The Three Essential Traits for Homeowners — A Top Three (yes, Just 3) List
Despite what was suggested in the comments of the post The Hardest Thing About Do It Yourself is, Well, Doing it Yourself — I did not intend to present that post as a dialog with myself. Of course that post may have made a bit more sense if you were aware of this post (which includes the origins of my name “jb” and why I often write it in lower case).
Again — I do not know Justin Bieber and I can neither condemn nor endorse him. My daughter simply received a life-size cutout of him . . . as a joke . . . for Christmas. In fact, I think she was a little scared of it. And I used him to help illustrate these points below.
My post from a few weeks back, The Ten Essential Tools for Homeowners ended up being pretty popular, and hey — maybe making lists isn’t such a bad thing. But as I was thinking about those “things,” you know — tools, it struck me that perhaps the most valuable “assets” for a homeowner may not be tools . . . or anything tangible for that matter. Rather, they may be only qualities or traits — and forgive me if these more specifically apply to the DIYers out there. But, check ’em; they are meant really to be all-encompassing.
The Three Essential Qualities Every Homeowner should have:
The Ability to Ask for Help (and to some degree — Access to a Helper)
Think about this — When you hire a pro to fix or install something on your house, what percentage of the time do you find two or more people actually doing the work? (This is not to mention of course that you probably also spent time with a salesperson, and maybe an estimator.) I think you’ll find that that percentage is actually pretty high. A helper not only brings an extra set of hands, but also an extra set of eyes, and we hope — an extra head. Plus, doing work is usually (I said – usually) a lot more fun when you’re doing it with someone else.
Into French and back, it translates roughly as “balls”. Around the house, and with home projects a little courage is good. This not only applies to spicy paint colors or a fiery glass and twisted chandelier, but it also applies when you are thinking about doing that . . . whatever. Moxie is the little voice that says, “Just freaking go for it!” After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You mess something up, spend a little early money (OK, and maybe stress) to have to undo and/or redo it. You’ll never know until you try. Right? Right. Note: A little courage too can help in your dealings with the other people involved in a project . . . suppliers, contractors, and especially, especially . . . your significant other.
A Little Enlightened You
Just as a little moxie is essential — so too is something that I call “smarts.” This manifests itself most frequently as a stop mechanism. It goes like this — “Just don’t do it, if it doesn’t feel right.” This is moxie’s counter-balance, the little voice inside you that says, “Boy, you f***ed this one up. You best stop and . . . ‘call’ someone.” This is in fact a very difficult skill to master . . . especially when you’re a fairly handy person. *ahem* It applies on the micro scale as well, and that same voice says, “This is good enough. You are finished. Put the sander down. I SAID P.U.T. it down . . . Good.” And the sooner you can add this to your arsenal, the better.
Side Bar Side Note Side Out: A Little Enlightened You has a few very important nested qualities: a. A short memory (of failure); b. A really good sense of humor, and the ability to laugh at . . . itself; c. The wisdom to know that success is not judged by anyone else other than yourself; and d. (This took a looonnnnnngg time to learn I am still learning.) Even the most skilled individual (this applies — no matter what we are talking about) needs to rip something out and start over . . . sometimes.