Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Dangers of DIY

Wanna save a little money?  Do.It.Yourself!

Sometimes that works.  Sometimes it doesn't.  A case in point:

Answering the ever-annoying RINNNG!!!! of the telephone yesterday I was greeted by a sing-songy Edith-Bunker-like female giggle ~ giggling which alllmost masked the roar of the heavy male bellow in the background.  Piecing her little bits and snippets together with his occasional "TELL THEM.............." interspersed among the general "#$*%!*@%#@**^+#$^ " I managed to  discern what had happened.

It seems that this household had been having trouble getting their laundry dry, so, as anyone would reasonably expect, the handy husband of the house decided to D.I.Y.  Off he went to Lowe's to buy the latest  "AS-SEEN-ON-TV" gadget, the one that cleans out your drier vent, putting an end to laundry day woes.

As soon as he got home, he got right to work.  First step:  pull drier away from wall.  So far so good.   Carefully following the directions, he ran the wire brush through the wall and up the drier vent.  Noooo problem.  But right after that, things started to go south.  Still following the directions, he tried to pull the brush back out, but Uh-Oh.  It wasn't coming back out.  It just wasn't.

One can spend only so much time on something that doesn't work and clearly isn't going to.  So, as any handyman would do, he grabbed his fishing pole and stuck it into the black hole in hot pursuit of the wayward brush.  You can probably guess what came next.  The fishing pole lost sight of its task, allowing itself to become distracted by the brush, and the next thing you know, they are in solidarity.  Two comrades, united in purpose, out on strike.

And that's when Mr. DIY conceded defeat and called for help.  Or more accurately, hid his own face and had his wife call for help while he lurked in the background barking out instructions.

As things turned out, there was no budging that pair.  They are there to stay.

So Mr. DIY's next project:  Reroute the drier vent.  This is a simple process of another trip to Lowe's for a mile or two of drier vent ducting, and some circular saw blades; then cutting a hole in the wall, another one in the ceiling, and another in the attic; finally cramming the ducting up between the studs in the wall and out the roof, capping the hole and sealing around the vent to keep the water out when it rains.

A quick calculation revealed that the $85 he saved on the cleaner covered a good part of the supplies from Lowe's, and didn't touch the cost of the rerouter.  That bill hasn't come in yet.  But it will, because Mrs. DIY, a little (or a lot) poorer and a little wiser is, at this point, a little gun shy. Sure, she knows her hubby is handy, but she doesn't want him touching this one.

Takeaway:  The next time you get an urge to save some $, well....make sure you can afford to.