Monday, February 23, 2015

Do-It-Yourself Projects: Sadomasochism Masked as a Hobby

Hey everybody. Bryan here, and I don't know about you guys, but we both are big fans of DIY* projects around the house.

*If you don't know that DIY stands for Do-It-Yourself then chances are good you're either too rich to have to put up with this shit or you just like living in complete shambles

Yep, there's nothing more satisfying than getting your hands dirty and spending an afternoon or three building or repairing something around the house just for the sake of saying you did it yourself.


And who doesn't like being able to say, "I just fixed a major appliance without any adult supervision whatsoever"? Aside from earning the admiration* of your fellow housemates, do-it-yourself work has a slew of other great benefits.

*rolling their eyes so hard their retinas eject

So today we're gonna go over just a few of the reasons why doing it yourself is always the way to go.

1. It costs so much less.

Think about it. Sure, you could pay someone with all of the proper equipment to come over and tackle the job, but that could cost hundreds. Instead, all you need to do is buy a few small tools to get the job done and handle it yourself.

Okay, so you might need a brand new wrench set because you lost the one single wrench size you needed. Or you might need to buy a one-off specialty tool that you'll only ever need for this job and will never use again (that retails at $49.99). Or you might need to buy twice the amount of materials because you fucked it up the first time around.

But really, all you need is a simple trip (or four) to Home Depot and a few hundred dollars worth of tools and materials and you can easily save yourself that few hundred dollars you would have otherwise spent on a repairman.

And really, isn't that all money well spent?

2. You can show off how strong and capable you are.

DIY is my personal way of saying "I don't need no man!" And what better way to celebrate one's sense of self and strength than by thwarting an inanimate object with your own two hands. That old, tiny, rusted over bolt never stood a chance!







3. You can learn valuable life skills.

Half the fun of DIY is learning as you go, and what better way to learn than by just diving in? Between the thousands of conflicting tutorials made by any random jackass on Youtube and the terrible advice friends and family members offer, there's a DIY battle plan for everyone's needs. I mean, what's the worst thing that could happen? Oh, right, you could destroy your car and/or house. But isn't that its own valuable life skill?

"Well, I'll never do THAT again."

4. It's such a time saver.

Yes, you could have someone come over and fix your stuff for you and essentially have a stranger in your house for God only knows how many hours. Or worse, if it's something like your car, you can take it to someone and have them hold it hostage for a few hours. But what they won't tell you is that they always exaggerate and upcharge you for time spent, and if you were to do it yourself, you'd totally be able to do it so much faster than these so-called "professionals" ever would.






Yep, as you can clearly see, the benefits of doing it yourself always outweigh paying someone to do it for you. Any other stubborn jackass DIYers in the house?

Cheers and stay classy, folks,
B&B

Music: Benny Goodman
Beer: Ballast Point Even Keel IPA


134 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, hours of fun...
    Good to know I'm not the only one who has to go buy all those special tools. Or things like a whole new bit set because the one drill bit I need has gone missing.
    On the plus side, no toilet guts can thwart me now!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I feel like I could start a museum for special tools you'll only ever need once. "And this, kids, is a post digger. It dug that one post that we needed to fix in the backyard one time 10 years ago, and as you can see by its size, it takes up way more space in the garage than it should."

      Delete
  2. I have "repaired" our toilet a hundred times and it still has issues. I've also tried to fix my car a number of times, only to learn, "hey, jackass, spend the $30 and have a professional change the oil or you will end up paying hundreds of dollars on whatever it is you screwed up." I'm not the most handy person is what I'm saying.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My Dad is handy. He can disassemble anything and put it back together with grace and with ease. He's never injured himself working on anything. I, on the other hand, will invariably shred my hands, end up covered from head to toe in dirt and grime, and add 10 points to my blood pressure/subtract 10 years from my life with each so-called 'project'.

      What I'm saying is... I may fix things, but I'm not what you'd call "handy" either.

      Delete
  3. My redneck husband insists on fixing most things himself, except electrical items, which is why I think the stock in Home Depot is steadily rising. You are welcome Home Depot and I feel sorry for the poor sucker who ever buys this house should it ever go on the market.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I know the feeling. At this point, I feel like the two of us have sunk so much money into Home Depot that we should legally own a small percentage of its stock as a company.

      Delete
  4. As my wife says, I am not handy. I missed that gene-set somewhere along the way, along with the navigational skill set.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For some people, fixing things comes so easily to them. For people like me... well, it'll get fixed, but it won't be pretty. For me or for the repair.

      Delete
  5. Lesbians have an almost obsessive need to do all home and car repairs ourselves to prove how butch we are. Somehow I have escaped this characteristic, however. I just shell out the big bucks to have others do it for me. But after all, as Monty Python said, "everyone must hanker / for the butchness of a banker" so throwing money at problems still has a certain cachet.

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    1. I just fix these things because I'm poor. I don't think that would be the case if I had more money. The one DIY project I could never quite solve... how do I find more money to throw at people? I'd hire a personal lesbian fix-it-woman in a snap if I could. They always seem to have more of the handiness gene than I do.

