Things First-Time Flippers Always Say and Live to Regret

"Hope," as Emily Dickinson writes, "is the thing with feathers." Renovation, in turn, is the thing with nasty surprises and delays and OH GOD, WHAT IS THAT STAIN.

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It's hard not to smile when DIY Network's First Time Flippers introduce themselves at the beginning of each episode. They hold such faith in the future of an undertaking they've never undertaken before! We're not knocking their optimism, mind you: we're appreciating the purity of their visions before reality pours in to muddy them up. To you, newbies. (Were we ever so young?)

"We'll learn as we go."

Figuring out how to control a video-game character is fun. Figuring out how to control a 10-ton backhoe is...figuring out how to control a 10-ton backhoe.

"That seems like a cheap fix."

Yards! All you've got to do is drag away the nasty stuff and throw some sod over the top, if you're feeling fancy. 

"Don't freak out."

The speaker rarely knows it, but this is time-honored code for "leave me alone in here with whatever I just found for longer than is helpful." (In this case, it was a dead lizard.)

"We'll save money and do it ourselves."

Taking a crack at kitchen cabinet installation in, say, your fourth or fifth flip is a pretty safe bet. It's riskier in the first one, particularly when your partner makes this face while doing it.

"I'm sure I can figure it out."

Ray's can-do attitude is a testament to the buoyancy of the human spirit. It's also the reason professional contractors can charge extra for emergency calls.

"This won't take long."

To paraphrase the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single swing of a rental sledgehammer.

"That'd be an unnecessary expense."

Why splash out on insulation in Baltimore when the properties on either side of yours can keep it warm? We hear row houses huddle together in the cold like emperor penguins on BBC's Planet Earth.

"I can't wait to get my hands dirty."

Wait as long as you can, Liz from St. Petersburg. You won't be able to get them clean once more for — how much time did you budget for your flip, again?

"How hard can it be?"

The word "tile" comes to us from the Old English tīgele, which means "bring all the wine you can carry."

"That's definitely not a load-bearing wall."

(It's always, always a load-bearing wall.)

"What's that smell?"

(You never, ever want to know.)

Tune in for a new episode of First Time Flippers at 9|8c on Saturday, April 29 on DIY Network.

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