As any DIYer knows, the key to success is boldness; you have to be willing to risk totally screwing things up. But that doesn't mean you go in blind. Before I tackle a project beyond my expertise, I always do my homework—be it a search of the TOH
website, a call to my parents, or a chat with my trusty local hardware store owner, Artie of Artie's Hardware Mart
on West 14th Street. Every DIYer should find an Artie, someone who knows his stuff and is never too busy to help you translate your vision into reality. Once armed with the info I need, I sketch it out, in detail, in advance. We've all heard it before, but it bears repeating: Measure twice, cut once.