      "You, butch woman - you look like you know your way around a wrench! Fix my car!"

      Delete
  6. I admit I do try to DIY most things. Which is hilarious if you knew that when I was married I would ask him to hang shelves for me. Last summer I built a deck rail, I fixed my dryer a few weeks ago, But this weekend when my pipes burst I really thought about trying to fix it myself but when I saw my pipes were copper I broke down and called a plumber. 70 dollars and 2 hours later I had water. Not as bad as I thought. But if they were plastic I would have tried to fix it myself.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hey, as I said, DIY is my way of saying "I don't need no man."

      Which is 100% true, so... can I hire you to be my handywoman? You sound handy as hell, and currently I need to replace the guts on my toilet but I don't think my hands have it in them; I worked on my car all weekend and ripped off enough of my own flesh to qualify for a skin graft.

      Delete
    2. Sure I've always wanted to visit Denver. I have enough Orange and Blue Broncos gear in my closet I should fit in.

      Delete
  7. I know what DIY means only because Peter Gabriel had a song in about 1977 called "DIY."

    "D.I.Y. / Do it yourself / D.I.Y. / Do it yourself..." etc.

    Peter Gabriel songs are always helpful. He also helps me remember what the really big hammers are called and what they do to monkeys in labs.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Does Peter Gabriel also have a song about how to replace the thermostat in a 2002 Audi A4 because this problem has REALLY been plaguing me and I think at this point he might be the only person I can turn to for help?

      Delete
  8. What? You need special tools? I just take a hammer to everything. It comes off eventually. I'm more likely to break it worse. So I just call the super, who then calls someone else, who then takes his time getting there. So when things start to go to shit, I pack up and move to a new apartment. One way to avoid the tool buying. Yep, I hire movers too. But hey, I lift the cats out at least.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Man, why didn't I think of that? I just need to invest in a bigger hammer. The roof needs a bit of work, and I'm gonna need plenty of smashing power for that kind of square footage.

      Delete
  9. I know better than to try to DIM. When I was a kid, my mom was the DIY person in our house. The thing was this: she'd buy the book. Read the book. Successfully complete the project. It's a mystery to me. She even took apart our entire washer. Or was it the dryer? I think it was the dryer. Found the problem and put it all back together again. It worked. Frankly, I think she's an alien.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That actually works? I can find step by step instructions that are video taped on Youtube and literally show you everything you'll ever need to do, up close, and I still can't always get it 100%. I'll have to call my dad, who will invariably come over, do the exact same thing I'd been doing for hours, and it works on the first try.

      Delete
  10. If there's a bolt randomly located on a sewage pipe then you may have bigger problems than lackluster DIY skills.
    Truth be told, I wish I was as handy with this kind of stuff as my dad is. I just have zero experience with it, aside from watching him for like half a minute every time he takes a half-hour adventure to fix the fucking faucet for the third time this month.
    Maybe I should just start with simple crafts and work my way up from there? But I have no tools, materials, nothing! ):

    ReplyDelete
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    1. No wonder my sink shoots out black, dirt filled water when I turn it on... Who put that bolt there, anyway?

      (That was a laziness call by the artist, who has indeed been working on his car all weekend and didn't have it in him to draw something like an engine which would more likely have a rusted out bolt on it)

      We all have to start somewhere. My dad is much like your dad, and I started learning by helping him out with his own projects. I still don't have the skill he has, but I'm getting there. And I'm slowly building up my tool collection, too.

      Delete
    2. Laziness is forgiven. It actually adds to the comicality (holy shit that's a word?) of it all.

      Re: your comment over at my blog: How do I even begin learning what everything does and how tastes affect each other, what works well together, etc.? Do I just try shit out and hope it's not awful? Any resources you can recommend (that aren't just "put x and y together and you're done")?

      Delete
    3. Comicality... why is Google not underlining that word? That's really a thing? And yet raccoons is not?

      (Question answered over at your site)

      Delete
  11. >>... If you don't know that DIY stands for Do-It-Yourself then chances are good you're either too rich to have to put up with this shit or you just like living in complete shambles

    Well, there IS a third option, and that's the one that pertains to me:

    I am NOT rich, and I DO live in complete shambles, but I DON'T like it.

    >>... and the terrible advice friends and family members offer, there's a DIY battle plan for everyone's needs.

    Actually, the advice THIS friend would offer you is NOT terrible. I would say, "Carry the potato chips and the 6-pack of beer to the phone and call a repairman."

    ["Honey, the kitchen sink is backing up. But I'll take care of it. While I'm at the store picking up a 6-pack and some potato chips can you get out the phone book and find that plumber's number?" ...THAT'S how you handle a situation like that!]

    I liked that "72 HOURS LATER..." panel. Very Scooby-Doo!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Admittedly it's from Sponge Bob Squarepants, which is as anti-Scooby Doo as you can get.

      Also, the problem with that scenario is that if I call the plumber then I no longer can buy the potato chips OR 6 pack.

