My name is CJ Dodaro. I am a semi-retired 64 year young man who has a passion for Home Repairs and Home Renovation. I enjoy everything from landscaping to plumbing, from electrical work to woodworking. Let me tell you a little bit about myself and how I came to be here…
I have been a hard working entrepreneur since my youth. When I was about 10 years old, I went door to door selling seed packets, greeting cards, and wrapping paper. Between the ages of 12 -15, I was cutting the neighbors lawns, selling: kool-aid, lemonade, the neighbors plums from their tree, and washing cars, etc. Anything that I could do to make a few bucks. I was even able to get a job for a couple of weeks during the summer cleaning the warehouse of a welding supply house.
Between the ages of 16 and 18, I worked as a gas station attendant and a stock boy for a grocery store. After I graduated high school, I went to a trade school for auto mechanics. Not knowing whether or not I really wanted to pursue this as a career, I figured that it was a skill that would always come in handy in life. I worked in this field for about a year and a half, and although I enjoyed repairing cars, I tired rather quickly of smelling like grease and oil. I continued repairing cars on the side for family and friends, but I needed to try something different.
A job became available in the warehouse for the welding supply house that I did some cleaning for when I was younger. So I took that job, and a few months later, there was an opening for an inventory control clerk in their front office. I was offered the job and took it. My first white collar desk job! Woo-Hoo!
It started out as all my other work adventures. It was new and different, and I could do the job well, so I enjoyed it….until…. I was looking out the office windows and watching the landscapers revamp all of the landscaping. They were planting bushes and trees, installing decorative rock and edging… and I thought to myself…what a great job! Good old fashioned hard work, while enjoying the outdoors and making it look really nice, all while earning a paycheck. I was hooked!
I had a friend who worked for a landscaper, and asked him to see if he needed any help. He did and I got hired. I was back to doing what I did as a pre-teen – cutting grass, but also a whole lot more. I learned to grade, install dirt, sod, and seed, plant, trim, and fertilize shrubbery, etc. It was great, but it was only seasonal. When the fall was over, I was off all winter long, since the company did not do any snow removal.
When I went back in the spring to go back to work, the owner informed me that he wanted to sell his business. I did not have enough money to buy it all, and certainly not enough experience to run my own landscaping company. So, the owner agreed to sell me a portion of his maintenance accounts, a truck and some tools to get me started, and offered to work with me for a year, teaching me all of the ropes. I jumped at the chance. The sleeping entrepreneur inside me had been reawakened!
It worked out well, and for the next 25 years, I ran my own successful landscaping business, building it every year and adding new skills to my list of offerings to my clients. I learned to do terracing with railroad ties and blocks, install brick patios, and did landscape design and drawings. I had a great run until I turned 40. Then, I realized that I probably couldn’t do this physical type work forever. So I closed out my business and went to work in the tool and die industry, while continuing to do some landscaping on the side.
I did that for about 5 years, and then got a job with my Village’s Parks Department. Something that I knew well, but the work was easier, along with plenty of good benefits. I did that for about a year, and was then transferred to their Streets Division, which had an opening. I learned concrete and asphalt work, street light repair, sign maintenance, and storm sewer repair and maintenance, while also being able to apply my skills in grading, installing sod and seed, etc. I did this for about 12 years and retired.
I had also become a homeowner about 30 years ago, and while doing all of the aforementioned work to pay the bills, I also learned many Home Renovation and Home Maintenance skills.
Although mostly self taught through books, tapes, and trial and error, I did learn some skills from family members, friends, and co-workers. I have accomplished a lot of projects in this area for myself and others: replacing windows, wallboard, insulation, flooring of all types, gutting and rebuilding bathrooms and kitchen, building decks, walkways and paver patios. I have done roofing, landscaping (of course), electrical and plumbing, and a lot of painting and decorating.
Out of all that I have done and learned over the years, the Home Repairs and Home Maintenance have been the most satisfying for me. Not only do I enjoy accomplishing the tasks, but I can continue to enjoy the finished projects.
Now, it is time for me to pay it forward, in a big way. Although I have done this on a one-on-one basis over the years, teaching and working with family and friends on various projects, and getting to enjoy their feelings of a well accomplished project, this website will be able to reach out to the masses. I will be helping thousands of individuals learn the shortcuts, techniques, and the right tools for a variety of Home Renovation and Home Maintenance Projects, that I have learned over the years.
So in conclusion, I thank you for taking the time to read my story, and I hope that you will visit my site often. It is my desire to post something new at least once or twice a week, addressing: a common Home Repair, my ideas for the best way to accomplish the task, the tools to use, product suggestions, and where to acquire them.
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Live Long and Enjoy!