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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys

As some of you know I'm currently putting together a DIY site called www.diychatroom.com

In my view there are three major flaws with most contractor boards.
First, most of them are designed poorly.
Second, they become infested by people who cause trouble and have nothing good to say.
Last, they become a place for homeowners to ask contractors questions instead of a place for contractors to share business and trade knowledge.

www.diychatroom.com is an attempt to solve that last problem. Any homeowners who have questions about any given topic can do so on this site.

I need your help!

I'm trying to put together a few DIY Guides to home improvement. They will be a resource the site will offer.


These guides need to provide basic steps for homeowners to complete home improvement tasks.
Example:
How to hang wallpaper
How to Install laminate flooring
How to build a deck
etc...

These guides are not for advertising any certain product over another or for telling a homeowner they should hire a contractor to do this task instead of doing it themselves.

If you choose to write a guide it will be read for quality and used only if it’s clear and accurate. (Some editing may be done as well)

I'm not paying anyone for these but if you do decide to write one you may ad a short paragraph to the end of the guide telling people who you are, where you are located, your company name, as well as a website or phone number where they can reach you.

I'm not sure if anyone will be interested in this or not but if you are let me know.

Thanks!
Nathan
 

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That sounds like a great idea Nathan and I am sure it will take off. I would be very interested in contributing to this and will put some thought into it in the coming days. I would also like to like it to my website so my customes can participate as well. Will you be posting a list of topics you would like to approach ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mark said:
That sounds like a great idea Nathan and I am sure it will take off. I would be very interested in contributing to this and will put some thought into it in the coming days. I would also like to like it to my website so my customes can participate as well. Will you be posting a list of topics you would like to approach ?
I’m trying to figure out topics right now. There are a few sights out there that cover every topic under the sun. You can talk about finances, pets, crafts, etc… I was thinking of going that route but I think I’m just going make it a DIY Home Improvement site. Maybe Auto repair too, not sure yet.


And I would love you to link to any site I create. I think it give you more credibility as a contractor, supplier, or whatever if customers can see that your ideas are published. That’s the idea behind having a paragraph at the end of the guide for credit!

I look forward to hearing what you would like to contribute. Contact me at: [email protected] if you have questions on specific topics… I don’t want two people doing the same thing; I know your time is valuable.

Thanks!
Nathan
 

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nwingate said:
I’m trying to figure out topics right now. There are a few sights out there that cover every topic under the sun. You can talk about finances, pets, crafts, etc… I was thinking of going that route but I think I’m just going make it a DIY Home Improvement site. Maybe Auto repair too, not sure yet.


And I would love you to link to any site I create. I think it give you more credibility as a contractor, supplier, or whatever if customers can see that your ideas are published. That’s the idea behind having a paragraph at the end of the guide for credit!

I look forward to hearing what you would like to contribute. Contact me at: [email protected] if you have questions on specific topics… I don’t want two people doing the same thing; I know your time is valuable.

Thanks!
Nathan
From a roofing perspective, some topics that I've been looking at writing for our own web site include:
  1. How to measure a roof
  2. How to check a roof for wear
  3. Typical problem areas and how to fix them
  4. Ice Damming - causes and solutions
  5. Roofing and ventilation - the often missing link.
  6. Role of flashings in keeping a roof weather-tight
  7. What type of repair work can by done by homeowners
  8. Questions to ask when selecting a roofing contractor
  9. Where and when do you need Ice & Water shield membrane?
  10. What is the role of slope on roof performance
  11. What an attic inspection can reveal about your roof
I don't know if you want to link to these, or do something else. Comments?
 

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I have a bunch I wrote for our company web site and some just to practice answering questions.

I'll mail them to you in a word format in the coming days.

Some are repeats from Pgriz, some are fresh and new, most are about roofing. I've some general ones as well as some about windows and siding etc...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
pgriz said:
I don't know if you want to link to these, or do something else. Comments?
I wont be linking to guides but publishing them on the diychatroom.com site.

All those topics sound great, just keep in mind that the purpose of these guides are not meant for advertising but for information; although you can provide a link at the bottom.

-Nathan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Grumpy said:
I have a bunch I wrote for our company web site and some just to practice answering questions.

I'll mail them to you in a word format in the coming days.

Some are repeats from Pgriz, some are fresh and new, most are about roofing. I've some general ones as well as some about windows and siding etc...
Sounds great Grumpy, I really appreciate it!:D

-Nathan
 

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My site already contains some DIY articles.. but I could provide others that are not on my site if that would work. After you get a list together I'll see if I can coherently write an article on a couple of them.. haha.
 

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Sounds interesting. Get ready for some really bizarre questions from people trying to do things way outa their league.

I wouldn't try to write a piece on 'How to hang wallpaper', there are just way too many variables to consider, such as over 100 different types of paper just to start. But I do have a good step-by-step instruction piece for 'removing wallpaper' and 'why prime' that I could send you if you want. Let me know where to and what format.

Forgot to add I have a good piece on 'what type of paper to use where'.
 

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I feel the same way about laminate flooring installation. You really need to follow the manufacturers recommendations because of the variables. maybe I could get some basic carpet installation info, and a basic Tile installation. I just get nervous because as soon as you tell someone how to install something generically, they start running into problems, and want to raise a fuss with you.
there will definately need to be some fine print (disclaimer).
"please refer to manufacturers recommendations before starting your project"
 

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I have an idea for the DIY site.
I would like to see a thread that deals with "how to buy a floor"

I see sooooo many posts dealing with the same issue, customers who dont know if laminate or wood is the best for them, or not sure if vinyl would work out better than linoleum and so on and so forth. Sometimes (especially with laminate) I could just save replys in my notebook and copy them to the thread. Making a seperate thread dealing with how to buy flooring, what to look for, what the advantages and disadvantages to a particular floor are, would be real nice. so these people may be able to get answers to questions before they ask.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, sorry for the long delay! I spent the weekend sick as a dog!

I understand what you’re saying about not wanting to write a guide to something like flooring because there are so many different types, but there has to be some overlap.
I guess what I'm looking for is general info on a subject.
You guys are pros and I know there are a hundred different ways to hang wallpaper but for most homeowners they just need the basics.

I think a basic "how to" guide on a subject with a quick disclaimer telling people that other products exists that may require a different installation will do.

-Nathan
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I still haven't received an email from anyone about what they would like to contribute.
If anyone is still interested in writing a DIY Guide please email me at [email protected]

Thanks!
Nathan
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm looking for about a page to a page and a half, but it really depends on the topic.
Were not writing a book here, just some basic How To's.

Almost any format will work... I'll put it into HTML later. So, .DOC .TXT. RTF .HTML ... anything.
 

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nwingate said:
I still haven't received an email from anyone about what they would like to contribute.
Hey Nathan,
Some of us actually have to work for a living! ;) I usually leave all such non-revenue producing activities to the slow season when the phone's not ringing off the hook and the shipping dock is not backed up three deep. So sometime between Dec. 15 and Feb 28 there will be a pile of stuff written. Most of it will end up on my own web site (after all, it's a major source of leads for us), but we can probably contribute simplified guides on each topic to you as well.
 

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Another thought... (wow, two in a row, must be a good day). How about a guide telling people when they should NOT DIY. For example, a 4:12 roof with no dormers or valleys can be considered a DIY roofing project, but a three-story Victorian-style mansion with 12:12 slopes, turrets and a zillion details should probably be left to professionals. Or using an automotive example, many know how to change the oil on their car, but almost no-one should think about changing the piston rings themselves. Now I know it's not a black or white thing, as skill levels vary, but surely there are areas where we can say that in THIS area, most people can do it themselves, but in THAT area, hire a professional. Comments?
 

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pgriz said:
Another thought... (wow, two in a row, must be a good day). How about a guide telling people when they should NOT DIY. For example, a 4:12 roof with no dormers or valleys can be considered a DIY roofing project, but a three-story Victorian-style mansion with 12:12 slopes, turrets and a zillion details should probably be left to professionals. Or using an automotive example, many know how to change the oil on their car, but almost no-one should think about changing the piston rings themselves. Now I know it's not a black or white thing, as skill levels vary, but surely there are areas where we can say that in THIS area, most people can do it themselves, but in THAT area, hire a professional. Comments?
I changed piston rings and rebuilt engines in high school. :)

But your right not every project is a DYI project.
 
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