      Budgeting money as an adult is so hard, dammit.

      Delete
    2. OK, then just stop using the kitchen sink and get the 6-pack.
      Budgeting money just ain't THAT hard, damnit.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  12. I tightened some bolts on the legs of a friends table and it made me feel like I knew something about fixing things. I'll take my small feel good moments.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Bolts are bolts, and in the end, it totally counts. The other day I changed the oil on my car and felt like I practically ran my own Jiffy Lube.

      Delete
  13. Hahaha!! Yeah! I do a lot of electronic DIY fixes on phones, decade old music players, and my computer. If it involves me having to open up the device. It doesn't end well, for me or the device. But otherwise, I'm decent. With software glitches and stuff like that. So I've just learnt to call the professionals if YouTube says I have to open it to fix it. It's kind of a shame though. I'm an electronics and communication engineering student and I'm from India. Somehow I still lack the skill set and the genes for DIY repairs that involve opening up the equipment.
    As for all the cute and crafty DIY projects, like inspiration boards and stuff like that, I outsource it to an architecture student friend. They're handy with that stuff.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Outsourcing my DIY work... now why didn't I think of that? I'm Mexican, so I'm supposed to be good at working with my hands, but I can assure you that not only am I not, but these frail things I call hands are so pathetic that even the slightest scrape will have me gushing blood all over.

      "Yep, I just fixed my washer and dryer. Took them both apart and put them back together. Just ignore that big blotchy blood stain that I can't seem to get out."

      Delete
  14. I'm not much of a handyman myself. I've done some painting at least and I'm not bad at that. A friend helped me redecorate my room but she was the one who put together the flatpack bedside table. As you might expect there were parts left over, it was wobbly, and fell to an inevitable death not long after it was erected.

    Heh...erected.

    If it involves tools I tend to avoid it. It's a skill I wouldn't mind but I'm too lazy to learn. As you said all the tutorials are contradictory and I find them confusing too. Right now I'm not much of a handyman but let's see what things are like in a few years. Maybe.

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    1. But isn't it worth it just to giggle over the fact that you "erected" it?

      You know, it doesn't help that a lot of the furniture they make is less than sturdy. I got a brand new coffee table, assembled it myself to the T, and it still wobbles. No matter what I do. At first I thought it was my fault but now I've seen that it's just a really crappy design with cheap materials.

      Thanks for nothing, IKEA.

      Delete
  15. Honestly, I think the most valuable lesson that anyone can learn from DIY projects is that it's a whole lot cheaper and faster to call in a freaking professional. Once you've experienced the pure, unadulterated shame fest that is a failed DIY attempt, you will gladly pay the repair guy just about anything he wants to charge you in order to avoid going through it again. I mean, my husband is pretty good at basic stuff, but he knows when he's out of his depth.

    But I'm pretty sure you nailed the repair on that chair up there. Nice one with the hanger on the back. Hey! Free acupuncture with every seat at Bryan's house!

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    1. Pride especially is the worst. Like when I'm half way through an overly complicated car repair and figure I should probably have someone do it for me, but that would mean putting everything I've disassembled so far back, and THEN taking it so someone. That just smells like failure. And I'd rather have the broken knuckles and the higher blood pressure than swallow my pride.

      And you think that hanger's great? You should try it on the vibrating massage setting. Really gouges the knots in your back. I call it the Flay-Z-Boy.

      Delete
    2. Okay, the "Flay-Z-Boy" got an actual laugh out of me. That doesn't happen too often, so well done there.

      Pride is so very often the downfall of, well, anybody. You're not the only one, trust me. But I've found that in most cases, once I've swallowed my pride and asked for help, I feel incredibly sheepish. "It could have been this easy from the beginning? Yeesh! I'm never doing THAT again!" (A short time later...) "You know what? I don't need any help! I can totally handle this job by myself!"

      Delete
  16. B&B:
    Cripes, guys, I damn near pissed myself laughing over htis...
    Tim Allen's got some SERIOUS competition...LOL!

    I can relate to much of this, but I have been blessed (read cursed) with the ability to be ABLE to fix things (and with hardly ANY parts left over).

    Used to be in several repair-oriented fields, so I learned a crapload of stuff I will never use again ( like all the tools I have collected over the decades).

    I have lacquired a few life "skills", however:
    1) You cannot work on cars of today w/o a computer science degree.
    (or three)
    2) NEVER use your arms as a "ground" for B+ voltage on a television set (like a phaser on heavy STUN).
    3) If you DO have parts left over, and everything still works, become a damn ENGINEER.
    Other than that (and a few bushels of COMMON SENSE) there are lots of small things that CAN be tackled easily enough.

    Thing is...most everything today is MEANT TO BE DISPOSABLE...rather than REPAIRABLE. (and that's a damn shame)
    But no one wants to really "repair" a soiled diaper, right?

    Excellent post.
    Stay safe out there, you two.

