are posters from mars & responders from venus ? ? ?


Old 05-14-14, 01:46 PM
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are posters from mars & responders from venus ? ? ?

its seems lately the op's ask for advice largely based on responses validating their oft hairbrain'd solutions derived w/o the benefit of materials/methods knowledge but largely influenced by $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

or is it just me ? maybe its the full moon phase we're experiencing,,, or harry reid
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Old 05-14-14, 02:14 PM
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It's not just you, it is happening across the board. It does wax and wane but it seems to be at a high point lately, people giving next to no information and expecting us to read their minds over the Internet. Even when asked many refuse to give the needed information.

And yes, there are a few (thankfully only a few) that will post a harebrained idea asking us to sprinkle holy water on it and then they get all upset when we refuse.

Ah, well, it takes all kinds to make the world go around.
Old 05-14-14, 02:18 PM
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Hi Stadry, since you opened a thread to vent a little I'll let off some of my steam.
1. Have super long threads become more common? I just pass them by.
2. In addition to op's looking for someone to rubber stamp what they want to do, I hate it when they have already gone 50% in the wrong direction and are now asking questions. Very hard to go forward and impossible to suggest they remove it all and start over.
3. They have already posted to every other forum they could find and now they want us to sort out those responses.
4. You mention price and I do agree that it has to be considered, but often there is no solution within their budget. Just makes it hard to answer.

For the mods, perhaps it would be beneficial to have a frequent poster lounge out of the public's view where those of us with less experience can ask for help with our wording before we blurt out something we shouldn't have. I know the mods can do this, but maybe all posters over some threshold of post count could have a place as well. I remember hearing some wisdom in those hallowed halls that was most appropriate.

Old 05-14-14, 02:27 PM
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Bud - I typically walk away from the thread if I feel like I'm going to pop off in my response.

I believe ignorance is completely curable and there are a lot of people here who simply want the cure. They are why I stick around. That said, there have been times in my career here where I needed to walk away from the forums for a few weeks.
Old 05-14-14, 03:57 PM
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You might notice we are having more posters from outside the US as well, and I don't mean spammers. Most of them are asking straightforward questions, but have no idea of the work involved in their project...and of course the terminology and language differences don't help.

I really feel that some of the changes made to the website (that we aren't even aware of) have increased the traffic. Also, though I'm not sure, it seems like I have seen a slight increase in home improvement shows? Either new or repeats, but more overall. (Unfortunately...2 of my favorites H on H, and Americas Best Handyman appear to have gone away. I know some people disliked him, but I prefer truth over couth ( that a new catchphrase?). Even folks on here say, do it once, do it right.)

Anyway, people see a Pro laying tile in a shower and finishing in one day and they say "Hey, I can do that! Thats easy". Or a concrete guy doing an overlay of a cracked but stable slab and they say "Well, that's simple, no reason to pay big bucks for the expensive stuff or a contractor...can't be much different than the bags at the Big Box, and the guy there can tell me what I need to do."

My advice is...answer to the best of your ability. Depending on the perceived level of expertise of the OP, simplify your response. If they answer your questions or provide further info, delve as deep as you think you can. If they go off on tangents, refuse to provide needed info, or just ignore you because they "found other advice at about this idea?"...then just let it go. Don't waste your time, go help someone willing to listen. The old horse to water thing ya know?

The other thing I'd like to say is that the amount of arguing between our experts has sometimes gotten out of hand. I'm sure some of you remember the hot mop vs Kerdi (?) vs mudbed wars? Lol

Give your opinion/advice..if you see other advice that is specifically forbidden or dangerous..then please post or use the report button so a Mod can get it taken care of.

You all know none of us Supers or Groups are experts in all fields (heck, I'm no expert in any field!) let us know if you see a problem.
Old 05-14-14, 06:33 PM
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It's the mantra of young people growing up today--"I want it fast, I want it cheap, and I don't care if it doesn't last."

I (almost) feel sorry for them, not growing up with adults who taught them the virtues of patience, quality and logical thinking. In many cases, I think caring adults may have been present, but the kids were too preoccupied with their video games to notice. And now, as adults themselves, they want all learning experiences to come from watching how-to videos. "Books? What's a book?"

