I Came. I Saw. I DIY Failed.

To set the scene, I once thought I was a fairly handy person – growing up my dad was a tradie and my mum an electrician of sorts, so I grew up pretty much thinking most things to do in and around the home were completely within my grasp. Rewire an old lamp – done. Prime, prep and paint a living room – ha, simple.  Change a car tire – ho hum, challenge me much?

Now, I appreciate my parentals setting me up with a healthy ‘I can do anything’ view on life, (I must admit, I can do most things… as long as they’re around to help!), and the new obsession with reality DIY shows have added fuel to my ‘I reckon I could do that’ tendency, but, when it comes to me, DIY should come with a warning label   DIY Warning Label

WARNING: This project will be

  • More time-consuming than it looks on a 30 minute episode of ‘The Block’;
  • Harder than the YouTube help video (which was missing steps anyway);
  • Difficult, there’s no hiding the fact– it’s going to be ridiculously difficult – to remind you – whole professions exist for the purpose you are DIY-ing. People have trained for years, what you plan to learn and do in an hour;
  • Painful, you will hurt yourself. You will have bruises on bruises, your back will ache and your eyes will water. Prepare for pain. Full stop.

But no, those DIY shows, Bunnings and Masters Sheds, and YouTube help videos don’t warn you do they – you walk in to one of the aforementioned stores, chat to the 15 year old expert on bath tub resurfacing agents, nod along as he explains that it’s ‘simple to use’, load up on all the paraphernalia, get home excitedly, oblivious of the chaos about to rein down…

(On a side note – resealing a bath is a big, messy, stinky job. You will be without a bath tub for minimum 48 hours and, there is a very good chance you will bounce between fume high to fume headache.  Do you have housemates? Think again, they will flee as the mice ran to follow the piper. Happy relationship? Doesn’t stand a chance, you’ll be doing the washing up for weeks. Healthy respect for your ability to push on and complete a project? Well, that was always up for negotiation anyway, right?!)

 

Car Maintenance Fail

Changing Oil

Changing your oil and oil filter – a DIY task with many success stories. With only 4 essential items, this DIY is a sure winner.

DIY Oil Change Essential Items

  • Wrench/spanner
  • Tray for expelled oil
  • New oil
  • New oil filter

Simple, right?

I have the car on the driveway, have lifted with a jack, put a few pieces of newspaper down to prevent the possible drip, and positioned myself under the car.

I take the spanner, locate the drain plug and remove.

Drain plug stuck? Just apply more pressure. Still stuck? Position yourself better, to be able to apply more pressure to the spanner and drain plug. Stiff thing isn’t it.

Reposition yourself so you put your whole body behind the spanner, suggest really getting into it by laying on your back and using both hands to get a good levering action.

There she goes. Plug releases… quickly. My face = line of fire.

Learning?

Oil is not a replacement for hair conditioner

A point for trying?

The engine was cold (see, procrastination isn’t such a bad thing after all!)

 

I came. I saw. I DIY failed.

 

Landscaping Fail

Lawn Care

Mowing lawns. I’ve been doing it for years – a regular Saturday chore – mowing was a task mastered. Of course. Dad’s mower wasn’t bought from Aldi.

DIY Lawn Care Essential Items

Mowing is a straightforward task, the concept is simple and there is really only 1 essential item

  • Mower

Now, should you not have a mower, they can be purchased easily from one of the many specialty mower stores, or general hardware stores. Whoa. Those babies are expensive.

Lucky Aldi is selling mowers (?!!!). Electric? No problem – how different can it be to what you’re use to? Plug it in. Turn it on. Mow. Easy.

Well, yes. That is true, electric mowers are simple to use, cheaper to purchase and an environmentally cleaner alternative to petrol.

But I do suggest you change your mowing style.

As a kid I prided myself on straightly mowed lines, tight turning circles and evenly mowed grass.

As an adult I naturally just followed the same pattern.

The difference? Petrol mower = a standalone machine. Electric mower = attached to an extension cord.

Result? One turn too tight proved that plastic coated electrical extension cords are no match for the almighty blades of the electric Aldi mower.

Learning?

A skill mastered in childhood does not necessarily translate to adulthood.

A point for trying?

Electrical safety switch has been tested and, I am pleased to say, fully functional.

 

I came. I saw. I DIY failed.

 

Pet Grooming Fail

Coat Clipping

All I can say is – my poor dog

Learning?

Dog hair is evil stuff. It will get up your nose, inside your shirt, in your eyes. It will itch, make you sneeze and your eyes water. Your dog will not stay still. She will not trust that evil buzzing razor thing in your hands (smart dog) and will not want to make friends with it. She will not stand nicely whilst you ensure all hair cut is an even length. She will be left with random tufts of hair, and may resemble the mythical Australian Bunyip. And mostly, dog’s are embarrassed by bad hair cuts too.

A point for trying?

At least I had treats.

 

I came. I saw. I DIY failed.

 

Home Renovation Fail

Demolition

I’m not bragging when I say – I have mastered DIY demolition. Some might say, if awards were given out for A-Class home DIY demolition I would definitely be in with red hot chance at taking out the top prize.

So why is this on your DIY fail list, I can hear you think?

Well, the thing about DIY demolition is that it’s only half of the story. DIY demolition must be followed by DIY construction. I am an A-Class DIY demolition expert, and a very sad N/A DIY construction novice.

DIY Demolition Essential Items

  • Appropriate Wreck-it Ralph style device – think hammer, crowbar, mallet or a foot attached to the bottom of a strong kick
  • Drill/screw driver for those more finicky items
  • Wheel barrow/rubbish bin/hire skip bin
  • High energy music (trust me… it makes it oh so fun)

With these essential items you can go ahead and demolish away!

Old kitchen cabinets? Unscrew those hinges! Remove those draws! Rip that bench top off! Get that wall mounted oven unit unhooked (by a professional electrician – I’m gung ho, but that’s a no go)

Bathroom outdated? Easy fix! Get that nasty old vanity out! Remove that tired glass shower screen! Lever off those cracked tiles!

Pink carpet? (Yes…) Get that stuff outta here! Stanley knife that bad boy up – stat!

Whoa.

Hmm, that kitchen bench and oven were kind of handy for everyday life, you know, for cooking and eating and stuff?

Ahh, the shower screen’s purpose is now a little more evident, and the vanity did serve one major purpose – to hold the sink up.

Sigh, who knew that carpet was held down by a bazillion nails. And in an older house, near the coast, joy of joys, many are rusted (had a tetanus booster shot lately?)

So carpet, and subsequent nail removal I am happy to report, is complete. Back breaking and highly unpractical, given all furniture had to be shuffled between rooms until I had finished, in the hours after work, over 2 months.

Kitchen has been replaced. 2 years on. No power points or kitchen exhaust… but benches and oven.

Bathroom. Well. A tiler was called and tiles replaced. Bunnings sells extendable shower curtain rods and curtains – so that’s a win. But vanity. Well, if I said that teeth cleaning occurs in the laundry tub, you’d get the picture.

Learning?

Demolish only once construction is finalised.

A point for trying?

I really am very good at DIY demolition.

 

I came. I saw. I DIY failed!

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