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    1. Man, I know the feeling! It's just not a proper repair without parts leftover. "Well, I have 3 bolts, a bracket, and a couple wires left over... but the car starts and runs just fine... so, uh, I'm gonna keep these in a drawer or something."

      Delete
    2. "IF" you have parts left over?

      Seems to me, not only are there ALWAYS parts left over, some of them are always pretty important-looking...

      Delete
    3. Psssh, I'm pretty sure my dryer never needed that long piece of tubing or that random motor I don't remember pulling out anyway. Sure, it smokes, but that just means it's drying everything extra good.

      Delete
  17. If I can't fix it, I call my mom. If my mom can't fix it, I get my boyfriend. If he can't fix it, we call our free apartment maitanence people. If they can't fix it, we're fucking screwed.

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    1. "Well, I didn't need this fridge anyway. We had a good time, you and I, but these repairs are beyond our abilities. Goodbye old friend."

      *pushes over balcony to its death*

      Delete
  18. "22 hours later...."

    Totally hearing that French guy's voice from Spongebob

    ReplyDelete
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    1. As a completely grown up adult, I have no idea what you're talking about. None at all. And don't even ask me who lives in a pineapple under the sea and is absorbent and yellow and porous is he because I truly have no idea...

      Kids these days, really.

      Delete
  19. I had two lamps that weren't working. I DIM (<-appropriate abbreviation there) and bought too lightbulbs. I screwed each lightbulb into its respective place, then switched each lamp on. Woohoo! It worked. I DIM. That's how DIM I am, and that's the extent of my DIM skills.

    I hated it when I asked my (ex) to fix anything. I would've been better off with the lesser level of brokenness before asking him.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Q: How many bloggers does it take to change a lightbulb?

      A: 102. One to change it, one to blog about it, and 100 to say "LOL nice post!"

      (That one's for you, LL)

      Delete
    2. I'm resisting saying LOL! I'll just keep laughing out loud privately. Thanks for that! It was really good!

      Delete
  20. Hi B&B. Loved the cartoons!
    The first one reminded me of six chairs I found on the side of the road. Repaired little things, re-stained them, covered in new fabric... look surprisingly nice. Couldn't find a table big enough for them, so I took an old door and attached legs. I'm really happy with that.
    I'd like to replace the basement sump pump. The older brother says call someone because they'll give a warranty on the parts and labor. (He has money, I have chump change.) I guess it's the fear of opening a can of worms - I still haven't attempted it... even after watching 23 you tube videos on the issue. My motto used to be, "Hammer or duct tape - gets the job done."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So I guess that makes you a sump pump chump?

      Ba dum TUM(P)

      That's awesome, btw, you and your six chairs. I envy anyone who can do woodwork. Me? Not so much. I'll stick with cars. And Legos.

      My motto is from this guy: "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."

      Delete
  21. This one hits close to home....while not rich, I am lucky enough to be able to afford to hire some stuff out.

    I am not handy in the least (except, oddly enough, for bicycles-I can take one of them apart down to the ball bearings and put it back together).

    So while there are a lot of things I would rather not do, I do them because I am able to. Unless they involve a ladder, in which case I either bribe a friend of call a handyman because I am scared you-know-what-less of heights.

    Just reading the comment directly above mine (from Dixie@dcrelief) while I type this makes me feel totally inadequate as a man.

    "Re-stained" means something totally different in my house, and usually involves more work and industrial cleaning supplies

    And when I "cover something in new fabric," it means I toss that NFL fleece over the spot on the couch where the cats sharpen their claws or where my butt has worn the fabric thin.

    I have no pegboard in my garage.

    All my tools fit in a little tool box, and most are bicycle tools.

    Ratchet is a character in an old Jack Nicholson movie.

    LC

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Fun fact: it's actually Nurse Ratched. But everyone mispronounces it (and misspells it) "Ratchet."

      So I don't have a pegboard either. And I'm a big fan of covering stains, rips, and even unwanted guests with blankets. But if something absolutely needs fixing and I can't afford to hire someone... well, I'll make it happen. It won't be pretty, but it'll happen.

      Delete
    2. But if I spelled it right, the joke didn't work...

      Delete
    3. I almost forgot-seems like no matter how well you plan, there are always at least five trips to Home Depot involved.

      Delete
    4. Between you and me I think Nurse Ratchet is a MUCH better name. It sounds so much harsher (D is such a soft word ending) and it really conveys that she's just a nasty, grimy old tool...

      Delete
    5. Oh and if Home Depot was a person, then I've not only put their children through college, I've put their children's children through college too.

      Delete
  22. There was this one time that my POS car got a cracked radiator. The car wasn't drivable so I removed the radiator and took it to the radiator shop across town. On the bus, which I could still afford. Covered in dirt and smelling of engine coolant. They welded the crack and I took the bus back carrying the big dirty radiator. I had to borrow enough money for antifreeze to fill it back up. The easiest thing was not meeting anyone's eyes on the bus. I just stared at the radiator. Oh, I fixed it alright, but the memory of hauling large auto parts on public transportation now reminds me to hire someone and save humiliation for more worthy causes.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That is hilarious. I know that pain. Not with a full blown radiator, mind you, but it's always fun leaving an auto project half way through, after discovering you need an extra tool or part, and walking into some auto parts shop looking like you just crawled out of a sewer.

