Working in the construction business for over 30 years and listening to homeowners, tell me how fortunate I am to have the ability to work on my own home. It kind of makes me feel good to hear them praise me and when I have completed their project, they usually are extremely happy with how it turned out. I've been listening to this for years and came to one conclusion, anyone can do what I do, with the correct information.
I was building a deck and a homeowner and his son were there constantly, watching me work on the project. They would ask if they can help and if there was anything they could do, they would like to learn the deck building process, so one day they could build their own decks. Most of the time, they were in my way and slowed me down. I finally got to a point where I had to asked them if they could watch from a distance, because I was starting to run behind on the project. It was starting to cost me money to educate them. I just didn't have time for this and there was no way, that I wanted to hurt their feelings or make them mad at me.
They agreed and at the end of the day, would have a couple of questions for me. I told the father, that I would bring him a few books on deck building and he could keep them as long as he needed. Him and his son were more than happy to accept my offer and the next day, they were nowhere in sight. At the end of the day as I was putting my tools away, a homeowner and his son approached me and thanked me for loaning them the books, but they were done with them. The son explained to me, that they were going to purchase some of their own books on deck building, because mine were a little out of date.
To make a long story short, I finished the deck, got paid and went on my way. A few months later they contacted me and asked if I had time, can I come over the house and look at the new deck, that they built next to mine. I said I would be glad to, and would be there tomorrow evening. When I arrived at the job site, I couldn't even get out of my truck, the father and his son were waiting for me in the driveway and directed me to drive to the back of the home.
There new deck was about 10' x 10' and matched the one that I built pretty good. They did a great job and after I told them, what a wonderful job they did building the deck, they were like two kids in a candy store. It seemed like, I had just made their day and it made me feel good, and that they felt good.
Sometimes building a deck or home repairs can be performed like a professional, with a little bit of help, from the book.
Greg Vanden Berge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books to help professional building contractors as well as the weekend warriors.
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