The early years
A Vancouver resident for more than 30 years, Douglas has always been mechanically minded. He learned several handyman skills by helping his dad with repair and improvement projects at home. Originally from Portland, Oregon, he attended Benson Polytechnic High School where he learned several construction trades. After taking the building construction shop class, he wanted to be a carpenter and build houses, but his mom & dad insisted on getting a college education instead. Then he learned BASIC programming, but there was no computer science major in high school at that time. And the instructor didn’t believe there was a future in computers. That was during the era of mainframe computers before the Mac and PC were invented.
Douglas enjoyed taking things apart and fixing them successfully, such as the family’s toaster in electrical shop where the assignment was to bring from home something broken and attempt to fix it! Engineering was not a career option because he could not remember all the formulas in pre-calculus. Instead, Douglas majored in architectural drawing during the junior and senior years of high school with the intent of becoming an architect. However, architectural schools was very competitive and they did not accept him into their programs. So he discovered a little known, lower demand program called landscape architecture after being visiting the U of O architecture school as a high school senior. He was intrigued by the topographic maps that were displayed with which he was familiar after years in Scouting.
The middle years
Douglas graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and worked 23 years designing parks, school grounds, roadway landscapes, and commercial sites until the 2008 recession. Afterwards, he self-learned a programming language called Objective-C which was used by Apple and eventually had 28 apps in the iPhone App store. But working at home was not a real job (that sure changed during the COVID pandemic!) and all jobs in computer science required a computer science degree which he did not have. So he worked several seemingly unrelated jobs since then, including in a big box home improvements store for three years where he increased his knowledge of building materials. During that time, he founded Action Craftworks LLC as a woodworking company in 2013. In retrospect, most of the past jobs, including self-employed as an independent contractor, became learning experiences for the next career opportunity.
In spring of 2021, a realtor for selling Douglas’s in-laws house recommended using TaskRabbit to prepare the house for sale since contractors were too busy. Except there wasn’t anyone available to remove all the carpeting in the house to expose the original existing oak floor. So Douglas learned and did it himself. And also did all the other landscape improvements and interior repairs as recommended by the realtor. As a result the house sold exactly as the realtor predicted, at the higher price.
Immediately after the house was listed for sale, Douglas became an independent contractor with TaskRabbit and has completed over 300 tasks including minor home repairs, product mounting, furniture assembly, yard work, and more. You can still book him as Douglas L. on TaskRabbit in southwest Washington. The rates there are similar, but they add a support fee and sometimes marks up his rate for a total markup as high as 40%.
In December 2022, due to changes in the economy such as the growing recession, Douglas took a giant step of faith and applied for and obtained licensing, bonding, and insurance for Action Craftworks LLC as a general construction contractor with emphasis on home repairs and product installs. The company has already expanded to offer business office repairs. Action Craftworks LLC doesn’t charge additional markup or support fees, other than the required Washington state sales tax. Douglas resides in and only works in Washington to better serve the local community.
Douglas is still mechanically minded and pays close attention to detail to do things right the first time. His past experience includes landscape architectural design, construction drawings and specifications, construction observation, home repairs, and woodworking, and customer service. He uses a variety of tools such as multiple cordless power tools to maximize efficiency. His goal is to help you save you time and effort by completing your home repairs, office repairs, and product installs.
Douglas has been a runner since around 1999 and finished his 25th (and possibly final?) marathon in 2022. Due to time constraints and aging, the future is probably only shorter distances. He also enjoys cycling for exercise, and still hopes to become better at swimming, bowling and golf. He designed and built sports medals displays to accommodate his growing collection of running finisher medals. They are still available for sale as build-to-order on this website.