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The 3Ms of Home Project Killers

Dec 16, 2020 8:00:00 AM / by Don Magruder, CEO RoMac Building Supply posted in DIY Project, DIY home building, home improvement project


For every home project that is completed successfully, there are probably 10 others that end in failure or not started because good intentions run into harsh realities. Many of these failures can be laid at the footsteps of the home improvement television networks, which simplify projects and give a false narrative that anyone can do it. The biggest expression of pending failure comes when a new homeowner spouts off comments like, “This looks easy, I can do this.” For their part, they may have never picked up a saw or hammer in their lifetime.

If home repair were so easy, they would be lined up 10 deep, given the massive labor shortage and high pay in the construction industry. Making home repairs is like hitting a baseball—it is much harder than it looks.

The 3Ms of Home Project Killers are 1. Measurement • 2. Motivation • 3. Money. Anyone can stop a project immediately and kill any thought of the home repair. If your idea can withstand the dreaded 3Ms, you might finish it successfully.

The first M is Measurement. You cannot count the number of projects killed by a tape measure. It is amazing how easy a tub, vanity, cabinet, door, or window fits in a new project with just the eyeballs of the person who is pushing the project. However, when the reality of the tape measure is pulled out, many times it is too big or too small. When you start considering a construction project always measure first. It will save you a lot of time an energy.

The second M is Motivation. Sitting on the couch on a Sunday morning drinking coffee can be inspiring, especially if you are looking around the house for projects you would like to do. Big plans can be cooked up during times of relaxation or cocktail hour, because you are dreaming. Few people have the ability to dream big and then bring those dreams to fruition, because somewhere along the way reality meets motivation. The reality is simple—big dreams and projects require a lot of work and effort. Keep dreams doable and keep yourself motivated by achieving your dreams with one goal at a time. A big, long-term goal is harder to reach than smaller short-term goals.

The third M is Money. Most people, even those in the construction industry, have no concept of the actual cost to do construction and repair projects. Planning, permitting, labor, materials, and logistics all have hidden costs that are unaccounted for. Plus, there are waste factors and mistakes. Pricing can be especially challenging during times like this fall when commodity wood pricing hit a record high. Do not price projects on old pricing, assumptions, or the opinion of your uncle who once worked on a construction crew. Put pen to paper and with the assistance of a calculator break down every cost. Then be sure to add at least a five percent waste factor. Remember, there are no absolutes in construction projects.

Worse than the 3Ms of Home Project Killers is a homeowner who ignores the 3Ms and ends up with a project that is incomplete or fails. Good planning and a real assessment of your 1. Measurement • 2. Motivation • 3. Money can determine if you should tackle a project or just drink coffee on Sunday mornings.

Don Magruder is the CEO of RoMac Building Supply and host of Around the House.

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Five Ways to Earn a Gold Star in Home Repair

Jul 29, 2020 12:00:00 PM / by Don Magruder, CEO RoMac Building Supply posted in DIY Project, home improvement, projects, residential homes


Every weekend, there are guys and gals tackling a home project successfully. On the other hand, there are those who have no idea how to even change a light bulb. Oddly, it has nothing to do with being book-smart or having a degree, because some of the best and brightest in academia are unable to do simple tasks around the house. Now, before the baby boomers hop on the millennials claiming that this generation is somehow less talented and weaker than those who walked uphill both ways to school, there are also a lot of older people who are unable to fix things around the house.

The reason why some people are better than others when it comes to weekend projects is because they do not have a choice. Tight budgets and limited paychecks force millions of people to do projects themselves instead of hiring them out. The real reason why some people are better at home projects than others is their attitude. If you are doing a project out of necessity, you will encounter every roadblock and obstacle. Amateurs in home repair tend to believe nothing can go wrong, and it normally does anyways, while others approach the repair trying to gain the knowledge to perform the task to the best of their ability.

The number one way to earn a gold star in home repair is to devote some of the time you spend on the internet each day learning how to fix a current problem around your home. A couple of decades ago, amateurs making repairs around the home had to read directions, call a friend for advice, or figure it out through a trial-and-error process. Today, you can watch a step-by-step video—it is almost like cheating on a test.

Secondly, buy some basic tools. Tools separate the professionals from the amateurs, and they also make the task much easier. Here is the dirty little secret about tools—for most weekend warriors, inexpensive tools work just fine because a good tool is normally designed to last much longer, which is not a real concern for someone using a tool twice a year. Go to flea markets, garage sales, and going out of business sales to fill your toolbox. The wrong time to buy the tool is right when you need it. Be a weekly bargain hunter.

Third, before you tackle a project, map out your strategy. Waking up Saturday morning and deciding to replace the front door on hour house is not a good idea. Good luck in finding the door you want in stock. The best advice is to identify your project, gather the materials needed for the project, secure your tools, and plan a specific time when your total focus is on the project. Plus, if you buy a door from a custom door company, they can machine the door to minimize your work and need for tools. Poor planning will not earn you a gold star.

Fourth, be sure you can physically handle the project and arrange your extra help before you start. As we age, our mind says yes—but our body screams no. If you are a senior, do not try to handle projects that require a lot of lifting or climbing because a trip to the emergency room or morgue will cost more than hiring a professional. Plus, we all have that buddy who will work for beer if he is available. If you are handling something heavy and need an extra hand, ask for help and arrange it prior to your workday.

Finally, before you start any project, believe you can finish it. Most failed projects occur because of a lack of understanding of the complexity of the project or the homeowner lacks basic knowledge as it relates to construction and building codes. Just because you are the homeowner, the state of Florida does not give you a pass on subpar work or ignoring building codes. The standards for you are the same as an experienced general contractor. Before you tear down that load-bearing wall or cut a new window opening in the side of your home, ensure you have the ability, skills, knowledge, and building code information to finish the project. It is too late once a building inspector drops in on your project asking to see your building permit.

If you earn a gold star in home repair, not only will the work become easier, your popularity among your friends will soar as well as the money you save on each project.

Don Magruder is the CEO of RoMac Building Supply and host of Around the House.

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Have Questions? We’ve Got Answers.

Sep 3, 2016 10:30:00 AM / by FLHomeSupply posted in DIY Project, home improvement


When you’re planning a home-improvement project—especially for first-time or fairly new DIYers—it’s easy to find yourself feeling overwhelmed with questions and concerns.

But with all of these questions running through your head, rest assured that you can find the answers to all of them from one trusted resource: FL Home Supply. Our team is here to provide you with helpful information for whatever uncertainties your project brings about.

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5 Home Improvement Tips to Remember Before Your Next DIY Project

Aug 1, 2016 2:06:02 PM / by FLHomeSupply posted in DIY Project, remodeling


No matter if you’re a first-time DIYer or a home-improvement superstar, there are always things to consider before jumping into a new project. Whether you’re wanting to replace your roof, install a new window or anything in between, try using these five tips before you get started to ensure your project goes smoothly and stress-free.

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