Last edited by BridgeMan45; 05-14-14 at 06:53 PM.
Old 05-14-14, 06:54 PM
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I remember one guy whom I don't even know what he called himself here(and wouldn't say if I knew now) who wanted to dig out a basement. Apparently he never had a basement and wanted advice on how to do it. Well I am no contractor but even I knew he needed a structural engineer at least and a permit. He didn't want a structural engineer though and said he couldn't afford a permit but wanted more advice. He was advised by a moderator too that he should get a permit and a structural engineer and still wouldn't listen.

It is times like that that people like that make you really frustrated and mad that they will not listen. I figured though that at least I tried to convince him not to take on a project like that by himself and he wouldn't listen so I walked away from the post.
Old 05-14-14, 07:19 PM
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There are 3 types of posts that drive me bananas. The ones where the wife is obviously just checking up on either the contractor or on her husband...

...the ones where someone is wanting an online estimate for their remodelling plans, as if we are in the business of giving free estimates...

...and the ones where the op has either asked this question before (and is asking again a few weeks or months later, hoping for new opinions that match his own) or they have posted the same question on a half dozen other boards, wasting the time of 6x the people for what seems to no longer be fact finding but is more for their own personal entertainment.

But I guess we have to take the good with the bad. While I don't think I've ever actually added anyone to my official "ignore list", I've often thought about it (for the guy who insists on writing in ALL CAPS or the guy who doesn't know how to hit the return button to start a new paragraph for a change of thought) it's nice to always have that option.

On the whole, I think most of the contributors to this board are to be commended for keeping a level head... for not resorting to name calling or flaming... and for the general spirit of cooperation that exists here thanks to the combined efforts of skilled contributors who have a wide variety of skills and backgrounds. For me, that is the internet at its finest.
Old 05-14-14, 09:24 PM
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Very well-spoken, XSleeper.
Old 05-15-14, 12:14 AM
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As both a recent registered user AND located outside the US, I thought I could chime in here as well.

For starters, thanks to all that answer questions. Before registering, I was more content with just reading the various opinions. Unfortunately, many of the problems described are found on forums in every hobby/profession. It can certainly be annoying, especially when someone pops in to ask a question that has been answered dozens of times. These people think they're too unique to take the general answer and would rather have someone read THEIR situation and answer THEIR question.

Anyway, for myself, it's a matter of gaps in knowledge that I'd like to acquire. I know how to do some things and I'm clueless on others. My own father is more or less the same. Skilled and confident in some areas of DIY and completely lost in others. Once I've done something myself, I'm confident to repeat it. I often question my own strategy though, assuming I'm missing some big component that I'd never know until I got started. That is what leads me to read and ask a question or two.

Again, I'd just like to say that I appreciate the answers (especially to the questions that use less than correct words) and also appreciate the explanations without a condescending undertone. While I'm great at some areas in life, other things aren't my specialty and when I attempt to learn more, the last thing I need is someone wasting time on jokes for a lack of knowledge.

Should you (as a dedicated poster) get frustrated, like everyone else says, just walk away or ignore it. That's the strategy I take to boards that I have piles of posts. Share your knowledge with those that are willing to listen, learn, and respect your time.

Old 05-15-14, 01:09 AM
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I generally only read threads in the areas where I think I have some expertise so that means I only read a fraction of the daily new posts. Of those that I do read I would guess that about fifty percent are topics where either I have little (or nothing) to add or the other respondents are doing a good job so I skip over them.

After that culling I then first ask myself if I truly understand the question(s) being asked and if I think I do then I ask myself if I have any real experience to guide me in an answer or if I am just making a stab in the dark. In either case I then decide if I can give a relatively short answer or if I need to make a doctoral dissertation. If the latter () I have to decide if I am really up to the task and if so I then check to see how many posts the questioner has made.

If it is a first time poster I tend to either make a short response or ask some questions to see if the person REALLY wants a response. I've been burnt too many times in giving a long and complete (some might say overly complete ) response and never having the original poster come back.

In the end, I walk from far more questions that I might be able to make a meaningful comment than questions where I actually do make a comment. That's one of the reasons why I have a relatively low post count.
Old 05-16-14, 11:47 AM
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Also, though I'm not sure, it seems like I have seen a slight increase in home improvement shows?
Slight? There are a bazillion of them now. It doesn't help that DIY network gives a lot of bad and incomplete advice.

So many of the shows show them doing major renovations in a few days time. People never notice the short cuts they take and they large number of people on site to get it done. I doubt any of them are of any sort of lasting quality.

