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The Life of a Carpenter with Lynda Lyday
Episode 3319th April 2022 • Construction Disruption • Isaiah Industries
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Our guest Lynda Lyday is a home improvement expert and veteran of home improvement television with hundreds of appearances on HGTV, Discovery, and the DIY Network. Lynda is a licensed carpenter of 30 years and brings a unique perspective to homeowners as she shares her wisdom. A published author, too, Lynda has made it her life’s mission to work with her hands and share her experiences with a broad audience. She empowers women to pursue independence in home repair and even has plans for her own line of tools.

 

Check out Lynda’s website, lyndalyday.com, or listen to her podcast, Peculiar Places.

Episodes are sponsored and produced by Isaiah industries, a manufacturer of specialty metal roofing systems and other building materials. Learn more at isaiahindustries.com



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

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Transcripts

Lynda Lyday:

:

It's very, very sad to me that the unions are getting pushed down because, I mean, I made a very good wage and I had a lot of pride being a carpenter too, as a finish woodworker and I loved it. And people loved it, you know, and it had some cachet to it.

Ryan Bell:

:

Welcome to the Construction Disruption podcast, where we uncover the future of building and remodeling. I'm Ryan Bell of Isaiah Industries, manufacturer of specialty metal roofing and other building materials, and today my co-host is Ethan Young. Ethan and I are typically the behind-the-scenescrew on the production of each episode, but we are filling in today for Todd and Seth, and we are both excited for the opportunity to co-host this episode. Our goal here, a Construction Disruption, is to provide timely and forward-looking information regarding the construction industry. As part of that, we look at innovations as well as trends and practices, building materials, the labor market, and leadership. Today, our guest is Lynda Lyday, America's home improvement expert. Lynda has been a trailblazer in both television and carpentry, having learned and perfected her trade as a finish carpenter through the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Lynda received her contractor's license in 1993 and soon launched her own construction company, West Village Construction, specializing in apartment renovations in New York City. She has the great distinction of being the first woman to win the Golden Hammer Award in New York City's carpenter's union. In 1997, Lynda was cast by the Discovery Channel as one of television's only licensed female carpenters on Give Me Shelter. She went on to host more than 350 home improvement shows for HGTV, the Discovery Channel, and the DIY Network. Winning two Telly awards, Lynda has produced and hosted segments for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC, NBC's The Today Show, and many other national and local television shows. Lynda has also written two books. Lynda Lyday's Do It Yourself and a homeowner's manual. Aside from being a master carpenter, Lynda's other love is sketch comedy, where she has developed a web series called Ask Big Lou, which can be found at askbiglou.com. Lynda, it's a pleasure to have you as our guest today.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Thank you. Wow. Now we have to wake up everybody after that long intro.

Ryan Bell:

:

That was kinda long, wasnt it? So let's get into it.

Lynda Lyday:

:

OK.

Ryan Bell:

:

So, my first question for you is what brought you into the field of carpentry and construction, especially at a time when very few women were entering our trade?

Lynda Lyday:

:

You know, I get that a lot. You want to know the real story or you want to know the abridged version?

Ryan Bell:

:

The real story.

Ethan Young:

:

Yeah, I think we have time for that.

Lynda Lyday:

:

OK? The real story. So I grew up in Atlanta, and as a little girl, I, you know, I just loved, I loved tools, but I wasn't allowed to touch any tools. And I mean, literally, it was like, you know, it was very segregated, like, the boys do this and the girls do this. So all of this, my career kind of changed. The trajectory of my life would have changed if my mother had let me take shop class in high school. I'm convinced. Or maybe not, who knows. But anyway, I took Home Ec, which I am so grateful that I know how to use a sewing machine, which is fantastic too, you know, if you're creative and you need to make something.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah, yeah.

Lynda Lyday:

:

And it's all the same. By the way, if you, you know, and because it was so categorized, you know, growing up, I can say now that, you know, sewing patterns and understanding, there's so much geometry in patterns and dressmaking pants, whatever it is that you're doing. And it's really the same thing in carpentry. So but you know, there was something about the smell of wood and the feeling that I had inside when I started working with it. So anyway, I moved to New York. I moved to New York to be an actor, and I didn't know anybody and I didn't know exactly how to do that. I know that I had a real love for it, but I was a little bit lost and I was doing what every actor does, which is, you know, working in restaurants. And I had this one evening, I went over to someone's home and I put my hand over this beautiful like cherry wood. The cabinets were made out of cherry wood and this beautiful countertop was made out of cherry wood. Something came over me and I just was like, Oh my gosh, I want to be a carpenter. So I went back to my restaurant and the manager. Her name was Frida, and she says, Well, you know, if you go into the unions, they teach you and they pay you well. And I didn't know anything about unions because I grew up in Atlanta. So we were, you know, I came from a family. It was like, those unions are bad. And so then in New York, it was like. These unions are fantastic, they pay well, they train you, and I just really like, I mean, I was young, I was so young and I was like, Okay, well, you know, I'll just call the nearest place. This is when all five boroughs were 212, so you didn't know where you were calling, right? The 212 being the area code. And so I just picked the one that was near Park Avenue, which is I was living in Grammercy Park in a woman's residence there. And it went right into the Bronx number. And this is where the miracle happens, because to get anagent on the phone with you, which is a business agent, is just like, I mean, you probably be able to get a line to God, you know, easier. Seriously, they never answer the phone.

