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Hammer time returns with vengeance

I have always been a crafty person.

I remember making candles, soaps and cast resin objects in our kitchen when I was growing up. And we painted plenty of plaster pieces, making lamps and plaques, many of which still can be found throughout my home.

I also took lots of art classes in high school and college, learning how to paint, sculpt and do calligraphy. In my spare time, I took up a crochet hook and began making afghans.

Paintbrushes and hot glue guns were always nearby.

After I married my husband, who is also a do-it-yourself kinda guy, we began tackling more ambitious projects.

We refinished cabinets, built small pieces of furniture, landscaped yards, installed irrigation and more.

Then, when we bought a home with enough property to house our horses, we set out to build a suitable house for them.

Armed with his and hers matching drill-drivers, my husband and I built a 1,500-square-foot barn with an area for hay storage and a tack room with running water and electricity. There were enclosed stalls for four horses each with automatic waterers and an outdoor area, as well as a covered area for grooming.

After moving to Southern Nevada from Southern California, I thought most of our big projects were behind us. I was wrong.

In the past nine months I have had a hammer, screwdriver or other tool in my hand nearly as often as I have had a pen or pencil.

Inspired by the many home-improvement shows on television, we have devoted nearly every spare moment to one type of project or another.

Those shows make it look so darn easy. We were wrong on that one, too.

What the experts can accomplish in 30 to 60 minutes through the magic of television takes us days and weeks.

Granted, I’m not complaining. Just stating the facts.

I walk through home-improvement stores drooling and dreaming of what we can do.

We already have transformed one closet into a well-organized space, built another to store the opposite season’s clothes and added a storage shed/workshop in the backyard to store all the tools necessary to complete our projects.

But that’s not all.

Most recently we completely gutted our bathroom, taking out the shower/tub combination and decades old vanity and replacing them with a modern luxurious tiled shower with a shower system featuring a giant rainfall showerhead and six body jets, and a freestanding vanity with a granite top.

And when I say gutted, I mean we took it down to the studs. There were walls to build, electrical outlets to install and new plumbing connections to make. We hammered, sawed, plastered, patched and painted.

And that was easy when compared with picking a paint color or accessories.

For 10 days my husband and I shared a small bathroom with our two teenage daughters. Talk about a grueling task.

In the end, all the hard work was worth the effort. To see a room transformed so dramatically and knowing we had a hand — or two — in it makes us swell with pride like a parent showing off a child’s latest accomplishment.

Now everyone who comes to our house must go see the bathroom. And I’ve been known to pull out photos and show them to anyone who I can coax into looking at them.

Each day when I go to shower or brush my teeth I stand in the room marveling at what we did and how much it reminds me of what I would expect to find in a luxury hotel.

Unfortunately, the new look makes the rest of the house look old — really old.

Immediately after I put my paintbrush and screwdriver back in the workshop and without allowing any time for my tired and aching muscles to begin to feel normal again I started looking for the next project to tackle.

I wonder if they make remodel-by-number kits for houses.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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