Thursday, April 9, 2015

That Quick 'n' Simple Repair

Southerners are very adept at making repairs. I've pointed out many of these repairs and southern ingenuity in making repairs before in my writings and I'm always amazed at the displayed ability in the doing. Myself?  Not so much.

I do a lot around the house, don't get me wrong. If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you know of the massive repair I've undertaken in the living room as just a sample.  I've got a long list of "Honey-Dos" that cover every end of the house and then some. Most take a lot of planning and more than a day or two in the completion.  But then I come upon one or two little jobs that I think, "Gee, this won't take long..."  and then I suffer. It's not my ability, it's the "didn't think this through" that gets to me.  

Case in point:  That picture up there.  See it?  It's a window in my laundry room, which used to be the garage and therefore has a high ceiling. The original owner (read: massive idiot) put in a hanging ceiling, much like you'd find in an office.  Two big 4 foot fluorescent light fixtures make the little laundry room nice and bright. But the previous owner (read: massive idiot) did only a half way job in closing it up.  This means that my cats love to get up in the drop ceiling by means of the folding table - to the dryer top - to the window sill - to the open end of the drop ceiling.  

Can't have that.  Time to close it up. I've got wood, I've got drywall and I've got drywall screws. It's about an hour's worth of work in total, so of course I think:
This won't take long!

It only takes a few minutes to cut the drywall and the small piece of wood I need and soon I've pulled up the ceiling tiles and am positioning the drywall for screwing it into place.  I've measured the drywall well but didn't take into account how the support (from the drop ceiling) would come into play.  The drywall pushes the support to the side.  I am careful to note this and quickly grab the support and move it back into posi -

This is the point at which almost the entire ceiling drops down on my head.  It turns out that neither of the big lights were properly installed (tied into the ceiling with eyes/hooks and steel wire) and the small movement of the support caused them to move just enough to fall through and since they were tied together, one pulled the other down.  It was loud and heavy when it hit my head and the laundry room was a disaster zone.  I cursed the previous owner (read: massive idiot) and then turned to cleaning up and fixing the dropped (literally) ceiling.

After a trip to the big hardware store, a small purchase of hooks, steel wire and a package of ceiling tiles, the lights were installed (and done properly, because I am not a massive idiot,) the drywall pieces blocked up the cat-access, and the ceiling tiles were in place.  Total time: about 6 hours.

If I had remembered that the previous owner (read: massive idiot) was, indeed, a massive idiot, I might have checked around up there in the drop ceiling more carefully, looking at the supports and layout, perhaps even cursing when I realized things were done poorly.  Instead, I had to clean the laundry room of broken glass and fallen lights.

I won't even go into the piece of the water heater which had to be replaced the next day, which, of course, took way longer than it should have.

Such is Life in the South.  Normally without massive idiots, but ...well, welcome to my world.  

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