Don’t Do Everything Yourself – Even If You’re A Jack-of-all-Trades!

dog wondering where the deck went

Today’s lesson is important for old retired jack-of-all-trades who like to do EVERYTHING themselves around the house–you know who you are! Tough men who build houses for a living usually like to stay tough right until their senile years. Well, perhaps this tip of the day will help you become more efficient at completing your projects, and to illustrate I am going to use one of my own projects as an example.

I’m working on one of my houses in Langford, British Columbia, Canada, specifically working on rebuilding the deck because the original one was rotting under our feet–literally!

Not only was the deck rotting, but much of the support structure under the house was rotting as well, which is why I got this corner of the house on stilts, which you can see in the picture below.

Now before I tell the embarrassing story about how I tried to do everything myself and paid dearly for it, let me tell you that blessings come in all shapes and sizes and, well, sometimes getting the right help exactly when you need it is the best blessing of all.

So what is my embarrassing story?–the perfect example of why you shouldn’t do everything yourself? Well, I nearly had the biggest scare in my life as the entire corner of my house started to sag and droop before my eyes like an excited little boy on the end of a teeter-totter. I was by myself as I took out one of the most important structural beams holding my house up and I swear an angel must’ve come down from heaven to hold the house in place for just long enough for me to get a jack in there. You can see the jack in the picture, the black one … it looks cute but remember that thing was keeping my whole house stable for a few hours until I managed to get that one support beam in place.

This experience nearly gave me a heart attack and when I looked in the mirror that night I promised myself I would never again try to do everything myself. My project requires building a new deck and fixing up all the landscaping around this side of the house so I was wondering what kind of business in Langford I could hire to see the job done. Not often will you find a deck building company that also does landscaping but I managed to find the perfect one. These guys at All In One Landscaping & Curbing Ltd. do everything and more than I needed, which is why I think they call themselves “all in one.” Now I know what you’re thinking, if you think anything like I did a few days ago: “what kind of coward asks for help!”

Well let me tell you that it actually took a lot of courage to ask these guys for help and now that my project is swinging quickly toward completion I don’t regret it one bit! Look at how far I need to extend the deck around the house and ask yourself how fun this would be to do all on your lonesome.

unfinished project

Now as a jack-of-all-trades don’t get me wrong. I know HOW to do all the stuff my auxilia is doing but I must admit it’s a great relief at my age to have younger helpers who also know what they’re doing. I forgot more than these guys know but that doesn’t mean their useless. I can sit back with a beer and watch as they do everything for me. Ah, now this is retirement!

I guess the lesson I’m trying to teach here is … just imagine what could have happened if I wasn’t quick enough to get the jack under the house when it was sagging. My whole house could’ve started sliding down the hill! Now that I have help all those worries are gone. And now that I’m a little used to asking for help it won’t be so hard to do again when the next project comes along. If you enjoy neat lessons like this related to construction trades then keep in touch with my blog for posts in the future!

And remember, it takes courage to ask for help!