Why DIY?

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I had loads of plans for our house, ideas, things to do, but hubby and I are total losers when it comes to DIY (do it yourself). I envy people that have the energy and the talent to build things. More the energy than anything else, because I think that this is what we lack. We don’t know how to do it ourselves, but we can learn, right? Problem is that we don’t want to spend our free time painting the house, or changing the floor, or anything like that.

But then we don’t want to pay the price to get someone to do stuff around the house, because these things can be very expensive. For example, a while ago I checked prices of getting a handyman to do small jobs around the house. Silly things like putting up shelves, mirrors, curtain poles, etc. A day worth of work was around £150-200, which is way more – far more – than what I earn. I’m not saying that they are overpaid, because this is probably the salary of a contractor, who doesn’t have all benefits of a permanent job. But the thing is: why would I pay more than what I earn for something that I can possibly learn to do? It might not be a great job to start with, but, hey, as long as I’m not messing up with gas, electricity or water in the house, it shouldn’t be too bad.

There are things that are very hard to DIY – like my idea to have a conservatory as a playroom for the girls. We don’t have a playroom in the house, it’s our living room and despite being a good sized area, it drives me nuts to have loads of toys around the space. The idea of having an added area to the room came also from the fact that we have a decent sized garden, but we only use it, say, one or two months a year (for obvious weather reasons). So best to cover part of it and be able to use the space the whole year round. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as it seems – we need to check with the gas council (?) about the pipe of the boiler that goes out from the wall we need to use for the conservatory. If they can give us an “easy” solution, we can then think about the project. Otherwise it will just become too complicated, too expensive, too “not worth it”. And building a conservatory without these complications is not cheap. I wouldn’t even risk a DIY on something like that.

A project that could definitely be DIY for us is our garden. We both love beautiful gardens, but don’t have absolutely any interest in taking care of it. I planted some tulips earlier this year, but just because I had them at home, almost cursing the fact that garden is a living thing and has to be looked after. Anyway. We can’t even find the energy or will to cut the grass and it is looking awful. If I could, we would have half of the size we have now and all cemented. I know, not eco-friendly. So here is the plan: replace the current grass with artificial one. Our garden has three sectors: the bottom one is where I was hoping to use for the conservatory (part of it), then the middle one is the grass and the top one is the garage and a bit of unused space. We planted two apple trees at the back/top, but there’s still unused space. If you know me, I’m very practical and I can’t understand “gardens” that are not used – they are just there for the sake of being there.

I’m really struggling to see our garden becoming anything decent but also of low maintenance. Thoughts?

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2 responses »

  1. Que linda a sua casa, Chris! Meu sonho é ter uma casa grande. Moramos num bungalow que apesar de bem aconchegante, acho meio pequeno. O jeito é continuar jogando na loto pra poder comprar nossa mansãozinha 🙂 Bjs

    • Ai, Deia, vou te falar que eh uma faca de dois gumes. Se por um lado ela eh “grande”, por outro eh super mal dividida/ planejada. Qdo a gente comprou, eu tinha planos mil. Dai a gente vai vendo os precos das coisas: lareira £600, prateleiras sob medida £500, box no banheiro £1,000 e o tesao vai embora. Nao nasci pra trabalhar pra pagar conta, ate pq a gente depois nao pode mudar de ideia pq pagou caro. E sem contar o mortgage, que vai levar a vida pra pagar. :S

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