Tag Archives: DIY projects

April column for Michiana House & Home Magazine: Monitoring the leaks

      One of these days, I will learn. Nine years ago, we moved into our new home and upon settling in, our washing machine began to leak water onto the laminate flooring. As President of this operation, I pointed the problem out to the Secretary of Home Improvement and he acknowledged that Houston, we indeed had a problem.

He proceeded to monitor the situation for the next decade.

Now, I don’t like to nag, but I am the kind of person who was born with a lot of get up and go whereas my counterpart…was not. In fact, he is a big proponent of the wait-and see-method of dealing with problems. Perhaps if we pretended not to notice the washing machine leaking, maybe it would stop doing it.

“It’s not a naughty child making a play for attention, you know,” I commented wryly.

When it became a more pressing concern a few weeks ago, he agreed it wasn’t faking and decided to take a look at it. That’s when he decided I must be overfilling it with clothes.

“You’re kidding, right?” I responded. “That washer can hold up to 12 pairs of jeans in its largest setting. It should be able handle a baseball jersey and a pair of sweatpants without its water breaking!”

“Well it only does it when it has a full load,” he offered.

I asked him if his honest solution to this problem was to divide the clothes in half and do double the laundry. Admittedly, it was a solution, but not a very practical one and considering the washing machine was a high efficiency model, it seemed like a bit of a cop out. In the end we decided to purchase a new unit.

Before it arrived though, I insisted he replace the floorboards I knew to be warped underneath the old machine. We had some extra ones that were included when the house was built. I showed him how they fit together and felt relatively confident that he could handle the repair.

I really have too much faith in that man. My floor is now a unique jigsaw puzzle of mismatched boards with wood putty filling in where there were gaps. Take my advice, if someone tells you they only had two boards, even though they needed four and “made do” by using wood putty, check their work, I beg of you. Don’t try to make sense of it, just check the work.

The other solution of course is to order additional flooring, have it installed or address the original leak before it becomes a bigger concern. Of course you might want to reconsider your relationship choices before they become a permanent part of the household “cabinet!”

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August 2016 Column Michiana House & Home Magazine: The Approaching Storm

storm-door        When I bought the storm door, I should have known there were going to be problems. After the closet door debacle, the Christmas tree light fiasco and an assortment of other home improvement nightmares, you would think I would learn. What can I say? I’m a hopeless optimist.

Things got off to an auspicious start with an intense “discussion” involving the saleswoman and the door’s advertised price. When I didn’t get anywhere with her, I broached the subject with the cashier which led to a staff meeting between two more associates, the store manager and the previously mentioned woman in the door department. A half hour later, my door was ordered and I made my way out to the parking lot…accidentally leaving behind over $50 in change that took two days to get back.

Two weeks later, the door arrived and I went to pick it up. That’s when I discovered the box was wider than my trunk by two inches. I called everyone I could think of who might have a truck and who could come and help me but it was Friday night and no one was home so I finally decided to throw money at the problem and have it delivered. I would tell you about the complicated paperwork involved in what seemed to be a simple solution to the problem, but suffice to say, it would turn Gone With the Wind into a short subject and I don’t have that level of time.

Over the next twelve hours, my husband kept insisting that before we could install the new door, we would have to modify the existing framing in order to make it fit. Now, I love the man but he makes me nervous when he tries to modify anything beyond a noun. He has a long-standing history of making mountains out of molehills and failing to measure twice and cut once so it’s no surprise that it took two days for him to buy the wrong board three times, nail it to the door jam, fill in the cracks with wood putty, sand it and paint it to match the rest of the frame. The manufacturer of the door claimed the whole thing could be installed in 45 minutes. (Dear Andersen, we should all have your level of faith.)

However, the door is now in place and for the most part, there is little left to do. Oh I still have to take back the $50 handle I was told to buy because the door didn’t come with one. (They lied.) And there is a small one-and-a-half inch space between the jam and the storm door, which is big enough to let in every bug and rodent in America, but my husband doesn’t seem overly concerned. We simply have to buy one small thing to adjust it. He swears this is no big deal but the Vegas odds makers disagree. I sense the storm isn’t over and you may want to place your bets.

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