there is one thing that has come out of learning to build so many stages, theater, and product prototypes – you learn a myriad of skills and workarounds to make something work. call them skills and talents that accumulate over time, much like the old tool shops of yesteryear were about not only having the tool but knowing how to use it. today’s 3d printing and design is a godsend in that it allows pretty much anyone the ability to make something via rapid prototyping – yet – what is does not teach is the skills if you did not have the fancy tools to help you.
so I get a friend calling and asking if I could help him with some work renovating a widow home. I think he is like myself, if you are a contractor, you almost have to charge double because of the legal overhead needed, yet, if you are painting a porch for someone, you don’t need rocket science degrees – rather – elbow grease, show up, and apply common sense to quality with paint. when we left last night, after three coats to coax back life in neglected wood – the porch looked beautiful, warm, and inviting.
mom and dad got a new elderly/handicap bathroom, of which, I actually wonder, “did I do this?” as it really is nice. when I found out what the cost would have been for a contractor, I gagged, as if you know how to build and don’t need the best of supplies and gizmos for fixtures – you can build a great space for very little – sans labor costs.
my brother came in and said, “why don’t you do this for a living? it is really good.”
“I will only do this for family and friends who don’t have the big budgets, yet have a nice dream. if I can make that reality. cool. I just don’t know why the costs are so inflated with contractors. there is a lot to be said about experience, yet, what I am seeing in the market is work that is much shoddier than I can do for quality and design. I fear people are just getting used to poor quality, and/or so used to watching a 22-minute non-reality tv show where an entire home is magically transformed in a week – yet, they don’t show how many people, hours, and the size of the crew helping them.”
it is as if society has gone the way of make -up. people don’t seem to care if it is going to actually last more than a year, and there is the southern and what I mint with a swiss term, “if it looks good, it must be ok?”
for now, I know in Switzerland, if it looks good, there is some substance behind it holding up that will last for a while.
so that might be the odd project for a bit. helping a friend and his family with a new little baby girl and making a nice home for his growing family to be raised in. I am starting to see how it can be done with a limited budget, and yes, it simply involves a lot of work and workarounds to create a space that flows and simply works best….a few problem areas, but nothing that can’t be fixed, repaired and worked around. I don’t see any particular disasters except for a wall where a flood once was that needs to be torn out.
so that is my day and life. I was thinking he wanted one thing done and then it was like, “what can you do with this space?”
I do love challenges.
what is ironic is all the various prototypes, techniques, skills and such that I had to learn because I really didn’t have the money to simply hire the parts out – is what allows me to do this type of thing. what is so interesting today is that you have the internet to look up information with. what amazes me is how few people will take that information, pick up a tool and simply do something with it.
now on to sketching – I don’t know how to explain it – but I get pieces of the puzzle and then put it all together. in 24 hours…most of it seems to make sense for their budget. amazing what you can do with cheap labor with a lot of skills.
(pats self on back before taking the time to realize just how much effort will be needed to take the idea and turn it into reality)