When my husband and I first got married and bought our first house, we did EVERYTHING we could ourselves. Prime, paint, pull up carpet, reseed the lawn; you name it, we did it. But some time during the last eighteen years we’ve been together, we stopped doing it. First, because there were always arguments because – if I say so myself – I’m much better at home projects. Second, because he’s a man, he thinks he should be better at home projects. At the end of most of these projects, I would be diligently working, and he’d be sitting on the couch.
It got so bad that I used to wait until he went out of town for work, then start and finish projects. That way I could present them as a fait accompli without commentary.
But somewhere in this long haul of different houses and projects, we stopped doing the work ourselves. We could get more work done if we outsourced painting and tiling. I once wrote half a book during some kind of remodel – holed up in a tiny downstairs room while among insistent hammering, walls fell and floors came up.
Currently we live in the hills of Los Angeles, which means our house is on a steep grade. For a couple of years we’ve tried to find a contractor willing to take one some work that would – to be honest – require a very tall ladder to haul materials up to the back. None have been willing to take on the task for a reasonable price. So, we were looking at it and decided we could do it ourselves. Off we’ll go to the local home center for concrete caulk and exterior paint.
Now that we’re far more mature, we’ll try to get through it without argument. Even our three-year-old is excited about the idea. Who knows – maybe we’ll all learn a little something.