DIY Disasters. Turns out I definitely cannot do it.

By Shallan Grisé


Every once in a while we all have this urge to personalize our home or office. Maybe a fresh coat of paint or upgraded window coverings. It all starts off with the idea of a few subtle, simple improvements. However, if you’re like most, you’d realize that simple improvements only look simple on TV. Knocking down walls, and installing all new flooring, countertops, tile, lights, trim, and the like, should not be taken lightly.

Pro Tip:

If you have to search YouTube for how-to videos, that’s a clue the project is actually a DDIY – a Don’t Do It Yourself.

Let me tell you how I know — without a doubt — that when it comes to home improvements, I definitely cannot do it.

I electrocuted my mother.

Inadvertently, of course, but the outcome was the same. You see, after you finish the never-ending nightmare that is subway tile installation, the old screws that kept the electrical sockets secured inside the receptacle box aren’t going to be long enough.

At this point, you have two options:

  1. Leave the house in your grout-covered clothes to battle the crowds at the hardware store, if it’s not already midnight (if it is, jump to #2). Hopefully you have enough of your faculties intact to accurately explain what it is that you’re looking for and you leave with the right size/length/thread/head. Unlikely on the first try, but I wish you luck.
  2. Shove the outlet into the box, screw on the faceplate and forget about it.

Based on the blackened fixture hanging out of my backsplash, can you guess which option I went with?

That tell-tale sequence of a loud pop, my mother’s startled, pained shriek, and all the lights going out is forever seared in my memory. Once it was determined that she was okay, I admit a bit of ‘better her than me’ settled in. Awful, I know, but can you blame me? Getting zapped is the worst.    

Renovations continued to be a series of disasters. Little did I know that while you have all the time in the world to clean thinset off the front of tiles, grout is very different.

Grout is forever.

Also, I will never understand how to use a stud finder. Fourteen holes in my drywall can attest to that. I eventually succeeded at getting the shelves up, but I now have to be very careful about what I place on the shelf… assuming I don’t want it to slide off and break.

Basically what it comes down to… I had no business tackling these projects.

Thank goodness I found Tadoo. The online platform made it easy for me to post my reno projects and choose the right professional for the job. Now, not only does my home look exactly how I envisioned it, I have my weekends back! Tadoo gave me the gift of time and saved me money on re-dos and repairs. Win-win.

Watch the video below to see how it works: