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seafury45
24th Jan 2018, 07:54
Sometimes it pays to hire a specialist.
I had job to do at home. Hire machine for 4 hours = $167 + 4 hours work for me, and probably then a day to recover;)
Hire specialist = 45 minutes work, including the have-a-chat, $50.

oops, should be in The really boring and totally pointless snippets thread XXVI

Mods, please move.

CargoMatatu
24th Jan 2018, 08:00
Hire a specialist, every time.

I am quite capable of DIY, but tend to be over critical of my own work and never fully satisfied with the end result.

Hiring an experienced professional produces a satisfactory end product, which is covered by warranty, etc.

Bit if a no-brainer for me. :ok:

Mac the Knife
24th Jan 2018, 08:29
That goes for women/marriage as well . . .

anchorhold
24th Jan 2018, 10:22
I would say it depends on the job and I know what the previous post means about being critical of you own work, having said that here in the UK there are alot of 'tradesment' whos work I would be more critical than my own DIY.

Some jobs I would not attempt, such as plastering and Brickwork. As for hiring equipment, I have found it is usually cheaper to buy tools and you can always sell them on, if your garage becomes cluttered.

Another advantage of is, unlike tradesmens who charge materials at the retail price. where as you could buy at trade price and that can be as much as fifty per cent of on thing like plumbing items and electrical goods.

Ancient Mariner
24th Jan 2018, 11:06
I find that I buy most tools, made in China, from DIY-outlets here, for the price of just one days rental.
They come with a guarantee, and in those rare cases they quit, a quick trip to "Jula" (my preferred outlet) and they give me a new one, no questions asked.
They may not have all the bells and whistles, are often a bit heavier and clumsier, but they will get the job done.
Per

Uplinker
24th Jan 2018, 12:37
All well and good as long as the person you hire actually is a specialist.

The problem is (in the UK) you get some random bloke turn up driving a white van. He might be the best plasterer/carpenter/brickie in the world, someone who was trained or apprenticed for 5 years, or they might be the worst feckless chancer........you have no way of knowing.

I had problems with a family friend, who was a specialist painter and he came highly recommended. However, he painted our windows without rubbing them down first, so afterwards they would not close with all the paint layers. When challenged he said oh you need a carpenter to sort that out.

Then he put some tiles up in the bathroom. Bang bang bang, up they went very quickly but they were like a row of crooked teeth - not straight but all wonky. Mate what are you doing? Oh they’ll look alright when the grout goes on. No mate I don’t think so, on your bike. I stripped them all off and did the job myself.

As far as tool hire goes, If I need something I will buy it as long as it doesn’t take up too much space, and I will usually buy the best I can afford - then it will last a lifetime and pay for itself many times over. Plus you have the pleasure of using a good quality, well designed piece of equipment that works properly and does a good job.

Sallyann1234
24th Jan 2018, 13:04
There is a white van which I frequently see around my area, a one-man business. On the side of the van is painted his name and mobile phone number. Then underneath,
"Specialist in All Types of Building Work".

I have often wondered how one man could be a 'specialist' in every building trade. Perhaps "Jack of All Trades" would be a better description.

PDR1
24th Jan 2018, 14:17
I have often wondered how one man could be a 'specialist' in every building trade.

Easy - he's probably Polish. Polish tradesmen/women (in my experience) actually have the master-craftsmen/women skills they claim and do a professional job on-time and on-budget. I gather their British equivilents would get thrown out of the "Guild of Master Craftsmen" if they ever delievr a job on time, or without demanding more money, or that doesn't look like a complete dogs dinner when they're finished.

YMMV,

PDR

Sallyann1234
24th Jan 2018, 15:23
Easy - he's probably Polish. Polish tradesmen/women (in my experience) actually have the master-craftsmen/women skills they claim and do a professional job on-time and on-budget. I gather their British equivilents would get thrown out of the "Guild of Master Craftsmen" if they ever delievr a job on time, or without demanding more money, or that doesn't look like a complete dogs dinner when they're finished.

I have employed a small group of Polish builders for a large project and they did a first-class job at a good price. According to some on here I was guilty of putting English tradesmen out of work.

But that was not the point of my post.

I was querying the ability of one man to be a 'specialist' in all the various trades involving in building.

SPECIALIST
1 Possessing or involving detailed knowledge or study of a restricted topic.

Saintsman
24th Jan 2018, 16:21
The problem with a lot of the younger ‘tradesmen’ is that they lack a lot of the basic skills because they never served their time in the sense that things are a lot more complicated or reliable these days, so they never got in to the guts of anything.

For example I learned so much with my first car (mk1 Escort) because one, it always needed fixing and two, it wasn’t that complicated. It gave me the confidence to work on other things.

