Monday, May 31

Now make them smaller

I purchased my first house last year. For new readers it is in the 'up-and-coming' area of Obs in Cape Town (read old-and-dilapidated so its cheap). Having sold my soul to ABSA ( Describing the last financial year as one of the "most successful" in the group's history, South African banking group Absa reported a 29.2% leap in headline earnings for the 12 months ended March link ) to own this little treasure, I now discover the joys of DIY.

Why DIY you ask? Money. I cant afford to pay anyone to fix my place up. At R200+ an hour professionals are people I can only dream of hiring. I walk into houses now and think "Nice sealing job on that front door.". I go to other peoples toilet and admire the roof paneling. I throw slant eyed looks at the way the gutter downpipe is affixed (Dont get me started on roofwork). 'Professional' jealousy is tough let me tell you.

The first step in becoming a DIY master is getting the book, and ignoring the scorn of your builder friends. Yes they may laugh, but now you know a little bit about everything and they only know a lot about their thing.

The second step is choosing a project and to finish that project before beginning the next one. I also found I needed to make a list to remember all the things I want to do (My list is now at number 39), and to remember which one I'm working on. Powertools and beer might be fun together, but it tends to make you forgetful.

The third step is going out to get the tools and supplies you need. Dont buy anything you don't need for the job you're working on. I do anyway, but try not too. It makes shopping more emotionally satisfying when you walk away with only 1 or 2 things you weren't suppose to buy. Figuring out the best places too buy is another issue. All hardware stores were created with one goal in mind. To get you to pay too much money. Shop around. In the cape the best place is Brights in Belville (Yes, I know its on the other side of the boerewors gordyn, but 'some' things there are better.) You want it, they got it for the right price.

The fourth step is getting a buddy to help you. The reason you need a buddy is because you'll waste too much time fetching small little things you'll never get anything done. Don't use your wife or girlfriend. They 'will' resent it, no matter what they say. Also beer and powertools go down better with a buddy there.

Step five is doing the job. If you remembered to purchase everything you were suppose too this is the easy part. Since there will always be something you forgot, this will never be easy.

Part Six is the real secret. Pack away your tools and clean up after yourself when your done, even if the job isn't finished. This is what separates the professional from us ham-fisted beer guzzling amateurs.

Now all you need to do is rinse and repeat, and before long DIY masterdom will be yours.

p.s. Why the title? I started this post wanting to link to this, cool new Wi-Fi chip and how this is going to make my DIY life easier someday, but somehow I couldn't work it in. It might not look like much, but I think its cool.

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