DIY, oh why, oh why?

Last week, I had to drag myself away from the final edits on Always Remember, set aside the final revisions on Terms of Surrender, and perform my wifely duties.

No, it’s not what you’re thinking. Get your mind out of the gutter, folks. 🙂

You see, I married a DIY guy. He’s good with his hands, looks great in his tool belt, and is willing to tackle any project, large or small. Together we’ve built two houses, doing most of the work ourselves, and tackled numerous home renovations…all without killing each other.

DIY 2013-1

However, I’m always a little bit reluctant, while he’s always gung-ho for the next project and the next challenge.

I once worked with a woman who did all of her own home repairs and maintenance. She had a knack for hammers and skill saws and pipe wrenches and tape measures.  If there was a kitchen tap in need of repair or a new shelving unit to be mounted to the wall, she knew how to do the job. Man, was I envious.

I have no building or mechanicals skills at all. Give me a computer and a program or app, and I can do anything. Give me a hammer and a toolbelt and a pipe wrench and…well, let’s just say if I had to hang a bookshelf on my own, it would be crooked. And the moment someone placed an object on it, it would fall off the wall.

So how do my DIY guy and I work together?

DIY-2013-2He’s the general contractor and I generally follow his orders.

I’m the go-fer gal – go for the hammer, get more nails, go pick up paint – while he’s the one that measures and cuts and makes sure our home projects are sturdy and straight.

I’m also the manual laborer – lift this stone, hold that piece of gyproc against the ceiling, bring another wheelbarrow of sand or dirt – and after the last few days, I’ve got the muscles and the bruises to prove I can do it.


Yet despite nearly 40 years of hanging out with my DIY guy, I’m still unable to hang a picture by myself.

How about you? Are you a Do-It-Yourself person, tackling your own home projects and maintenance projects, or do you call a guy or maybe call a girl? This exhausted girl wants to know. 🙂


About Sheila Seabrook

Author of contemporary romance and women's fiction.

Posted on August 7, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. It looks beautiful, Sheila! I, too, am not a DIY girl–unless it’s something crafty. Like you, I married one. When we were first married, we did a lot of that kind of stuff together–mixing and pouring concrete being my least favorite! Today, he owns and manages over sixty apartments and, needless to say, nothing gets done around the house because that’s the last thing he wants to do on the weekends. Now, I have to wait until one of his guys can come over and fix something and I really wish I had some of my own DIY skills because I’m always last on the list. Ten years from now, when we are both doing what we want and living in a different house, I know we’ll go back to tackling more DIY projects because nothing gives you more satisfaction that actually doing it yourself. 🙂

    But remember, writing a book is the ultimate DIY project!

  2. What a lovely project. Your hubs is a pro.

  3. You two must work well together because your project is beautiful! I’ve always said if you can survive home improvement projects together, your marriage is stronger than you think. I like to do what I can, but I leave the electrical and hanging duties to the man. He does lots himself (more than I give him credit for) but needs lots of back patting and tool handing in the process.

  4. Wow, Sheila, I can’t imagine having all that land for my yard! It looks so green and luscious. Cool. No, I am not Ms. Handy-Dandy with anything around the house. I did plunge the toilet this year for the first time ever. I can hang a picture on the wall but it’s always crooked and I’m afraid they’re all going to fall down in an earthquake. My husband is just like my father and can and does fix and build anything. Thank goodness. We’ve saved thousands of dollars because of his skills.

  5. Sheila, of course we all have “yard” envy for the spacious land you are able to build upon. And of course, I am no DIY … I am the crafter, crafty, nifty tiny project person. And what I excel in the most is “gopher” … go-fer the tools … go-fer the coffee … go-fer the hammer and wrench and then step out of the way 🙂

  6. What a great project. I predict many happy fireside moments with friends and family around the new fire pit. As for do-it-myself, I’ve surprised myself lately with a few successful (small) projects but truth be told… I’d really rather watch!

    • Cheryl, I’d much rather watch too. LOL! I always tell my DH that when he’s no longer able to fix things for me, I’m moving to a condo where I can “call a guy”.

  7. That’s beautiful, Sheila – a work of art. My husband always has a DIY project going on. He’s an engineer, and he’s got some serious skills. Meticulous as he is, it can take him a long time to finish a project. It can be crazy-making, but when I see an HGTV episode where someone has cut corners and created a mess, I’m grateful for my meticulous husband!

  8. Beautiful project, Sheila! I’m pretty handy. My late husband was! So I did most of what needed to be done around the house…panting, wallpapering, tightening loose stuff, putting in vinyl flooring, etc. Plumbing i have no knowledge of and really big projects that took more than one person I hired out. My hubs is very handy. There isn’t too much he can’t do and he prefers to work alone, so I don’t get to use my skills much…mostly because we live in a 130 yr old Queen Anne Victorian and it requires special only he knows how to give. He’s great at restoring, although slow and methodical. We’re moving back to my hometown next year into a more modern home where I will, again, be able to do a lot more handy work. I love it. There’s a lot to be said for being a go-fer girl, too. that can be as important as having the more technical skills. Especially since I’m sure you don’t complain but happily pitch in wherever you’re needed. That makes you an excellent partner in every home project!

  9. Marcia, I’m always amazed that some women understand this DIY stuff. I guess it’s all in how our brain works, right? I can paint, but I’ve never done wallpaper or floors. I remember the photos of the chairs and other things that you refinished and they were gorgeous. When I’m back online more (am just about to go live with Always Remembers, so that’s consuming my time), I’ll be checking out your website cause I think you were planning of doing some more projects and posting them, right?

  10. I’m impressed, and it’s clear you two have created such a lovely living space! My best friend and her husband are this way, DIYers. I’d rather just show up and enjoy everything once the projects are completed. 😉

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