Why DIY?

When I was young I thought it would be fun to own an old house and fix it up.  People do it everyday.  On TV it looks easy.

The problem is, I’ve been living in an old house on country property for 17 years and I’m not suited for DIY.  I believe in DI-WHY.  As in, WHY can’t we hire a professional?

My husband is truly a MacGyver.  The type who can fix anything and actually wants to fix everything.  Sometimes he “fixes” stuff that’s not even in need of repair but I won’t go into that.

So, it didn’t take long for this old house to spew out it’s first problem of the new year.  The bathtub was falling through the floor.  I tried to ignore this but, since that didn’t help, I told Len and he went into fix-it mode.  In the interest of public service I’ll tell you how to fix this problem when it happens to you.

The first order of business is to do some math and draw a bunch of plans like this.

fixing the bathtub (13)

Then gather up some noisy electric saws, pull the carpet back, and cut a trapdoor in the floor of the bedroom.  It should look like this.

fixing the bathtub (3)

Here is Len getting ready to go under the house through said trapdoor.

fixing the bathtub (7)

Make sure you cut your trapdoor big enough for an actual person (not you) to get in there.

fixing the bathtub (9)

Once your man is in there thank every lucky star you’ve got that it isn’t you under that house where it’s dark AND scary.

fixing the bathtub (10)

See what I mean?  His destination is where that light is.

fixing the bathtub (12)

One must know how to slither under the plumbing pipes and travel way over to where the bathtub is, use a car jack, crowbar, some pieces of 2×4’s, roofing shingles, drill some holes, hammer on some lumber, build a cripple wall (whatever that is), and yell through the floor to gauge the progress.  This is where I come in.  My job was to yell through the floor the opposite way to tell Len if the tub was returning to it’s original elevation.

It worked!

When all the junk was put away, the hole closed up, and the carpet put back, all Len wanted was a hot shower.  Unfortunately here’s how the conversation went:

Len: I can’t wait to get into the shower.

Me: We have a problem.

Len: Just let me take a shower and then you can tell me.

Me: Uh, but, now the water heater is dripping all over the place.  Must have been all that ratcheting on the house.  It’s blowing a gasket or something!

Len: #%&*!

A professional is one who does his best work when he feels the least like working.   –Frank Lloyd Wright

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