Originally Posted by uncle_bob
Consider that any refurb / rework of anything is not an analytic process. You never have all the data to put into the spreadsheet. Since each home / truck / trailer has it's own history, prediction only goes so far. Even with a pro doing all the work that is the case. If you will be doing it yourself, the number of variables increase quite a bit.
A few things to consider on the do it yourself side:
Do you have the space? The trailer will be stationary for a long time. Stuff will be coming in and out of it. Doing it indoors lets you work 12 months a year. Doing it outside in PA has some practical limits
Stuff going into and coming out of the trailer needs to get stored somewhere as well.
Do you have the tools? There are a lot of different subsystems in a trailer. Each one has it's own tools / parts / skills. Metalwork is different than woodwork. Plumbing is different than HVAC. Electrical has it's own set of gizmos. Learning by doing is fine. It also is expensive and slow.
Do you have the time? If you are working full time, there's only so many hours in the day. Picking up a job and putting it down is not a fast way to get things done. It isn't just your time. The whole family schedule gets impacted.
You may take that as "don't do it yourself". Far from it. There are a *lot* of things you will be better able to work out doing it yourself. You will have abundant knowledge of how everything was done and how to fix it. Having somebody else do it, simply puts you one step away. You *still* should get very involved (yes the guy may hate you in the end ..). You still need to be making some of the decisions as things move along. Doing that is expensive as well.
As I said at the start, this not entirely trailer specific. Gutting out the kitchen and putting in a brand new setup has many of the same issues. Yes, the starting point is one you already own. The guy doing it is one of dozens who will come in and quote the work, or you do it all yourself.
I have the space and the tools. I donít have a riveter and my drill is about shot, but otherwise, my collection of tools is something Iím kind of proud of. I spend money on tools instead of shoes and jewelry.
Time and money, on the other hand, are the reason for the spreadsheet and my original post. I do work full time and have a family, but Iím also a busy-body. If not this project, then there will be something else. But this is the dream, so nothing else makes sense. I grew up building and fixing things with my dad and two brothers. I completely gutted and restored a 110 year-old-house over five years (two through our PA winters with no heat) and now Iím 3/4 of the way through our current 50-year-old house. Iíve done both almost entirely by myself. My husband is the muscle; I am the brains.
The question for me isnít if I CAN do it; itís whether I WANT to do it. I have a two-year deadline (Memorial Day weekend 2019), so I am trying to determine if I will have the time and the money do complete the restore in that timeframe. I donít want it to take five years and $50,000. If itís two years and $25,000, then that's doable. Right now in my spreadsheet, Iím pricing out everything as though I would have to replace it all from axles to AC, from windows and doors to all appliances, etc. Iím somewhere in the $40,000 range, but I know I can mitigate that cost by choosing wisely. It's unlikely I will have to replace everything
And I would argue the processóany processóis almost entirely analytical. You break down the process into phases, the phases into tasks. You complete enough tasks, and before you know it, a phase is complete; you complete enough phases and the process is complete.