      "LOL hope you don't mind me touching everything in your store with jet black hands. For the record, I washed my hands before coming in here. Eight times. But that shit just does NOT come off."

      Delete
    2. I actually would have been proud on that bus!

      "That's right-I took a radiator out by myself, and tomorrow I won't be takin' the bus!"

      Delete
    3. Or it would have made for a really fun prank.

      "Oh this? Yeah this is off the bus. Yeah, things are gonna get REALLY interesting in about 5, 4, 3..."

      Delete
  23. My husband has been an apartment maintenance man for over 30 years so he usually can fix whatever is wrong around here. he's pretty handy with a car too. But one time the car started over heating because the fan stopped coming on. So he hooked two wires to a toggle switch so when the radiator started getting hot I could just flip the toggle switch on to cool it down. Well the toggle switch burned out while he was out of town and he told me what to go buy *A new toggle switch* and how to replace it. I felt oh so proud of myself when I did it and it worked. I think hubby was impressed as well. lol

    ReplyDelete
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    1. And we're both impressed too. That's awesome - not just the radiator fan switch, but that you easily replaced it. Next time my car breaks I know who I'm gonna call.

      Delete
  24. I asked my husband to take a look at the CD player in my van. Mind you- I said- if it's NOT an easy fix- leave it ALONE. It's not a big deal...who uses the CD player anymore anyhow?

    Three weeks later, it required a whole new sound system and replacement head phones for the DVD sound system in the back- cause now the CD player works, but the aux switch to the rear sound system and the heat warmer to the driver seat no longer work.

    (Don't tell him I told that- I'm impressed he tried so hard and he thinks he did an awesome job.)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's damn impressive. The CD player stopped working on the wife's old car and she just ignored it. Now she has a new car. Ultimately, that seemed like the better solution than trying to replace it.

      (Really, though, who uses CDs these days?)

      Delete
  25. I hate to admit it but that chair you fixed there is pretty much my speed on the DIY home repairs. Course I'm a girl and I don't think we're genetically predisposed to that kind of stuff. Or maybe I just swam in the wrong gene pool. Something like that.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If that's the case then I'm in the shallow end of the gene pool with floaties on, because try as I may, none of this 'fix it' stuff EVER comes naturally. At all.

      Delete
  26. I think the only DIY project I'd ever do would be painting.

    Also never trust a contractor/handyman

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Especially if his nickname is Tim "The Toolman" Taylor and he wants to turn your lawnmower into a 200 horsepower drag racing machine.

      Delete
  27. My father was an excellent handyman. He could fix anything. Then I got married and realized I was a sexist. I believed all men could fix things.

    The love of my life is NOT that guy. Sometimes, he is fine, but most of the time he just keeps buying supplies and tools till he hands it off to someone else.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Amen to that. I might have the appearance of a man, but that quickly fades when I'm trying to fix something.

      "So... I pulled out the thingamajig and I used the whatchamacallit to bang the little metal thing into place... but now what? It's not doiiiing anything."

      Delete
  28. Oh it's FUN all right, IF you are a masochist. Which anyone who writes the directions that come with IKEA furniture clearly must be.
    Thank all the gods for YouTube videos, watching someone DO the thing is much easier than the coded ancient Ango-Saxon stereo instructions. Maybe I just have ADD though. What were we just talking about?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. YouTube is great... as long as there's a consensus. Nothing like working on something delicate and one person says, "Okay, you ALWAYS want to do this..." and then you watch a second video where the guy says, "Okay, no matter what, don't EVER do this..." and they're both referring to the same goddamn thing.

      Delete
  29. I prefer the "DIB" or "Do-It-Boyfriend" method of home repair. Essentially, something breaks, Boyfriend takes pity on my uselessness, and fixes it. He replaced my car battery a couple of weeks ago! Huzzah!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The car battery's easy; it's the flux capacitor that'll get you.

      I guess it's pretty sound. The logic checks out. However, us straight guys really can't afford that same kind of luxury. Unless we're in denial.

      Delete
  30. Fun post! I know some people who should never be trusted with any kind of tool or DIY project, but unfortunately, that doesn't always stop them from forging ahead and turning what should be a simple fix into a major fiasco. My husband and I are both DIYers. We started out learning how to do all kinda of stuff to save money, and stuck with it because we enjoy it. I honestly don't think there's anything that man can't do.

    Crap! Now I'm gonna have to do a quick DIY job with my computer. One of my cats just knocked over a full mug of ice water all over my keyboard and mouse. Dammit.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm completely envious of your husband because no matter how much I do it I just don't get any better. Each time I just barely pull it off. Somehow. With my pride and my dignity and my hands much worse for wear.

