Monday, November 21, 2016

Helping Hands

I have the best friends.

When DW and I started our kitchen and family room renovations, we thought we would save some money by doing the demolition stage ourselves. It was hard work, but when we saw the shell that had once been a busy kitchen, we felt pride in the sense of accomplishment.

But because I'm not much of a handyman, I knew that I wanted to leave the construction in the hands of professionals. We paid for skilled labourers to install our hardwood floor, build and place our cabinets and island, do the electrical work and plumbing, and do the counter.

Because I'm not entirely useless, I painted the walls, installed a ceiling lamp over the fireplace, and replaced our old baseboards.

There was only one problem with me doing the baseboards: I lacked the tools to cut the boards and to properly nail them to the wall.

Enter my friends.

When I needed an electric miter saw, I posted an appeal on Facebook and Twitter. Within minutes, I had several offers. I ultimately accepted help from my friend, Becca, and her saw reduced our time by hours.

For a nail gun, my friend, Shannon, and her husband lent us a brad gun, which, again, cut down the work time by about two ours.

Thank you so much.

One of the last major tasks of our renovation is the installation of the backsplash tiles in the kitchen. DW and I have been searching for the right tiles since we first started planning our reno, without much luck. Either she would love a pattern and I would hate it, or vice versa. Or, we would find a tile that we liked, only to get a sample of it home and discover that it didn't quite suit what we had in the kitchen already, or we would find we didn't like it at home as much as we liked it in the store.

Time was running out because we had a tile guy who was coming to install them and we also had another guy who was coming to install our range hood, which couldn't be done until after the tiles were in place.

My friend, Becca, when she learned that we weren't doing the tile ourselves, and then heard how much we were paying someone to do the work, talked us into doing it ourselves. She had done the tiles in her own kitchen, said she had most of the necessary tools, and was happy to help us put them on the wall.

Yesterday was the day.

I have the most amazing friends. Despite the snowy weather, Becca came and helped every step of the way: from the edging, to mixing the mortar and applying it to the wall, to working with DW to place the brick-shaped pieces into place.

All I had to do was cut the tiles to their specifications. When I wasn't cutting the tiles, I was watching, in awe, as these two women worked.

Mostly, I watched their butts. But that's just me.

The job took longer than we thought, and the day went like the wind. We didn't finish the whole job, but we at least finished the wall that will have the range hood attached to it.

Thanks, Becca! It looks great.

There's nothing like doing the work yourself, except when you have helping hands.

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