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Who else does DIY on their house as a form of work?

(31 Posts)
anorak Thu 23-Jun-05 09:40:02

I don't go out to work. I have a very part-time job writing questions for TV quiz shows and I have a very small crafts hobby/business with my sister. My main source of income is that when I buy a new home I make sure it's solid but in need of modernisation and I'm the one that does most of it while my dh is out at work.

I do carpentry, tiling, decorating, garden remodelling, make curtains and other soft furnishings etc etc.

Are there any other mums who slot this kind of work in around their kids? If so it would be great if we could get together and pool our knowledge on mumsnet. I couldn't find a topic that exactly fitted this so would be interested to know if there's enough people here to ask for a new topic.

Please post what kind of DIY jobs you do and what projects you're working on at the moment.

I'm just about to go out in the garden and plant up around a waterfall I built last week. I plan to come in every few minutes to cool down!!

noddyholder Thu 23-Jun-05 09:43:16

I do exactly the same and ds is 11 now!Will post later as have a buider coming to measure for a storage cupboard!!!!!!

Chandra Thu 23-Jun-05 09:57:56

Me, I'm already in my fourth house, I think I concentrate in design, decorating and soft furnishings and let DH do the hard work, though before meeting him I had no problem with the electrics, carpentry and even welding.

I planned to do the kitchen this summer but just used the new kitchen's budget for a mediterranean cruise

lemonice Thu 23-Jun-05 10:13:19

This is what dp and I do, he does most of the house stuff though and I am the brains

We are very slow though, we are still renovating the house but will be starting to build in our backyard soon (although because we want to move away that will be mainly done by contractors)

Dp works three nights as a taxi driver and I run a business from home (which i am hoping will start making money soon and pay me back the large loan I gave it!)

TracyK Thu 23-Jun-05 10:16:14

Just thinking of doing this as dh has come to a crossroads in his career and we have a bit of capital to invest. He is very capable on the DIY from - apart from electrics and me on design and planning.
what's your business from home lemonice?

sorrel Thu 23-Jun-05 10:23:28

yay - DIY club. i' ve just finished painting our breezeblock outbuildings( shed). Have got to undercoat the doors and outside bench, but it is starting to drizzle so have stopped. Will be going to graden centre today to look for hollyhocks and lavender to plant up. Also might paint the kitchen chairs shocking pink- but will have to do it in secret as dh hates my recent obsession with painted furniture!!

anorak Thu 23-Jun-05 10:28:55

Glad to see you're all crawling out of the half-finished woodwork! I knew I wasn't the only one!

Just emptied 6000 litres of topsoil round my new water feature and am having a cool drink before planting it up.

Chandra - who can blame you?

sorrel Thu 23-Jun-05 10:32:53

thats a lot of topsoil do you work out coverage? i was trying to work out how much gravel/pebbles i would need for 10 sq meteres. they used about 2 metric tonnes on a similar project on TV, but this sound like a lot...?
oh the things that keep the old brain ticking over!

anorak Thu 23-Jun-05 10:36:02

We had no idea and the side passage of our house is too small for a wheelbarrow so dh just kept going back to the shop for more bags until we filled it all up. (I remodelled the garden with raised beds all around the outside). Even now it could do with half a dozen more bags. He'll be so pleased when I tell him

lemonice Thu 23-Jun-05 10:37:41

Anorak that sounds like a lot a lotta work admiration for your fitness!!

Tracy I have an ecommerce site, I used to have a shop for three years but it lost a lot of money so now I am clawing back...

Donbean Thu 23-Jun-05 10:57:06

Me and dh built our extension.
We rewired the house, put a new bathroom in put a new kitchen in decorated top to bottom.
We got a plasterer in to replaster every room because it was from the brick work up.
We knocked down walls, replaced the front door and bricked up an old doorway.
It has taken us about 3 years all told.
Bloody hard work but we work well as a team so it was good.
This was while we both worked full time too.
DH is now building a workshop/garage at the bottom of the garden, i cant help as ive got ds but am itching to get my wellies and barrow out!

Donbean Thu 23-Jun-05 10:59:13

ps we dug the foundations for the extension using spades and weelbarrows, we didnt have a mechanical digger at all.
We hired skip after skip after skip. Thought nothing of filling a 7 toner over the space of 2 days!

sorrel Thu 23-Jun-05 11:06:26

donbean wow! know where to come for advice now!!Makes my effort with the aggregates look a bit shabby....

