The Handyman // Secret Life

Dominic Mochrie talks DIY

By Jennifer Marston

On Friday October 12th, 2012


Dominic Mochrie
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

In 2005, when corporate lawyer Dominic Mochrie and his wife bought their first fixer-upper in midtown Toronto at the height of the reno boom, they couldn’t even get a contractor to quote them on the badly needed work. Out of sheer frustration, Mochrie decided to install a ceramic floor in the kitchen with the help of three friends.

“We were four guys with no experience and plans we got from the Internet,” says Mochrie. If they hit a snag, they would “have a think.” Mochrie explains, “We’d all sit there and look at the thing until we figured out how to tackle it.”

The group — who dubbed themselves The Labour Pool — has since redone three kitchens and five basements from the studs up, built three decks and completed various other projects in each other’s homes. That includes work on the run-down 1947 Forest Hill home Mochrie bought in 2009. “The first person to do any particular project gets the benefit of the work, and everyone else gets the benefit of all the things you now know you shouldn’t do.”

Web exclusive: Outtakes from the photo session

Photography by Daniel Ehrenworth