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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

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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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Don’t Go Too Small on These Five Design Features in Your Home

May 27, 2020 2:00:00 PM / by Don Magruder, CEO RoMac Building Supply posted in home improvement, New Home Construction, residential homes

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There are five home design features that are typically whittled down in a construction budget, which many homeowners later regret having cut their size. The size of features in your home matters, especially if you are a senior with limited mobility. For those who are young and healthy—you may need to sell your home one day, so understanding why size is so important may help you close a future sale. 

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Be Wary of Pressure Washing Your Home

Jan 16, 2020 5:32:06 PM / by Don Magruder, CEO RoMac Building Supply posted in home improvement, pressure washing

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Many Americans believe that horsepower in everything is the answer. If a car or boat is not fast enough, you will be encouraged to buy one with more horsepower that goes faster. Many house cleaners believe high-pressure water with more horsepower is the best way to knock dirt, mildew, and grime off your home. However, that is simply not true.

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Start Planning Your Home Improvement Projects for the New Year

Jan 16, 2020 4:56:53 PM / by Don Magruder, CEO RoMac Building Supply posted in home improvement, New Year

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Every homeowner with a limited budget or fixed income has home improvement projects they want to do. However, the number of projects and corresponding costs can be daunting to a point that trying to get them done is futile. Good home improvement projects are one of the best investments you can make that will typically yield a higher financial return than stocks or savings accounts. More importantly, they will give you greater satisfaction as you live in your home.

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The Wrong Time to Start a Home Improvement Project

Dec 9, 2019 2:17:01 PM / by Don Magruder, CEO RoMac Building Supply posted in home improvement

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Starting a home construction project is like choosing a spouse — you will know when it is the right time.

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