Recent comments

Re: 3D Printed Faucets from DXV by American Standard

THANK GOD! I was just complaining to the wife the other day how hard it was to find a $12,000 faucet.

Re: Converting an Incandescent Ceiling Can to an LED



Looks like a simple stamped piece to me but what do i know.

Re: How to Install a New Toilet

This won't work with a new toilet but if you are reinstalling a toilet, you can use some of the old wax ring to hold your flange bolts upright. I also concur with the inspection of the toilet but it isn't always foolproof. I had a toilet that showed no visible signs of a crack but it leaked and continued to do so after several removals and reinstalls. In the end, it was an incomplete glazing that was weeping water out of the trap and could only be found by putting food coloring in the bowl and then not using the toilet for a couple of days. You could see the color stain where the water was weeping through the unglazed trap.

Re: Patrick's Barn: That's definitely not OSHA approved

Not a bad solution but I think I just would have thrown a couple of more 2x10's across the two stem walls and laid down a piece of playwood. Then you call the wifey and tell her to hold the drywall with her head. Your way avoided a potential argument but mine would have been quicker and allowed for makeup se.................

Re: Soundproofing: Lessons from a Custom-Built Sound Studio

Blown in Cellulose or Spray Foam would have better than fiberglass bats.

Re: What's Better: Crawlspace or Slab-on-Grade?

"a slab can contain a radiant-floor heat distribution system that will keep Non_Trad's hoes warm in winter"

Getting a little personal aren't we?

Re: UPDATE: DVD GIVEAWAY: 2011 Fine Homebuilding Archive DVD-ROM

Would love to have a searchable version!

Re: Business Basics: Licensing and Insurance

I would think contractors would also want Errors and Ommissions coverage.

Re: Stealth Door With Heavy-Duty Hidden Hinges

$300 bucks just for hinges to hide a coat closet???????? Time you throw in the extra labor we are talking a grand at least to hide your coats. And within six months, your door will give itself away by the grimey hand prints at the push point.

Nice work but it seems ample proof that some people have more money than sense.

Re: Inswing or Outswing Doors?

Try opening an outswing door carrying a bag of groceries and a baby. Outswings are great if your hands are empty...not so much if you are carrying things into the house.

Of course the counter argument is that inswing doors are a pain when you are carrying thing OUT of the house but the difference is you have a climate controlled, clean and dry place to set things down to open the in swing door.

BTW, there are screen applications you could employ on an outswing door. Roll screens are what I am thinking about in particular but there is no reason beyond asthetics that you couldn't mount even a regular screen door inboard of an outswing door.

Re: Are There Hidden Dangers with PEX Plumbing?

The bigger risk I see with PEX is the massive amount of lines being run by plumbers who have in the past shown little regard for what they do to the structure they drill holes through.

Re: How to Convince Customers Not to Go the DIY Route?

As I said in the original thread, everybody there was taking an either or approach. Sell the guy the whole job...which he didn't want or settle for the shell only. Neither one of those options works to the benefit of both parties.

The way both win is to do it the way my GC and I did. Set down and talk about what he can do and what you think you can do better. I finished my own trim. They installed it. The electrician ran all the wiring and put in the panel but I did the finish instalations. Hanging lights and putting in outlets ain't rocket science. The job site needs to be cleaned up so suggest he be responsible for that everyday. Suggest he paint but use your sprayer. Suggest he frame basement walls which he can do while you are working on the shell. Make him responsible for insulating and drywalling the garage.

There is A LOT of work on a house build that a reasonably good DIYer can do. Find those areas that he can do and show him what it will save him while still getting the majority of the job and completing it in a reasonable time frame. Shoot, you can order the trim the day you start framing and tell him to get started finishing it again offer your sprayer. There is a ton of time involved in that job and its far from difficult plus you'll have the trim ready to install when the drywall is done instead of days later after your guys get finished with it.

As GC you will still be in control of the materials and the budget allowances and you need to check your attitude at the door and look over his work just like you would your own.

Too many people focus only on either or solutions when there is a middle road that can work out just as well and make everybody happy.

Re: A Sliding Dump Bed Makes Unloading Gravel Fast and Easy

You might be a redneck if .............

Good Idea though

Re: Heat Pump, Schmeat Pump

But the point the author is making is that the consumer should sacrifice their own hard earn dollars to pay for 90% efficiency when they can get greater economic value out of a geothermal heat pump. In short, in terms of dollars out of pocket, a geothermal is cheaper to use for the consumer than a 90% natural gas unit

The author assumes everyone is (or wants to force everyone to be) a green weenie. Why is it the consumers fault (or even their concern) that the electric distribution system is inefficient? Additionally, the author never takes into account ANY amount of inefficiency or environmental impact in the exploration, drilling, production and distribution of Natural gas. To read this article, one would have to assume that 90% equals 90% and the natural gas system in the US is 100% efficient. Furthermore, while he goes into explanation of how the geothermal system will become less efficient over time, he never concedes that a gas appliance will do the same. In the end, he compares an adjusted geothermal system to a perfect world gas furnace.

and here I thought the only ones that were perfect were Mary, Jesus and my wife.

