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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579
    I am posting this in the general discussion area so homeowners can read and participate as well as the rest of us in the business.

    Let's not turn this into a flame war, let's be civil and have a reasonable discussion on this. So, here is the question.


    Most of us perform all sorts of work on our own homes and cars that could be hired out to professionals. Many of you change your own oil, repair you own automobile, some even rebuild cars as a hobby. Some do your own electrical wiring and plumbing and even build your own house or remodel your kitchen or bath. Some like myself, have electronics as a hobby and design and build circuits. Some homeowners have all sorts of mechanical and electrical skills and are pretty handy at performing all kinds of things that could be left to the professionals.

    So, with that in mind to what degree do you think a real handy, mechanically and electrically skilled homeowner can perform work on their own heating and cooling for their home? Sure, you want to protect your HVAC careers but the fact is there are equivalent things that you do for yourselves that could be left to the professionals. We all do this to some extent. To what extent can the homeowner perform their own work?

    Topic is open for discussion. Be civil now!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Hell Hole Swamp
    Posts
    4,180
    I think its great when people can do things for themselves, I do many things for myself but Im not going to professionals asking them to help me do it or tell me how either, thats the problem with DIYers on this site, they dont have the skills or knowledge to do the job so they come here and ask us to tell them for free, if they have the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job then I dont have a problem with anyone doing their own hvac work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,841
    They can do it all but if their house burns down then I told you so.
    I take my taxs to a tax service if the are wrong then they take care of it.If I done it & it was wrong then it would have to take care of it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,344
    Absolutely right, Norm. We climb down the throats of any DIY who asks a question. So we all call pros for everything we need done on our cars or homes? I think not.

    By human nature, we'd like to save a buck if we can do it ourselves. We can get questions answered online for home repairs, car repairs, etc. We can buy any part we want for our cars even though a faulty DIY brake repair can kill many just like a faulty furnace repair can.

    Some people don't know when they are over their heads, many do. I try to help with simple stuff like stat wiring or simple troubleshooting just like I like to be helped on other forums, car repairs or computer troubleshooting. I won't expect a pro there to spend a lot of time with me nor will I go overboard in helping a DIY with a complex HVAC repair.

    I think it would be nice on here if when a homeowner asks something you don't want to answer, don't. But don't get all over them about reading the rules, leave that to the moderators to decide if they want to stop the thread. Our industry has enough bad press with the bad apples we have working in it, we don't want homeowners leaving here with a bad impression of us.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    475
    Originally posted by swampfox
    I think its great when people can do things for themselves, I do many things for myself but Im not going to professionals asking them to help me do it or tell me how either, thats the problem with DIYers on this site, they dont have the skills or knowledge to do the job so they come here and ask us to tell them for free, if they have the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job then I dont have a problem with anyone doing their own hvac work.
    Couldn't have said it better myself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    4,622
    On heat..No gas or piping(including ignition, valves, safeties and electronics), No vent change or modifications unless they have access to a recent code book, know how to read it and are willing to abide by it. I have to go by code. So should everyone. Your neighbours homes might depend on it.
    On air.. No sealed system work. It can be dangerous as we all know. Who here hasn't had a freeze burn?. Besides IF you can get refrigerant AND a set of gauges, how does a DIY know how much to put it?
    Where I live, it's illegal to weld at home but not braze or solder. Most DIYs wouldn't know the difference between welding and brazing anyway.
    Everything else, fans, dirty coils, body panels and even pipe insulation is theirs to play with. As far as electrics are concerned do whatever is comfortable. I do. There's alot or resi guys out there in the trades who shouldn't be anywhere near 3 phase anyway.
    Is this a Fabreze moment? C.Y.D. I'm voting white elephant. 2’.
    My competition are my best salespeople!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579
    Originally posted by BaldLoonie
    Absolutely right, Norm. We climb down the throats of any DIY who asks a question. So we all call pros for everything we need done on our cars or homes? I think not.

    By human nature, we'd like to save a buck if we can do it ourselves. We can get questions answered online for home repairs, car repairs, etc. We can buy any part we want for our cars even though a faulty DIY brake repair can kill many just like a faulty furnace repair can.

    Some people don't know when they are over their heads, many do. I try to help with simple stuff like stat wiring or simple troubleshooting just like I like to be helped on other forums, car repairs or computer troubleshooting. I won't expect a pro there to spend a lot of time with me nor will I go overboard in helping a DIY with a complex HVAC repair.

    I think it would be nice on here if when a homeowner asks something you don't want to answer, don't. But don't get all over them about reading the rules, leave that to the moderators to decide if they want to stop the thread. Our industry has enough bad press with the bad apples we have working in it, we don't want homeowners leaving here with a bad impression of us.
    I like your response Baldloonie. You have a well balanced and reasonable view. When I run service calls I am often asked by both homeowners and commercial customers what they can do for themselves. It is interesting when I tell them they usually end up hiring me to do it for them anyway.

