The price is alluring. As for all the work needed, I can do this – I can be quite handy at times. And my current job situation leaves me with a lot of time on my hands. Am I serious? I’d have to quit my job, and live another 100 years to somehow fix this place up. But seriously, I have enough do-it-yourself knowledge to kid myself that I could do this.
As I wended my way through many jobs before and during college, I found myself working as a laborer for a general contractor. My only qualification was that I was willing to do what was asked of me, which was primarily anything the more experienced guys didn’t want to do. I was the schlub who carried all the tools and heavy materials, did the jobs that required a respirator, tyvek suit and goggles, and cleaned up at the end of the day. After several years, and some modest gains in skill, I found that I enjoyed general construction work as much as anything else.
My many years of formal education have ended up putting me behind a desk most days of the week. However, I find myself gravitating toward projects that require tools and building materials in my hands. Essentially, I am like many of us who find ourselves, when not working our day job, in over our heads working on our own home, or someone else’s. There are myriad reasons for this – saving money, helping out friends, enjoyment, satisfaction, or proving (to whom I’m not sure) that I can do it.
Over the years, while not at my day job, I have continued to do construction work. I have helped several contractors renovate many different houses, in a few different towns. I essentially have become a skilled laborer. I have also been able to work on projects involving almost every aspect of general construction – jacking up houses and rebuilding foundations, enclosing porches into sunrooms and cutting out exterior walls into them, and gutting old houses back to the studs and building it back.
But do I really want to try to do something like this on my own? The fact that I am considering it affirms the adage “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”