1224085_measuring_tapeYou may have noticed the lack of updates lately and that is because we’ve moved houses and in doing this, I’ve taken on a significant amount of home improvements and some minor renovations which have been VERY time consuming to complete and finish on my own during a move.  In doing mild steel sheet for DIY in the home, its been stressful, a challenge and I’ve had little rest and time to do what I normally do.  However, we’ve completed our move, settled into our new home, sold our old house and have only a few immediate things to finish.

The Pain of Doing Things Yourself

Well there is certainly a lot of pain from the perspective of time, labour and difficulties in doing things yourself as there is really no one to rely on except yourself.  You can get more info on mihomeinspections.com. This can be part of the reason to take on a challenge for some, but it is also makes unexpected things much more impactful as there is no one to help get you through it.  My wife and I had lived in our house for 9 years and it was our first house.  We like to credit ourselves that we don’t accumulate too much stuff but after seeing this move and actually have to move everything, I definitely know we still have a lot more than we need and in fact, more than we even want!

There were a few major steps in this move, the first was simply moving to our new house as we bought it with no plans to move very spontaneously (the only house we looked at) and hadn’t even thought about selling our existing home yet at the time.  So, the second step was to sell the current home.  Then finally, the 3rd step was to renovate the new house to have a hair salon since my wife runs her business out of our home.

Moving was the fun step as we cleaned up our belongings, thinned out our junk, packed everything up and got excited about being in the new house.  We rented a 26′ cube van and packed everything in for a one trip move with a couple SUV loads along side.  Thankfully, we had a bunch of friends who helped us move and even though we did it ourselves, it was done in one day and everything moved to the new house successfully.  There was certainly hard labor at stake here and some serious lifting required but all in all, doing this yourself if you have help is the way to go.  We were well prepared with everything in boxes which make loading/unloading a snap.  We unpacked and setup everything in a couple days as we knew we had renovations to focus on so didn’t want to drag this process out.

Step two was the one with much more pain.  Selling the old house.  I had a list of about 30 improvements to make, many urgent before we listed the place and then a number to make as we were packing, moving and listing the house.  I worked every night till 11PM after my day job and in between graphics jobs so didn’t really leave myself much free time (OK, NO free time really).  I spent 2 weeks painting, trimming, fixing, putting up some drywall, dropped ceiling in basement, and many other minor things to prepare to list.  Then we listed the house hoping to sell before we moved out ourselves.  Another pain in this process was then from all the showings that realtors had on our house while living there and trying to finish home improvements.  I can’t tell you how inconvenient that was and I only appreciate having my space in my home and privacy all that much more as a result.  This was one of the biggest realizations from this whole process.  I have a lot of gratitude now for the privacy I do have in my home without having to constantly evacuate, keep everything in pristine shape and be ready to leave or not come home at a moments notice. We moved out and then sold our house a few days later with almost a month of overlap having both houses.  This gave me time to build and move my wife’s salon for her home business.

This final step has the one with really the most committment as there are always a thousand little things do to when you move into a new place to make it feel like your own, but I had limited time to do a renovation and get everything setup.  I had some minor electrical to change (with my dad’s help who is a journeyman electrician) and with nearly any home improvement a small task turns into a bigger own.  Got that sorted out and then started the real labour.  I had carpet to tear out and changes to make to the sub-floor where there was a dropped entry way.  Repainted everything, made the changes to plumbing and electrical and put in a laminate floor.  I’m just finishing the trim and final touches and setting up the salon equipment /cabinets now to polish everything off.

All in all, the pain has mostly been the stress of having fixed timelines, the sheer amount of labour itself, the countless trips off to the hardware store and figuring out how to do home improvements you’ve never done before.  Let alone the strain of being too busy to get together with friends as often as you’d like and the stress that wears away at each other in marriage when things are so hectic!

The Joy of Doing Things Yourself

Now on the other side of the fence, there is a lot of joy in doing things yourself as well despite whatever hardships are encountered. The biggest thing for me personally which has always led me to being a bit of a handy man and home improvement guy is just knowing the work is done well, how its done and then seeing and living with it everyday.  Its very satisfying to do your own home improvements and the sweat and time put into it always feels great once the results are there.

That is the other great thing about doing it yourself, the results.  I don’t do anything partially, when I set my mind to something I do it 100% and I do it well.  My results in my work and in this kind of work at home are no different, I see it done exactly how I want and can be pleased with the results.

Another great thing about doing things yourself is the money you can save.  Moving yourself and doing your own renovations comes at a fraction of the cost of hiring it out.  Moving comes with enough expenses from the house sale itself, let along all the other legal aspects of moving/selling.  Our new house adds to our mortgage of course, but the thousands of dollars in extra expenses I’ve saved from doing these things myself are a satisfying relief on that as well.

And finally, the joy of this that really stands out for me, is the joy of what is learned by doing things yourself.  I’m only a handyman because of what I’ve learned by doing things myself and its enabled me to do more and more of my own work, and to experience the joys of it.  There is always things to learn in taking on a challenge and while during the challenge itself things may not always feel worth it, there are things learned from doing it that last far longer than any of the struggles during.  In part, that is what drives me to put in the time and effort required as I know it will result in so much more and I’ll have learned things I will use again in the future.  Not only skills, but in coping with and handling similar situations or for helping others get through them when their time comes.  All in all, its another experience, story and lesson to draw on in my life and anyone who takes on work themselves would likely say the same.  I know its worth doing and I always love to encourage others to try a little do it yourself (DIY) to make that life experience as well.

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