Ryan Bell:

:

Never call you back.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Yeah. Marcelo Savidas, he was Italian and unfortunately, he's not with us any longer, but he couldn't believe that I was calling. And so he said, Well if you're really serious, come on up here. Let me. Talk to me in person. And I got on the bus and I went up there and I met him and I put on the most, worst clothes that, you know, holes in my pants, you know, just faded jeans and. And he says, hold on just a minute. And he made a phone call. And I went down to the school and I was able to get into the union school without a job, and then I had to shape a job. So that's how I got in. It was all angels and higher power stuff out of my control. I just did the actions that Frida said, Hey, call a union. And then I just kept saying, yes, yes, yes. And that's how that happened.

Ryan Bell:

:

Wow. That's a really cool story. And I really like how you yeah, kind of tied sewing to carpentry and woodworking. I have always wanted to learn how to sew, and my oldest stepdaughter is super talented at like making clothes and with the sewing machine. And I'm always interested. Like, Hey, like one day I am going to have her teach me just because I think it is one of those, you know, talents that could come in handy in so many different ways. So that's really cool.

Lynda Lyday:

:

You're right. And you know, you know, the other thing too, you know, like baking. Yeah, because I remember being on the job site and these guys are like, I don't cook. And they were making cement and they were mixing glue from powder. You know what I mean? I'm like.

Ryan Bell:

:

Right.

Lynda Lyday:

:

You can cook.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah.

Lynda Lyday:

:

This is exactly cooking. Like, knock it off, right?

Ryan Bell:

:

You just gotta follow some instructions.

Lynda Lyday:

:

That's exactly right. Yep.

Ethan Young:

:

I just say, like when you're talking about the sewing, like I remember growing up, my grandpa and my grandma both knew how to sew.

Ryan Bell:

:

Really?

Ethan Young:

:

So we made a toy boat with my grandpa one time and we needed a sail. So he cut up like a piece of an old white T-shirt and sewed the sail for us. So yeah, it was kind of something they both had, and they passed that down to my mom. I've never sewed anything, but I think my sister's done a little bit of it, so maybe I'll have to try sometime.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Yeah. And if you're going to make something like if you're camping and you want to have like this awning that comes off your tent and you bring it to you, like, how do you do that right? Do you sew it? There's all different ways to put fabric together, and it's not necessarily with the thread. There's all different kinds of mastics now that you can use and stuff like that. So yeah. And I also think as we've gotten so modern, I think the older generation sometimes would meld those things men and women, right? Like, you know, yeah, men did have to make sails, right? And so that is sewing.

Ryan Bell:

:

All right. Yeah. So back to a focus on carpentry. What is it that you enjoy the most about it?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Two things, I think there's two things and they're probably equal. And as far as priority, I love the fact that I don't think about anything except what I'm doing. So it's a very zen feeling to be focused like that. And the other thing that I love about it is I love being able to know how to fix something and how to do stuff. There's an independence that comes over me really early on, and now it's just that I just accept it, that that's the way it is. But I notice it in my friends and men and women, and they're like, I put this shelf up myself, and it's that feeling of, Well, I can do that, you know? So I think I think it gives me a lot of self-confidence and it gives me a feeling of independence as well as all the noise goes here. And I'm, you know, laser-focusedon something there, so that, you know, I don't know, it's kind of like meditation, I suppose a little bit.

Ryan Bell:

:

I completely understand it. You know, there's such a sense of accomplishment that comes from being able to build stuff or figure stuff out like that too.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Right.

Ryan Bell:

:

That is really something you don't get anywhere else. So, yeah. Very cool. So your career has really taken you a lot of different places over the years. Was the path that you've been on planned or has it kind of developed more in an organic way and you've just kind of followed along and followed the path where it led you?

Lynda Lyday:

:

So I think there's like a well, there's more than two people, but I think in this instance, there's two people, right? There's people that I grew up with, people that they knew exactly what they wanted to do and what they wanted to be when they were younger. Right.

Ryan Bell:

:

Mm-Hmm.

Lynda Lyday:

:

I am not that person. I have been on the I've been the person that just goes with the frequency that is at hand, basically. So I could have never seen myself as a carpenter. I just kept doing the next right thing that was that felt like the next great thing. So and I kept saying yes when opportunity came my way, or like when Frida said, Hey, if you want to be, you know, you want to learn how to do carpentry, you know? And then and then I was like, Well, how do I get a job? Well, you have to shape the jobs. Now, me, very young going to these high rises. 85 Broad Street down on Wall Street before it was 85 Broad Street, right before it was Goldman and Sachs. It was, you know, being built and I go on these jobs, dusty jobs. There's no women on these floors, right? And going in is called shaping a job. So you go and you know, you go and find out who the foreman is and say, Hey, do you need help? You know, so I just kept doing the next right action. And fortunately, I was young enough to not think about it so much. You know, like, there's something wonderful about youth is like, I can do that. I don't care what you think, you know? Right?

