One of the most stressful bits of buying this house was the home inspection. Over the course of a bit over an hour our home inspector went through every bit of the house that was accessible, and pointed out everything that violated current building codes, and anything that looked like it was going to be an expensive maintenance problem later.
The house was in good shape, but he generated several hundred pages of minor issues and things to watch out for. Some of them were very easy to address, such as adding a drainage system to the gutters to move water further away from the foundation, some of them are things that are big enough jobs that the best way to deal with it was calling in the professionals, such as having the rusting metal frames on the basement windows replaced.
A lot of the list is falling into the category of small home improvement projects. While I don’t consider taking these on a prime leisure activity, I do get a sense of satisfaction out of completing them. I also feel like I’m really hitting my stride working on them.
A lot of the attributes that serve me well in software development also help with fixing things around the house. I also have a lot to owe to both of my parents for giving me tools when I was young, teaching me how to use them, and then, most recently, to my father for taking the time to go over some of the basic rules of how to safely do minor electrical work, and spending a weekend working with me on a project that gave me a reasonably comprehensive understanding of how to do minor plumbing repairs if needed.
Making a Good Thing Better
The interesting thing is, the sum of many small repairs adds up to a lot more than I’d think. New doorknobs, hinges, light switches, outlets, and plates are individually small details, but all of them together make me feel significantly more ownership over the space and it makes the rooms feel surprisingly finished.