed our whole house remodel, 4200 square feet. My husband and I were the generals as the bids we received from GC were out of our budget range. One actually said to me not to worry, he would make plenty of $$ off the job without much headaches, crazy. Needless to say we hired all the subs and worked with or beside them in some capacity. The home had many issues that arose which would have been very expensive change orders if a GC was involved (or totally overlooked). We did have issues with the subs which delayed the project many times, but as I learned the respect for home owners as generals is not very high. Worse was when I was the one they were meeting while reading the plans with them and telling them how to do the work. I learned a lot there :)

We will be doing it again on Phase II, our guest house, which we will approach differently with the subs.

We hired out the following: concrete footings, framing, roofing, plumbing (rough & finished), drywall/texture, major electrical, cabinetry - all custom, granite fabrication/installation, wood flooring, stucco & window installation. We did all the other work ourselves because we could and expenses. We did demo, dump runs (they knew me by my first name :/ ), girders, subflooring, all hold downs for sheer walls, all nailing of sheer walls, insulation, framing, doors - interior and exterior, assist with some concrete footings, tiling of floors and back splashes in kitchen and bathrooms, hanging interior and exterior fixtures, masonry outside, decking, all painting interior and exterior (bucket list complete on going on roof for me), all finishing work inside, molding touch ups etc.

We are still married and talking so I think overall the project was good. We lived in the home the whole time. Our home exceeds our expectations of the look and finish we achieved with still more work to do on the landscaping/exterior. Budget, well we are over but it is manageable. Phase II starts in the next month!
February 11, 2014 at 11:26am     
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Daren M
The house looks great and the fact that your marriage survived is a great accomplishment unto itself!!
February 11, 2014 at 1:55pm     
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happyasaclam
Hubby has finally gotten too busy at the office to take on DIY projects on our home, thank goodness! He now devotes his time to his own hobbies, which I whole-heartedly endorse! No more trips to the emergency room with cuts and burns, no more mulitple trips to the hardware store for wax rings to reseat the toilet, no more Rube Goldberg fixes.......When I say "let me call someone to fix it", he happily agrees! :)
February 11, 2014 at 2:18pm     
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Denise Tuminaro
Thank you Daren! We are proud of all accomplishments : ) There were many times we had a sub scheduled to do the work because of our jobs and then they would not show or reschedule. This is what prompted us to learn and do as much as we can and not be at their mercy. If I had a chance to do it all over again tho, I would. Now we have to ask hubby that same question!!
February 11, 2014 at 2:39pm     
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Linda
In general, I would DIY repairs or repurposing of vintage systems or salvage materials and most repairs. My house has some unusual construction methods and unique materials and many professionals don't have the interest in dealing with vintage items. Professional help is called for new installations of furnaces and electrical panels, pouring concrete and any tree work requiring climbing or a bucket truck. I also call a pro for garage door work because I know someone who will take care of any problems for not much money and no hassles.

I also hire out for any task that requires expensive equipment that I don't own such as concrete cutting.

One often DIY task I do hire help for is moving. My partner and I know many guys who do loading and unloading for moving companies so we hire them. Moving may seem like just carrying things, but it is definitely easier with experienced help.
February 11, 2014 at 7:13pm     
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condomary
Much as I wish it was different, my DIY is limited to changing light bulbs and cleaning lint traps. I can't even hang pictures without putting 3 holes in the wall.
February 11, 2014 at 8:56pm     
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okdokegal
I totally appreciate the range of responses here, from those that call in the pros as they are not able, capable, or willing to do much more than thumb paint chips.... to the seasoned high end professional used to dealing with the top end jobs.

I'm somewhere between being forced to do it myself; able to handle most of it (yet); and where I know I can't or it's not worth the what if it's not right; to call in the pros and eat ramen for a few months, as I outlined in earlier posts.
February 11, 2014 at 11:25pm     
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Leo Dowell Interiors
I am not saying everyone needs to run out and hire a designer. But I have always told clients to buy a few nice pieces with a long term plan in mind so in the end it works. A few quality items are better than a house full of junk. Two of my reupholstry shops are now spending most of their time repairing new furniture where the payments haven even started yet! I will not name the furniture stores but you know who they are. The name if the game these days is just make it look good the buyer doesn't know the difference.
HGTV is not helping, it is misinformation, and misleading.

