If you’re like me you approach most home reno jobs along the lines of “How hard could it be?”
That normally lasts for about a half an hour…
There’s a reason people with skills in renovations, or in life make more money than the rest of us. It’s not because they’re worth more as people than I am, it’s because what they think about home renos during home renos matters more.
Recently a family started coming to Venue and we’ve struck up a relationship with them. Somewhere along the way I found out he’s done flooring and I asked him to look at my office, where the carpet is driving me crazy.
I have a bad habit of walking from the outdoors into my office beside the entry without removing my shoes. I’ve always said it comes from having lived in Los Angeles where it’s not normal to remove your shoes when you enter a house, but the reality is I would probably do it wherever I grew up because it’s FASTER.
The state of my carpet was always dirty and I needed to do something about it, so I talked to another friend from Venue who had some leftover flooring they weren’t using that fits our decor (this is important as your wife may not think it “amazing” when you paint the garage floor Burnt Orange without notifying her first because “she doesn’t spend time in the garage anyways”. This didn’t happen to me, rather a friend whose name is very, very similar, and possibly identical to mine.)
Home renovations seem expensive when you look at the hourly rate charged, unless you take the 3 hours it took a professional to fix your plumbing and multiply it by a factor of ten to equate how long it would have taken you to do it. Don’t forget to add the emotional anguish when you realize you didn’t actually fix the problem and have the call the plumber anyways.
It’s never fun when one grown man asks another “Who did this?” and no one answers because both of them already know.
I’m a master electrician and have encountered this scenario hundreds of times. One of my favourites was when the old farmer bragged at the kitchen table “I did this myself! Don’t be surprised if you find a lot of wire in the wall in this here kitchen!”
“Actually the microwave, dishwasher, toaster, and fridge are on the same circuit. The reason it doesn’t work anymore is because we put the 15 amp wire on a 15 amp breaker rather than the 30 you had it on when we changed the panel so your house doesn’t burn down” then with a big smile “And I wasn’t surprised:)”
I’m no different when I step out of my lane because skill takes information and practice, both of which I’m too impatient for.
Work was slow for a couple of weeks so I did the smart thing and drywalled my own basement. The actual boarding went well, but the taping (mudding) was another story.
For years I’d watched tapers come back to the same buildings and apply all these extra coats of mud which were totally unnecessary! Lazy tapers! The trick must be to put the second coat on extremely heavy and simply sand the rest of it out.
Everyone knew this was a terrible plan except yours truly, who still wished he had friends who didn’t enjoy hearing how many hours it took him to sand the “extra heavy” coat. The situation further deteriorated by listening to hour after hour of depressing Radiohead bootlegs until I was forced to spray texture on the walls to hide my workmanship.
Yes, it was a terrible idea to paint the garage floor that colour, especially when any water that hits it peels the paint because you didn’t treat it right. Then you have a constant reminder in the garage your “wife doesn’t go in” of what a great decision that was. And because you felt strongly enough in the colour selection you also painted the entire basement floor with it!
That would be ok if flooring would cover it, but the actual installers of the flooring I chose said we’ve have to scrape all the paint off (“Why on earth would you use this colour anyways?”) because the NOT ORANGE flooring would bleed through from underneath.
Once again I called in favours with a small group couple and they came and helped my “not garage wife” and I scrape the “Why did you use this colour?” paint off the “Why did you paint the floor anyways?”
I thought it fitting when we moved here that the same couple gave me the new flooring and offered to help me instal it for old times sake. Better friends than I deserve…
So my new friend is an actual professional and took one look at me and said “I’ll just come do it”.
My old friend and I prepped the room and did what any cheap labour can: take out the old carpet, pull the staples and baseboards, and carry things around to feel important.
When Scott came I believe it took him about an hour to do the whole room because he actually knew what he was doing and had useful things like… flooring tools.
So the moral of the story is come to Venue Church and get free flooring installed in one room of your house for free?
I’m afraid not.
The moral of the story is this:
Just get someone who knows what the heck they’re doing…