Ryan Bell:

:

Not much risk when you're younger.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Right, right. You can't like, look, what's the worst thing that can happen, right?

Ryan Bell:

:

Right.

Lynda Lyday:

:

So yeah, so that's I guess that's it. You know, I mean, I never saw myself. I guess I have to say that I've always been a fairly lucky person. I feel like I keep saying that I'm lucky. I know the brain works in a way that it pulls in whatever you question, your brain is looking for the answer. So I always say to my brain, Why am I so lucky so I can just keep alive and look great? So and what is luck? You know, it's opportunity and a lot of hard work on the back end of it. Yeah, intersecting and going yes and freaking out later. I mean, I've done that over and over and over where I just say, Oh yeah, I can do that and I have no idea how to do that. I'm sure you guys have.

Ethan Young:

:

I definitely have.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah, I've been. I've done that before. Yeah, I'll figure it out later.

Lynda Lyday:

:

And I think, you know, I think men can. I think men are kind of able to do that a lot. I kind of learned a lot from men working with men. Because I noticed that men do that a lot. They just go, they go like, you know, we need to put that. Can you put that soffit in and blah blah blah. And, you know, do. And they're like, Yeah. And then when the foreman leaves, they're like, I don't know what the hell I'm doing here? And I love that, I was like, I can't well, heck, I can do that. You know? Yeah.

Ryan Bell:

:

Figure it out as you go.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Yeah, that's right.

Ryan Bell:

:

Are you still actively involved in construction in any way?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Well, according to my body, I am. I was just in the attic all week too, because I'm trying to get my attic, and I had to cap off some three vents that were up there. I do a lot of stuff myself for myself, but I'm working with the Home Shopping Network, so I still have my contractor's license. It's in New York, and right now I'm in Florida to do my Home Shopping Network because I'm close by in proximity. But when you're a carpenter, it's like being a car mechanic. There's no retirement. You never retire. It's like you're always using your ability. I love helping out my friends when I can help them out. And so I'm not a contractor, necessarily, but I am actively a carpenter doing odd jobs here and there.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yes, taking care of stuff.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Yeah.

Ryan Bell:

:

Well, that's good that you know that I'll probably keep you young for a long time.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Tell that to my knees now.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah. Yeah, I know it can be hard on your body, but my father-in-lawis a farmer and just he just turned 80. 80 or 85? Maybe 85. But he's, you would never guess it, because he's always just worked so hard and still does, still goes out, takes care of his cows and yeah, so.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Keep moving, right? I mean, seriously, I think that's it. Just keep the body moving. Although I was in, I had to cap off and take the ductworkoff of three areas on this box up in my attic, and I was in a fixed position for 40 minutes. And I thought I was, I was like, Oh my gosh, I can't move stuck here. Yeah. Like, Oh, I'm not 20 anymore. Yeah, okay.

Ryan Bell:

:

So having been in this industry for nearly 30 years, what are some of the biggest game-changersyou have seen over the years?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Well, just so much. I mean, so much in building. I mean, remember when it was arsenic, chromium, and copper, and pressure-treatedwood right, and they got rid of the arsenic.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah.

Lynda Lyday:

:

You know, remember, you know, like so things like that, so better techniques, better material. There always seems to be a new glue or mastic that's out. That's just I just got some kind of incredible glue that is just so cool. It's, I got it for rubber, actually really plastic. And it is amazing. It's black and the hold and the strength is just incredible. So things like that, and I think also that we have so much smart innovation, right? The electronics. I just put in a gable vent with the thermostat on it, and I was like, Oh, this is so cool, you know, you just so that kind of stuff, I think is really, really neat. And I guess the biggest innovation for me that's helping me is YouTube videos.

Ryan Bell:

:

It's pretty incredible what you can do with YouTube.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Is that amazing, right? Yeah, I mean, you type in anything. If you are if you have the DIY brain that can understand things. I've now teased my friends that I want to become an auto mechanic because I have a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and I've had to fix everything on it now because, sorry, Chrysler, you guys were just gouging me and I'm fixing it.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah, you're right. You're right. That has really changed the game, especially in terms of being able to. My dad was always very hands-onand very, you know, we're not going to pay somebody to do that. We can figure out how to do it. And just like you said before, he wouldn't know how to do something, but he sure as heck wasn't going to pay somebodyelse to do it. He was going to figure it out. And so I learned a lot of the skills I have for doing stuff around the house from him. But I still love YouTube. I still go to YouTube anytime I need to do something. It's incredible how much you can really accomplish by yourself now, if you're the least bit handy, even with what's on YouTube.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Isn't it amazing? Do you do both of you guys use YouTube?

Ethan Young:

:

Oh yeah, I was going to tell you my first car was a 1998 Honda Civic, and I had some fun mistakes with that, that I had to YouTube some videos on it and knocked one of the side mirrors off. And it turns out I had to take the whole door panel off to get to the side mirrors. So YouTube helped with that.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Yeah.