One of the things that really gets under my skin about those shows is when they put on a dust mask to protect them from fumes from spray paint or other similar product.
Old 05-16-14, 01:24 PM
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People never notice the short cuts they take and they large number of people on site to get it done. I doubt any of them are of any sort of lasting quality.
That's probably my biggest complaint with those shows. Many of the shows fail to use the correct primer for what they are painting and if they finish stained woodwork in the time stated on the show, there is no way they can apply multiple coats of poly and sand between coats. I've often wondered what those houses look like 6 months later.
Old 05-16-14, 03:52 PM
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I never had DIY network but occasionally they would show some the programs on HGTV. One of them was clueless people taking on jobs that knew nothing about, removing load-bearing walls and having the floor above collapse, almost cutting their leg off while using a skil saw, cutting into a wall with live electrical, that sort of thing. Then the regular HGTV programs where they do massive remodels in a half hour or when a bit more honest they mention it took a week. Then I lost HGTV which is a story I won't bore you with.

I'm on antenna only these days so I only get a few of the "home handyman" type of shows. It seems to me that many of them (most of them?) on ION life are old repeats from HGYV and such as I KNOW I have seen them before. A local independent station shows about three new programs along with several reruns of This Old House and Hometime Saturday mornings. TOH is not, in any way, a DIY type show and I have trouble understanding its appeal when all their jobs seem to be in the over $100k range and on houses/properties that in my area would have price tags exceeding a million dollars. Hometime, which WAS a DIY-type of show has escalated to the high end and is not carried by my local PBS station anyway. I don't need to know how the "beautiful people" spend their money or to be made to feel inadequate because I live in a 1,500 square foot house with the original kitchen.

Of the remaining shows, one is nothing more than the host showing off all the new gadgets available for your home, most of which are just that, gadgets. Another is a small contractor that goes around, mostly in Texas, doing fairly small jobs and sometimes getting the homeowners to do some minor chore. This guy also has a fair number of jobs where he is either working on his daughter's house or she joins him in doing some little thing like making curtains for someone else's house. Finally there is the tiny-mouthed fuzzface that is supposed to be an all-knowing DIY guru who as often as not has some contractor come in to do something in his home to showcase what an average homeowner might do, essentially telling the homeowner to get out his/her checkbook.

I don't miss programs like The New Yankee Workshop one bit. I suspect that if I had a million dollar shop like that I, too, could make some pretty fancy things. Another show similar to Yankee Workshop is The Woodsmith Shop where again they have a huge shop full of expensive power tools. Heck, all I got is a 55 year old Sears table saw (actually a bench saw on a steel stand), a 50 year old 6-1/2 inch Skilsaw (both from my daddy), a Milwaukee drill (corded) I bought many years ago, a Milwaukee 4-1/2 inch grinder/sander (currently in need of some repairs), A Sears router and maybe a half-dozen cutters, a Harbor Freight miter saw and various hand tools. Oh, yeah, a Porter-Cable framing nailer, a Bostich brad nailer and a couple of Harbor Freight nailers along with a home-built air compressor. I suspect this is a fairly well equipped shop when compared to many DIYers.

Prior to retirement I worked with a man whose wife LOVED to watch HGTV and was always coming up with projects for Terry. He would try to to explain to her all the work entailed in the project but she wouldn't listen to him, pointing out how easy it was when she watched the program. When I bought my (ungrateful) sister her house she wanted polished concrete for the downstairs toilet room floor. I tried to tell her it was expensive, cold and very labor intensive but she told me I was an idiot and didn't know what I was talking about; SHE had seen it on HGTV and KNEW it was great, fantastic, inexpensive and everything she wanted. Luckily, when she asked at a couple of flooring stores they were able to set her straight and in the end she opted for engineered hardwood.

Oh, don't get me started on the lack of PPE on those shows. It seems that the only PPE necessary is a pair of glasses with safety lenses.
Old 05-16-14, 05:18 PM
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Can't remember the show but there was the guy who used only old hand tools to do the work. Sure you can use a hand saw to rip a board and get it square and perfect... after years of experience or you can use a circular saw with a rip guide and get a good cut your first or second try at ever using a circular saw. Sure the old timers used an adze on the back of floor boards to notch the boards because they were not uniform thickness but I guarantee any carpenter doing it for a living two centuries ago would have happily used a horse powered plainer to get all the boards the same thickness if such a machine existed. The adze wasn't used because it was a wonderful too but it was all he had. Yet listening to the guy on the show you'd think there was something magically wonderful about old hand tools.

