Home improvement skills are good to know

Completing Eagle Scout project taught necessary-in-life home improvement skills

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Justin Curto, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

These past few weekends have been the most productive ones I’ve had in a while because, throughout the month of January, I worked toward completing my Eagle Scout project. For my project, I built three cabinets for a Kansas City nonprofit called Avenue of Life to use in their kitchen. While I learned a lot about organization, leadership and management through the project, I also learned some equally valuable skills in construction, fixing things and overall home improvement.

Before I did my Eagle project, I saw no reason to learn home improvement skills, from sketching out and building a structure to using power tools to measuring wood and making sure it’s level. When it came to home improvement skills, I was pretty stupid.

Now that I’ve completed my project and know about home improvement, I see that the skills I learned are actually important. Before, if I were living on my own and needed to fix something, I wouldn’t have had any idea how to do it — and would probably have ended up spending a lot of money paying someone else to do it. Now that I have a rudimentary knowledge of some home improvement skills, I can most likely fix general problems on my own (with the help of the internet, of course).

Also, I now have more of an appreciation for people who work in construction and home improvement. Before, I had written many such workers off as people who just weren’t able to go to or finish college. After actually having some experience in their industry, though, I see that construction and home improvement is as hard as, and arguably as respectable as, many other careers — it requires some engineering and math skills, a lot of trial and error and sometimes hard physical labor.

I’m glad that I had the chance to learn all of this through my Eagle project. My dad, who knows more about home improvement than anyone I’ve ever met, used to tell me that I ought to learn some skills from him, as I’m going to need them later on. Maybe next time he says this, I’ll actually listen.

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