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    « Flammatory Statements | Main | Taking It »

    November 23, 2003



    For me, Nils, 'twas a day of moving crap around downsatirs to get ready for round 4 of floor-laying, a little mountain biking, a relaxing jacuzzi and a lovely dinner of salmon and rice. Wayne watched the President's Cup. He'll be moving some crap around downstairs later tonight.
    I don't envy you and your monkey acrobatics, and I concur...sometimes it sucks to be the handy one. But as much as I don't really need the cut fingers and scraped arms that go along with fixing stuff, I do love the satisfaction of a finished project.


    Your antics with insulation and praise of wood stoves sure brings back memories. Fresh faced kid from upstate NY arrives in Savage Harbour and buys a 6 bedroom farm house on the shore. As December 1976 rolls around with the temperature hanging around -20 the furnace is on and I realize it is not going off. That sucker would run non-stop for 24 hours and hold the downstairs temps at 15. No heat upstairs. Not a bit of insulation in the whole house.

    I learned quickly about seaweed banking, wood stoves and down comforters. Frost on the inside walls upstairs what not what I had expected.

    15 years in that house - multiple trips to the basement each day to bring up wood. Every trip I hit my head on the same beam - herself would just stand upstairs waiting for the thump and curse.

    Best years of my life - and I would not change one thing.


    Are you certain, Nils, that you're not just starting the same "Gee, maybe I can save twenty bucks if I do it myself" trend for the next 150 years of owners, instead of laying claim to being 'handy'?

    Nils Ling

    Excellent point, James. I count insulation installing as being on the lower end of the "handy" scale, in the sense that it requires no specific training or expertise - it's just cutting and stuffing. Hard to screw up, and easy to fix if you do. Just hateful work, is all.

    I like to think I'm smart enough to know when to pay a professional (and I have done, on some of the renovations) and when to reach for my growing set of tools and have at 'er. My main consideration is not "Will I save a buck by doing it myself?" - it's more "Can someone do this better than I?" or "Is this a project that I'll have fun doing and can take the time to do right?"

    I've run across more than my share of half-assed projects where it was clear that expertise took a back seat to saving money. They're easy to recognize. A carpenter I once hired looked at a wall some previous owneer had put in and said "This fella built this wall to last as long as he was in this house. I build so that it'll last as long as I'm on this planet."

    When I take on a reno job, that's the standard I go by. "Good enough" ... just isn't.

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