What we are doing:

In what spare time we have, we decided to spend it (and our savings) on remodeling our rowhouse in South Philly. When we purchased our casa it was a 3 story, 5 bedroom, 1 bath that hadn't been touched in 50+ years. It's currently a 4 bed, 2 bath construction site with so much more to do it's hard to believe.

We use this blog to mark progress, say hi to friends and family, rant about the process of remodeling, and try to have some fun along the way.

- Bryan and Christina

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some thoughts from a troubled home improvement mind...

So we all see the news on the economy. I mean if you're reading this then you have eyes and can at least see the (-) next to the Dow every week. The two of us have been pretty lucky so far in that we have jobs that relate (in some way) to the health care/insurance industries. It’s not that we feel insulated from the doomsday upon us; it's just that I try to think of puppies and ice cream instead.

Also a lucky deal so far has been that 3 years ago we decided to buy our house in an awesome neighborhood here in Philadelphia. So far it means that while the national housing numbers are down, our neighborhood is selling fairly well and still for some eye popping numbers. It's crazy really.

But at the same time we're shelling out money every few weeks as our third floor suite is in its last stages. So I have to ask myself...

When do you just hold on for the ride and not rock the boat?

For example: I'm a guy. I have a beard. I drink beer. I want a framing nailer. But to get to that point it's the nailer ($200), the compressor ($250), hoses ($50?), and nails ($50)...and that's without the needed finish nailer for most projects around the house. So if you’re like my wife, right then you just rolled your eyes and said "Yeah...OK".

Why? Because when the contractor leaves in a couple of weeks (after his last payment of course) I'm going to have a room that has plumbing just hanging out along two walls (we've posted various pictures before). I have to build a soffit there to hide that stuff. On top of that the boss and I have decided that we are going to forgo any more contractors for the foreseeable future and go DIY. We weren't capable of putting in a brand new bathroom ourselves, so we hired out. Super. But hanging drywall? Cake. Make a standard door a French door? Pfft, easy. Create the 60" plasma TV built for the man room? Not - A - Problem. But I need a nailer. I actually justify it by thinking that in the end it will save us tons of time and money.

But am I just being delusional? I mean of course I want one, but is it a smart move financially?

When the markets are volatile, banks are crashing, and debt is the ruin of man…does it make sense to keep working on your house and shelling out money? Granted we went nuts with this current project, and the rest are going to be much more low key. I get that 100%. But still it’s like I have check writing fatigue that no amount of red bull can fix.

Is it just that I’m crazy at this point? I think the jury is still out on that one…

- Bryan


alan herrell -the head lemur said...

I am with "she who must be obeyed"
Rent one.
Unless you are going into production, and one house that needs
drywall does not qualify.

Spend 50 bucks on a couple of good hammers, a 28 oz. framer, a curved claw flat face, and a drywall hatchet.

Air tools and compressors require costant maintenece especially when not used for longer than three days..

Bryan and Christina said...

Very sane advice Alan, and it's appreciated. After my post and some feedback (and 90% of the emails); I'm leaning towards abandoning the air tool idea and just go with old fashioned elbow power. While we do have other projects that are going to require framing out like closets and the like, it's not worth the hassle of air tools.

But man, it would be sweet to be able to nail anything to a wall or even itself would be sweet. What can you do...that's why God created rentals I suppose.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


Damon said...

So Bryan I have never met you but as a self respecting man I have to say owning some tools (loud tools) has its place. If it were me; I would go for the air compressor (many uses in life besides building. I actually have a friend who uses his to dust his house.) Then maybe get a finish nailer as those are indispensable and then rent a framer as needed.

Sorry Christina:)

I hope you guys enjoy the new remodel.


PS- Don't buy a ridgid nailer if you do decide to get one.

Bryan and Christina said...

Hey, Damon thanks for the comment!

Corey said...

Borrowing is the best (which is the route I was luckily able to take), renting is OK, but why not buy used? The housing downturn means a lot of contractors are selling tools on craigslist.

Bryan and Christina said...

Hey Corey. I've been scouring the Philly craigslist, but most of the items are too "pro" if you know what I mean. The air compressors I've been seeing don't lend themselves to want to be portable enough and lugged up and down stairs, lest I get a 200 foot hose.

But I will look for at least a finish nailer. Again, right now it's not like I'm screwed if I don't get something like this. It's more that I can see it on the horizon.

I'm on the fence at the moment, but I hope to land one way or another in the next week or so.