Sunday, June 05, 2005

So I'm No Bob Vila

This is just a short, off topic, post to explain why this isn't a longer, on topic, post.

I had planned to do another post on the PTC, following up on last week's post about the Paris Hilton ad, and hopefully I'll get it written tomorrow. However my mother is getting the carpet guys in on Tuesday to do the dining room, which means that the old carpet (which I helped install about ten or fifteen years ago) had to come up on Friday and the old floor had to have any of the padding that remained stuck to the original, 1950's vintage, asphalt tile floor scraped off using a chemical formulation that I refer to as "Gunk" to loosen the glue. Because of course it wouldn't do to leave all this to the last minute like Sunday and Monday.

The Gunk is, according to its label, so environmentally friendly that it can be cleaned up with soap and water. I also smells - strongly - of lemons. It took me about five minutes to get heartily sick of the smell of the Gunk, and about ten minutes for the smell of the Gunk to give me a raging headache. Of course you need to let it sit to really loosen the glue that's holding down remnants of the underpad; a half hour seems to be the ideal length of time. That's half an hour of dealing with that smell. And you have to do small areas because doing it all at once would cause a mess. It took me about two hours to finish that dining room and by the end of it all I had a raging headache and was feeling downright irritable.

Which brings me around to my feelings about DIY. Certain jobs can be done by the amateur but if you're smart you'll get a pro to do it. I don't like painting but I can do it fairly well as long as it doesn't involve heights. I'm relatively proficient with plumbing although I've reached an age where spending extended time under sinks is becoming very uncomfortable. When the carpet is in I'm considering replacing the quarter-round in the Kitchen and Dining Room and the hall leading to the bedrooms, because quite frankly the old stuff is showing it's fifty years. With my brother's miter saw and a rented nail gun, that job shouldn't take that long. I'm even willing to tackle (very) minor electrical jobs. However after several bad experiences with flooring I'm here to tell you all that hiring professional installers is the way to get a good looking job that's going to last. Of course that could just be me.

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