I Am Woman... Part 2: Life Lessons
Day #7 of my "30 Hubs in 30 Days" Challenge
In my previous hub, I discussed some of the many projects that I've tackled during my years as a home owner. Today, I'd like to continue with the same theme by discussing some of the life lessons that I've gained from completing those projects.
As I've struggled to maintain and repair my little old house (while living on a shoestring budget), I've not only gained a lot of "handyman" skills, but I've also learned a lot about myself, my limitations, and my potential.
The following are a few of the things that I've learned along the way:
1. Power tools are both time and frustration savers.
To date I've learned how to properly operate a jig saw, pressure washer, power drill, heat gun, and A/C Detector. However, the catch is figuring out when it's worth shelling out the cash to purchase a particular tool-- especially for someone on a limited budget (like myself). In some cases, you're better off borrowing the tool or other piece of equipment from a friend.
I usually ask myself two questions before making a purchase: 1. Would I use the item enough to justify the cost? and 2. Is the item necessary in order to ensure my safety?
If the tool is something that would be nice to have but I don't think I'd use very often, then I usually won't buy it. However, if it's something that will help ensure my safety then I usually decide it's worth spending the money on it.
2. I CAN do it-- but sometimes you need to call in the pro's.
I'm all for independence and girl power; however, there are some projects that you're much better off hiring someone else to do.
Do your homework before starting any new project. You should always know your limits. If the job is too big, too technical, or involves major work (for instance electrical and plumbing jobs) then you should hire outside help.
For instance, when I moved in all of the windows in the house were single pane and most of them didn't open. I knew that trying to replace the windows by myself was not an option (especially since some of the windows are on the second floor). It cost a lot more money, but I hired a crew to come in. They replaced all of the windows and the back door (which was so warped that it let in a constant breeze!) in one day and even hauled away the old ones.
However, there have been other jobs that I was able to do myself. For instance, I was able to swap out a few existing light fixtures. But there is one corner of my living that needs a light. I'll have to hire an electrician to run a new wire before I can install a fixture there. At this point, running new wire is beyond my skill set.
The important part is to do your homework beforehand in order to determine if a job is at your skill level or not.
3. Practice makes perfect.
I always grade my home repair jobs on a curve, and you should too. My workmanship may not be perfect but it's good enough. Besides, with enough practice, I'll get there.
4. The help would be nice, but I don't need a man.
This one is for all of the feminists out there! It's true that anything men can do, we can do too (and maybe even better). I may not be as strong or even as fast as a man, but I can get the job done. Besides, I don't see any men lining up outside to give me a hand.
When I first bought my house and began tackling some of the smaller home projects, I did try to get help. I practically begged my brother and brother-in-law for help. I even offered to hire a friend's husband to help me one weekend. But, they all said no. They had their own lives and their own projects to worry about. So, I rolled up my sleeves, and I got the job done without them.
When it comes down to it, with enough determination, enough research, and the right tools, I really can accomplish just about anything. I am woman, hear me roar!
And you know what? So can you.