Don’t you just hate all those HGTV know-it-alls? Showing off their handyman (or woman) skills? Pontificating about the proper size PVC pipe to use for a drain, or for that matter knowing that a pony wall is not, well, for ponies? Helping to demystify and prove that anyone can be handy, two Vancouver Lesbians are now in the third year of documenting online the renovation of their 1929 bungalow.
When LL and Cool J (aka Laura Lee Schultz and Jacqueline Gullion) first purchased the property, they knew that they needed to renovate quickly to help pay the mortgage. As family and friends more frequently began asking for updates and photos of their progress they decided to document it all on video.
“Instead of retelling the stories over and over again, we just sent them to http://www.lezrenovate.com and kept working,” said Schultz. “Plus, making fun of each other online made it easy to laugh at the craziness of it all and not break up.”
With virtually no background in renovations except the usual painting, hanging of pictures and a shower curtain, the duo received some hand-me-down tools from their fathers and set to work on their first project.
“Jumping into the full renovation of a basement suite was quite the undertaking,” admitted Schultz. “Cool J had some minor experience, advice from her dad and always willing to try things out. But that was about it. Soon we were using sawzalls, grinders and chop saws, some for the first time.”
With a background in audio/video, Schultz takes the reigns on the video production, filming the projects whenever they think to turn on the camera.
“It is very improv. We take a lot of footage and then I weed through to come up with a five minute piece including new music [Schultz is also a composer]. At first we were just putting up short little videos on YouTube, but then Afterellen.com got a hold us because of our Happy Easter Neighbours video and before you knew it, lesbians from around the whole were laughing and cringing along with us!”
Perhaps surprisingly it wasn’t the three episode pony wall installation, complete with its own theme song, which Schultz points to as the most horrific moment in their renovation. That would be the hornet’s nest.
“Our electrician told us on his way out of finishing his job that we had one of the biggest wasp’s nests that he had ever seen in our attic,” said Schultz. “And for an electrician to say that, it means big. We ignored it for awhile but then realized that it needed to be dealt with. Gross.”
Hoping that followers of their adventures realize they can renovate too, Schultz says that she and Cool J are living proof that if you don’t know something you can learn and do it.
“It’s not that hard and you don’t need to hire out for everything,” said Schultz. “Plus, the internet is amazing. We basically learnt everything from there, and our dads. Also – we wanted to show that women have as much of right to bear tools as the next guy.”
Besides, says Schultz, when you add Lesbians and renovations together it means an awesome television show. “HGTV doesn’t know what it’s missing.”
Season 3 of Lez Renovate is the pair’s official bathroom renovation. Episode one airs starting today (September 2, 2011) on Afterellen.com.