September 17, 2002

I Can Do That !!

Do It Yourself! Save a bundle and have fun doing it! The enticing allure of not having to pay someone else to build your dream home is hard to resist. Ask any home supply department or lumber retailer, and they'll tell you it's a walk in the park. These guys didn't just fall off the turnip truck; they know a major part of their profit comes from yahoo's like you who haven't a clue.

I made the great exodus from the big city some time ago, and figured on coming out ahead buying a run down dump with a good frame and rebuilding it in my own image. The electric was bad - but how complicated can electricity be, I thought (Bzzzzzzzzzt! - thank you lord for an almost adequate health plan). The plumbing was pitiful, but having tested my skills on a piece of copper pipe, some fittings, a blowtorch, and one short visit to the emergency room later, I didn't figure it was anything I couldn't handle. It needed some extra space ( OK, it was a converted chicken coop for Christ's sake, and it needed a lot of extra space), but I'd watched real builders work, and how hard can it be to drive a coupla nails anyway? One board, several nails, a cheap saw, and one more visit to the emergency room, and hell, I was ready for anything.

First things first - let's take care of those leaky faucets. Ya say they're not leaking any more? OK, first things first, let's get a contractor to get that new well in. Now for the faucets. They're still not leaking? But the basement is flooded? OK, first things first, better get some new pipes in - the old ones couldn't handle the pressure from a well that actually worked. And now for the faucets. What do you mean, they're not leaking? And the basement's full again? Why's it so cold in here? The new pipes froze because the furnace went out? First things first I guess but this is really starting to honk me off! Give me that contractor's number again, dammit! That done,back to the faucet. Huh? What's that smell? Seems the septic system hadn't seen water for a while and didn't really know what to do with it. OK, first things first, shut the water off and find that contractor's number. He can be over next week? How much is a PortaJohn for a week? You say make that a month? OK, that done, back to the leaky faucet. The damn thing better still be leaking ! What the hell was that?? Why is the roof so much shorter than it used to be? But the guy said something about a good frame?

And so it goes. Twenty years later, and the faucet still leaks. I plan on getting to it tomorrow, if nothing else comes up. It's amazing what you can get used to after a while...

Good news is, I've still got most of my fingers.

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at September 17, 2002 06:06 PM