Donbean Thu 23-Jun-05 11:11:21

Not at all sorrel.
Dont you agree that you have the most tremendous sense of pride when you look at your efforts?
When you put so much effort into some thing you should feel great pride and think to your self "i did that"

sorrel Thu 23-Jun-05 11:18:54

ah yeh a big sense of pride definitely.Just jokning about my being put off by tiny ammount of drizzle and any excuse to sit on mumsnet instead!

TracyK Thu 23-Jun-05 11:20:10

where are you - so lucky to be getting drizzle - is it nice and cool too?

sorrel Thu 23-Jun-05 11:34:25

No not cool about 25 degrees and overcast.well sunny intervals( cor, i sound like michael fish!)
what Dm calls 'Headache weather' and Dh calls '15 minute' weather.( Different season every 15 minutes!)
not enough rain to do the plants any good tho.
In Northern ireland btw.

anorak Thu 23-Jun-05 11:36:46

I'm back. Have planted lilies, ivy, euphorbia, roses, mesembryanthemums, antirrhinums, bay and parsley around my waterfall. Got to wait for it to grow over it now! And await electrician to come and wire up lights and pump.

No stamina btw lemonice the soil was packed in 25l bags so not too heavy. Used to be very fit but since a bad break in my ankle 2 1/2 years ago things have been quite a struggle. Still can't run or do anything with impact but working on it.

Wow donbean - do you and your dh do this full-time?

tiddlypom Thu 23-Jun-05 12:17:07

I do very part-time work from home, and otherwise look after the kids and spend a fair amount of time designing the garden. I think dh sees this as my 'hobby' but he eats the veg and I do say to him that it's adding value to the property. My next big project is to build a pond at the end. I know what I'm doing in the garden, and in a few years' time it should look a great deal better; and all the work I do makes it a better play area for the kids (eg veg patch, flowerbeds, etc).

Sadly the same is not true for the house - ie I don't as yet know what I'm doing - there is a huge amount to be done, and I'm mugging up on the theory and practice of it, but will only oversee builders, not do the hands-on stuff. Both dh and I are daunted by the work to be done on the house. His father used to love to do up his sons' houses, but sadly he died soon after we moved into this house. Dh feels he can never do DIY to the standard of his father so he doesn't really like to try.

anorak Thu 23-Jun-05 12:25:57

Oh, what a shame, tiddlypom. I wonder why he feels it has to be up to his father's standard. Whatever any of us do in this life there's only going to be one person in the world who can't be bettered by anyone.

I was reading last night about how many people are afraid to stretch themself and try anything new because of the fear of failure. You have to expect failure and not be daunted by it. If I do a DIY job wrong I undo it and start again!

Your gardening skills sound wonderful. A house can be done at the last minute before selling and look wonderful but a garden needs time to mature. I hope your dh will stop calling it your hobby when one day you sell up and he can see how much value you've added to the house.

lemonice Thu 23-Jun-05 12:33:39

the drawback to working from a home that is being renovated is the dirt and disorganisation and also listening to dp swearing and throwing things around also getting up every five minutes to hold/move/advise etc

I agree with anorak it does work to have a go even when you don't know what or how to do it, I am more cautious than dp but he has done a brilliant job with eg putting in new windows, plastering, laying a slate floor and doing all the damproof floor, screed etc first..the only problem is it takes ages finding info and tools for each job...

How can you work outside in this heat??? I'm boiling...

anorak Thu 23-Jun-05 12:39:18

I wanted to get the plants in so that they get the rain tomorrow. So I went out earlier before it got too intolerable. Don't you find, with the outdoor jobs, you wait ages for a dry day so you can do paving, for instance, and then you get outside for a couple of days then it's a heatwave or more rain...

tiddlypom Thu 23-Jun-05 13:29:19

Thanks anorak - I like the sound of just undoing stuff if it's not quite right - reminds me of knitting Dh is battling with his demons re his father, and hopefully he'll win. Not sure how tolerant I can manage to be about failures though...[must try harder, must try harder].

I quite like the fact that garden work is dictated by the weather - it's all about waiting for the right opportunity then grabbing it while it's there, isn't it?

Donbean Thu 23-Jun-05 18:09:21

No we both worked full time in totally unrelated jobs to the building trade, we learned as we went along.
We did it all on our days off and evenings.
We were without a kitchen for 12 months while we did all the work...horrendous.

Fio2 Thu 23-Jun-05 18:12:21

hello must say I am rather lazy just lately and keep employing people

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