When I was a bit younger, I did some home repair. Mostly it was apartment houses and rental units where I did drywall, plaster repair and painting. I did other jobs too, like plumbing and even electrical. I wasn’t licensed in those kind of repairs, so my work there was limited to mostly simple repairs like changing switches and sockets, and replacing light fixtures. We had to train this new kid. I call him a kid, even though I wasn’t a lot older that he, just a little more experienced. I think this was his first job. He sure was a dummy.
We seemed to become friends quickly. For some reason he latched on to me as a mentor, and I had patience with him enough to try to teach him a few things. He was rather hard headed and didn’t seem to be playing with a full deck. Let me tell you this guy was an A-number one klutz. You’ve heard about people painting themselves into a corner, right? This guy did it three times.
The funniest tale begins when he was laying roof panels. Four by eight foot sheets of Particle Board. He nailed his shoe to the roof, twice. Luckily he missed his foot, but I don’t know how. At least it kept him from falling off the roof. We took the nail gun away from him after that. One day we were working in this apartment where we were installing new electric sockets and switches. Now, we didn’t always turn off the power to do that, you just have to be careful not to touch the hot connection when you’re grounded. For some reason he couldn’t get the gist of that. Boy, It sure was funny watching his hair stand on end. By the end of the day 110 volts hardly bothered him at all. I think he actually liked it.
The boss finally fired him after he broke one of our Carpenters legs. I never really found out exactly what he did, but the boss told him he was a hazard on the jobsite and that he should gt himself a nice safe job in a library.
He was a good kid, but a true hazard to have around. Not a smidgen of common sense. I lost track of him after he left. I wonder if he ever made librarian?
I always had the idea that remodeling the bathroom would be a relatively easy project. I had never really had experience with remodeling a home in the past, but I knew some basic construction techniques and had watched several tutorials and even taken a few workshops about home remodeling, so I felt relatively confident that I could handle the job without too many complications. One day when I was feeling especially confident I decided to get to work on the bathroom project and went about demolishing everything except the bathtub and the toilet. I ripped out the counters, the sinks, the floor and even the walls.
Needless to say, I quickly found out that I was largely overconfident and that I didn’t know half as much as I thought I knew about home remodeling or construction. After I virtually destroyed everything and moved it out of the way I found myself wondering how I was going to achieve the more complicated parts of remodeling project. I decided to start with the walls and dedicated an entire day to starting the drywall project. In truth, it was much more difficult than I thought it would be and it made me seriously question my ability to finish this project and make it attractive and functional. I started to think that the end result might actually be worse than what I had when I started the demolition process.
After some trial and error and more than a few mistakes, I finally got the hang of the drywall. Of course, that is not before I had to go back and demolish some of the errors that I had made through my learning process and correct the problems. Once that was done I decided that it would be time to purchase some new counters and then move them in. As far as I was concerned, this was the easy part. I was not worried about getting the counters installed half as much as I was about getting the sinks properly installed and getting everything plumbed properly. That was the part that really made me feel uneasy. I wanted to complete the entire project by myself without professional help but I was not at all certain that I was able to handle it.
Ultimately, I found installing the sinks and even the fixtures easy enough but I made a decision to have a plumber come out and double check everything before the water was actually turned back on. The last thing I wanted to do was make a mistake that would cause me to flood the entire bathroom. Once I got the all clear, I began to turn my focus to the floor. Okay so I did get a LITTLE help from my friend Bob. he is a manger at a Construction Project Management company.
I wanted to install ceramic tile, so I went to work to choose a pattern that was just right. Again, I found that installing it properly was actually a lot harder than I ever thought it could be. It wasn’t the tile itself as much as it was getting the grout installed just right and lining everything up so it would fit when I was getting close to the wall. Once I finally got the hang of cutting the tiles to fit, the job went much faster. In addition, I gained a lot of confidence throughout the process and realized that I could get the job done and do it right.
When everything was finished, I was very happy with the appearance of the new bathroom and I felt a new sense of self confidence because I had developed a skill set that I was never entirely sure that I could develop from beginning to end. I still take pride in looking at the finished project and if I had it all to do over again, I think I would still choose to do it myself. It was difficult and there were definitely some hurdles along the way, many of them that I did not expect. However, it allowed me to expand my horizons while simultaneously getting the bathroom that I had always wanted.