Hard work never hurt anyone?

pug in mortar board with college grad
My daughter and Waffles during college graduation.

A few years ago my daughter graduated from college and was recruited by a Scottsdale, Ariz. firm. We told her we’d love to go apartment hunting with her. My husband was impressed with the area and wanted to move to Arizona someday (spoiler alert: we did during COVID). What we discovered with our daughter was very expensive housing for renters. And relatively cheap homes to purchase — especially compared to California. A mortgage payment was close to $1,000 less per month than a rental payment. Plus it made sense as an investment.

So, we decided to buy a small house. It didn’t take long for my daughter to realize she was in the wrong career and really didn’t like her job. She applied for several jobs and had a couple offers. This was all pre-COVID lockdowns when there were more jobs than people applying. She took a job in the Bay Area where she’d be living a few miles from our son, her big brother.

pug on a sofa
Waffles inside the house where my daughter lived.

After our daughter left, we decided to hang onto the house and rent it out. This weekend the current tenants moved out. We have new ones coming in a few weeks. We were shocked at how the house looked today, compared to when my daughter took such good care of it. Two of the rooms have so many holes in the walls it looked like someone was playing with a machine gun. Seriously? Who puts 50 holes in a wall? I guess three college students do and did. The yard needs a lot of work, too.

We decided we didn’t have any plans this Fourth of July weekend, so we’d be DIYers. We started by patching holes and prepping two rooms for fresh paint. After working on the house from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. yesterday, I’m feeling muscles I didn’t know I had. I can barely walk, bend over or sit in a chair. I was reminded of the saying “Hard work never hurt anyone.”

These are the holes I patched in one bedroom. Next comes primer and paint. I already finished taping the floorboards, closet doors. It’s going to be a light, light, grayish blue when done.

I am hurting. Big time. I’m also very tired. Despite us getting cranky with each other (to put it mildly!) and sore muscles — I think in the long run this is good for us. We aren’t used to doing hard physical labor. At least not since chasing around little kids, working all weekend on my feet at a swim meet, or working in the yard at our old house.

I think the toughest part for me was the painters tape. I taped up the floor boards, doorways and windows. Bending over or sitting on the floor trying to get the tedious work done was an adventure in itself. With my post surgery knee that has never been the same, just sitting on the floor in a semi comfortable position is work.

Here’s to getting the house and yard back into shape and having tenants who take better care of it.

Before picture of the back yard.
The lawn today.

What do you think about DIY projects? Do you enjoy them or would you prefer hiring someone? What projects have you done?

25 thoughts on “Hard work never hurt anyone?

  1. My husband and I were enjoying looking at the pug, just like our Iago! Same collar. We do our own projects. I help Mike with them. He directs and I try to follow except for the garden where I am on my own with creativity, pulling weeds, cutting, etc. maintenance. Sounds like you put in a full day.

      • I can’t believe someone would do that. It looks like a BB gun. The husband cleaning the gutters with me below screaming, “Don’t fall off the ladder. Be careful.” Hmmm.

      • Right? What were they thinking? I guess the giant beer pong table they left behind in the yard gives me a clue about their thinking….I’m impressed with all you and your husband do! Also, aren’t pugs the best? I’m visiting my son and daughter in a few weeks to help with post surgery recovery and I look forward to seeing Waffles almost as much as the kids!

  2. I hate DIY projects. I’m very bad at it. We found the same re rent vs mortgage here. My son was looking to rent a place closer to work and ended up buying a condo instead.

  3. I am Cupcake’s husband. Now you know. We do nearly everything DIY…plumbing, flooring, carpentry, electrical….all of it. The reason is simple (and to some degree insulting): if someone else can learn it, so can I. Especially when many of these “professionals” could not find a noun in this post but have no problem adding up $100.00 an hour charges. With the advent of YouTube, everything becomes a DIY doable project, and we are all over it like scales to a fish.

    • Thanks for commenting. My husband worked for a plumber and a painter as a young man so he has the skills. He used to prefer to hire someone. But he’s tired of the high costs they charge.

  4. I am so happy not to be a landlord anymore! Good luck finding renters that will take care of your place… they are out there, but not always easy to spot.

    My husband and I are big DIYers. Whenever we try to talk ourselves into hiring a “professional,” we get a $$ quote and usually decide to just do it ourselves. We find that we not only save money but we do a better and more careful job. Just today, I was using a jigsaw to cut the facing for the deck we are installing. Maybe not my most favorite way to spend the afternoon but it was satisfying.

    • Wow! I’m so impressed with you using a jigsaw. At first we had a realtor find tenants and hire people to do work on it. But now that live close-by we’re doing more ourselves, including finding the tenants. Also, I agree with you. The work is satisfying.

    • It shocked me when I woke up this morning! Didn’t feel it until today. My husband drove back to fill in the holes in the yard and get of the trash of empties at the beer pong table! I stayed home🙂

      • When we lived in Charlotte, NC for three years, my husband and I discussed renting out our Florida home.. we didn’t because we liked to come down and stay when we could.. but honestly, i was afraid someone would trash the place.

      • I have a good friend who feels the same way about a condo they have at the beach. It never occurred to me before…

  5. I don’t do DIY projects. I’d hire other people to get it done. However, I’ve never been in this position before. My son rents houses but he doesn’t involve me. Arabs are more “women stay in the kitchen” types and I’d rather not deal with the headache of tenants anyway.

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