      Fun computer nerd fact: since it's ice water, they may be okay. You can actually wash your keyboard in the dishwasher if you want. The mouse? Well, don't ever wash that... but it still might not be ruined. Soda... that's the REAL keyboard/mouse killer. Ask any hardcore gamer.

      Delete
  31. Back in the day I was a bit of a DIY'er, even changed my own alternator. Can't do those things anymore; when I look back I ask myself "What the hell was I thinking, me with my long nails, all girlified, out there changing an alternator???"

    ReplyDelete
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    1. And here I have a hell of enough time replacing an alternator with no nails at all. My hat is off to you. That's a special kind of badassery.

      Delete
  32. I would much rather pay out than put out.

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    Replies
    1. You'd think I'd have learned that lesson by now but I just keep coming back for more.

      Delete
  33. LOL! I have about ten jillion DIY stories. The best ones were unsuccessful :)

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    1. So true. I'm not sure which is better - somehow pulling a solution out of your ass at the last moment or reaching a point of saying, "Ah, okay, we really screwed this up, let's call a professional..."

      Delete
  34. I feel I have aged to the point I do not have to cover my lack of manliness with a show of totally incompetant DIY bravado. If it's broke, there's a phone number for that is my motto.

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    1. I can assure you it has absolutely nothing to do with manly bravado and everything to do with being a poor cheapskate. Not that that makes it any better...

      Delete
  35. I DIY and then I call a professional to fix what was broken in the first place AND fix what I fucked up.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. "You are NEVER gonna believe what I did to this thing. Man, I would NOT want to be you right now. So... you know, have fun."

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  36. My Rich was a great guy and man's man. But, he had absolutely no handyman skills but he always tried. I had a house and yard full of half assed looking "things" and he was proud as a peacock. I on the other hand would cringe every time he went down to his work shop. Every once in awhile I would have to stand firm and put my foot down and say "we're calling a professional"!! But boy could he cook!! Nobody could cook like him.

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    1. Oh, do I know that feeling. I'm like Emeril in the kitchen, but Steve Urkel in the work shop. Yeah, I try hard, and I'm reasonably smart, and I do my research... but it just does not 'click' the same way cooking does.

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  37. You know what they say if you want it done right
    do it yourself, but in some cases it may be better
    to call the professionals. I like to go to Home Depot
    to buy plants and pass over the tools as I don't have
    a clue what half of them are for anyway....haha

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    1. I buy all of my tools AND all of my plants at Home Depot. I think it's best not to try to figure out how much money I've sunk into that place. But, uh, my house is in good working order and I've got a beautiful plant room, so... there's that.

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  38. DIY sound good in theory, but like a lot of theories, it doesn't stand up in the real world. We had a steering wheel that no longer would work with the horn, a plumbing job that got worse because 'someone' put their finger through the pipe to see how rusty it was. . .a deadbolt that was upside down. . etc. etc.

    Some people are 'handy' men and some are otherwise. We had to replace roofing that a previous owner had done because he trusted the job to men in his church group. . .and none of them were roofers. And don't even mention wiring that is wonky. Why don't they teach this stuff in school??

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    1. Then count me as 'otherwise'! I'm pretty sure I'm that kind of idiot that once installed a deadbolt upside down. And was so proud until I wondered why the lock didn't match up at all.

      They SHOULD teach this in school. I feel like basic home repair is just a LITTLE bit more important than me learning calculus.

      Now, you bring up a good point, because I would never, ever offer my DIY "services" to another person. I don't feel confident enough in my (severe lack of ) abilities, and I'd feel like an ass if I screwed up someone's house or car. I only work on my own stuff. So that church group roofer thing? No way. If I were them I'd be asking the pastor to absolve me.

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  39. I think if I ask my husband to take out a single nail in a wasted piece of sheetrock he has to buy three new tools. Do men have a genetic inability to reuse a tool. And they complain when we need a new pair of shoes to match a new hair tie!!

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    1. Well, see, sometimes specialty tools are specifically needed for a job. So, I mean, you could walk to work in any pair of shoes you've ever owned if you really just needed to get somewhere, but I can't change my spark plugs using nothing but a hammer.

      BUT... as a sneaky man, I would say that not ever tool your husband claims to be "essential" necessarily is...

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  40. My dad wasn't exactly handy, so it was kind of a big deal the first time my hubby fixed something. He passed these skills on to our son, and my mom loves to ask him to fix things for her. I barely got through home ec. in high school, because I had trouble sewing my apron together. I shudder to think what would've happened if I had to take shop class instead! You creative geniuses are gifted in other areas!

    Julie

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    1. Fun fact: in middle school they made us take home ec. On the second or third day I sewed a hole straight through my finger.

      Yes, I knew at a very early age that I was neither crafty nor handy. But seeing as how we're gifted with writing, that's okay by me.

      Delete
    2. Sorry about your painful injury in home ec. All of that needles suffering probably led you to become gifted writers. Pardon the pun, it's all I have at 3:30 am.

      Julie

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    3. Oh it wasn't painful at all. I actually used it as a way of showing the teacher "See? I suck at this. If I continue to do this, I will invariably kill myself. Let me do something else."

