Sweat Equity

When I purchased my home last October, I knew it needed a little work. Some of the work was REALLY IMPORTANT to the structural integrity of the home (e.g. the new roof and gutters). Other parts have been purely to put my own stamp on my house (new kitchen updates galore). At the end of the day, I have a finite amount of money to spend, and I’ve had to look at what was the most important to pay the professionals to do, and what I could do myself. I decided that the big/important projects needed to come first and I needed to hire professionals to do these jobs for me. Thankfully I found  Kaufman Roofing here in Minneapolis to replace my roof and gutters. They were FANTASTIC!!!!! Super knowledgeable staff, hardworking crews, and they all loved my dog. Bonus! For the the updates in my kitchen (new farmhouse sink & faucet, arabesque backsplash tile, and quartz countertops) I found Kent through my neighbor Wally. Kent is a true artisan and gentleman. Salt of the earth, great sense of humor and my kitchen now looks better than a magazine. The only thing not done in my kitchen is painting my cabinets, which I can do myself and save some money in labor (insert sweat equity). Lastly, the guys at KNO Woodworks (Nick, Max, Anthony & Mason) did an AMAZING job building a new cedar fence in my yard. Even better, they were willing to work within my budget and build off the existing piece of fence. Hopefully next year I’ll have enough money to replace that section with some pretty new fencing.


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One of the things I’ve had to own about myself is that I don’t have natural DIY skills. It’s not that I can’t learn those skills, but that they don’t come naturally to me. And to be honest, I don’t always like doing DIY projects. That being said, when you’re in a pinch and have to do some of the work yourself, it’s helpful to have a handy friend or family member to help you out (thank you cousin Michelle for your green thumbs). One of the best things about having to do some of the work yourself is that you feel as proud of yourself for finishing the project as a kindergartner who just learned to tie their shoes. My biggest pat on the back moment was having my neighbor Wally and my cousin Michelle help me with different projects in my yard. I was intimidated by working in my yard because I had no idea what to do or how to do it. All it took was these 2 gems helping me get started to increase my confidence. I have to admit that I’m kind of hooked on working in my yard now. There’s something therapeutic about fighting to remove old bushes from the ground and getting dirt all over yourself. I’m genuinely excited to “play in the dirt” and transform my yard. I walked into this part of my new homeownership journey intimidated and have emerged with a new hobby. And  a new for of exercise without the gym membership fee.


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