My Story

It Started With a Disaster

Through this experience, I was inspired to start a business to help others - especially women - navigate their major home improvement projects.

Erin Helland

My home was destroyed by water 34 days after closing. 

A guest caused an accident in the 2nd floor kitchen. In just 30 minutes the entire house was saturated – flooding reached from my unit, to the rental apartment below, all the way into the crawlspace. Firefighters shut the water off from the street. I suddenly – and very unexpectedly – faced a total gut job.

For nearly a year, I lived in a construction zone.

I had no refrigeration, no cooking, no floors, limited electrical, and running water only in the shower (and, yes, thankfully, there was a working toilet.)

I’m so lucky to have grown up in a construction family because, after the initial shock from the water damage, I knew exactly how to activate my inner home improvement manager. Within 18 hours teams were assessing and attacking the damage – ripping down ceilings, pulling up floors and hauling out all the walls and remnants of furniture and appliances. I called the insurance company, the lender, and studied my financial options. There was so much administrative work to tackle – I researched and ordered materials, coordinated project deliverables, estimated and tracked draws, and continuously reconfigured wants vs. needs. I visited suppliers, conferred with contractors, navigated the permitting process, and negotiated with inspectors. 

The Silver Lining? Through this experience, I was inspired to start a business to help others – especially women – navigate their major home improvement projects.  Yes, it was a long and often painful process, but at last my home is my sanctuary – functional, beautiful, safe, and even better than I’d ever imagined it could be.

Home as a Sanctuary

A little peek inside my house.

A Helping Hand

Homeowners Crave Renovation Guidance from Someone they Trust

As the rehab in my home and rental unit was drawing to an end, I started receiving phone calls and emails from people connected to my network. They asked me to coffee to “pick my brain” about home improvement, and other friends and neighbors requested I conduct walk-thrus and provide advice as they tackled their own renovation projects. Given my background and recent experience, they trusted my input and wanted me to help them prepare for their major projects, and feel reassured of their decision-making. I have really enjoyed supporting others in this way, and it was the inspiration behind the launch of HardHat Diplomat.

Call It What You will - Counselor. Coach. Sherpa.

" you're a Renovation Doula!"

Call It What You will - Counselor. Coach. Sherpa.

" you're a

Erin Helland grew up in a construction family. Everyone took part in some way when her father was building additions, running historical rehabs, and conducting flips. Now, Erin is using her experience in commercial and residential renovation to guide others through the home improvement process.