So How Was It In The "old" Days? - Page 4 - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

So How Was It In The "old" Days?

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Old 01-06-2019, 08:11 AM   #61
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Re: So How Was It In The "old" Days?

Originally Posted by Joasis View Post
Let me start...I am 57, will be 58 next month. I started framing in 1976 as a helper and became a member of the crew (summers) in 77.

I told my wife I may "slow down" and pick up a helper and frame specs again.....just like we used to do it.

Back in the day, we dug the footings, poured and then formed the floors, and poured and finished. We did not have concrete subs. We did it. The only sub we saw was the plumber.

Then we snapped lines, and built walls, and framed, hand cut the roofs, never had trusses.....and then we sheeted with asphalt board....plywood corners. We installed the windows, doors, did the trim, and even shingled the roofs.....there were no dedicated roofing crews and decking crews. We did gable siding, or siding details...rough ceder siding...built the porches...

While we were doing this, the electrician would show up and pull wire. Plumber would stack out. Heat and air guys would show up...

Then we batted it all and hung the rock....and I listened to the old guys talk about how "easy" us kids have it today They had to nail lathe and plaster walls....and so on....

We taped and bedded, and sanded until we had the walls texture finish back then...and then we painted.....all the while the only other contractor came along and bricked the house.

A carpenter would show up with a table saw and saw horses, and build cabinets in the garage. We hung interior doors, ran base and case...and built installed whatever the trim guy built. Point is, there were no dedicated trim guys....just an old man who built cabinets and shelves. We even installed the formica and tiled the shower surrounds and bath floors.

Finally...we would pour the driveways...sidewalks...and move on.

Never had to paint the interior of a new home. But the builder's wife did...she painted and stained the cabinets after they were in. Subs came back and trimmed out....and that was it...a typical 1500 sq/ft spec in Oklahoma...

Now, we have concrete guys, framers, deck crews, roofers, cornice guys....siding and exterior trim guys...insulators....drywall crews....tape and texture subs...paint subs....time guys....granite guys...low voltage guys....and on and on.....

And I used a 20oz framing hammer....there was one Senco gun in our crew, and it wasn't for the kids to use. It was broken more then it worked anyway. most of the old men used a 14 oz hammer and could hit a nail and set it in 2 blows better then us muscled up kids.

What the hell happened?

How many guys remember it being like I learned it?
You've got a few years on me, but it was about the same.
20 oz Vaughn hammer. Still use the same today. Not the same hammer, but I still have the first one.
Everything was hand nailed.
I remember the first Senco air nailer.
I remember the first air roofing nailer, which for some reason, came along several years after the Senco framing nailer.
We didn't do the HVAC, plumbing, or wiring.
The kitchen cabinets were pre-built and we installed them.
We didn't finish the drywall, but we painted/stained everything.
Did all of the concrete. Still do.
Hung all of the rock.

I'm kind of going the other direction. I'm ready to be the General Contractor, full time. We are the General most of the time, but we handle alot of things, ourselves. I'm ready to step back and let someone else do more hands on.
Good luck to you, if that's what you want to do.


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