I’m on a home improvement roll apparently.

After completion of the garden shed I was on to the mailbox.

Almost a year ago I bought one of those lockable, hard to destroy mailboxes after hearing reports of stolen mail in my neighborhood.  This tortoise size green gray mailbox had been sitting on my studio sofa a long time.  There are permanent dents in the sofa.

“Oh, this is something I can add to my list for a handy man.”

I’d been generating a list of home repairs which I hoped someone could help me with soon.

Side gate to keep the new puppy safe.
Mailbox to thwart theft.
Patch a hole in the drywall.
Paint the new puppy’s laundry room.
Seal cracks in the kitchen so the ants don’t get in.
Install a new light fixture.

A friend referred a handyman to me and I gave him a call.  After a few back and forth conversations he found time in-between jobs to take a look.  I was appreciative of his effort because puppy was coming in two weeks.  I read off my list to him and we went through each item.  Slowly.  He proceeded to tell me what he can and can’t do.  My main projects were the side gate and laundry room.

He couldn’t patch or paint; but he knew someone who could.  Said it would be complicated to bring in a new light fixture.  He could seal the cracks but hard to know which color.

He could do the side gate and mailbox though.

OK.  We’re getting somewhere I thought.  He began to explain building a new gate and he lost me when he said,

“Could take a day; maybe more if we have to rent a drill to break the concrete.”
This was not sounding good.  He charged by the hour and could be here for days for a simple gate.

“Hire a pro,” my friend had advised me.

Told him I’d think about it.  He called later that night and asked what I had hoped to pay. I made an offer and left it at that. The next day there was a message, “Let’s talk.”

I was beyond talk.  Too much talk raises the hairs on my neck.  It’s the DO NOT PROCEED sign.  I called and said I’ll be handling the projects myself. Thanks so much for your time and information.

Found a professional fence builder for the gate. Done. Puppy safe.
Built the garden shed myself. Done.
Installed the mailbox myself. Done.
Found a fixture and have light in the laundry room and garden. Done.

Certainly there are times when you want to call the pro.  But consider the opposite before you make that call.

We do ourselves a disservice when we turn challenges over to someone else. It undermines our value and we begin to doubt our own skills, knowledge and opportunity to learn.  Why give that away?  If not careful, it turns to fear of making mistakes.

We can do.  A lot.  I’m glad I had a pro build the fence. Yet I had the skills for the shed, lights, mailbox; even patching the drywall.  I had the time.  Why couldn’t I do it?

Completing these projects renewed the “I can do it” mentality.  Perhaps COVID sucked the energy out of me and these home repairs were just what I needed to get back into Participation!

I’m a new enthusiast for the DIY’ers!