Ethan Young:

:

It's been. It's been vital in a lot of interesting ways. I mean, you know, I use it for entertainment too, but there's a lot of great helpful content on there, too. So.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Absolutely. I mean, I pause. I mean, I've worked on my car and even with construction, sometimes I'm like, Well, I've never really done this before. I worked a lot in commercial construction, so I didn't have a lot of residential experience in my training. So a lot of times and with the new products, it's like, how does this thing work well? About five videos that are going to show you.

Ryan Bell:

:

Right, especially the electronic stuff that needs set up.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Exactly.

Ryan Bell:

:

YouTube's easier than reading the manual usually.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Absolutely.

Ethan Young:

:

I think that's something we found for our company, too, that a lot of people really get a lot of the YouTube videos for installation. It just makes a big difference. I mean, you know, paper manuals are great and they can be a big help. But you know, good, solid YouTube videos are just so helpful.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Right.

Ethan Young:

:

And they can rewind it and go back over a part that they missed. And it's, yeah, they're just invaluable.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Yep.

Ethan Young:

:

With the experience that you've had, I went through and looked on your website and I saw that you had a line of tools specifically for women, and that got me thinking. I wanted to ask, how you think that that has changed? The construction industry in general has changed with its kind of acceptance or views towards, you know, allowing because, you know, you were definitely a trailblazer in that area and I was just kind of thinking about. I had a situation when I was younger, the same grandpa that, you know, taught us to do a lot of that stuff gave tools to me and my sister and my brother. So we all got tools. When we were younger, we had slightly different ones, but it really didn't matter that, you know, she was a girl. She still got her own toolboxwith her name on it and everything, so.

Lynda Lyday:

:

You know, I interviewed Jimmy Carter and I was asking, you know, about his wife, said something about, you know, the tools, do they share their tools? And he's like, Oh, no, she has her own toolbox. I don't go near it. Yeah, that's right. So what's the question?

Ethan Young:

:

I guess seeing the different lines of tools just inspired me to think, is it, you know, is it more common, is it more accepted for women to be in construction more often? How do you think that's changed over the last, you know, how couple decades have you been doing this?

Lynda Lyday:

:

I think it has changed a little bit, right? We. I get upset when I see, oh, we're going to like, put pink on some, you know, crummy tools and then sell it to women.

Ethan Young:

:

That's what I tried to look online to see some and I ran into some of those.

Lynda Lyday:

:

That's always been my big beef, right? Like, no, and I'm still I'm, you know, I still have the hope for Lyday tools because I've, you know, had a series of fundraising. And if you've ever done fundraising, I came this close to completely funding everything three different times. One person died, another person had a ruling at their bank that it couldn't, you know, they couldn't do anything under six million. So it was like all these different things like that you couldn't have seen, and it went so. And had great meetings with Home Depot and all that. So anybody sees this and would like to, you know, help fund this fantastic, please call me. But I think that it's still not here. Like what they what they've done. And if you look at any of the surveys, women are the purse strings to the purchases, the majority of the purpose, the purchases at all the, you know, Ace, Home Depot, Lowe's, all of them. They come from women and they do control the decisions and a lot of money comes out of the pocketbooks. And so, you know, the men's wallets. So I don't know. I just, it's still very male. It's very blinded. We have different bodies and abilities. And if you take the average woman, you know, when the average woman has enough money to have her own home and whatever. And I've always whether I have a rental or I own my own home, I'm still going to fix it up and do stuff. And you know, and especially with this pandemic, you know, we had there was that stranger danger that women always face. And now it was like, you know, virus danger and having somebody come in. So now even more, we need to, you know, get back to learning how to do things ourselves. And I still feel that it's women are underserved in this industry. What do you guys think from guys? I mean, from a man's point of view, what do you think?

Ryan Bell:

:

No doubt I agree with what you're saying. We a couple of episodes ago shoot. I'm drawing a blank on their names, but the people out in Seattle do you remember Ethan?

Ethan Young:

:

Oh was it Mary and Jason?

Ryan Bell:

:

Yes. Yes, Mary and Jason Sturgeon. They have a like a program where they help try to do you remember what it's called?

Ethan Young:

:

I don't remember their exact. I remember the business's name, but it's like it's kind of a consulting thing that they do. And then they also run like an academy that helps kind of underserved demographics in construction, find a home, find a company that they can do kind of train them. It's like a project manager and a foreman training that they offer, and they find a lot of people are interested in it. They've been able to help pair a lot of those people with companies that want to work with them. So it's definitely an underdeveloped area, I think still.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Well, it's interesting. You think? What do you guys think about the fact that we're becoming such a society of this, right? It's this, it's this, it's this. Hours and hours and now we have like, you know, a a way to clock how many hours we're looking on our screens and what's happening to these trades. Like, what's that like, you know, at a certain point where you know or are people getting that kind of understanding? And that's why, you know, I was thinking about YouTube. Thank goodness that's around because that is a vocational training center, right? Right.

