Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cheap Labor From..Myself

Hey everyone,

Happy Thursday to you. I was talking with my neighbor this fine evening and have been following his outdoor living space project that he's doing and got to really thinking about how much money we all save by doing this labor on our own. He's put in a coy pond, natural stone with mortar joints, a wall that is covered in natural stone, outdoor lighting, and a fountain. All very, very nice and very cheap based on the fact that he's doing it all himself. He estimated (he's in commercial construction and I know the cost of labor, materials as well) that it would have cost him upwards of $12,000 to do this project had he not done it himself. All told, he's only got about $2000 in the whole thing, which is really quite cheap given the space and vibe that he has created.

I grew up watching my Dad do home improvement projects and eventually chipping in when I was old enough or when he'd show me how to do the work. It's very rewarding and something that I'll use the rest of my life. When you really stop and think about this though, that's a lifetime of work that costs you nothing but the time involved, and sometimes it's downright therapeutic working on those projects.

This topic got me really churning the wheels in my brain and thinking about all the lawn work, painting, cleaning, woodwork, handyman work, etc. that I've done through the years and I'm grateful that I can do it myself. I find more reward in being a "do it yourself-er" anyhow. So thanks Dad, for the drive and the inspiration to get these things done myself.

Evelyn, my partner in crime is quite handy and willing to do home improvement projects as well. She's helped me on many occasions as well as repainting the majority of our house recently.

I have to hand it to my neighbor for his tenacity with his projects. Not only is he doing this outdoor living space, but he has remodeled his whole house on his own as well, not to mention building his own furniture. Quite impressive and handy.

The point in all this: next time you think you might want to hire someone to build that patio, or paint that bedroom, do it yourself if you're capable. You'll enjoy the rewards, both monetarily and in your pride of accomplishment.


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