Sweat Equity

Dave 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’m really sore today, pretty much all over. I’m not sure it’s because I’m getting older, or the fact that over a four-day period, I:

  1. Did a pretty heavy leg workout Thursday evening.
  2. Played hockey with a very short bench of spare players Friday at lunch (re-starting my hockey “career” after a 6-year hiatus).
  3. Spent Saturday and Sunday roofing at a friend’s house (about 12 hours each day).

Considering I’m usually pretty proud of myself after doing one of the above activities I may have overdone it a little bit over the Victoria Day weekend, which made sitting at a desk and trying to analyze numbers a bit uncomfortable.

Because I’m not a very good adult, this is the second major project that I have helped this friend with in the last two years (I assisted in building a pretty good-sized deck last Canada Day Weekend), while leaving my own house projects semi-sketched out or mentioned in passing like “wouldn’t it be nice if we had a decent place to sit outside on our patio?”

What I’m really hoping is that someday I’ll get inspired and I can cash in the sweat-equity I have built up with friends around the Province to finally get all of my projects completed in a weekend. My 1,100 square foot condominium doesn’t really allow for much in the way of home improvements to complete, just enough that if they were done, it would feel more like a grown-up house and less of a student apartment.

Even if I never get to my own stuff though, I have a lot of fun working on the two projects I’ve done in the last couple of years. My wife, who helped “supervise” the most recent roofing project said we didn’t really stop laughing all day long – it was all anyone could hear from the ground.

This way of doing projects seems to work with my friends and I – about 6 guys will consistently show up, with enough combined skills that we can do most “rough” carpentry work needed to make things look decent. I like the feeling of community that these kind of projects bring – the kind of barn-raising mentality that a few beers and some barbecue brings. For a fraction of the labour cost (beer mostly), the jobs get done and everyone walks away happy.

Do you do your projects this way, or do you pay to have them done? When do you decide the work is “beyond” your skill set and it’s worth the money to have it done professionally?

3 thoughts on “Sweat Equity”

  1. Our ultimate goal is to be able to build a nice cabin on our island acreage… with our own hands. I have no problem admitting that the skills are still a work in progress. But in the past few years we have built a 10X10 work shed, and a 12X12 elevated wood deck. Thinking about an outdoor sauna next….

    Our hope is that these smaller projects will help hone our skills to the extent that we are confident enough to tackle the cabin – though I think I will still hire a professional for the trickier bits…

  2. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several
    e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

    Also visit my web page commercial roofing contractors toronto (Edmund)

  3. It depends on the project. I would never do roofing, for instance. Replace a faucet? Yeah ok.

    Basically because I happen to have more money than time, I trade money for time with my son. If the situation were reversed, I’d be more willing to get involved in more projects.

    Generally I save money by being proactive with good investments and reducing expenses

Comments are closed.