Tuesday, June 24

D.I.Y. Mishaps. Confess now.

Uh, I think you missed a spot. The business of home-improvement/ repairs/ renovation is a $215 billion industry . Yeah, no kidding. Look at the size of Home Depot or Lowes. Those places need their own zip-codes!

It's all probably because of shows like Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for getting our creative juices flowing and thinking about how our homes could be better, bigger, and TV-ready at all times.

And it's not just the shows! There are whole entire cable channels devoted to getting us thinking that our homes need improvement (HGTV= Home & Garden TV, FNL=Fine Living Channel, and the direct-and-to-the-point DIY=Do It Yourself Channel).

And we know what we want, because we've all seen enough of Cribs to know we want plasma TVs on our walls, customized built-ins for our junk, and a fancy oasis "where the magic happens" (formerly known as the bedroom). Ty Pennington has convinced me I want a bowling alley in my rec room. I also want a hibachi grill in my kitchen even though I am primarily an oven and microwave girl.

But the downside is not that they created a world of unrealistic expectations of a tricked-out home, but that they make it seem like you could actually do it on your own! I don't care that these shows proved that all I need is two thousand bucks to transform my house and sell it for an extra ten grand. Or with $500 and a weekend while out of town, I can have the ultimate spa bathroom.

Because IT CAN'T BE DONE! Most of watching don't have two thousand bucks laying around, or more importantly-- the guts to start ripping out our own drywall! SURE, I hate my bathroom tile, but you don't see me taking a sledgehammer to the floor because I saw Hilde put in gorgeous Pergo flooring for less than a hundred dollars.

Which brings me back to this $215 billion dollar industry... I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to believe that there is now a growing new segment of this industry that stands to make even more money. And that is: repairing home renovations that have gone wrong. Anybody in the biz knows that there is money to be made off of losers like us who have screwed up a DIY project and now need a PRO to come in and fix the error of our self-sufficient & stubborn ways.

OK, fine. I'll share my DIY Mishap, if you share yours. Deal?

(Deep breath). So... I got a brilliant idea in my head that I needed wire shelves in my closet. Got out the drill, made a few holes. Watched the screws fall out because apparently I'm supposed to look for studs before I stick a drill in the wall. Drilled a few more holes. Hung up my shelves, and voila. Shelves.

And then I learned about what a level is for.

The epilogue to this tale of DIY woe is that the crooked shelves are no longer around. But the holes are still in the wall to serve as a costant reminder of my DIY failures.

I use the yellow pages now.

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