Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Home repairs, who really wins?

Owning your own home is not as great as it appears from the outside. Sure you get to write off your interest on your taxes, it provides shelter from the environment, you can decorate it the way you want, but there are consequences too. Biggest one I've found is repairing things that go wrong or break. For example we have had a drippy faucet in our master bathroom tub. Not a lot of water just a drip. Well as kids use the tub they can't tighten the knob as tight as I can and the drip increases. No one tells me this until it becomes a stream and even with a pair of vice grips you can't shut it off.

So its an easy repair right? Just turn off the water to the tub, pull out the faucet stem unscrew the seat and get them replaced at Home Depot. Wrong. Whoever installed the faucet never provided access to the shut off valves at the tub without removing the stone covering. I therefore had to shut off the water to the whole house, interupting the normal cleaning process for Mondays. In addition the same bright man installed the faucets from below so there was not sufficient acess to get at the nuts holding the stem in place. I had to cut the stem off, and then rout out the hole in the tub surface to be able to install a wrench. I didn't have the right size wrench so off to Home Depot, trip one. Got the wrench in there and removed the stem in pieces due to its location and then traveled back to Home Depot for new stem and seat, trip two. In any home repair there will always be two trips to the hardware store. In fact just buy a house in close proximity to those type of stores for this reason.

I get to Home Depot and finally get a plumbing specialist there who looks at my part and says "I've never seen one of these before you need to go to Fergusons for specialty parts." Yeah I'm excited now, never seen this part, good start. I go to Fergusons and they too have no idea who made this stem and they don't have anything to match. It gets better. They send me to this hole in the wall plumbing specialty store that has an older gentleman that has seen it all. They send people to him when they can't figure out whats happening. I drive to his store which is a ways away and he looks at my part and looks at his catalog and finds some obscure manufacturer of plumbing parts that somewhat matches my rusted piece of plumbing. He thinks, thinks mind you, that this may be the part but he does not have it in stock and will have to order it, it'll take 5-7 working days to arrive. This he does in more time then the doctor takes to examine me for my yearly physical. That probably tells you more about my doctor then the plumbing salesman. I order the part then have to return to the house and cut open the tub stand so that I can turn off the water to the tub only so I can turn on the water to the rest of the house. Now I wait til the new part arrives!

Now if this was the only occurance of these type of problems I wouldn't mind, it might be fun in fact learning new things. It happens at every repair we do though. And its not just me, my story is not the exception to the rule. Most of my friends have the same or worse horror stories of fixing sprinklers, repairing lights, installing new appliances. It's almost frustrating enough to sell the house when something breaks and move away. Remember that ladies when you laugh about your husband not fixing things around the house, its way more work then you think.


Homer and Queen said...

Oh we will laugh!!! It is our job!

Rowe Family said...

k why didnt you tell me you had a blog!!!!! lol