Tag Archives: skills

Putting the roof back on (after taking it off)

Building is Magic

When we first bought our house, we thought that we’d be done with renovations after about 3 months.  We gave ourselves a 6 month timeline to pad our expectations a bit – that way if 3 months rolled around and we weren’t done we would still feel like things were moving smoothly.

Well, three months went to getting permits from the county alone.  That was frustrating.

We just hit the six month mark, and we’re not quite done.  We probably have a month (or two) left.  That’s not as much frustrating as it is exhausting.

For the last three months of renovation, I’ve tried to be at the house as much as possible.  If our contractor, Alex (my uncle), was working, I wanted to be working along-side him if I could in order to save money.  Because I’m a self-employed web developer, my schedule is whatever I’d like it to be, as long as I get everything done.  So, on average I’d be at the house from 9ish-5ish; Alex would usually get there at 7 and leave at 3, so by the time I got there I’d jump in where they needed me, and I’d stay for a couple hours to clean up or complete any project that I could.  That also means, after an almost eight-hour day, I’d come back “home” and pull out my laptop, working until midnight or later.

So, yes.  Exhausting.

I’m incredibly happy (when I’m not tired and grumpy) that I’ve been working at the house, though – I feel like I’ve picked up a billion skills that a web developer would not normally have.  I’m excited to be able to apply these skills to building a chicken coop and other various things after we’re settled in.

The funny thing about building/renovating a house is that none of it is magical.

There are a lot of things in this world that seem like I’d never be able to do because there is some line between attainable and fantastic.  Anything that I can do, or know that I could do, seems to me like a fairly average skill, and anything that I have no idea how is done is ridiculous.  Building a house was one of those never-going-to-happen skills, because it’s so far out of my skillset that you must be a wizard to do it.

Funny thing, though…  When Alex would say “pull all of that drywall off” or “build that wall,” the curtain started to lift, and I could see the wizard moving the ropes.  It was so very normal.

Hard, but normal.  I’m not huge on exercise, but I’ve had more exercise in the last 3 months that I’ve had possibly in my life.

We’re at the point now where there house is completely framed, wired, and insulated, and we’re waiting on drywall.  Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I didn’t try my hand at wiring the electric or running the plumbing – though I did get to cut and put on temporary piping – so that’s still only slightly a mystery to me.  I don’t plan on running outlets so the chickens can watch Walking Dead, though, so I’m ok with that for now.