Additionally, the author never once accounts for the use of geothermal in the summer to produce air conditioning which his 90% efficient furnace can't do AND the geothermal can be set up to provide you hot water during the summer using the heat extracted from the house to heat your water thus boosting efficiency greatly especially over an electric water heater. People who own geothermal systems actually can pay lower utility bills in the summer by RUNNING their air conditioner.

Re: Tablesaw Safety, Liability, and Common Sense on the Jobsite

Is this case bad or good? I won't judge that but what iI will say that the US needs needs a user pays law. If you file a lawsuit and you lose you paythe legal expenses of the defendent. This would go a LONG LONG way to stopping crazy lawsuits.

I'm sure our lawyer friend knows (and perhaps has actively participated in) of suits whos only intent is to secure a settlement because defense of the suit will cost more than the settlement.

If you make the loser pay defense costs, more of these will go to trial instead of being settled and the plaintiffs will be held liable for costs. Eventually, this will result in fewer suits with the truly worthy proceeding to court.

My even more severe suggestion is for a law requiring loser pay double; half from the plaintiff and half from the plaintiffs lawyer. Implement my system and worthless suits will screech to a halt almost overnight. Plaintiffs lawyers will quickly split the wheat from the chaff to keep from exposing themselves to liability.

Re: Lunch Pail Podcast #1: What's the Difference Between a Trim Carpenter and a Fine Woodworker?

A TRIM carpenter is one who doesn't weigh very much but a FINE woodworker is one that looks like me.

Re: Share your tax tips for contractors

Clothes need to be specific to your trade or business to be deductible. Jeans are not deductible unless you can show you buy some sort of the special extra tuff jeans seen in these threads. Steel toe boots obviously but also special roofers shoes. Carharts would probably fly. Mechanics gloves. Saftey sunglasses definitely.

If you are going to donate money anyway, why not do it as a business expense and reduce your Self employment tax. If you are going to give a $1000 to your church, why not do so in exchange for putting your business name on the bulletin?

Re: Share your tax tips for contractors

BTW, now that have beaten up on you to document everything, I am going to tell you just the opposite. If you know of a legit expense that you can't find a receipt for, take it. If you put on new tires bought a new table saw whatever it might be. Don't let you tax man tell you can't expense it without a receipt. Its just that if you do get audited, it will be up to the IRS agent to find that undocumented expense and be concerned enough about it to raise it as an issue. At that point it will become your issue to find some way to prove your expense. Many tools probably have a date of mfg. If it coincides with your year of expense. Pictures of that along with current price quotes may be enough to prove it. You may have to go back to a credit card company or a check to also provide proof. Many autoplaces record your date of purchase under your phone number for future warranty claims. There are ways to prove it SHOULD you get audited so don't throw out a legit expense just because you don't have a receipt. So long as it was legit and reasonable, the worst that could happen is they disallow it and you have to pay tax on just that expense plus some possible interest. They would likely wave a penalty unless they think you are lying about it.

Re: Share your tax tips for contractors

Too late now but log your miles. We all know you use your truck soley, 100%, honest injun, for business purposes. Wink Wink Nudge Nudge Say no more.

But if you ever have your wife run errands
Post office
Office Supply Stores
Lowes or Homer Depot

Any running she does for you or any running you do in her vehicle (or any other that you own) is deductible. Lets say you regularly take you wife on a shopping trip 2 hours away (lots of guys around here take their wife to St. louis for example). If you pick up business related things, tile, tools, office equipment, what ever, the whole trip mileage is business use of that vehicle. If home depot is 20 miles away and you go there and then go grocery shopping out to dinner and then a movie, its all still business mileage. get a log book in every vehicle.

For those of you claiming 100% business use of your vehicle, you better be able to prove you never use it for your own personal use. If the IRS comes snooping around and asks your neighbors if you have ever hauled anything for them or if they have ever seen you hauling furniture or you kids bikes, they will nail you. Just throw a log book in and document some level of personal use and you will audit proof yourself. 5%, 10% something. The IRS isn't stupid. They know families have to have two vehicles for personal use these days.

Don't think you are smart by giving your employees a 1099 instead of a W2. If you control what they do, how they do it, when they do it, where they do it and provide them many of the tools to do it, they are your employees and you need to withhold taxes including FICA and file your reports like everyone else. You get cuaght and they will hose you if not go after you for a little gray bar motel time. On top of that, you are hosing your employees becuase they have to pay both halves of the FICA tax. IT IS ILLEGAL. Period.

If you have a workshop at your house that you use for business and the utilities are common between the home and the shop, you can use a reasonable method to allocate some of your monthly utilities as business expense. If you are going to claim office in a home, better make sure its a defined space dedicated to just that. It can't double as your man cave and/or the kids play room or your mother in laws guest room. Get audited on it and they will bust you.

Most of all keep good records of every nickel you spend on the business. Take the time to separate out your Home Depot stuff on Sunday between your business and your personal. make them ring two different orders. Take your guys out to lunch for a reward? Talk business at the table, document it and take it as a expense. By doughnuts and coffee? Document the reason why. (Not that you were hungry) (reward for safe completion of frame) The trick is to document as many of the things you are spending money on anyway as being business expenses. So long as you have legitimate documentation such as above, its a business expense. Even a twelve pack on friday afternoon can be a business expense if you are talking business when drinking it...planning the next week, reviewing punchlists, reward. You just have to get anal about saving receipts and documenting right away the business reason you spent that money.