Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Welcome to Dover Projects!


You may have stumbled to my blog "Dover Projects" though a web search and now are wondering, who is this guy? Is he a professional? What is "Dover Projects"? So here's the deal.

I'm a homeowner of about 6 years now. Prior, I had only lived in apartments where no home maintenance or projects where needed. When we first bought the place, I had quite a bit of trepidation about home projects and maintenance, although I was always a fan of power tools, and making stuff, like tree houses and wooden go karts as a kid.

My wife, has the natural tendency to want to improve/upgrade things around the nest/house, whereas my main goal has always been to make sure I don't let the value of the house slide because of poor maintenance and repair. Our place is a 100 year old farmhouse, and as you might imagine there are quite a few projects that fit in to either the upgrades category or the maintenance category.

Mowing... 2 little guys make some projects a little harder...


My wife's family members are all very well versed in all types of DIY projects and thus she kinda expects that I know this stuff too. They don't live nearby so I can't tap them for information. I had to step up to the plate and learn about lots of stuff that I didn't know about. I remember when we first moved in, I'd tell people that I had know idea how the systems of a house worked, no idea how the heat worked, no idea how the pluming worked, and no idea exactly what is behind our walls (I'm still not entirely sure). ha!

Well being on a budget, having a true love for accumulating tools, and enjoying the feeling of accomplishing a a job done well done, and done by myself, has taken on what I now call "Dover Projects", a place where I share my projects. Before starting this blog, and the articles here, I would take pictures of my projects just for the fun of it. I now take pictures for the fun of it, and to be able to add them to a how to article for this blog.

My messy workbench!

Here's how my projects and articles get done. With all of my projects I know very, very little about the job before I get started. Because of this, and the love of learning about projects, I tend to go overboard with my research. I'll read multiple books on the subject. I'll research the internet heavily, I'll tap neighbor's experiences and so on. Much to my wife's shagrin, this part of all of my projects takes a huge chunk of time, but I'm a detail person and I like doing things as correctly as possible.

Here's what I read. No fiction for me! ha


By the time I'm done with this extensive research and also having now actually done the project, I feel I can write about it. Here's why I write about my projects: 1. To help others with their similar projects, 2. To show off my work! and 3. To document what I did should I need to look back.

I try to make the point that I'm not an expert. Each article has red text warning that "I'm not a professional at all..." I'm often torn between sharing a project or not. If I feel the project went well and I can add my input and share my experience for others in a thorough way I'll write it up for here. Many projects I've done have not made the it to the pages of Dover Projects because I didn't feel that I learned enough to write about something, or the project was less than successful.

I've found that no matter how many times I say, "I'm not an expert", people tend to think because they see this information in writing, that I must be an expert... I can tell this based on the questions I receive, many of which I'm not qualified to answer, so I don't, and instead I try to guide people to other resources for the correct answers.

This is my wife. We work as a team when we can, but 2 little guys makes that increasingly difficult for us to work on projects together. She has threatened to write an article here about how I never really finish any of my projects all the way, and I never clean up my tools and mess! These points are both very valid and I've offered to give her an article here, to tell the world about my flaws, but thus far she hasn't taken me up on it! She would also say I'm too bossy... perhaps this is true as well.... :)


Okay, so there you have it. That's how my projects get done, and how they end up here on my blog.

In addition to this blog, I'm also (recently) very interested in social media. This in itself is a project, but not one I write about here, as Dover Projects is about home improvement projects, and not social media.

For my real job though (I work at a software company), I'm starting to be tasked with looking in to the ways we should be involved in social media. I'm a graphic designer in the marketing department and I've had some experience with blogging, so I'm diving deeper into the social media subject and using my Dover Projects blog as the first stepping stone to rounding out what is also a testing platform for using all of the social media networks. Eventually I'll transfer things that I've learned here to my role at work, for us to be involved in social media.

So I've started a Dover Projects space on Facebook, and also have a Dover Projects Twitter account and now also a Dover Projects YouTube account where I've been posting a few videos so that I can share them via Facebook.

Though all of this, I have one over arching goal... to bring value to you, the visitor. I hope that I never misdirect you. I hope you do find the information useful, entertaining, and inspiring. I tend to write very long articles, as I want to go more in depth than the typical magazine article that might leave out half of the real world details for example. My articles are not quick reads. They are, in most cases, the entire story from beginning to end, complete with real world bumps in the road...

Oh, one last thing. People sometimes wonder how I have the time to do these projects and THEN have the time to actually write up the articles... Well, we do our projects on the weekends and during our vacations. Many of the projects you see here were done before we had kids... Major slow down with the little guys needing us now... I wrote most of these articles at 4:00 am, before the family gets up, or late at night when all are asleep. That's how much I love writing these up. I'm excited to write about my projects and sometimes my eyes pop up early with eager anticipation of a new article and I'll jump outta bed to grab those few hours of quiet time to write.

Exhausted from weekend warrior DIY projects...

And one final word. Thanks to my wife for putting up with the extra time I put into the researching and documenting of our projects. It's been many hours in the works. Many people would simply hire someone, and also not feel the need to share their projects with the world.... Thanks Sweetie for indulging me!

I should note, I do not have any affiliations with any building services, material dealers, or products. I'm not selling anything. I share my articles for the reasons mentioned above only.

Okay, let's get on to the projects! I wish you all the best success with your projects and I love when people comment on my articles to either point out when I have something wrong, or to say what they are doing with their projects, or just to say "hi"...

For more frequent updates (multiple times a day sometimes) join me on Dover Projects on Facebook! See you there!


Happy DIYing!

--Peter

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