Yes, I have drilled holes for electrical wires in the attic in the southern summer using a brace and bit set to ratchet because I couldn't get a full swing but dang if I'd ever do it again. I was raised by a father who never used power tools and he tried to teach me but until I was old enough to buy and use power tools carpentry was never anything I was ever good at or thought I could really do. I wonder how many would be DIY carpenters were discouraged and gave up by watching the old time wood working show.

Last edited by ray2047; 05-16-14 at 05:36 PM.
Old 05-16-14, 08:39 PM
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"It's the mantra of young people growing up today--"I want it fast, I want it cheap, and I don't care if it doesn't last."

What I've learned about the younger generation from watching HGTV:

The younger generation has been convinced that they NEED and DESERVE their dream home NOW, even if it's a starter home. Nothing will do except granite and "upgraded" stainless appliances, and "open concept" with hardwood flooring throughout. Anything five years old is hopelessly out of date and must be gutted. Thus, timeless design and lasting quality has no place in their minds.

My house is firmly rooted in the late 70's and would probably horrify most young people, but everything is in good condition and functions for me. Maybe I'm lucky I don't have a wife to constantly remind me that the neighbors have something "nicer" that we just gotta have too!

Rant off!
Old 05-16-14, 10:42 PM
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Figured I should probably finish what I was thinking when I loaded the page at 7 something but got carried away. (Running a concert 5-10)

It seems to me that more and more threads on here (In the electrical forum anyway) are either responded to before I can get a hold of them, or I just have no interest in reading. I remember after I first joined I used to comment on almost every post but now it seems I only comment or 1 or 2 a day if that.

The DIY shows on anymore are pretty much crap, I like stuff like HOH, TOH, Woodworks, etc. These new shows seem to me as just drama and nothing useful to be learned. As a kid I always watched HGTV, DIY, Discovery, Science Channel, and stuff along those lines but now all there seems to be is garbage. I don't get much time to watch TV anymore anyway but when I do there's nothing good on.

As for the younger generation, I seem like I am in the wrong generation. I like to buy everything to last me forever and I'd rather do without it than have something that's going to frustrate me more because it's junk. I know when I get my own place I'm going to get one with either an original kitchen that's older and the stuff is easily serviced or I'll get commercial cooking stuff as that stuff is indestructible. Even the Chinese knockoff commercial stuff like my deep fryer is well built compared to the crap sold in retail stores.

But that's just me, I still have a long way to go. I'm probably the youngest one here.
Old 05-17-14, 12:59 AM
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Ray, you are probably remembering The Woodwright's Shop with Roy Underhill. Home | Woodwrights Shop | PBS It is still being broadcast and I will occasionally watch it. I never got the idea that Mr. Underhill was trying to state the old tools and techniques were better than today but just showing how it was done in the old days.

Beach, my sentiments exactly. Back when I watched HGTV I sat on the edge of the couch just waiting for the phrase, "'s outdated!" I rarely had to wait for more than a few minutes. I can't believe how people will toss perfectly functioning appliances just to have the latest and greatest. Why they are so gung-ho to tear up a perfectly functional kitchen just to have stone counter tops I will never understand. When I bought my home some fourteen years ago I didn't much care for the ceramic tile counters in the kitchen. Guess what? I STILL have those tile counter tops and I still don't like them but even when I was working and pulling down a six figure salary I felt that I had better things to spend my money on than ripping out functional counter tops just because I preferred something else. Now in my retirement a new kitchen is only a dream. BTW the range I suspect is original to the house (1987) and still going strong. Some day I will have to see if I can get the instructions off the 'net to engage the self-cleaning oven.

When I bought the place, the previous owners wanted to keep their refrigerator so I bought a new refrigerator. I DID splurge and get one with an icemaker and I won't have a refrigerator that doesn't have glass shelves but other than that it was a fairly plain, relatively small, top-freezer model. Two months ago it up and died and so I had to get a new one. This time I splurged and got a French door model that also had a "refrigerated" water (no ice) dispenser in the door. I got it for a good price, about three hundred dollars lower than the big box mega-mart homecenter, but I am sorely disappointed in the water dispenser as the water it dispenses is only barely cooler than the tap water so I still have to keep a pitcher inside. BUT, it IS stainless steel (the white one was actually $130 more than the SS) and being French door it is trendy. BTW, I'm not married either. Could you tell?

