DIY Management

When it comes to DIY my ambition and confidence don't match my skill! Newly married and in our first home we had little money. The house was classic 1930's, the bathroom very dated. My wife thought some new bath taps, a new shower curtain and a bright colour on the walls would be the kind of makeover that would see us through till we could afford a new bathroom. I was confident I could fit new taps. We bought them on a bank holiday Friday. First task, turn water off. The stop cock was very stiff. I gave it a gentle tap with the hammer, it didn't budge, a slightly firmer tap but still no movement, a not much harder tap and it sheared off. I rang a friend “you can   turn the water off at the street, cut out the old stop cock and put in a new one". The next day I bought a new stop cock, turned the water off in the street, thus cutting off the water supply to my neighbour and took a hacksaw to the pipes. Old stop cock out, new one in. Water back on, shouts from kitchen, water off. Old houses have plumbing in imperial measures, new stop cocks are metric, they don’t make a good fit. Temporary fix, involving short piece of hose pipe and two jubilee clips, to get water back on before neighbour realises what's going on. Swallow pride, ring emergency plumber, pay bank holiday call out rates. Ask him if he can install new bath and sink taps. Move house without ever getting new bathroom.

The story of an ambitious and over confident individual who reckons they can bring about major "improvements" but lacking the funds goes for a quick makeover, as part of a long term modernisation programme. Things go wrong, they move on. Sound familiar?  

Blair McPherson author and blogger


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