I was asked to preview a celebrities furniture line several years ago at the High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina. The showroom was a major furniture manufacturer. When I entered I asked so you are manufacturing this? They said well......No. It is made by a company in Vietnam and then we relable it. Then I asked so the TV celebrity is designing it right? They said well.........No. She has hired several furniture designers in New York to do that, she just signs off on it.
I said I am in the wrong business!

Buyer beware.
February 11, 2014 at 11:53pm     
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vp82254
Leo, I, as an ardent DYIer, find your attitude a bit arrogant, self serving, and pompous. There aren't too many of us here that can afford to have an unlimited celebrity budget like your "clients". Many people are suffering during this current administration and can't afford to hire top of the line contractors, much less regular contractors and need to budget and cut cost whenever and where ever. It would be nice to hire help and not worry about the bottom line like your "clients" but we're all not that lucky and even if I did, your attitude would most certainly kill the job. lol
February 12, 2014 at 6:13am     
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Suellen Valetta
We have a good friend who is a general contractor, so if we get stuck we have someone who will help us out.
Our new wood floors and master bath remodel were done by him with minor help from us.
February 12, 2014 at 6:18am   
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diyher
you are right about the poor quality of furniture these days. Last good piece of furniture we bought was 1990. The only thing wrong with it was we had cats that scratched the heck out of both the couch and love seat. Having it reupholstered cost more than to replace another set for something like $1,500 at the time. That was about 1999/2000. We already had to replace that couch because it broke beyond repair, bought another set 2 years ago, forget what we paid then, already 1 year after we had it the material is worn more than a couch my Mom had for 30 years. With only 2 people in the house?? that's ridiculous.
If you pay 1-2 thousand for a piece of furniture, it should last minimum 10 years before any problems occur.
I did a search a few months back and saw all the name brands we all think are well known good furniture, all are coming out mass producing crap.
vp82254.. just an fyi, it's not the current administration that caused the financial crises, companies doing major layoffs started in 2007, my husband and I were a part of that within 6 months of each other :-/
February 12, 2014 at 6:40am   
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naomibook
Some of the professionals' comments stated here are why I hesitate hiring them. They insult their clients.
February 12, 2014 at 7:58am     
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sartarehare
I'm lucky that my son is an electrician who has done a little bit of everything or can refer me to somebody who can do what I need- on the side for less $$, and my husband does plan review so has access to architectural and building/materials advice everywhere he turns. And he's quite handy. So between the two, we usually only source out for things we really don't want to do (cost doesn't add up to time taken off work for project) or something we really can't do like cut a window into the side of the house. We also hire for finish work, drywall (who wants to do that?), flooring.
February 12, 2014 at 9:22am     
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okdokegal
Well, Naomibook, you can speak with your pocketbook when hiring. If they rub you the wrong way enough, don't hire them.

If they have the quality I need and I can afford the price, I can live with it for the nonce; if I have to.

Though, that said, my budget doesn't always allow the luxury of me hiring out. Or bartering. Or whatever else needs doing.