      I never could get out of gym class, but apparently a needle through the finger is enough to get out of home ec.

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  41. I guess some things are better left for the professionals.

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    1. The faculty are a bunch of employees, and we're the raw material! But we're a bunch of raw materials that don't mean to be—have any process upon us. Don't mean to be made into any product. Don't mean… Don't mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We're human beings!

      There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels… upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

      Delete
    2. I'm going to take a pathetic stab at this. Hey, this is fun. Mockery of LL can turn into a "Name this speech" game. Love it.

      Um, Sally Fields as Norma Ray?

      Delete
    3. Ooh, good guess! It's from a decade prior, and it's not based on a movie. It's from a real person.

      Mario Savio on the operation of the machine

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    4. Mario Savio? Yeah, never would've guessed that one. It's a cool quote, though. You could almost apply it any form of modern day technology, or the screwing in of a lightbulb. Then again, some things are better left to the professionals. The great and wise LL says so.

      Delete
    5. Well, I could never hope to be a professional Mario like Mario Savio. On my best day I'm not even a Mario and Luigi type of Mario. So I'll leave the Marioing to the real Marios. At least... I think that's what LL was implying with her award winning statement.

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  42. My current hubby can fix just about anything mind some blood and words that would shock a lumberjack but he is good and he LOVES tools. Now my first hubby, bless his soul, had a hard time to put a nail in. When we bought the house, I knew to keep him busy by letting him paint the closets in the basement-no harm right? His dad brought paint over and I didn't care about the colour in the basement-it seemed a nice yellow. Well everyone left and about an hour later my first hubby comes up from the basement with more paint on him that what was on the entire home. He looked like he just spent 3 years in war and was in shell shock repeating "I don't know what to do". I walked down to the nearest store to call from a payphone (no cell phone at that time) and asked my mom to come with some handy paint remover. She saved the day and calmed him down. After a month I noticed the paint in those closets were still wet. I never bothered to check the paint can since I had tons of wallpaper stripping, plumbing, electrical etc... to get done or hire someone else to do it. I finally looked at the paint can and noticed the girl looked like Marlo Thomas from That Girl. It was clearly from the 60's. I forgot that my dad in law saved everything and that this paint came from the actual 1960's...not kidding. Here's is the fun part...it was car paint! It was also only part A and it needed part B as an epoxy so it would dry. Even after 7 years in the home the paint was still tacky and not dry! Ahhh fun times to be had

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    1. They had paint that could only dry if you applied an epoxy? Wow, what a nightmare! I'm just surprised for being paint from the 60s and being trapped in a closet with it/covered in it like a mud monster he didn't drop dead. Wasn't that stuff full of awful stuff like lead?

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    2. Probably lead and god knows what else. It is amazing he hasn't grown a 3rd eye

      Delete
  43. Haha! Yep. That's exactly the way it is. (And it's more like 10 trips to Home Depot!)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Haha! Yep. That's exactly the way it is. (And it's more like 10 trips to Home Depot!)

    ReplyDelete
  45. I mean, I can glue a leg to a decorative chair, but I wouldn't be what you call a "handy man". I've been described as a "handsy man", but that's something else entirely.

    I can hardly hang a mirror without stripping all the screws and adding fifteen unwanted holes in the wall. The walls used to be green, but now they're just the color of Spackle. However, if I do manage to successfully complete a DIY project, that's the first thing I talk about when guests come to visit.

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    1. I think the walls are just out to get us. I once put my elbow through the wall while moving a mattress. Another time I put a huge scuff in the wall from a cardboard box. A CARDBOARD BOX.

      Psssh, and people are worried about tornadoes. Me? I'm just worried about a big enough gust of wind. Blow a hole straight through my damn wall.

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  46. Hubby is a big DIY - he just loves to figure stuff out and will spend hours doing research before he starts…and then hours fixing whatever it is that needs repair. I have admit (don't tell him!) that he does well. He fixed the coils (?) on our hot water heater saving us I'm sure hundreds of dollars and then just fixed the oven this weekend. $30. Done in ten minutes! But, I had to laugh about the tools. He had to buy a special one for the HW heater and another to change the oil in his truck and another to fix the grout. It really is never-ending when it comes to the tools. But, (and again, don't tell him) he's good at it. Glad to know he's not the only one that drops F bombs every three seconds.

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    1. I wish I was handy like that. Lord knows I try, though, so there's at least gotta be something said for that.

      Oh, so many F bombs. I think the worst part is that since I'm fixing something, I can't punch or kick it in anger... because that'll only screw up what I'm doing even more. It'd be like if you were a dentist and your patient kept biting your hands while you were trying to fix their teeth. As much I want to punch their teeth straight down their throat... unfortunately I can't. :(

      Delete
    2. It's actually funny when Devin starts cursing in frustration because five minutes later he's smiling because he's done and got it fixed. I give anyone credit for attempting a home project. People get paid tons of money to do that kind of work. The best I can do is painting and changing out fuses. Does that count?

