Things constantly change… but sometimes, they don’t change very much.
Last week I told you that as soon as I finished my column I was going to remove the floorboards in my kitchen.
Well, that is pretty much the same thing I’m going to do this week, except instead of ripping out the old fake wood boards that were in the house when I bought it I’m going to carefully remove the new hardwood boards I put down last week.
Yep, you got that right; I didn’t… get it right, that is.
The problem is the concrete floor underneath isn’t totally level yet.
I knew that was the main issue with the old floor and I used a self-levelling compound to try to sort it out before I laid the new boards, but I ignored the directions on the bag that told me I would need to make more than one application to get a level floor if it was out of line by more than five millimetres.
Oh well, I’m just going to have to do the job again, and maybe even again, until I get it right… and that leads us very nicely into the main point I’m hoping to make this week.
The key, as I see it, to doing new things and to trying to fix things yourself – and enjoying the experience – isn’t making sure you know everything there is to know before you start; the secret is simply accepting the fact that you may very well have to do the job more than once.
It’s like any other sort of education. That is; you tend to learn more from your failures than from your successes.
Now while this educational attitude is extremely helpful, I have to admit it is difficult to grasp when your main objective is to save money.
And let’s face it, that is exactly what most of us are looking to do when we decide to do it ourselves, but if you can take a long term view and if you can see that the knowledge gained will save some cash when you have to do a similar job in the future, the added costs can be seen as investments.
The other thing is to admit to yourself that you don’t know what you are doing. If I had done that with this floor project I wouldn’t have tried to correct a floor that was out of level by nearly a centimetre with one application of a product designed to correct no more than half that amount.
My problem wasn’t that I didn’t bother to read the directions, it was more that I didn’t take them seriously enough when they told me something I didn’t want to hear.
You may not need to know everything there is to know before you get started but it is pretty foolish to ignore the information that is readily available.
Oh well, this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened to me, and I doubt it will be the last, but hopefully next time I’m in this sort of situation I will take the directions a little bit more seriously.
Like I said before, things do change, but sometimes not by very much… and sometimes the learning process is extremely slow.