Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
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Re: The Maintenance Learning Curve to Competence Conundrum
My father gave me about the same exact advice on home ownership as Profin. A friend of mine and myself each bought houses at the same time. And we both jumped into working on them. after a few months we were sitting around discussing the trials and tribulations and money spent. My dad said to us, the only difference is attitude/confidence. You may never be an expert at all of it, but you can always try your hand at it. Once in awhile you'll really screw something up, but you can always fix it or pay to get it fixed.
I've approached almost everything this way. Home remodels, Vehicle repair, vehicle restoration, boat repair, boat building, etc. I try to do any of it I can myself. Sometimes I do it for no other reason than to prove its worth paying someone else to do it. (drywall finishing).
Of course I think being given the opportunities as a kid to work with my hands and learn my way around tools and even problem solving helped with my confidence. My dad would tell me in the morning before he left for work that when he got home he expected that I would have the engine out of one of our tractors ready to take to a machine shop. Or, that a water pump in something else had to be done. He never stood over me telling me how to do it, just take lots of notes, draw diagrams, and do it. Then we'd go over it with a critical eye, and point out things that could have been done differently.
I'm trying to pass that along to my daughter, but if you think about it, today's kids don't get as much hands on, doing it yourself sort of thing.