That is the other side of the coin here at Houzz. this is networking on a scale rarely seen. And once posted, the internet never forgets. If you don't believe me, look up something called The Wayback Machine, it's not just off a cartoon.
February 12, 2014 at 9:42am     
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smarterthandog
I tried to do some touchup brick pointing and it looked terrible! There are some skills that look easy, but require some artistry and experience.
February 12, 2014 at 10:17am     
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sartarehare
I should always read ALL of the comments before posting so that I don't have to re-post, but Leo..... you deserve a re-post.
While I love Houzz, design is NOT rocket science. You're not contributing to the common good of society with design work. In fact, you appear to be propping yourself up with arrogant statements, which typically indicates some sort of personal or professional deficit in my line of work. Perhaps you should check yourself next time before you really give that firm you work for a bad rep.
February 12, 2014 at 11:47am     
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syncope
Before you guys run him off, I'd love to see Leo's feedback on some dilemma discussions. Maybe give him a chance to help some of us that don't have his experience? Unlimited budgets can be as challenging as a shoestring budget. Limitations provide parameters which can often be very useful. We need to be learning from each other not ruffling respective feathers.
February 12, 2014 at 12:12pm     
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rinqreation
[grabs popcorn and reads on]
February 12, 2014 at 12:20pm     
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happyasaclam
And then the next two after that.......
February 12, 2014 at 1:06pm     
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happyasaclam
And the one that was posted while I reported the preious two.....
February 12, 2014 at 1:07pm     
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charleee
Me too
February 12, 2014 at 1:07pm     
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JudyG Designs
When we were first married, DH was a DIY’er. He did a pretty good job and I was always pleased with the results. Fast forward many years and he isn’t doing anything much, to speak of.

We are going to look at a house tomorrow and that could be the next project. We have been talking about downsizing and moving closer into town where we could walk to the village. The house has great potential (from the on-line pictures) and is in the area we would want to be. All renovation will be done by our builder and his team. My job will be the interior design.

Once DIY was fun and necessary. Now, not so much….and, it is like the 30 year warranty, we don’t have those years to work on it. : > )
February 12, 2014 at 1:35pm     
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diyher
fyi, crazyhumanlady's Facebook account was just as crazy :)
February 12, 2014 at 1:46pm     
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diyher
Judy, that is why I am doing as much as I can right now in my very late 50's. I don't know what life will be like in the 60's, but I'm sure climbing a ladder won't be the same as it was even 5 years ago :)
February 12, 2014 at 2:05pm   
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syncope
Amen! 10 years ago I could climb a ladder wear high heels. Now, no ladder and no heels! 'Nuff said!
February 12, 2014 at 2:07pm     
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sartarehare
No offense, rngp, but Leo isn't really offering advice. He hates DIY. He comes off as someone who isn't happy unless it's all done professionally. I wish I could relay some of my son's stories (electrician) working with "professionals" here on Houzz. The designer stories are the best. Anyhow, I only work with folks who come highly recommended, don't waste tons of my time and stick to what I am paying them for instead of vocalizing their every opinion (unless it is code/safety related).
February 12, 2014 at 2:13pm     
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syncope
None taken sartarehare...but I was hoping that Leo would get involved with the Houzzer community in a way that would be beneficial to all concerned. People often live up (or down) to what is expected of them. Leo's expertise would be beneficial to all on here and I think we might could be good for him as well.
February 12, 2014 at 2:16pm     
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rinqreation
Crazy who? Must have missed something.. Or not. All these emotions flying around here. Off to bed for me, have to DIY (no, do it myself) tomorrow.
February 12, 2014 at 2:17pm   
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printesa
Nothing is impossible, but the problem is that there are only 24 hours in a day. So, with that in mind, if a project would take too long to finish, then we hire someone to do it.
February 12, 2014 at 2:26pm   
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diyher
printesa :) my kitchen is taking 3 years as money allows lol sometimes you do what you have to do when the big bucks aren't coming in like they use to in the corporate world.

As for Leo, he is dealing with different clientele, so we have to keep that in mind. He wouldn't hire someone to do work for his client that has only been in the business for 1-2 years.