      Delete
    3. I can't paint to save my life (color inside the lines? How do I do that?) so just being able to paint is its own invaluable skill.

      Let's just say that if I ever had to paint my own house it'd probably come out looking like a toddler did it. Like this. (I think the roof's even on fire, which is applicable).

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    4. I can't paint to save my life (color inside the lines? How do I do that?) so just being able to paint is its own invaluable skill.

      Let's just say that if I ever had to paint my own house it'd probably come out looking like a toddler did it. Like this. (I think the roof's even on fire, which is applicable).

      Delete
  47. Oh my,
    My wife thinks I can fix anything. I had to take the bumper off her car to change a damn headlight bulb, a damn headlight bulb!
    I DIY everything, of course, from washers and dryers to chimneys. A lot of shit I have no business messing with, like back feeding the fuse panel with an extension cord for a welder so I can hook up a generator when the power goes out.

    Next year it will be windows and siding on the house...ugh. I want to be rich so I can sit on the lawn chair and drink beer while watching guys like, current me, doing all the work.

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    1. Fuck yes to that. DIY is fun and all, but I'd rather watch someone else suffer.

      And your wife's car isn't an Audi by chance, is it? I recently had to replace the thermostat on my Audi, and to do so I had to remove the intake, 3 radiator hoses, the radiator overfill tank, and the alternator. And let me tell you, there's nothing quite like spending 6 hours replacing something that's taken me 15 minutes on other cars.

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  48. I recently changed the small light in the boot of my car. It required buying the right bulb, getting a knife to flick off the cover, switching the bulbs and snapping the cover back on. I did it and then walked around like a fucking boss for the next three days.

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    1. GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN. THIS IS HOW THE MADNESS STARTS. Pretty soon that light isn't gonna be enough for you. You're gonna want to change a headlight, which requires buying a screwdriver and a socket set. Before you know it, half your engine is on the front yard, you can no longer park in your garage because it's full of tools, and you have so much oil on your hands that America wants to invade you.

      Delete
    2. Too right, it's good that I stopped where I di- What's that sound? It's like... a carburetor... roaring my name... I'm coming!

      Delete
  49. We are the DIY couple! We love it. From making our own coat hanger, to laying laminate floors, to hooking up the kitchen sink, to rewiring a lamp for Europe watts, to reusing items in a different way. WE.ARE.IT!

    But there are some things we don't do, such as fix the car. :)

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    1. Wow, that's awesome! So... how do you make your own coat hanger, MacGuyver? Now I'm just curious. Two rubber bands, a pencil, and a paper clip, right?

      (No, but really, that's impressive. The only thing I ever built was my redneck air conditioner)

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    2. No, silly. Our coat hanger is made out of toilet paper rolls, scotch tape, pennies, and lightbulbs.

      Nice air conditioner. Maybe you can make an advent calendar this Christmas. http://www.joe-ks.com/archives_nov2006/RedneckAdventCalendar.jpg

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  50. Do you have any fingers left? We're DIYers in our house. Mostly the male half of the equation. The problem is, my kids now believe dad can make anything, so they're constantly proposing new projects to him.

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    1. I have just enough fingers to keep doing this shit. And as the ONLY male of this equation, I figure I have more finger-loss to come.

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  51. I am learning more about fixing things myself. Not only will it impress my new wifey, but it will also save money. A win-win. I like you're blog sir. I think I'll stay!

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    1. Hey, welcome to the party! The beer's in the cooler, my wife made terrible hors d'oeurves (but feel free to tell her you love them) and I would shake your hand but mine is all busted up and black from banging around in my engine bay all day. Hopefully you'll settle for a fist bump that ends in me awkwardly cringing in pain.

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  52. This is where I would totally be the person in the comics (albeit with boobs and longer hair) fucking everything up. But Mr. RK is a champ. But DIY = saving time? Not on your life!

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    1. So far it's taken me 3 and a half weeks to change out a part in my Audi. While I'm definitely saving myself hundreds upon hundreds of dollars, I can't help but feel a real, licensed mechanic would have been able to fix it just a bit faster.

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  53. I laughed myself silly, while crying at the thought of how much I could have saved if I DIDN'T employ family.

    When I finally came to my senses, $40,000 later, I broke down, yet again, and hired a professional.

    After I’d used him good and well - found him on a online dating site - I decided going with the professional was probably worth selling one, or both of my kidneys.

    And, I was right… only it cost me half my liver too. But the job looks great, as you’ve seen in those stellar photos I took. I really ought to have been a photographer, like, you know… for real!

    Cheers… and happy hammering!

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  54. Heh. I have a similar DIY approach to baking breads, pizza dough and crackers. Not as convenient, but it is so much cheaper and tastes better than the store-bought stuff.

    -Barb

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    1. Oh yes, I know that feel. Me creating an equal mixture of messes and masterpieces in my kitchen is a post all its own. Now baking crackers I have not tried. Unless that's slang for 'white genocide'.

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