    I have met some very mechanically and electrically inclined customers capable of performing all sorts of things for themselves just as I do for myself. You can't afford to hire out everything you need done. You do need to understand your limitations and restrict yourself to those things you really understand.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    1,241
    I am in favor of anyone doing absolutely everything for themselves as long as they have the knowledge and skills to do it safely.

    I grew up on a farm and we did everything on the farm. Plumbing, electric, rebuilding engines, fabricating machinery, building barns,etc. etc. The money wasn't there to hire any of it out.

    I respect someone who can do more than one thing. And understand that there are lots and lots of people who, because of thier financial situations, have no choice but to do it all themselves. It was only a few years ago that I was in that boat myself.

    I'm off to change the oil in my car now.
    Ryan
    Maintenance Guy
    -----------------
    naysayer, skeptic, conspiracy theorist

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Yo.... Here!, I'm right here..
    Posts
    6,236

    Ryan and Norm read

    We all want to save money and I myself have no problem with a home owner who want's to fix their own HVAC if they can do it correctly. BUT IT SHOULD BE INSPECTED

    I can put on a set of brakes, that vehicle has to be inspected by a State approved inspection agency, atleast once a year.
    It should be mandatory to pass inspected in order to be sold. As should homes and any building.

    Let me give a first hand example;

    Someone I know bought a few homes and being handy and industridous did the repairs, well contracted for some[obviously the cheapest price] and did the other repairs himself. Three people died in a fire at that property and this a$$hole is saying it was the tennants fault on local TV. Because the smoke detector batteries were removed.

    Remember I said I know this A$$hole, he's a lying sack of sh-------it. Probably the most egotistical SOB's I ever met

    If you buy a house and you do the Heating and your kidds die from carbon monoxide poisoning, thats on you. But what happens if you buy it, do a hack install and it doesn't get caught by a so called Home Inspector and the Unsuspecting NEW owners kids die.

    Of course there is always the poor SOB who just bought a home that was repaired by the previous owner and made a season but now the A/C doesn't work because it's 90+ degrees and it was never sized or there's mold growing in the walls because the fixerupper didn't use Don's sizing program. Which is excellent by the way

    Sorry for the rant sore subject







    ok Norm you are up!

    [Edited by pjs on 03-13-2005 at 06:37 PM]

  10. #10
    This sort of question was brought up a week or so ago.
    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?threadid=70834

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    8
    From a DIY'r I consider myself a rather handy person. before tackeling any project I do some research on the topic. I get annoyed at taking shortcuts. Some coworkers of mine have a motto that I agree with. Be it our job big or small, do it right or not at all. I have taken the road less traveled because it is more sound. I don't want to do anything twice. so I will take my time and do it to the best of my ability. I can say that I do not have direct access to any code books. to make up for my lack of expertice in all fields I am fortunate in several of my friends are experienced. At work I hang out with our maintainence dept. another of the guys was a forman for a home builder for several years. they were invaluable when I redid my kitchen. I like the nicer things, but by having my buds help me out I was able to do a major kitchen remodel in three times the time a contracted professional would, but I did it at one third the price.
    If I had to pay a pro to do the work around my house I wouldn't have money to eat, or even worse I would end up like an old nighbor I had that in 25 years didn't do a single upgrade to their house that wasn't absolutely necessary. It would tough to pay professionals to do all the work, particularly when the money I would have to pay them is 1 1/2 to 2 times the money I make an hour, before taxes.
    My asking questions on sites like this to people who are generous with their knowlege are invaluable to me. I ask questions to decide wether I am capable of fixing the problem or if it is beyond my ability. sometimes the solutions are simple and other times the solutions are not.
    I try not to be an inimformed customer.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,157
    I am and always have been mechanically inclined and I have what I consider to be good common sense. I know a hazard when I see one and If I dont know , I will ask.

    I have read posts on this site and the DIY sites posted by people that range from having no experience to the people that go as far as trying to convince us that they work in this busnies. Some of the questions they ask are an accident waiting to happen

    I dont claim to be anymore than the student in this busniess , but everytime I read the DIY boards , I am amazed.

    My father always said that "a little knowlege is a dangerous thing"

  13. #13
    Originally posted by NormChris
    So, with that in mind to what degree do you think a real handy, mechanically and electrically skilled homeowner can perform work on their own heating and cooling for their home?


    I'd say anything except opening the cooling system. Unless, of course, they have the proper equipment and certification. I don't care what others do in their own home.
    Not here for a long time, just a good time

    XXXXXX

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