Youngsters these days rarely get that sort of experience and it has handicapped them.

Pontius Navigator
24th Jan 2018, 20:39
After being in one village we know our craftsmen. Our preferred handyman has plastered our conservatory, fitted a bathroom work top, fitted a fire door, fitted a front door ", replaced a series of blown bricks below the DPC. We get the materials, he charges £100 per day pro rata.

* no FENSA certificate.

Tiler, plumber, electrian, decorator, all on recommendation.

We have just moved. Now we need to find all these tradesmen again.

jimtherev
24th Jan 2018, 22:02
I had a six-figure rebuild job done in one of my churches. The best tender by far was a Jamaican company from Southall. All the advice was 'don't take 'em! Reggai, pot, dodgy hours, overcharging, extras, yada yada.'
Took a deep breath, (and charity law advice - lowest tender & so on) and engaged them.
Completed two weeks early and under budget... and a nicer load of blokes you could never meet.


I had a good yada yada back to my 'expert advisors'.

anchorhold
25th Jan 2018, 09:48
Jimtherev .... Interestesing you mentioning, are charity really expected to tender, because I have been meaning to take this up with my bishop in repect of those contracted by diocese such as a law firm, builder, architect, land agent, etc..

Also under charity law, surely you put out a tender and accept what is the best value?

jimtherev
25th Jan 2018, 22:24
Jimtherev .... Interestesing you mentioning, are charity really expected to tender, because I have been meaning to take this up with my bishop in repect of those contracted by diocese such as a law firm, builder, architect, land agent, etc..

Also under charity law, surely you put out a tender and accept what is the best value?
It's sometimes an advantage to be non-conformist as I am. I don't know nuffin about Canon Law, except that colleagues tell me it's usually a pain in the wotsit - but occasionally v. helpful indeed.


And yes, the criterion is best value, not just lowest price, of course.

Pontius Navigator
26th Jan 2018, 18:44
Lowest price is easy to judge objectively; best value is a subjective call.

Ogre
26th Jan 2018, 23:36
For example I learned so much with my first car (mk1 Escort) because one, it always needed fixing and two, it wasn’t that complicated. It gave me the confidence to work on other things.

I had a similar experience with my two Cortinas, Ford bolted everything together with either 10mm or 13mm nuts, after a number of years the rest of the sockets in my tool box were shiny as new.

And the joys of finding the last owner of a second hand car had thrown in the Haynes manual, then flicking though it looking for the dirty pages to work out what bits had been changed recently or went wrong with regularity. When I picked up a new car a couple of years ago the salesman let me open the bonnet. Over the engine was a plastic plate with two holes, one for the dipstick and one for the oil filler cap. Everything else was out of bounds to mere mortals who didn't have the diagnostic software.

As far as building skills, I learnt a lot from my FiL. He was a handy man around the house (but not a professional trademan) and when renovating our first married abode would offer to help. We'd start off discussing the task, planning what we needed, then when he thought I'd got the idea bugger off and leave me to it (with inspections at intervals to gauge progress). It gave me the confidence, and the insight, so that I can do most minor tasks around the house with ease (sometimes surprising myself that I can not only find the tools and parts but achieve the task without any fuss).

Saying that if it's a major task we get the professionals. Currently getting the last bathroom renovated, found a great builder who answered all of my questions (including some pretty technical ones) and when I spotted something I didn't think was right took the time to discuss it (we're currently on even terms, I was wrong on a couple of occasions but then so was he).

llondel
27th Jan 2018, 01:32
It does depend on the job. I had a starter motor fail on the car. New starter from Amazon (free same day delivery, too, I was somewhat gobsmacked, expecting to have to wait a few days), under an hour to take the old one out and install the new one. I did check first and the starter was accessible from the top with only minor contortions and prior removal of the electric radiator fan. that would probably have cost me two or three times as much elsewhere. I'll probably replace the brake pads soon, last official service reckoned they were worn.

Might as well do the easy bits, saves money for the bits that I can't do.

ChrisVJ
27th Jan 2018, 05:45
I have a problem. Every time we think we should get a professional to do a job we get a quote and say

"F*** that, don't be ridiculous." and I end up doing it myself.

Over fifty years I have learned to do pretty well every job that's needed in a house including designing it, bricklaying (the milkman was an ex brickie and helped) plastering, rendering, plumbing in everything from lead and cast iron to Pex, Electrical, carpentry and finish work including spiral stairs and rails, Kitchens from scratch, sash windows, forming, rebar and concrete, decorative ironwork, metal roofing, slate even the occasional decorative wood carving and we haven't bought a piece of wooden furniture in thirty odd years! .

