DIY – Or Not, If You CBA

DIY rule of thumb – Anything that hasn’t been replaced in the last ten years, just replace the entire fucking thing, lest you end up with this catastrophe on your hands:

2013-10-07 21.41.56

There used to be a sink here. We only needed to change the taps. Then we only needed to check to see if the washers didn’t leak. Then we only needed to silicone the washers. Then we only needed to replace the sink because the old one fell apart. Then we only needed to trek to B & Q 15 times because each time the pipes we needed we then needed a few more to replace the old ones.

It got to a point where we were just doing fine washing our hands in the bath. And then the cold water pipe wouldn’t go back on. Which meant no water for a day and a half. So we got that all fixed (new olives) siliconed everything in just in case, and now the only original part of the sink is the grey pipe at the back you can see in the picture. I am literally sick of screwing bolts into things and drilling (yup, I drilled two 4 inch holes 14mm wide into brick and this weird black shit. It was actually kind of addictive). I hate B & Q. Yesterday I asked Dan the random question “do we need anything from B & Q?” to which he looked at me confused and said no in a less-than-confident way because every day we’ve had to get up and buy something from a DIY store, or go back and buy the correct thing from a DIY store, or buy more of it, or buy something to replace an old part that broke, because once you tamper with old shit it just dies on you.

We also bought a new toilet, because, well why not? To go with the shiny new sink? We had to re-tile, because the old tiles were broken, since the guys who put the old sink in back in Biblical times broke them and then covered them up with the sink. Good call on that one.

We’ve painted our living room now, so it no longer resembles an old, dirty abattoir (colour like blood on the walls too). Installed a dishwasher, found out there’s no way to turn off hot water from the mains (we turn off the cold stop tap and then turn on the hot water taps to let the water drain out of the immersion heater) and had a right snafu with the shower. First the old shower head needed to be replaced because it is a new shower, so the pressure from the shower doesn’t work with the old shower head, then we realised the new shower is 9.5kw, which means it needs at least a 45amp fuse, and the one in the circuit breaker is a 30amp, so it cuts out after 15 minutes. Then we decided, well, why not buy a 45amp fuse? Turns out they only do 50amp, which is not sold anywhere but a 40 should do it, says the rip-off tradesman at CEF. Then we get advice from a proper sparky and he says, well, your cable might not be able to handle a 40amp fuse, not if it’s a 6mil, it needs to be a 10. So we hire an electrician to check what the cable is and replace it (turns out it is a 6) but THAT will cost 200 quid.

So in conclusion, it’s going to be cheaper to buy a shower that can work happily on a 30amp fuse. Which is a 7.5kw shower. Which was on there before the shower was changed to a 9.5kw. DIY? Doing it backwards.

So, what else? Oh, at some point the tenants before we moved in decided to illegally change the electric meters to these card/fob like things (to save getting a back account probably) which you need to top up at a shop. Say what? Where the fuck am I going to get electric at three in the morning because, you know, I forgot I was living like a caveman. When the owner of the house (Dan’s mum) called the company to change them back, she needed to pay them £140 and needed to have a credit check done. But, wait a minute, the tenants got it done without this check and for free! W.T.F is going on with that shit?

Anyway, things seem to have settled down some in the DIY department. Now all we have to figure out is where to place the sofa and if the surround sound is in the right place. Sounds so first-world-problem, and it is, but compared to the effort and exhaustion we’ve endured over the past three weeks with moving stuff and cleaning and fixing everything on our own most of the time, it’s actually nice to do a bit of actual unpacking. Seriously, we’ve been here four weeks nearly and there are still all the boxes upstairs waiting to be sorted through.

But, that’s life. That’s moving houses for you. Shit goes wrong. Shit that goes wrong and you think is easily fixable, but quickly becomes a “fuck. We need a plumber” issue, yet you still give it a go yourself because you’re a fucking handy-man and it’s useful to have these skills (I learned all my DIY mistakes from my Dad. He’ll be pleased to know I managed to operate a power tool without decapitating my fingers or drilling through into the neighbouring houses. I didn’t even get a noise complaint – oh, and the sander worked great 🙂 ).

You might spend lots of time and energy and effort DIYing, or you might spend lots of money to get someone else to do it for you, but the end result is the same – only when you DIY, the outcome is so much better, because you build it, painted it, fixed it, with your own two hands (as cramped as they are).

Now, onto the situation with the agency. Sit back and get a cup of tea for this one. It’s fucking HILARIOUS.




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