Ryan Bell:

:

So my wife and I have four kids and we, you know, are constantly battling the phones in the hands and the headphones in and the, you know, we don't allow them to be on a lot of that social media crap.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Right.

Ryan Bell:

:

And we do watch their screen time, but I'm I always say I've learned more from YouTube in half the time than I ever learned while I was in college. And so if they want to watch something and learn how to do something right and do it, I am all about that. Please do that. If they're going to watch mindless video, you know, that's OK for a little bit to kind of escape the world if you need to or you need a little break for some R&R and whatnot. But you know, I guess the phone's in our hands in this technology, we have can be a blessing and a curse at the same time.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Right.

Ryan Bell:

:

And it's all about controlling that.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Absolutely. Yeah.

Ethan Young:

:

I think things are just so freely accessible that, you know, on the same platform, we're talking about YouTube, the same platform. You can spend hours and hours on entertainment or you can spend it on. I think it's just that free accessibility makes it so easy. And I do think it is kind of one of those things where it's a little bit of a loop. Like, the less you do it, the less you're interested in it, people around you're interested in it less, and I kind of just fuels that, but I definitely think there's still, you know, it's not an irreversible thing. There's definitely a lot of people that can find that passion for whatever it is that's DIY or learning so.

Ryan Bell:

:

Good stuff. Well, onto the next question, what do you feel will be some of the big disruptors coming up over the next 20 or so years? What are some of the things you think we maybe need to keep an eye out for?

Lynda Lyday:

:

I think what I'm excited about is all the prefabrication.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah.

Lynda Lyday:

:

That's happening.

Ryan Bell:

:

It's been a big topic. Yeah, right?

Lynda Lyday:

:

You know, everything that's been made in a hermetically sealed area that can come in and then just go clunk, you know, and all the, I should say, the smart building. But you know, having everything just be in line with saving energy and helping out with the environment and just so many different things. It's so neat when I'm fascinated, but remember when the container, you know, the containers. Everybody was building homes because containers were so inexpensive. But now, yeah, I think that's the case anymore. But pretty cool, right? So this it's it's how to use things and so much of it is about building with containers is such a workaround because you didn't have to, you know, because it was mobile, you didn't have to pay certain taxes and all this different, you know, these different things about them that was kind of cool. So I think it's really modular building that I think is going to be really, really interesting. You know, when you see these trusses that are they come all forms and it's just like, boom, boom, boom. Then a house is up and built so much better, too. And that's the other thing. We have got to build our homes stronger and better for these storms that are coming up. I mean, this is getting to be serious.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah, we're getting worse every year.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Uh-huh, right.

Ethan Young:

:

Right. Yeah, I was just editing a transcript from an episode we did maybe a month ago or so, but it was a company called RSG 3D that does this concrete and wire mesh for their structures. And it's very tough. It's like can withstand like any storm, basically any earthquake.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Wow.

Ethan Young:

:

It's something that, you know, it's very easy to put up. It takes way less time. It weighs less. It's safer for you, it's safer for the environment. So there's a lot of great companies of products out there. I do think that even from what we've seen, just talking to a couple of different companies about it, there's some really talented people and solutions that are coming out. So we have a lot to look forward to with that.

Lynda Lyday:

:

You know, it's interesting too, because only time can tell what things are like. Remember asbestos. This is the best thing in the world and then wait a minute. This is causing so many problems, you know, and that drywall that came out of China that was, you know, wasn't good. So we never know. Like, it's like, you know, we get really advanced and then time keeps up with, you know, time comes at us and then we realize, Oh, this isn't so good. So that's always interesting as these new innovations like come in. But, you know, maybe they just found better ways to test them. And you know, it's all about, you know, speed and durability and environment. So those are the I'm fascinated by that kind of thing. I'm fascinated by how things are, you know, just can go up so quickly now. I mean, look at the Amish. I mean, I talk about impressive, right?

Ryan Bell:

:

Right. That's a whole nother topic there.

Lynda Lyday:

:

A whole nother conversation. Yeah, they're amazing carpenters. Just great.

Ryan Bell:

:

So one of the largest topics in construction in the last few years has been the shortages of skilled tradespeople and not enough people entering this line of work. What are your thoughts on that? Is it something that you think will get better or will the labor shortage kind of force us to change how we build and remodel?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Well, you're talking about to a woman who was trained by the union and I was in the Irish, the Irish local. Happy St. Patty's Day.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yes.

