I’m not a DIY-er. I vaguely remember writing a post one time when I was new to this blogging thing, chronicling my attempt to make the Nester’s awesome mirror wall hanging thingy. It’s easy! Just hot glue and poster board! Who could screw that up?
I’m begging you not to go search for that post.
My husband, however, enjoys a good project. And since it’s summer and he’s currently on break from teaching, I enjoy when he’s busy. A work-at-home mama with a Type-A personality struggles with interruptions. A lot. So when we were dreaming about home improvement projects, part of me was excited that he wanted to tackle them himself.
And the other part of me wanted to hire an expert.
But since saving money wins every time, he convinced me that he was the right man for the job. And then he spent several weeks watching YouTube videos to learn how to do things like build a wall, install a door, lay a paver patio and refinish kitchen cabinets. I’m pretty sure he moved into Lowes at one point and is now best friends with the guy who owns the landscaping business down the street.
I wish I could say that it was all wonderful and at no point did I wish we could hire someone to do it all for us. When the patio was finished in time for our 4th of July party and then our refrigerator broke unexpectedly, I do admit I was grateful for the money we’d saved so we could fix that minor issue. Cold food. It’s totally overrated.
If you asked me how we did any of these projects, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I didn’t do them. Madi and I helped move a lot of pavers, and I brushed some sand into some cracks. I helped pick out hardware for the cabinets and reorganized the things inside, but never touched the paint sprayer, deglosser, or sandpaper. My husband, the guy who was known for being “not very handy” is now our resident “DIY with some help from YouTube” handyman. Would it have been quicker to hire someone? Absolutely. But the sense of purpose and feeling of satisfaction that comes with a project well done – if not perfectly done – is worth it.
And when we have friends over – which we’re doing more now than ever with our new patio – they don’t notice the little flaws – and I’m not interested in pointing them out. With each project we’ve built purpose into our home. A door added downstairs created a playroom that exits out to our patio, giving us the opportunity to utilize both spaces more easily. A patio added in our yard creates a seating area that is inviting, contains our fire pit, and gives us a place to sit and talk as Madi plays on her swingset. Refinished kitchen cabinets and (eventually) a new backsplash add our own style to the room we spend the most time in.
While we might have disagreed on details and timelines and messier parts of the process, at the end of the day? We agree that these projects have turned our house into a home.
What We Used
(The Amazon links are affiliate links – if you purchase through them I get a small payment at no charge to you. None of these were free product. I wish. Dear Lowes…ahem…HINT)
- Patio Pavers from A.H. Reiff
- Firepit (ours is from Walmart but their site seems to be broken. This one is similar)
- Chair cushions
- Patio table & chairs (again, ours is Walmart. And red. But this is cute too!)
- Cabinet paint (but in ultra-white) – bonus hint: if you paint your cabinets & they stick a little, just rub some baby powder on them – problem solved!
- Cabinet hardware (here and here)
What projects have you done around the house this summer? Are you more likely to hire someone or subscribe to the “everything I know I learned from YouTube” camp?