Monday, April 21, 2008

Outgrowing the DIY Phase in Life

We often get asked the question “Are you doing some of the construction work yourself? Fifteen years ago, the answer would have been “yes, of course!”. But somewhere between the 10 year attic project, living without doors on our closets for 7 years and a bathroom with only a toilet (no sink) for 2 years, we ran out of steam for do-it-yourself projects.

We've been enjoying our closet doors for a year now. I can't believe it took us 6 years.\

We also realized that these drawn-out projects that we attempted to complete on our own to save money, actually saved us very little at times. This could have been avoided by getting projects done in a timely fashion. For example- light fixtures we bought and didn’t install for 3 years were discontinued, so non functioning ballasts led to eventually having to purchase all new fixtures. Lessons learned the hard way.

A completed bathroom- just in time for selling the house.....

After 10 years of living in an 70% complete attic, we hired a contractor to finish it. Very well spent money in my opinion! Jeffrey Swainhart was the saviour for our attic.

So this time around, we’re doing the drawings, selecting products and coordinating, but the bulk of the real work will be done by our contractor. We will take on only a few safe tasks, such as installing closet systems, some cabinetry, the FLOR carpet tiles, the green roof and likely some of the landscaping and fencing. Could we do more? Yes, probably, but managing time to do that on top of 60-80 hr work weeks and the busy schedules that come with young families make it less a reality than we would perhaps like. We will end up changing and adding or tweaking things over time, after we’ve had a chance to live in the space for a while and we’ll no doubt change our minds a few times about paint colors and the like. Hats off to those who put in sweat equity into their own projects, it’s very satisfying to do the work yourselves! For us, we will settle for the satisfaction of seeing our design completed by others! (Thank you, Michlitsch Brothers)

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