This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
I have found myself in the position of gaining an extra 20 or 30 hours per week that I need to fill with something. Before I started taking courses, using up the majority of my spare time, I played a lot of video games and watched a lot of television. I still like video games and I would still watch a lot of television, but I don’t have the appetite for these things that I previously did. For the next few months, I have found something to fill up my time.
My wife and I bought our house over 3 years ago. When we first moved in, we essentially made the place livable, but not much more. We hadn’t even hung one picture on the wall until this May, let alone make any significant changes. Part of the reason that this has happened is that my wife and I are terribly unmotivated homeowners. Part of the reason we live in a condo townhouse is that we don’t want to cut grass or shovel snow, or look after the exterior portion of our house. The other reason why we haven’t made any significant improvements is that we don’t really look at our house as a home.
Even though we plan on living here for at least another 5 years – this isn’t our “end” home, the place we are looking forward to living in we reach retirement age. Neither of us has been particularly attached to this place, which has also inhibited our desire to make it look “pretty” – we see it as our transition home. I have decided to change my view on our house and get my hands a little dirty over the next few months.
I would like to learn some basic carpentry and handyman skills, and figure there’s no better way to do that then to build some stuff on my own. Over the next few months, I’ll be building a few (basic) things, like a deck, closet organizers and some large storage shelves. The benefit of building this stuff myself is that the cost is limited to some relatively inexpensive tools (which I will be able to use in the future) and material costs, while making our house a little more livable at the same time.
Most of my projects will increase storage area in our small(ish) house, which has been lacking an area to store the stuff that we probably don’t need, but can’t seem to throw away. The added benefit is that I will increase my miniscule handyman skills, which will assist me in future projects.
What kind of projects have you done around your house? Have they been a mess, or did they turn out well? Would you do it again, or hire it out?