Lynda Lyday:

:

And so being a union tradeswoman, I have to say that it's very, very sad to me that the unions are getting pushed down because to have I mean, I made a very good wage as a New York carpenter, as a young person. And I had a lot of pride being a carpenter too, as a finish woodworker. And I loved it. And people loved it, you know, and it had some cachet to it. And what's happened now is it's. This mind, it's this whole attitude around blue-collarworkers, right, like like there's something wrong there and yet when you know what goes down, guess who everybody needs, right? Everybody needs the mechanic, everybody needs the carpenter. Oh, I don't have air conditioning, you know, it's all that kind of stuff. So I'm really pro-union. There's a lot wrong, too that happened with the unions, right? It's like anything. It's like the unions are the same like government. You know, there's a lot of crooks and there's a lot of good stuff. But you know, how do we get back to making a really good wage? The problem with tradespeople now is that they keep getting undercut and undercut. I'm in Florida and people here don't know a good carpenter. They really don't. You know, it's like if a door closes, you know, that's, you know, well, it closes. You know, it doesn't matter that there's a big gap on the top or it's, you know, so that this is tough for me to just, you know, be like, Oh, well, you know, we need it. But no, I think I'm really pro-union on this when it comes, because I'll tell you something. As someone who went through a four-yeartraining college in the union and someone who was, you know, we had a level and we had to meet that there were standards and there were standards to meet and building codes. And we knew the right steel to use and the right you know, where to get our products from so that it wouldn't come down and the screws, wouldn't, you know, break off. So we had all this instruction. And when I build something and I put something in, you can better believe that thing is not going to move. When I leave, I'm not coming back. You know, that's how I was taught. Like, don't come back to fix this. Do it right the first time.

Ryan Bell:

:

Right.

Lynda Lyday:

:

And so there you have it. There's I'm a real. I don't know any other workaroundit because it was a very it's good training and then it's, you know, you're in a bit of a bubble of good, safe practices. I remember working with a company that wasn't union and it was they had faulty ladders and scaffolding and they were doing all this stuff and I had to walk off the site and I said, I'm going to kill myself. I got a huge 30-footdrop. You know that I'm working off. I'm not doing this. So I don't know. I think I think we have to change our attitude about the the the blue-collar. And I think if we paid the blue-collar, you know, back to what they deserve and in, you know, and have some kind of structure there, I don't know. That's how I feel about that 100 percent.

Ryan Bell:

:

I completely agree. I think the stigma around it needs to change, and I do think it is. I mean, I think at some point it's kind of naturally going to force itself to because there is going to be a well, hopefully the wages do kind of go up because they're going to need to to be able to entice people into the trades, but.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Right.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah, and you know what you said about the quality of work not being great, you know, people not caring. That's something that drives me nuts, too, about having somebody come into my house to do something. I kind of have the mentality that it won't get done right unless I do it right. Yeah, that's a very good answer. I agree with everything you said. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of entering the construction field?

Lynda Lyday:

:

I would say that to be a standout. One of the things that helped me as an apprentice because, you know, you have to learn the trade, right?

Ryan Bell:

:

Mm-Hmm.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Is, you know, to show up on time and to be okay with being bossed around. You know, it's very I have to say, I've loved working with guys because guys are like, Hand me that, give me that. Do this, do that. And I've worked with women, you know, like different friends or whatever. And you know, it's like, Get me this and you don't have time to say, please and everything, you know? And so I would say, just like, knock it off, like with all the, oh, you know, you just told me what to do. Now you just have to. I mean, I was, Oh my God, so I worked with the Irish, right? So the Irish, the Italians,and the Germans were big in the industry and the woodworking industry in New York, right unions and amazing carpenters. And they didn't know what to do. And you know, and you have to have a sense of humor. Yeah, I remembered these guys would be drilling for the, you know, in a solid oak door, solid mahogany. I mean, this the drill bit, you know, doing the drill bit for the hinges and then they undo it really quick. Make it here. Hold this and this thing would be hot as coal and they would love me going, ow, you know, like this all they loved pranking me. So, you know, just kind of like, don't worry about it. It's just it's an intense industry like anything because, you know, you're working with tools that you could get hurt on these jobs, you know? And there's an intensity about go do this, this, you know, and time is of the essence. So if you're going into the trade, be on time, be accountable. Don't, you know, try not to drink on the jobs. You know, that's another thing, you know, like, you're going to miss that, you know, just try to be accountable if you're going to get in there and love what you do because if you love what you do, you're going to be good at it. And have you know, if you're good at what you do and you like what you do, you're going to have some pride about leaving the job. Clean up after yourself. The people that really like a lot of people, I've been hired, you know, on different talk shows, they say, you know, what's the trick about when you hire a carpenter? You know, when you hire a contractor, what she did, she look for? And I said, Well, first of all, communication, so be communicative. You know, people can't read your mind. And if you can't show up at nine o'clock on Tuesday because this other job call them like, it's important to be communicative because that's what people are looking for. And, you know, clean up after yourself and have some respect for yourself and for your environment. So those are the people that I've noticed have done very well because it's all about work of now. This is an industry that if you want to get jobs, be good at the job. You don't always have to be the lowest bid on the job. So I always say to people, Listen, don't always hire the lowest because you might get what you pay for. Hire somebody who has good references and who is going to show up on time when they come in and to do something, make sure that they show up within 15, 20 minutes of when they said they are. And they have good communication because adults say you alone in any kind of renovations that you're doing.

Ryan Bell:

:

Good point. I have a good buddy here in the Columbus area that has a construction business, and he is very detailed and thorough in his work. And really, he doesn't do like a lot of big construction projects, more like residential basement refinishing and stuff like that.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Right.

