Home Repair Advice – A Work In Progress

By Todd Fratzel on Remodeling

Today’s guest post is from a new friend of mine, Rob Robillard, who writes a great carpentry blog. Rob is a carpenter, cop and dad living in Massachusetts. He’s got some great advice for all facets of carpentry and construction. Enjoy!

“Straight, Square and Smooth!”

That’s what my shop teacher used to say and I can still hear him saying it today . . .

What he was trying to teach us was to make sure when building something that we start with plumb, level and flat walls. Once you achieve that, all of the other building components and any home repair will fall into place.

Although he taught us a lot in shop class the real learning happened on the job as an apprentice carpenter. That learning continues each and every day.

There is a link between being successful in a carpentry business and being a people person and making the right decisions.

One learns to make right decisions based on training and past experience. We gain our experience from past projects and making wrong decisions. Learning from our mistakes is truly one of the best teachers.

Carpentry is not an exact science. It is a pragmatic approach to problem solving, building and repairing. My experience has taught me that a few basic principles guide us on what will or will not work in given situations. “Plumb, Level and Square,” are some of those principles.

There are many different approaches to building things. One can argue that someone’s method of building may enable them to arrive at a better, faster, nicer looking finished product. This method may be completely different from another person’s method.

But both methods still arrive at a finished product. The old saying, “My way might not be the best way, but it works.”
Which one is better? Well, that depends if you’re a Do-It-Yourselfer and building something for fun or if you’re in business to make money.

Carpentry is more than acquiring experience. It’s also confidence in your ability to solve problems, ultimately to get the job done, arriving at a desired finished product!

For me, the best method is one in which I have fun, arrive at a superior product and get paid to do both!


Robert Robillard runs a small finish carpentry and renovation business in Concord, Massachusetts. He also writes a DIYer and Home Repair blog called “A Concord Carpenter Comments.”

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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