I can do it myself – but why would I

July 27, 2008

That day on the site (Habitat for Humanity building site) took me back a few years when I wasn’t afraid to try anything – to the mid nineteen ninety’s, when I was on my own and the owner of an investment property, I waved off the assistance of a man, who would later become my husband, opting instead to show my “I can do it myself” feminist side.  Among my many accomplishments – I  – climbed on the two story steep peaked roof to re-shingle it (but I eventually turned that job over to the professionals); changed light fixtures, guided through the process the first time, by a friend over the phone; installed a kitchen faucet; caulked the bathtub tiles;  painted my drab and outdated kitchen cabinets with white melamine paint and the counter with black melamine paint; laid a inexpensive but classy looking check pattern black and white linoleum tile on the floor; and faux painted the foyer walls a very vogue mustard yellow – but my only real renovation faux pas was when I dug out my entire front lawn leaving the neighbours to look out their windows at a big pile of dirt, while I pondered the merits of good landscaping.


Soon after completing all my jobs I sold that house, by myself, at asking price, which was above market value, to the first  person that walked in the door – should have asked more!   Obviously my sweat and tears paid off.     


The moral of this story – necessity is the mother of invention – I needed to do those jobs to make this home comfortable for me to live in, on a nominal budget – and luckily I succeeded,  probably because I was younger and had more gumption.  Now I am quite happy to pay professionals to do the work that I can not and do not want to do which gives me the time to do the work that I love to do, for the people that can’t do it for themselves.


Design, like any other profession, requires study and dedication; but equally important is an eye for style, a mind for numbers, a love of colour and textures, a desire to pull it all together, and the good sense to know when to call in other professionals.    Today when I do that kind of job,  I design the space inside and out,  and hire the roofer, electrician, plumber, tiler, kitchen installer, flooring specialist, painter and landscape designer.   I have confidence in the team to do a professional job – and I no longer need to prove “I can do it all myself”.






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