Monday, June 2, 2008

Home Improvement - DIY

One of the great things that happened this weekend was being able to take another Home Improvement Class. There is a non-profit organization in town that offers free classes on how to fix up your home. Starting a couple of weeks ago, Catie and I have been going to as many as we can. We are now being joined by David. This Saturday the three of us sat down to learn about repairing concrete!! Do I have concrete that needs to be repaired? you ask. Well.... no. There were some problems up at the cottage, but my ex fixed those back when we were together and the concrete at the house I'll be moving into in June was all fairly recently poured. So why on earth would you want to spend your Saturday morning taking a class on concrete repair?? Because it is fun! I love learning all about stuff I know nothing about; I have always been a student at heart. So far I have taken porch repair, concrete repair and my personal favorite - roofing! In the past I've assisted on home improvement projects, but didn't know anything about how to do them myself. Now I do.

Catie feels the same way, while taking the roofing class she leaned over to me at one point and whispered "Let's go re-roof your cottage!" I knew exactly what she meant. It felt so good to understand how proper roofing was done, what tools are needed - and best of all, that we could do it ourselves.

I had a small roofing problem up there that was causing a water leak in my living room - and I had no idea how to fix it. After the two hour class I understood what was probably going wrong. And you know - like many things in life, it really isn't all that complicated once you have someone show you the steps and teach you the terms. The following weekend I went up with my roofing nails, roofing cement and a head full of new knowledge - and fixed my roof!!

Best yet, it worked. I checked after the big storm and the ceiling is dry. Now all I need to do is prime and paint it and it will be back to looking good. The best part about all of this for me is learning to do it myself. Up until these classes the only way I knew to find someone to help me out up there was to find a guy with a spray painted plywood sign in his front yard. (That's how I found my carpet guy.) Honestly, it was making me feel panicked, I would see that evil coffee colored stain spreading across my white ceiling and feel so... helpless. It was so frustrating - and all the more since this was the kind of thing I used to rely on my ex for.

So, taking these classes is giving me the chance to learn how to handle these situations and that makes me feel really strong and capable. What's more, since Catie and David are taking them too, we had a little impromptu chat about helping each other out on this kind of stuff. Some of these projects are going to take a couple of us. For example, all of us are excited abut the window replacement class, but it is just not a one person job. However, each one of us has a house (heck, I have two,) and there is no reason we can't go from house to house helping each other on these home improvement projects. And as David pointed out - between the three of us we have access to just about any tool we might possibly need.

Similarly, Catie's dad offered to build her a deck for her birthday. Both David and I want to be in on that project. I really, really want to learn deck building skills as I want to put one in up north someday. This would be a perfect chance. I could hang out with people I love, help one of my best pals get a new deck and learn how to build one myself!


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