I used to fix the cars but madam now has up to date Honda's that (touch wood) don't seem to need anything fixed and on mine I avoid the computer bits (recently I was obliged to rebuild the brake lines.) I can't do radios or TVs. (MrsVJ's dad was a whizz at them though he'd never had a day's instruction.)

Warning, aviation content. Wanted an airplane, . . . . . . yes, good old DIY.

Of course all this takes a little longer that using contractors so just about the time a house gets finished we are thinking about selling it.



Some of my kids are good at it, one is far and away better than I, others can barely change a light bulb. There was no-one handy in my background so I am not sure how much is heredity and how much necessity.

pilotmike
27th Jan 2018, 06:42
Mac the Knife:That goes for women/marriage as well . . .
Are we correct to understand you're recommending the benefits of hiring a professional versus DIY....?:mad:

If you were implying that hiring a professional would 'come with a warranty', so as to speak, I believe you are probably mistaken!:ok:

Meldrew
27th Jan 2018, 12:01
Certainly used to be the case that, if you needed a tradesman expert in a certain field, go to your local firestation and ask. Most firefighters used to have an alternative job during their four days off watch!

krismiler
27th Jan 2018, 12:55
Chinese tools have improved in quality and for most DIY work, will be quite adequate. Someone who’s on the tools all day long can justify the cost of top quality gear with its greater longevity and performance, but for average use having hundreds of pounds tied up doesn’t make sense.

Basic skills, such as painting are useful and worth acquiring as they will be regularly used but for specialised one off jobs, hiring a professional makes more sense. Anything which would be expensive to put right or involves risk if not done properly has me reaching for the yellow pages.

VP959
27th Jan 2018, 13:01
Chinese tools have improved in quality and for most DIY work, will be quite adequate. Someone who’s on the tools all day long can justify the cost of top quality gear with its greater longevity and performance, but for average use having hundreds of pounds tied up doesn’t make sense.

Basic skills, such as painting are useful and worth acquiring as they will be regularly used but for specialised one off jobs, hiring a professional makes more sense. Anything which would be expensive to put right or involves risk if not done properly has me reaching for the yellow pages.

Some of the early imported Chinese tools were pretty good, too. I still have a set of wood chisels that I bought when Trago Mills first opened their Falmouth store, some time in the 1980's I think. They were ludicrously cheap, and as I already had a "good" set of chisels I bought the Chinese ones for rough work, where I wouldn't get too upset it they got a bit knocked about.

The Chinese set have outlived the good set and are still in regular use. They hold an edge better than any chisels I've ever owned.

I also have two pairs of Stilsons, also Chinese made, and also from Trago Mills. They are the same vintage, still in good working order, and both still have the price felt penned on the handles, £2.80 for the small pair and £3.80 for the 18" pair.

WilliumMate
27th Jan 2018, 16:11
Recently been doing some work for a plant hire company. Delivered a 1.5T excavator to a private house for a 4 day hire. The nice chap had never used one so I asked him what he was planning and showed him the bells and whistles and watched him have a play with it. :eek:

In the end I took it back. He would have either put himself in hospital, partly demolished his house or got into mischief some other way. Put him in touch with an oppo of mine who did the required work in one day for fifty quid less than a four day hire would cost. It ain't always cheaper to DIY and often less painful.

jimtherev
27th Jan 2018, 22:11
I had a similar experience with my two Cortinas, Ford bolted everything together with either 10mm or 13mm nuts, after a number of years the rest of the sockets in my tool box were shiny as new.

And the joys of finding the last owner of a second hand car had thrown in the Haynes manual, then flicking though it looking for the dirty pages to work out what bits had been changed recently or went wrong with regularity. When I picked up a new car a couple of years ago the salesman let me open the bonnet. Over the engine was a plastic plate with two holes, one for the dipstick and one for the oil filler cap. Everything else was out of bounds to mere mortals who didn't have the diagnostic software.

But then, on t'other hand, I remember the oil spots on the drive, the way that radiator water needed 'watching', And don't mention Lucas, the prince of darkness, of course.
The car sitting outside is now five years old, had four new tyres, a service once a year, one cpu recall (flashed in 15 mins) And that's it! A total of nine hundred squids for servicing, three hundred and something for tyres, then petrol.
No, I couldn't diy in my state of health; thank heaven I don't have the need to.

Pontius Navigator
28th Jan 2018, 13:50
My car doesn't even have a dip stick.

A nephew ran his Porsche out of oil; didn't know how to use the diagnostics to check.

Fareastdriver
28th Jan 2018, 14:03
I've still got a fully serviceable pair of Chinese pliers I bought in Singapore in 1969. In Wenzhou in eastern China in 1989 I bought the full range of drills from 0.5 mm. to 10mm, two of each, forty drills altogether for about £2.

I've still got thirty-eight of them left.