I was born and raised in England. We lived in a house that was a constant work-in-progress.
Dad did the odd-jobs around the house, but also seemed to relish bigger projects. I remember him building various things around the house. In fact, he always had some half-done job on the go that could sometimes take a long, long time to be completed.
The problem was that as he was halfway through one-job, he would be be inspired to start another or elaborate on the design. This often worked out well, but sometimes it tended to slow down or even stop certain projects for long periods of time.
My poor, long-suffering mother endured many years with random piles of bricks in the garden, a half wallpapered kitchen and rooms with no doors.
As an Architect by trade, Dad could see ideas and sketch them out in his mind. He was always creating a piece of custom furniture for an awkward corner or building special shelving that fit in a crooked wall.
When I was 10 years old, I watched him design and build a single bed on the ceiling of my sister's bedroom.
It was suspended from the ceiling, complete with a retractable ladder, bookshelves and little privacy curtains that enclosed the entire thing and made it into the ultimate den!
It even had a slide to get down!
Naturally I was very envious and, spurred on by jealousy and my sister’s bragging, I decided that it was time to build my own den. It would be bigger and better than my sister's. So I sketched out a plan and started to sneak pieces of wood and random tools from the garage into my room. Eventually, the loud hammering, the mess and the holes in the carpet landed me in deep trouble! Fortunately, Dad was amused, but he said I was too young to "borrow his tools" and start demolishing my own bedroom....Maybe that was for the best?
However, he did tell me that I would one day have my own house and I would need to learn how to do all these jobs by myself. If I wanted to build a bed that hung from the ceiling and a rope-swing to get down, I would need to acquire skills to be able do the work.
So I started to become a little more interested in what he was doing around the house. I watched him build a car-port, 2 different extensions to the house, new bathrooms, replacement kitchens and even a permanent granite BBQ.
As I got older, I started to learn how to do simple household jobs, like putting up shelves, changing electrical outlets and painting walls. From there, I continued to learn about bigger projects, starting with simple redecoration, eventually becoming complete renovations like upgrading bathrooms and kitchens, installing decks and putting in hardwood flooring.
I would sketch it out on a pad and try and look at the problem from a few different angles.
Eventually I travelled overseas, met a Canadian girl and moved to Vancouver. After finally buying our own home, I completely renovated it from top to bottom, although she still won’t let me build my ceiling bed!
I realized that this was something that I enjoyed doing a lot more. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the satisfaction of completing a project and was equally surprised that other people were too busy, or didn't have any desire to do these kind of jobs.
Some friends of ours, after seeing our house, told me a horror story when they hired a handyman who turned a simple 3 hour job into a 2 week ordeal, where they were living in a building site, with house guests!
I decided that I could help people with their household jobs, provide an honest service for a modest fee and in return, I would be doing a job I really enjoyed.
I understood that some people just need a little help with an extra pair of hands or ideas to maximize their home-space or even help re-designing a kitchen.
Not long later, I started to work as a 'Handyman'. I could help people with simple, small projects, or could help them completely re-design and renovate their homes. I quickly discovered I had an ability to quickly adapt to the task and complete jobs to the clients requirements.
So now, I help people make their homes complete by simply operating by the philosophy of treating your home with the same care and kindness as I would my own.