Ryan Bell:

:

But he'snever had a website or anything because the quality of his work has always been so high that he just stays super busy solely based on word-of-mouthreferrals.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Right, yep.

Ryan Bell:

:

Um, so you have been involved with many television shows, podcasts, book authorship, and even comedy. Are there any projects that you're working on right now?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Well, let me shamelessly plug my podcast.

Ryan Bell:

:

I can't really see it. What does it say?

Lynda Lyday:

:

It says Peculiar Places.

Ryan Bell:

:

That's your podcast, huh?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Yeah. So my friend Julia and I, we do, we both have a pension for like crazy, you know, places and whatever. So we go around. And then the pandemic hit. So it kind of put the kibosh on that. But we're starting to, you know, rev up the engines again and go to similar places. But I'm doing that. I'm also I had to take care of my folks here in Florida, and my mom just went off to heaven. She was the last of the two. And so I kind of feel like I could do anything anywhere now. You know, I've taken care of that, and I thought that was very important to me. And I don't know. I would love to do another, I would love to do another television show. I would love to do a very fun television show and home improvement.

Ryan Bell:

:

Well, I have a feeling something will probably come your way and you will say yes and just go with it. Right?

Speaker:

:

They'll say, Do you know how to do something? And I'll go, Yeah, I sure do. Alright.

Ryan Bell:

:

That's great. Well, we are getting close to the end of our time here. Thank you so much. Before we close out, I have to ask if you would like to participate in our rapid-firequestions. These are seven questions that can range from serious to silly, and your only commitment is to provide a short answer to each one. Our audience needs to understand that if Lynda agrees to this, she has no idea what we are going to ask. So Lynda, are you up for the challenge of rapid-fire?

Lynda Lyday:

:

I guess so. Yes. Why not?

Ryan Bell:

:

You can't really say no.

Lynda Lyday:

:

I can't say no at this point, right? I'm going to say yes at everything. OK. Yes.

Ryan Bell:

:

Awesome. Well, Ethan and I are going to alternate questions here and I'm going to let him kick things off.

Lynda Lyday:

:

OK.

Ethan Young:

:

All right. So what's the most recent book you read?

Lynda Lyday:

:

I was starting to read Educated.

Ryan Bell:

:

Educated?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Yeah.

Ryan Bell:

:

Who's that by?

Lynda Lyday:

:

I don't know, it's in the other room.

Ryan Bell:

:

That's all right. I'll look it up. I'll put it in the show notes.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Okay? And then the other I have two books about UFOs right next to my bed.

Ryan Bell:

:

Oh, interesting. That was a topic on an episode we recorded a couple of weeks ago.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Oh, really? Have you guys ever seen a UFO?

Ethan Young:

:

I have not.

Ryan Bell:

:

I believe I have. Yes.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Okay. I've seen two things. Yeah, OK.

Ryan Bell:

:

Interesting, that could probably be a whole nother episode.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Exactly.

Ryan Bell:

:

And we could probably tie it into how they're built somehow. How they're constructed, right?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Right, exactly.

Ryan Bell:

:

Do you have a hidden talent that is unrelated to construction?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Gee whiz, I can make the sound of a water droplet.

Ryan Bell:

:

Will you do it for us?

Ethan Young:

:

Oh, interesting.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Wait a minute. There it is. That was good. Awesome.

Ethan Young:

:

All right. Question three. What's the number one thing on your bucket list?

Lynda Lyday:

:

I think my big thing right now is to try to get out and travel right now. I really I feel like traveling and seeing my people. I have so many friends all over the country. I just need to. I feel like time's running out. We're talking about nuclear stuff on television and I'm like, Holy cow, you know, pandemic. So I feel like time is of the essence to all of this doesn't matter. It's all the heart stuff with the people we love, right?

Ryan Bell:

:

What's the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

Lynda Lyday:

:

I eat almost anything. I'm one of those people that I can go any country, anywhere. I went to China for my tool line. I went to China and I had some really odd things there. And they took me to a place called Hot Pot, and I don't know what it was called, but that's what we had. But it was like going to PetSmart and like picking out your food like, you know, like what animal do you want? Like, it was so strange.

Ethan Young:

:

Yeah.

Lynda Lyday:

:

You know, I had like shrimp doing this. It was like they were skewered here and they were doing this, and I was like, Oh, no. And of course, I ate it. I mean, I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to stuff like that. So I don't know. I would eat like a chocolate-coveredbug or whatever, a cricket.

Ethan Young:

:

That place sounds like a vegan's worst nightmare.

Lynda Lyday:

:

So it's no, seriously. Absolutely.

Ethan Young:

:

Yeah. Alright. So if you ever had a yacht, what would you name it?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Bring in the Joy.

Ryan Bell:

:

What's your favorite board game?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Oh, I just got backgammon, that's it.

Ethan Young:

:

Hmm, yeah.

Lynda Lyday:

:

I like backgammon. I just got a new backgammon. It was a gift. I just got given a really nice backgammon set. When was the last time you guys played backgammon? It's a great game.

Ryan Bell:

:

I know it is. I used to play when I was younger at my grandma and grandpa's house, but I probably have not played it for over 30 years and I don't know that I would remember how to.

