Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why DIY?

This is my philosophy about Do-It-Yourself projects: If someone else can do it, I can do it too. I mean, since we're all human, shouldn't we all be equally capable? There are many times when this concept has served me well, and other times...not so much.

Since moving into this new condo, I've hired out on just 4 occasions:

(1) After I mangled the first strip of expensive wallpaper in the guest bedroom, I called it quits and arranged for a professional wallpaper hanger to finish the job. It wasn't worth ruining $300 worth of wallpaper to save $150 on the installation.

(2) I have always considered painting to be a bit of a chore, so I allow myself to splurge on a pro every once in awhile. Since moving here I've painted the guest room, the front entry door and the recently completed dining room accent wall on my own, but I hired a "real" painter for the master bedroom and both the ensuite & main baths.

(3) In my last home, my friend Jackie & I sewed all of the window treatements ourselves. What a job!! We joked that if anyone ever asked for a sewing quote we would tell them "one million dollars". This time around I hired Parallele Interiors to sew and install the draperies in both bedrooms. They're so luxurious and worth every single penny!

(4) Light fixtures are a fairly simple install, but sometimes you need to hire a bit of brawn. I called a licensed electrician to hang my dining room chandelier because (a) it was too heavy to lift on my own, and (b) the addition of a dimmer switch went beyond my electrical comfort level. You don't mess with electricity, kids.

Over the course of the past year, with the exception of the points above, I've created this home on my own (occasionally with help from friends & family). I've assembled closet systems, sewn toss cushions, switched out cabinet pulls & doorknobs, and added character to bare walls.

I have a point to make, it's just taking me a minute to get there...

Here's the thing about DIY projects: they come with a sense of accomplishment. Some jobs are simple, others are hard, but even the smallest successful DIY will put a smile on your face. Knowing this, when The Home Depot approached me a few months ago about a "Beginner" DIY project, I immediately took them up on their offer. I opted to switch out my Mom's basic old kitchen faucet for a fancy new Moen model. All of the necessities for the job were supplied in just one box:

Believe it or not, step two was the hardest: remove the existing faucet (by the way, step one is turn off the water!!). The nuts were rusted in place and it took a healthy dose of WD-40, strength and patience to get those suckers loosened up.  It must have taken an hour, but finally the old tap was out and the countertop got a good scrubbing before step three: installation of the new deck plate and faucet.

As often happens, there was one more snag; a wooden brace under the coutertop which had to be partially cut away before the new faucet could be inserted through the centre hole. That problem was solved with a quick Home Depot run to rent a drill and pick up a hole saw. Crisis averted, installation proceeded and the rest was easy-peasy!

This is what DIY is all about - a shiny "After" photo. Another job accomplished (no leaks!!), and best of all we didn't pay a plumber to do something we could do ourselves. All in a day's DIY ;)



  1. Good job Pam! I agree, there are some jobs you can tackle on your own and others that are best left to the pros. We always hire out for wallpaper hanging too ;)

  2. Good for you! I have fixed our faucet once, replacing a washer, and boy that was hard work. I can't imagine replacing a whole faucet! Bravo!


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