Learn to build son (mahi hanga)

Building something yourself is so much fun!  Doing it with you has been awesome!  I think there is something really special about sharing this experience together, it has been such an exciting few weeks, and I still can’t believe how much you’ve picked up.  Some day when you wonder why you’re so great at building, you can look back on this post!

First time building for the both of us

I have always been the sort of guy who gets someone else to build things for them.  There is an advert that would play on television here in New Zealand that had two men standing next to each other.  One who could build who was portrayed as confident, and one who couldn’t (he was obviously the opposite).  I always would laugh , because I felt sort of awkward like the guy in the advert about the fact I had no clue how to DIY (do it yourself) anything.

Since you arrived I have always wanted to be the best role model for you that I could be.  Being able to build, and to have you know how to build, become part of this mission (also we have a new addition arriving next month).  The combination of saving money and not much time meant it was time to jump into the deep end!

Where to start?

Knowing someone that can build is a great start.  We were pretty lucky in this department as your uncle is a builder and I have a tonne of DIY friends.  I did a heap of research which is another good option to start.  This option boosted me with confidence, but I am super glad we had our friends that were able to give us a helping hand.  Thinking about it now, the video confidence might have actually been over-confidence!

You need some basic tools to build a deck (skill saw, hammer, drill etc).  We picked up a kids tool pack for you with real tools, which has been awesome as I watch you act out being a builder.  If you have never built a deck like us I think it also pays to have someone that knows how to build a deck measure up and give you a hand to find out what you need to buy.

Building the deck

If you do this with your own kids in the future son, add a tonne of time.  Honestly I think that it would be realistic to double the amount of time that it will take you.  But it is totally worth it!  Another thing that I would recommend is try and set out some safety points really early. You were great at understanding what we could do together and what was morearea (dangerous).

Digging the holes was so much fun and something that we could do together..  This was an all night event full of digging, jumping in holes and hiding.  Remember double the time.  Ha ha ha!  Concreting was another big hit for us to do together.  Big learning point, make sure that the level is good before you leave the site.  You decided that it would be a good idea to rearrange a few things which meant we were a bit out of alignment!

To be fair there were so many opportunities to build together over this build and I feel like we have learnt so much.  The real pay off for me was watching you the next day once we had finished the deck.  Measuring, using your string to check the line, marking your wood.  It was amazing.  All skills that I had no idea about but you now know the purpose.

Creating the world you live in has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life son.  So what is my message from this post?  Learn to build son!  It is a great way to spend time with the people you love, test your patience and create awesomeness!

This block sculpture is ‘Papa’ you said (created by you one day) while I was back at work.  Such a special creation for me to come home to – thanks son.




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