After making a few offers and taking some rejection, my prayers were answered with an amazing home. My dream of having a garage finally came true. The home was built in 2014, but despite being somewhat new, the previous owners had left evidence of their pet's indiscretions. I knew not to be scared of cosmetic damages as I have developed the skills to remodel, renovate, and restore from having grown up around construction sites my whole life.
My father still owns and runs a construction company which me and my brothers have worked at since we were young. Despite being the owner of the company, my dad used to pick up brooms and clean each job as if it were his own building. In fact, I would summarize construction as a constant battle with cleaning up strategic messes.
I received the keys to my house about 45 days before my lease ended at my apartment which would give me enough time to make the renovations that I wanted to perform on my newly acquired asset. I decided to replace the downstairs carpet with wood flooring due to pet stains and allergens. Having remodeled several houses before, I knew that I could tackle this project with the skills and know-how to get the job professionally done. I could hear my father's voice warning me to wear safety glasses, to measure twice before cutting, and to take my time with preparations. I found myself having short conversations in my head throughout the day with him.
There were unexpected challenges like electrical wiring issues, delivery and transportation of heavy appliances, as well as plumbing obstacles; however, amazingly, I was able to resolve all of these concerns with what I learned from my dad. For instance, I heard him telling me to mark the toilet flange with tape when I removed the old commode to install the wood floor and brand new luxury throne. I heard him tell me to go slow and take my time with cleaning and preparing the sub floor before making my first cut. After each day, I heard him remind me to take the time to clean up the "job site" and take care of my tools. I laughed as I used my electric blower to push the saw dust into the alley in a cloud of wooden sand, which sounds like something my dad would do.
While I worked on my house, I decided to list my apartment on a short term rental site to guests visiting Austin. I have listed my apartment in the past while I was traveling and I am grateful for the skills learned to be able to generate income while I worked on my house. In a short time I was able to offset my rent and make enough money to finance my home renovations. Thank God!
I would spend my day waking up early to work on the house, and around lunch I would break to check out guests and reset the apartment for the next visitors. The whole process took about an hour which I streamlined down to about 30 minutes. I found myself competing to beat my previous time (Launder and change sheets/towels, wipe counters and bath area with cleaner, vacuum and mop floors, transfer clean laundry to dryer, and dispose of trash on my way out). Some guests were cleaner than others. Some were barely there, and some where just plain rude. I did my best to detach my personal feelings from having to clean up after strangers only to return home and clean up after myself (construction is constant clean-up). Reminding myself that each guest was helping me to transition from my four years of living in a cozy apartment to moving into my own customized house kept me focused and grounded on my mission.
My Dad would have been proud that I was using his business acumen to finance my construction project and shape my world according to my tastes. Although my brothers and I didn't exactly follow in the family business, we each have acquired the skills to fix anything. I always thought we were too much like him to follow, but rather we were born to lead. Each of us have grown into men capable of building and working on our vehicles and houses. We are familiar with tools and have spent many hours cleaning and maintaining them. He taught us to be independent, to work for ourselves, and to have faith in Heaven above. I am proud to come from my father and even when our time has come in this life, He has taught me to stay connected to Him in the afterlife. Thank you for everything and I love you! Happy Birthday, Dad!