Catching the DIY Bug…

Many of you know who Sara is deep down. She’s a creative perfectionist who can envision something great out of seemingly nothing, which makes her great at do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. I’ve done my best to stay out of the way of most DIY home projects, mostly for various reasons.

I’m not really sure I can pin it down on one or two simple reasons, but when I sit and brainstorm, the following list as to why I haven’t been interested in DIY projects comes to mind:

  • Having more stuff in an apartment means moving more stuff.
  • There’s not much space in an apartment as is.
  • Lack of budget.
  • Lack of tools.
  • Lack of time.
  • Lack of pride in my living situation in general (it’s an apartment.)

Sara has done well to change a few of these trepidations in the past few years. She’s made some crappy apartments feel like home for very little money. Most of the stuff she’s made so far is easy to move, and in most cases, the pieces added storage or didn’t take up valuable real estate.

Despite all that, I was often a stick in the mud when it came to actually helping or dealing with any of these projects. I could have done a better job of supporting Sara’s hobbies, but thankfully, it’s never too late.

Growing up with my dad, who was (and is) extremely handy and who did most of the work around the house, I was largely disinterested in crafting things or fixing things around the house. If it was creating something with K-Nex or Legos, or something in the computer world, I was more interested. But remodeling a bathroom, painting a room, or replacing the roof…count me out. My brother, however, was much more into it, and I think I was comfortable letting he and our father bond that way while growing up.

Going to college and then moving from apartment to apartment, I never owned anything that was worthy of needing any real expertise in putting together, so there was never any need to learn these types of skills.

But now, things have changed! We’re buying a house, we both have solid, steady incomes, and we’re not moving for a long time (at least without good reason). And so, it’s now time to learn how to properly build something.Hooray!

In various conversations since our home offer was accepted, Sara has mentioned dozens of great DIY ideas that she would like to do. Immediately, I was not open to the projects; I recommended that she buy the materials and call my father or brother for help. But lately, I’ve been inspired to give some of this stuff a shot myself.

I’m not really sure why or how, but I started checking out projects online, and after seeing the wealth of ideas on www.reddit.com/r/diy, I wanted to get to work.

Why the sudden change of heart?

Color me interested in learning how to do things. I think a lot of my disdain for building things comes largely from purchasing build it yourself kits from Wal-Mart or similar stores and having things not quite line up right, imperfections glaring me in the face constantly. It occurred to me recently that perhaps that the piece itself was screwed from the start and whatever I did had little chance of perfecting it anyways. This is encouraging.

Now, I don’t expect to be able to wield a saw, hammer and screwdriver and create masterpieces to fit all over our house. I know there’s a skill to it. But there was a time that I wasn’t good at cooking, a time that I wasn’t good being patient, and a time that I wasn’t good at listening, and I think Sara would argue that I’m pretty great at two out of the three things that I’m currently attempting to improve at.

So I think with time, patience and effort, a skill can be learned. Certainly my brother and dad will help me along (as well as my wife, who’s actually really damn good at this stuff) as Sara and I pursue a venture that we can both enjoy doing together.

As we get closer to closing on the house, we’ll start to detail the projects we’d like to do, big and small, short-term and long-term. I’d love to host them on here and take pictures of all the steps to help inspire others to perhaps do some of the same things themselves, especially if, like us, you’re going to be starting from scratch, not only with your first home or apartment, but with only a basic tool set, as we are. We’re ready to buy some tools, ask for help, and make some mistakes on our DIY journey of making our home our own, and we hope you’ll join us!

About Jord

jord considers himself nerdy, mostly because he's a devoted gamer and freelance web designer. he works in computer technology and information services, but he'd be most proud to tell you that he recently built himself a computer, loves audio books, trying new beer and wine, grilling, and is so excited to have added "homeowner" to his list of titles.
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