Friday, February 19, 2010

Half-Built Home

I am a big fan of DIY. If only I could do it better lol. Our house for example. My lovely wife knows of my passion for working with wood, and thought we could save some money when we built our house. So we went for the "Half-Built" option. The contractors do the really important stuff, foundation, framing, roofing, plumbing and electric, and I do the non structural detail work. Sounds fun, right? Well, it was, and I would never do it again in that situation. The new house was a 40 min drive away, my wife was 6 months pregnant with our son while looking after our one and a half year old daughter, and preparing to move. I tried my best to work on the house on weekends and some weekday mornings. This is not a good way to finish your dream house. Finally we had to take a break on construction so that our daughter wouldn't forget who I was.

But there were some really good times too. When all our friends pitched in and helped us stain the siding. Two days covered in green Xyladecor. Friends came up and helped us nail said siding to the house, others helped with ceilings and floors, or brought lunch when I was stuck on site with no vehicle. And Mom and Dad flew out from the states to help us get it together.

I look at the house now and all I see are mistakes. The chipped plaster here, gaps in the moulding there, the seams of the sheetrock visible in places. I look at them all and smile, because I remember Dad and I hanging out on the scaffolding putting up siding on a perfect sunny October day. I look at a plaster stain on the ceiling and remember my English class student learning how to apply the finish coat during the rush to finish plastering before the wife and kids got back from Grandma's.

Every mistake has a story. Well, most of them at least.

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