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DIY Home Projects Can Be Easy

When I was a kid and something needed to be repaired or built, my father did it. He plumbed things, ran new lights and wires, built new walls, and even built new additions to our houses. Because everything you see as a child seems normal, this all seemed normal to me. It was just one of the jobs that dads had, along with teaching you to ride a bike and driving you to the museum every weekend.

It didn't occur to me that everyone didn't do things like this until one of my roommates hired a handyman to hang a single picture frame. My father was a carpenter and handyman, so like when you copy a copy in a xerox machine, I was a worse handyman. Now that we have a new old house and there are almost unlimited projects ahead of me, I think a lot about how lucky I am to have a father who taught me this stuff.

As I see others approach similar projects, I realize that although there is a skill gap, there are also some gaps in perception. Understanding a few things about construction and doing projects can make you feel much more comfortable and willing to try by yourself.

1. Almost anything can be fixed easily and cheaply, so you don't have to worry too much about messing things up. I recently wanted to see what was in the crawl space above the ceiling and there were no hatches, so I just cut a hole in the wall of a closet and peeked through. Once I saw that there was enough room for me to crawl around up there I expanded the hole to be just barely big enough for me to squeeze through. I don't mind doing this because I know that the small hole would be trivially easy to repair, and even a big one isn't all that hard.

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