Ethan Young:

:

Yeah, I used to play with my dad probably 10 years ago. It's been a while.

Lynda Lyday:

:

You know what's nice about backgammon? It doesn't take all the brain work of chess, so it's a good game that, you know, look at and play and also have a conversation, which is what I like about it.

Ryan Bell:

:

You don't have to be super focused on it.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Yeah, right.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah, I've had a chess set in my Amazon cart for a while because I want to teach my kids how to play chess. But maybe backgammon would be a good middle ground before we go to chess.

Lynda Lyday:

:

You know what's great about the backgammon too? Like chess if you lose you're an idiot, right? It's just because you're an idiot. But, you know, at least with backgammon you know, you lose because you didn't get the right roll.

Ethan Young:

:

Yeah, you can blame it on something else.

Ryan Bell:

:

Can't blame yourself on all of it.

Lynda Lyday:

:

There's a nice dignity like exit on that.

Ryan Bell:

:

That's funny.

Ethan Young:

:

All right. Um, if you had to eat a crayon, what color would you choose?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Oh, probably magenta. Oh.

Ethan Young:

:

Okay, interesting.

Ryan Bell:

:

Why?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Because it's the highest vibrating color.

Ryan Bell:

:

On the color spectrum.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Yeah.

Ryan Bell:

:

Interesting. Interesting answer. That's one of my, the first time we asked that on the podcast I was all for it because I'm like, That's totally random and weird. But I love the responses we've gotten from people about what color and why.

Lynda Lyday:

:

So, and what's yours? What are you all's favorite color?

Ryan Bell:

:

I'd go with red

Lynda Lyday:

:

Red, right? Yeah, OK.

Ethan Young:

:

I still think blue would be kind of interesting, so I'll go with blue.

Lynda Lyday:

:

I have a feeling they all taste like chicken.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah, you're probably right. Maybe some company can invent edible crayons that taste like their color.

Ethan Young:

:

There you go, yeah.

Ryan Bell:

:

Well, this has been fun. Thank you again so much for your time today. It's been a real pleasure and privilege to chat with you. Is there anything that we haven't covered that you'd like to share with our audience?

Lynda Lyday:

:

The only thing I can say is for those who are listening who feel like, Oh, well, she can do it, but I kind of can't, you know, do it as far as like working with your hands or whatever. You don't have to be perfect. Just, you know, just go for it and try it. You know, I am fairly accessible. You can find me on the internet, you know, but look up on YouTube too, look up and, you know, just take a stab at it, you know, seriously. What I would suggest to my friends and guys too, by the way, this just not just for women, but just try it, just try to figure it out, you know, look on and at least if you don't do it yourself, you understand it, which is like also half of it. I think so. And I also feel that when I work with my hands, I feel closer and connected to this magic in this universe. So there is something to that and there is sqomething beautiful about that. I mean, who's father, grandfather was a farmer?

Ryan Bell:

:

My father-in-law.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Father-in-law, he probably taught your wife that right?

Ryan Bell:

:

Oh yeah, she can call the cows in like nobody's business.

Lynda Lyday:

:

That's cool.

Ryan Bell:

:

Well, the first time I went to their house, she told me they were talking about calling the cows, and I'm like, What do you mean? And she's like, Well, there's a call that we do, and then they all come running. And I'm like, Do it, do it? And I had my phone out because I was going to record it and she would not do it as long as I had the phone on. But once I turned it off, she did it and her dad did it. And sure enough, they came runningfrom acres away and it was pretty cool.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Can you just please tell me what it kind of sounded like?

Ryan Bell:

:

It's not anything really weird, it's more just like I don't know that I could do it. It's kind of like a howl or something.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Really?

Ryan Bell:

:

Yes. And I don't know if that's for all cows or if that's just how their cows respond because her dad does it. But I don't know.

Lynda Lyday:

:

That's cool.

Ryan Bell:

:

It wasn't super weird or anything. It was just I didn't know that you could.

Ryan Bell:

:

Yeah.

Ryan Bell:

:

Like howl, make this sound and the cows would come running to you. Sorry, random way to end the podcast there. So for anybody that would like to get in touch with you, what's the best way for them to do that?

Lynda Lyday:

:

Yeah, just reach out, lyndalyday.com, L-Y-N-D-A L-Y-D-A-Y.com.

Ryan Bell:

:

OK. And you are pretty easy to find online as well.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Pretty easy, yeah.

Ryan Bell:

:

We will leave some links in the show notes for that.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Thank you.

Lynda Lyday:

:

Ryan Bell: So thank you so much for your time again today. And to our listeners, thank you for tuning in to this episode of Construction Disruption with Lynda Lyday, America's home improvement expert. Please watch for future episodes of our podcast. We have more great guests on tap. And if you could take a quick two minutes to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, we would greatly appreciate it. Until then, change the world for someone, make them smile, and encourage them. Two of the most powerful things we can do to change the world. God bless and take care. This is Isaiah Industries signing off until the next episode of Construction Disruption.

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