Hi all, glad to have found this group. I'm getting close to retiring and have lots of renovating to do on my old farmhouse and couple of acres. Everywhere I look there is stuff that needs doing, so part of what I am hoping for here is some guidance in working out where to start. Some jobs have dependencies - can't put up the solar panels till I've fixed the roof, can't fix the roof till I've fixed the insulation, and maybe can't fix the insulation till I've got rid of whoever is living up there and stopped up all the places they might be getting in. I don't even know who to ask! Insulation specialists? Roofing specialists? Plumbers? Pest controllers? It's a bit overwhelming in some ways, but mainly exciting. As long as I don't make expensive mistakes I'll be fine. I'm looking forward to learning some of the basic skills that will make doing jobs a lot easier. For example:
Yep, I'm a newbie alright. But dead keen. I just replaced a window pane, which was exciting, even though a very small job. I know I've got the bug.
I reckon you've come to the right place. We have loads of community members who generously share their time, experience and knowledge with others. I would recommend you hit the big red Start a discussion button and ask one question at a time with a nice descriptive title, making it easy for community members to see your question and respond.
Here's a couple of previous discussions that you might find useful:
Many thanks for introducing yourself and a very warm welcome to the Workshop community. It's terrific to have you join us. I'm sure you will be right at home in no time.
Hi Mex, welcome to the community.
You might be a newbie as you call yourself but if you fixed the window pane on your home and succeeded that's a great achievement!!
I am also a newbie but have an experienced hubby to help, so my first suggestion is to get yourself to your local store and join in on all the workshop activities, as there is a huge selection of things that get covered and I hazzard a guess, you'll meet someone like minded that lives close and he/she may become a helpful buddy.
As for your questions:
Yes you can trust your tape but buy a good quality one, a 10mtr tape and look after it by never leaving it outside or getting it wet and not drying it and don't use it for anything other than what it is intended AND never use two different taps for measurements, just stick with the one and buy yourself a builders bag that you can keep the tape, pencil ect... handy.
Depending on just how accurate your cut has to be, usually you cut the pencil line, afterall, that is where you made your mark, you will quickly learn how to do that over and over again!!
If you take yourself to your local store as I mentioned earlier, you will quickly learn what pine and hardwood looks and feels like and where each timber is best suited, ie: indoor for pine and hardwood can go indoors and outdoors.
One easy way at home, is to try to cut or nail a piece of wood and pine will always cut and nail easily over hardwood and pine also has those tell tale knots and yellowish colour, whilst hardwood is a straight timber and doesn't have knots usually, splits more likely if it's old and outside and pine is much lighter than hardwood of equal length, again you will learn quickly which is which.
As for what to start first with first in your "to do list" I say your insulation!!
First thing is you have to find where your unwelcome friends are getting in and address that, unfortunately in an old farmhouse with probably no rodent mesh between your wall space and flooring etc...you might find this job the most challenging and you might have to use baits forever and check regularly for visitations and after you think you have blocked all entries, then see what you still have coming in if anything and try to nibble down the entry points, they are usually quite large and obvious if you have rats more than mice!!
As for your question about can I trust a tape measure the answer is to go and buy a Engineers rule 300mm long from say total tools and chech it corrosponds with the tape measure once that's confirmed you shoud be fine, if you need to do long cuts and need a straight line a Chalk String line will do the trick, for straight cuts I've found the Multi Tools work so much better than a Jig saw or even a Circular Saw as you can change the cutters/blades to suit what you need to do, hope this helps.
Golden rule measure twice cut once, I measure three times because I'm Dislexic,so far so good,
Dont forget to wear PPE , and keep your fingers away from sharp things after you cut anything count your fingers, no Blood no problem.
Meant to mention when it comes to rusty tools use wet and dry emery paper and oil to clean them, and some WD 40 won't go astray on them when you not using them, it will stop them from rusting, after 46 years in fixing machinery and things in Industry I have gained a lot of knoweledge which I'm more than happy to share.
Many thanks for joining in the discussion. I'm sure @Mex appreciates the time you have taken to provide a warm welcome and answer some of his questions so thoroughly. Great job!
One little tip: if you hit the @ key and then start typing a Workshop member's username like I have done above, the member will be alerted to your post via email notification. It ensures they don't miss your reply. It's particularly handy in long threads like this!
I didn't realize about that even though I have done it in the past but probably more by accident, I slacked off ha-ha.....but thanks for the words of encouragement.
No worries at all Barbara (@Baretta11). And congratulations on your special new badge. It was much deserved!
My name is Sarah-Jane, I have just bought a gorgeous 1957 house and I am looking forward to putting my own spin on it. I am the second owner of the house and its such a cutie.
Looking forward to showing my projects and hopefully get some ideas and assistance along the way.
Welcome to Workshop Sarah-Jane (@sj4)
Congratulations on your house purchase. This must be such an exciting time for you! Perhaps you could hit the big red Start a discussion button and share some photos of your house and some more detail on what you have planned for it. I'm sure community members would be keen to provide some tips along the way.
Thanks for joining us and for introducing yourself. I'm looking forward to reading more about your projects and plans. Please let me know if you ever need a hand getting the most from the site.