Here is what Leo posted (I am not saying everyone needs to run out and hire a designer. But I have always told clients to buy a few nice pieces with a long term plan in mind so in the end it works. A few quality items are better than a house full of junk. )

He is right about getting a few quality pieces instead of a house full of junk. I've learned to be patient and buy something with more quality up to what I can at least afford by saving, rather than wasting money on cheap things just to have it this week. Cheap things in reality are more expensive if you have to keep replacing them.
February 12, 2014 at 3:41pm     
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printesa
diyher, I know what you mean. My husband picked up the hobby of woodworking. It took 2 years to finish a bench:) He could have made it in a weekend, but since we both work full time, well,,the problem with the 24 hours in a day always shows up:) The kitchen that we have is fine, but I want at some point to change it (it's too traditional for me, but the budget and time has to be considered, so we'll wait).
As for buying furniture, I totally agree. We've been in this house for 7 years. I can say that we bought almost all the furniture we need (we had nothing when we moved in,,just a mattress). Slowly, we bought furniture. Each piece was pretty pricey, but like the Italians say, I'm too poor to afford a cheap pair of shoes:)
February 12, 2014 at 4:10pm     
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Marilyn Wilkie
We have DIY'd just about everything for the last 33 years. We did hire a carpenter for our 2010 kitchen to install a skylight and some other things. My husband is one of those Jack of all trades that learned a lot from his father and through the years by doing things. He is a stickler for doing things right and is confident, even with electrical work, tiling, drywall and plumbing. Our income is not tremendous and part of doing things ourselves has been based on that. We haven't minded spending vacations working on projects together. But now we are both over 65 and tire out more easily. We recently hired someone to sand and refinish all of our hardwood floors and paint the interior of our latest house. I'm glad we did.
February 12, 2014 at 4:59pm   
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Connie Elaine's Draperies
As I read through the comments in this discussion, I see so very much self-pride exhibited in individual projects and accomplishments. I also see recognition of individual limitations in regard to skill, time, or desire. We may consider ourselves DIY, but we are also professionals and masters working with other professionals and masters to accomplish our visions. That is when we hire (and converse with) other professionals. For those of you who have been doing your own projects for up to 33 years--you are masters. Several of us mentioned age as a reason not to do so much ourselves. Please recognize the knowledge you have to offer so many others who are involved with their projects, but lack the learning and mistakes and setbacks that many of the rest of us have experienced.

We have all heard that 10,000 hours does a master make. I think Robert Green, the author of Mastery, makes better sense when he writes, "People who are engaged with the subject of their field can learn more in three years than those who are going through the motions can learn in ten."

