19 April 2009

Thinking is for Losers

I just finished a satisfying home-improvement job. I have a list of at least a dozen similar projects, some quite big. This blog post is mostly a reminder to myself that building is better than browsing the internet, writing a blog or reading a book. Better to live your life than read or write about it.

I was talking to our herdshare farmer the other day, and he commented that he was helping his brother build his house. And they were making quick work of it, just the two of them. And this reminded me that I once had that attitude.... that I can just go out and build it. And, Ive seen lots of people in the city take a vacant building or a vacant lot, and make a home for their family.

Most people work their whole lives to own their house. But we have made the whole building enterprise too specialized but at the same time too generic. People think about resale value instead of putting themselves into their home. And what do those paperboard houses look like now, with the overgrown grass, faded vinyl siding and rotted wood deck? Are they real homes, or are they just drywall rooms for our stuff?

This reminds me of another person I just heard about. Houses are so cheap around town, that this guy decided to just buy one and use it for his personal storage unit. He was tired of paying $200 a month to store all his junk. So why not buy a house for $9,000 instead?

But seriously, everyone should once in their life build a house, or save one from demolition, rehab it, expand it. It is the most rewarding work. I guarantee you that no one who is building their own house suffers from depression. Physically constructing a home is the complete antidote to malaise. And better yet, do the work with your life-mate, and you build strong loving memories. What couple can divorce, when their home is the physical embodiment of so many happy memories of them working together?

Quit thinking about it, get off your ass and make it happen.


dave said...

Hmmm, Ill need to think about that a bit.

5chw4r7z said...

I did some remodeling of an old house in Youngstown, enough to know that I'm not proficient at it.
But I learned something, if I hadn't tried I'd never know.
But I get the point you should do things find limits learn about yourself. Sometimes its easier to just do it, instead of endless talking and planning to do it.
So do it, what ever it turns out to be.

CityKin said...

Some people (present company included) get into a rut of talking and rhuminating too much. Stop thinking about it and go build it.

Thats all.

Anonymous said...

The $9,000 storage unit reminds of a story I was told by John Gower from the City of Dayton Planning Department years ago. While I interned there the City bought several dozen houses for less than $1,000 each. A few for less than $500. He told me that at one point houses in the west side of Dayton were so cheap that there was man who lived in Kentucky who depended on firewood for heat in the winter that would drive up to Dayton each fall with a large flatbed truck, buy a frame house for a few hundred dollars, collapse the house onto the trailer, and drag the pile back home for firewood. Much cheaper than buying the same amount of cut firewood he claimed.

Matt Scheidt