Happiest With a Powertool In Hand...It is amazing how accomplished you can feel doing something as small as fixing the sink or mending the fence. Over the years I fixed things in the apartments I've lived in, but it wasn't until we got a house that I really learned the happiness in a well stocked toolbox.
We bought our house 3 years ago and I've put a lot of time & patience into making it our home. It was an old 1960s ranch house that was in decent shape, but had some really ugly remodels done in the 1970s and 80s. Each room had 1 wood paneled wall (every room but the bathrooms), beautiful hardwood floors covered by 25 year old shag brown carpet that smelled like an old dog, nasty linoleum, etc.
When we first walked in, my wife immediately looked at me, told me she couldn't handle the smell and was ready to go. I told her I could really see the potential and that it wouldn't take more than some cosmetic changes to really turn the place around. After sleeping on it, she turned to me in the morning and told me she couldn't see it but that she trusted me. It was our lifesavings and we'd have to scrimp to make ends meet for a while.
So that morning we put down an offer - the first the homeowner received - and she took it. We couldn't believe it. The next-door neighbors bought a smaller house for more (one bedroom less, 2/3 the lot size) just a month before. We locked it in right away, right before lots of other substantially higher offers came in. The sellers agent was a bit evil and kept trying to get us to back out so they could take a higher offer, but we stuck it though.
Before we moved in, we did 3 weeks of massive changes w/ some pros - goodbye wood paneling, hello drywall & paint. New tile in the kitchen, repainted rooms, refinished the hidden floors. I did a lot of demo work, but knew when to call in the experts.
Since then, I've remodeled two bathrooms by myself (must be getting old since I now have a bad back), changed out the lighting, fixed more little things than I can remember, etc. Amazing what you can do with the right amount of patience & willingness to read a book before digging up the yard.
Most of the time it is really about having the right tools and my garage has practically become the neighborhood tool-lending library. The nice thing is we are all working on different types of things in the neighborhood, so I'm sure one of these days I'll be able to borrow something from a neighbor that I don't have. Until then, I guess I have to keep up my frequent Lowe's and Home Dept trips :^)
DIYGuy 31-35, M 0 Feb 16, 2007