I am rambling now. In a nutshell, keep up the great comments!
February 12, 2014 at 6:41pm     
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Leo Dowell Interiors
Ryan thanks for you comments. I come from a family who always worked very hard to have what they had. They were do it yourselfers, they had to be. Coming from that background is what got me into the business. I come from an appreciation of the worker, because I don't think anyone is any better than anyone else, no matter how much money you have. For several years I stopped telling my stories about the rich and famous, because nobody was interested. And it seems more and more these days the people who are struggling to make ends meet blame the people who have figured out a way to have more.
My wife always tells me I should think twice before I say anything. I tell her if I do that, I will forget what I was going to say, LOL. If some people here think I am telling my stories because I hate DIYS, they are mistaken and don't know me. I choose to comment to you guys just because you understand the value of the person who actually does the work. I have learned everything I know form working in the field with workers sharing information with each other.
February 13, 2014 at 12:40am     
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Leo Dowell Interiors
MGP thanks for your words also. You hit the nail on the head in your first comment. People use to just talk to each other and share their experiences. They didn't turn against you for telling a story. They just talked.
February 13, 2014 at 12:49am   
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Leo Dowell Interiors
Diyher Thank you for reposting what I said. I would be happy to offer some design suggestions to people if I can share something to help.
February 13, 2014 at 12:57am     
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Ryan Fitzgerald
Leo, I'd love to read your inputs on design, as you are obviously well experienced. I didn't mean to attack you in my previous post, and hope it didn't come across that way... I just meant I didn't think your stories weren't benefiting the conversation at the time...
Thank you for your change in tone, and we definitely are in agreement on the furniture front. :) As far as celebrity endorsements go- I have actually learned to try to avoid them. It seems when it comes to boots, kitchenware, furniture, just about anything.. celebrities are not pitching you the good, solid products, they're just slapping a pretty veneer on something that will help line their pockets. Chances are we have different tastes on style, but you don't always need to spend a lot to buy something that's made out of solid hardwood. :)
Edit: I'm not calling all celebrity endorsements junk.. I'm sure there are good ones out there. Just in my experience, I have usually been able to find better options for my needs.
February 13, 2014 at 1:24am   
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Leo Dowell Interiors
Sartre...what can I say to change your mind? The common good of society, that is a deep one. I have spent a lot of time thinking about that in the past years. What we end up doing while we are on this planet is not always in our control, but for whatever reason, we end up doing what we do. I have never pretended to be something I am not so my contribution to society I realize will not much difference one way or another when God takes me. But our homes are where our memories are made. Figuring out life's problems with your Mom or Dad in the kitchen, sitting on the front porch with a family member, first kiss, teaching your kids to cook, this is who we are. Our surroundings are one of life's rewards for our work while we are here of course along with our families and health. I do think the world would be a better place if our world leaders would meet in a kitchen somewhere instead of those ivory towers. But that's just me.
I do think that we were out here to touch other peoples life's . We control how we make them feel.
February 13, 2014 at 1:30am     
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xmerk44x
I think it's sad that so many people think that doing house hold projects are easy and anyone can do. Then you try and do it yourself and realize that you were completely wrong and settle for a sub par outcome. There are many excellent contractors out there who are willing to go above and beyond for homeowners willing to pay for it.
Pulling a tooth out is easy but would you try it yourself?? Of course not. What a lot of people don't realize either is that it is illegal for you to do most household projects without the proper license and insurance. Please do us all a favor and hire a professional next time!!
February 13, 2014 at 1:49am   
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adamcarlos
That's depend on complexity of the task, I had tried my hand in painting, refacing. But for installing countertops, flooring and similar stuff prefer professional help.
February 13, 2014 at 2:47am   
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syncope
Leo, I am so happy you responded and have shown more of who you are as a person and a designer. Please check the "advice" discussions and contribute as much as your time allows.

My home would most certainly make you and most Houzzers cringe a bit because I tend not to follow the rules. I know most of them but a lot of them bore me so I frequently bend them to the point of breaking. But, as you say, it's where I live, laugh, cry and love. Even my mistakes make me laugh and that's a good thing.

If you don't mind, I will "follow" you so that I can glean as much wisdom as possible from what I expect will be invaluable input. Thank you for adding your voice to this wonderful conversation called "Houzz."
February 13, 2014 at 7:42am     
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syncope
Oh dear, no "follow" button. Oh well, I will continue to check periodically so that I can learn more about a subject I love.
February 13, 2014 at 7:44am   
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santoslhauper
xmerk44x, I find that there are few, rather than many, excellent contractors. I also don't think that quality should be hostage to price. In the past, I've worked in the countertop business and cabinetmaking/kitchen remodeling business. While it is true that it is not 'easy', it is also not building rocketships. And I worked for companies that did quality work (and one that didn't) and they didn't charge an arm and a leg. It simply wasn't that much harder to do a good job than a crappy job.

Quality is an attitude, not a skill learned over repetition. Speed is what you get with practice.

Once someone's skill and experience allow them to do the quality work the first time, without too many delays they are certainly a better drywall guy (or whatever) than I am. I appreciate another person's talent and skill (assuming it is greater than mine, which is no longer a safe assumption these days). There is no doubt Leo Dowell is a better interior designer than I am. I'm not competing with him or equating my design skills with his when I choose to do my own work.

