Meet Paul Daly, a member of Candice Olson's Divine Design team.
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"Hunky" Paul Daly is the go-to guy when Divine Design host Candice Olson needs room-spanning wall units, custom kitchen cabinets and other fixtures to complete her designs.
The Irish-born Daly grew up in Mississauga, Ontario. His training includes certifications in carpentry, structural contractor and an instructor in various fields of construction. He shared some thoughts on working on a design show, completing projects on a tight deadline and what should be in your toolbox.
What was your first major job?
Working for a large general contractor restoring historic university buildings in Toronto.
List some of your favorite jobs.
Built two of the largest custom non-prefabricated "Dream Homes" in home show history in 10 days. I've also restored a Victorian home in Ireland and worked on a few Habitat for Humanity homes.
What five tools should every part-time home improvement fan have in his/her toolbox?
Tough question. How large is the box? For a toaster-size toolbox, a multi tip screwdriver, 20-oz. hammer, 25-foot tape measure, putty knife and Vise-Grips. For a briefcase size box, replace the putty knife with a 14-volt cordless drill and 3/8-inch keyless chucks. Fingers can smooth anything because they're not tired thanks to cordless drill.
What's the most difficult project you've tackled on Divine Design?
A fireplace with integrated wall units.
What's the most unusual project?
A recent show putting bamboo on a ceiling. Very cool!
About how long does it take to bring one of Candice's typical designs to reality?
I call it "insanity TV" not "reality TV" sometimes. Nothing's typical on our show. We are pressed every week to produce the non-typical.
For installation when at a client's home, depending on the complexity and logistical issues, I have two days to get whatever I can do done .For a typical show, five days. For larger project, like a home renovation, we have to bring in a general contractor to do major changes like structural and major mechanical.
You said you originally thought you were signing up for a carpentry show. Really?
Yes, really! I didn?t know a thing about the show. When I was asked to do the first show I thought, "This will be fun." I remember getting agitated at the cameraman telling me to stop what I'm doing so he could shoot it. Then having 10 people stand over me waiting for me to build a cabinet from scratch, and being asked how long do ya' think this will take to get us to this point. Talk about under the gun! (I didn't know I was to prefabricate parts in advance.)
What did you think once you learned it was a design show?
"What will the guys think!" was the initial gut reaction. Then I thought it was a way for me to promote training, and that it helps my friends that are picking up little tips to expedite their own home adventure. That gave me a great sense of accomplishment
What do you do when you're not working on Divine Design?
Working for the Carpenters Union, I promote apprenticeship and training in the high schools around the greater Toronto area. I meet with builders' developers and trade show owners promoting apprenticeship and training of carpenters.
Tell us about your family.
I have three children: Natasha, 8; Lauren, 6; and Connor, 4. They changed my life. I helped deliver all three of them. I cut the cords and held them at their births. My children are a part of my life that I cherish and enjoy.
What about hobbies? What does "Hunky Paul" enjoy in his downtime?
Golf! Riding with the kids on our pedal bikes, going to the gym to swim or work out. Did I say golf? I also enjoy reading Men's Health and other "guy" magazines about motorcycles and trucks. If it has a tool on the cover I've probably skimmed its pages looking for the ultimate tool. I go to the trade shows and hardware store looking for that tool that every guy must have but doesn't really need .You know the one that looks cool and could do that job just right but you'll never use it. I'm a "Guy's Guy." I fish, camp and tell stories and jokes with guys.