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Women’s Work is in the Home (Renovations)

March 27, 2013

Despite the fact that both my grandfathers were trade carpenters, I didn’t have a lot of opportunity as a kid to play with power tools.  Girls didn’t really do that kind of thing when I was young.  We were often discouraged when we showed interest.  We were supposed to colour inside the lines and take Home Economics.

drillmy calloused thumb, circa this morning


I worked as a Human Rights advocate for 11 years, and then I burnt out spectacularly.  Nowadays, I perform renovations and property maintenance as a private contractor.  Maybe it’s in the blood.


In the rental townhouses I am currently working on, Allure floating vinyl floor tile will be installed on all the floors, even right over top of the blue and grey tiles pictured.  This vinyl flooring has an amazing 25-year warranty, and is becoming more popular in rentals.  I think it’s gorgeous.  (I am hoping to install the same flooring myself in the Treehouse within the next year.)  I will try to post photos when this unit is done.




Wall-to-wall carpets have GOT to be on the way out by now.  They are disgusting.  If you’ve ever looked underneath your carpet…well, you probably shouldn’t.  You don’t want to know.


We call this Haussmann wet/dry vacuum R2D2.  It’s a little temperamental.




Sometimes if I am working alone, I talk to it.  Sure, why not?  It can get lonely all by yourself!


The volume of content in the garage and shed on this job site is a little overwhelming.  My co-worker and I went looking for tools, wall mud, and heating vents in both places this morning.




It took a bit of time.


Among the work we did today, we removed the old vertical blinds and patched walls.  These blinds are being replaced with curtains – vertical blinds are not very durable.




My co-worker and I tried to dream up crafty projects by which we could recycle the plastic slats, but apparently they disintegrate outdoors, and we couldn’t think of anything to use them for inside.  (If you have any ideas, please post them below!)


Also, it takes a LOT of protein to get through a day of physical work!  This is my average lunch, minus the banana I ate at 11:00:




And no, even though I rolled up the rim like I was supposed to, I didn’t win a car on the Timmy’s cup.  My co-worker won a free coffee, though.  I’m a little jealous.


I love working on other people’s homes and future homes almost as much as I love working on the Treehouse.  I think everybody should have a happy place and a sanctuary.  Getting to help people realize their dreams of “home” is some of the most satisfying work I’ve ever done.

Actually, I think paid music gigs are the only thing that could beat it for making a living.  🙂


One day not long after I’d left home, I was at my mother’s house repairing her dining table.  I still had it upside-down on the floor when my grandfather popped in for tea.  Of course, he set to inspecting my work.

“Pretty good for a girl,”  he said.

Testing one of the legs for wobble (it didn’t), I replied, “Pretty good for anybody.”


Dodie Goldney

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related posts by Dodie Goldney:

Art Therapy for Grown Ups

Colouring Outside the Lines

The Insta-band


8 Comments leave one →
  1. Carole Goldney permalink
    March 28, 2013 8:51 am

    Looking forward to seeing the “after” pics. The garage looked like mine before I had it cleaned out.

  2. June 16, 2014 3:11 am

    Wow that garage & shed is a little messy 🙂 Great job by the way.


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