Justin, you ARE "the younger generation" but like me you are also a throwback to an earlier time. You believe in the things that are REALLY important. Don't let anyone tell you differently. You are correct that almost anything on television today is for entertainment purposes only. Sadly that even applies to many of the programs on PBS as well. Holmes on Homes was only shown in my area on HGTV and Mike Holmes is definitely a person that enjoys being on camera. He does understand the correct methods but he often goes far overboard on his least he did so when I was able to see his show. He spent money like it was free, which it likely was as it was paid for by the program sponsors and other suppliers trying to get their names before the general public.

Same thing with This Old House only more so. Okay, I already made a rant about TOH. The so-called "science" channel, Discovery, is PURELY entertainment and with almost no redeeming value whatsoever these days. Even Mythbusters is more often just an excuse to blow something up. History channel is another joke but so many people have such a limited understanding of ANY history that they gobble it up. I'm really surprised that FOX is broadcasting the new Cosmos series AND that it is staying true to the original series. Even on PBS there are only a handful of programs that are actually educational with the rest being pure entertainment.

Okay, I need to move on.
Old 05-17-14, 03:57 AM
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I used to enjoy watching the 'woodwright shop' but now that I'm retired I don't seem to have the time

While we can fantasy about living in days gone by - I would not want to give up my power tools! My grandfather was a carpenter and never owned any power tools The only power tool he ever used was a commercial table saw with no safety features .... and he had the missing digits to prove it

I suppose you could call me dated but it bugs me when they tear out kitchens that I think look nice just so they can install trendy cabinets and tops that cost more than my first home.
Old 05-17-14, 06:36 AM
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Can't remember the show but there was the guy who used only old hand tools to do the work.
Ray, if it's not 'woodright shop' you are thinking of there was a show called "Alone in the wilderness" or something like that. It was the story of Dick Proenneke. The guy lived for like 30 years in the mountains of Alaska building his own.... everything I guess with no power tools of any sort. Used to be on PBS. I just watched the whole thing again a while back. It's one of those shows you watch on a Sunday morning while loafing on the couch. Absolutely loved it.
Old 05-17-14, 06:53 AM
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The woodwright shop featured tools that weren't electrical powered. He does have a drill press that is powered similar to a bicycle and a treadle [?] lathe which is foot powered.

I haven't seen the show about Dick Proenneke but it sounds like something I'd like to watch.
Old 05-17-14, 07:03 AM
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I think you'd really like it Mark. Dick built a log cabin entirely by himself with wood he gathered himself by canoe, etc. He filmed it documentary style (by himself of course) in the 60's and did the voiceover afterwards. If you google him, there's some good reading.
Old 05-17-14, 01:43 PM
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I have to say that the whole idea of a "starter house" is foreign to me. I bought the house I live in with my wife and have no intention on ever moving from it.
Old 05-17-14, 09:19 PM
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Droo, it was only about ten years ago the average person (whatever average is) moved every seven years or so. You are definitely not average. Now back in my parent's era it was less common to move after buying a house, my parents only lived in one house that they owned and previous to that they lived with my aunt for a few months.

I lived in my first house, an 850 square foot, two bedroom, single bath for about 22 years and then I moved to my present house. Even after my divorce that 850 square feet was just too small. My present house is about 1540 square feet, two bathrooms and in a much nicer neighborhood than the first. I do plan on living here until I die.

In my opinion the "starter" home is the one you move to when you are sick and tired of apartment living and want to have you r own place and all the positives that go with it. Once you gain some equity you then look for something a little nicer or a little bigger or in a nicer neighborhood or a bigger yard or whatever it is that is lacking in the home now owned. You can usually take more time in searching out a "better fit" in that second home because you already have a place to live.
Old 05-18-14, 03:15 AM
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starter home

A lot depends on what and where you want to live. My 1st home was an old ragged travel trailer. I put it in a trailer park, fixed it up and lived in it for 3 yrs before selling it for a profit. When I got married the 1st time I bought a MH in the country but on a small lot. I knew going in it wasn't what I really wanted but I could afford it I bought my current place in 1991 and have no intentions of ever moving again. If I could have bought 16 acres to start with I might not have ever moved but you have to start somewhere and it took awhile to get here.

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