Handiless Defined

This is a page about our house.  But first, a little history.

I (Scott) married Melissa in June of 2006. We  were both born and raised in Wisconsin, but have lived Tampa, FL for most of our marriage up to this point..  After 3 years of living in Florida, we came to the conclusion that Wisconsin was our true home, so we decided to move back and buy a house.  The process of buying a home was infinitely more work than I could have imagined, and the difficulty was compounded by the fact that I was living from place to place in Wisconsin while Melissa finished up school in Tampa.  But, we finally got all the details hashed out and now we are officially homeowners in Neenah, Wisconsin.

That brings us to this: home projects.  I am not a handyman.  I don’t know how to build anything.  I don’t know how to fix things.  I know my way around a screwdriver and lawnmower, and I have handled a mean drill from time to time, but handy would be one of the last words you would use to describe me.   In fact, if there was an antonym for handy, and thus a more fitting descriptor when it comes to how this relates to me, I imagine it would be something along the lines of “handiless”.

How did I earn such a title?  I once drove a nail through an electrical box accidentally when attempting to hang a picture in my apartment.  The closest thing I’ve ever come to putting up shelves was buying two boards and six cinder blocks and stacking them together.  I once literally threw my back out attempting to fix our dishwasher.  Should I go on?

Any house comes with projects.  Whether it’s a new house or a fixer upper, everyone wants to add their own flare to the house they signed their life away to buy.  We are no different.  While the house we bought is only a few years old, there are a number of things that are must-dos, as well as a number of things that are “get done eventually”.  Either way, I have my work cut out for me.

While I don’t have the technical know-how to tackle every home improvement project with confidence and competence, two very important things that I bring to the table are an inclination to learn and a strong desire to save money.  Combining these two elements, my motivation to learn will be driven by the money I can save by doing so.

Just to give you an idea of where this house stood when we bought it, here are a few projects that I will be tackling right away:

  • The Lawn: there is no grass in the yard, just weeds and rocks
  • Hanging drapes throughout the house
  • Fix an electrical outlet that has crossed wiring
  • Mount the microwave above the stove
  • Installing a garage door opener
  • Finish an area where the siding was never fully installed
  • Improve ground area around egress windows

So it begins.  I am a married man who just bought a house, having very little experience with the endeavor upon which I am about to embark.  What I have become then is the handiless homeowner; an improbable hero in a do-it-yourself story, whose only assets seemingly are a positive attitude, a willingness to learn, a meager arsenal of tools, and a tight wallet.

4 responses

13 05 2010
Erika Minnick

This is hilarious!! My husband fits right into this description with you. Although once you do own a home, you tend to get better at “fixing” things (or you have your neighbor do it) 🙂 We didn’t own a LADDER until we just recently INHERITED one 🙂 I have your blog bookmarked and am excited to hear/watch the progression of your new home. It’s beautiful!! Congratulations! Hope to see you sometime soon 🙂

13 05 2010
Chris Matson

Sounds like the first lines of a movie to me. Garage door openers are easy to install. I think all you need is two guys and a 12 pack.

13 05 2010
Jeremy

Is there top soil in your yard? There wasn’t in ours. By the time you factor in buying the top soil, and renting all the equipment you’d need to DIY the project, that’s one project might want to consider leaving to the professionals. Unless of course you know someone who can do a good job behind the wheel of some heavy machinery.

By the time we crunched the numbers it was actually basically the same cost to have someone come do it as to DIY (though our lawn was fairly crappy for a while, and is only starting to look decent after paying a lawn care co to come the last couple years.)

In ground sprinklers are a fortune, but if I had to do it over again I might consider it, cause watering is a tremendous hassle when you’re trying to get a lawn going.

If you don’t have in ground buy one of these types of sprinklers. (http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1272981&CAWELAID=109335043) I can’t vouch for that EXACT sprinkler, I have a different brand, but I’m being only slightly hyperbolic when I say I don’t know how I lived without it. 🙂 I was hesitant to buy it, because other sprinklers are like $10, and I didn’t think the traveling part would work all that well. But it’s worth every cent, and doesn’t need to be replaced every year like the $10 ones, but even if it broke every year too, I’d buy another.

10 04 2012
It concludes… « The Handiless Homeowner

[…] Handiless Defined […]

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