As for licensing, you will find many times that a licensed electrician for ex. is the owner of the business, not necessarily the electrician actually doing the job. The licensed person checks off on the work most of the time, but not always. For electrical work, I research code, maybe consult a licensed electrician, and then have him check the job.
February 13, 2014 at 7:59am     
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Drummond House Plans
I am also a designer and I call pros for everything but design. With 3 children, a dog and busy life, I don't have time for DIY projects. I am good at what I know (design), but for the rest, it is more profitable for my wallet and quality of life to leave it to the pros!
February 13, 2014 at 8:23am     
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sartarehare
Okay Leo, truce. Perhaps this is just one of those times when the written word can be misinterpreted easily. I agree that your experience is a great addition to the Houzz community. I also certainly feel (like many responders) that most people bite off more than they can chew and realize too late. I learned that in my first home. We ended up needing to pay for re-work after many DIY didn't work out. We were strapped for cash and thought we could do it. But we've had many years to learn what we can and cannot do and fortunately have many resources at this point that we didn't have before.
I am reminded of a time in my first home where we decided to strip the paint from our 1920s brick fireplace. There's no way the cost to hire out for that would have ever been worth all that labor. We got it done (years of paint layer) and it ended up being the focal point of the living room and something we were quite proud of (everybody said it couldn't be done without sandblasting). But my husband said he would NEVER do it again.
February 13, 2014 at 9:22am   
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Leo Dowell Interiors
Thank you sartarehare, Truce. I agree, sometimes the written word is missing the real intentions and you can read all kinds of things into them. Especially the way I express my thoughts, LOL. When I talk about projects with big budgets, believe it or not I only mention it because it usually is unbelievable to most people that even the rich can loose a lot of money on their projects too. There are many many mistakes that can add up during the construction process. And most if them are hidden or the consumer is not even made aware if them. It is rewarding for me personally to share some of what I have learned the hard way. Not to show off how great I am, but just because I care about the end results.

Your Loyal Servant
Leo
February 13, 2014 at 5:18pm     
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unruli
80% or more of what we've done in this house is DIY and most was done by myself as my husand is not the handy type. Putting in a structural beam for a Long section of load- bearing wall that was improperly supported by a previous owner (three 2x6s is not going to hold up a 24' span for long) and upgrading service to 200 amp is not in my skill set.

We're now on a short time frame to get this house on the market so we hired a GC with good references to cover some items that could be more quickly completed by a pro. Mistake. We actually fired the drywall guy.....the work was awful and INCREDIBLY slow (2 doorways took eight days, but of course he never arrived before noon and never worked past 3). My drywall skills are adequate, but the amount of repairs I had to do on this guys work was astounding.

Now we're in a situation where an ice dam we've been fighting this entire Michigan winter is melting in the warm-up and we have major, major water damage to a large section of the front of the house. I don't have the time in our schedule to deal with is and I'm worried about hiring anyone with the experiences we've had.
February 15, 2014 at 4:25am   
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Mark
Any electrical work or plumbing we hire professionals to do the work.

A lot of the mill work in our home I have installed myself. I have designed many architectural features in our home but are usually to time consuming for me to do myself so we have a professional carpenter follow my plans and then install the work.

Any painting that has to done in the home we do ourselves.

As far as flooring we will hire professionals to install that as well.

I can upholster so most items in our home are usually done by me, but the odd time we will get a professional to do certain pieces if I am not 100% certain that I can do it myself.

As far as drapes and pillows etc. we rarely find anything we like so we both can sew and usually do all our own accessories like that. In fact we have been looking for a leopard print that would suit the decor in our bedroom but we couldn't find anything, but just the other day my better half found a pullover top done in a soft gold and off white leopard print that is going to be perfect for the room. The only other time we hired a professional to make a pillow for us was when we had Edmond ( he use to sew for Candice Olson on Devine Design ) makes a pillow for a keepsake. This is the pillow.


February 15, 2014 at 5:25am     
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jacksonbeth
We only work with local electricians here in Pinellas or Hillsborough, so finding someone in your area is key. For example, we only use http://www.hoffmanelectrical.com . Once you find an electrician you can trust, you will have an electrician for life!
June 2, 2014 at 5:22pm   
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Clear Lighting and Electrical Design
“If you think it is expensive to hire a professional to do the job, Wait until you hire an amateur.”

-Red Adair
June 3, 2014 at 10:19am   
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help with living/dining space
My living dining room is about 25 ft long with a 15ft...
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