Archive for February, 2010

WTFriday: Signs You Shouldn’t DIY

Here’s the thing… as a person who is soon to be breaking ground on a house addition I’ll be putting on with my own two hands, I make it a point to support other DIYers in the craziest of schemes.

Note: I said crazy, not stupid.

Here are some signs that the hardest thing you should attempt to do yourself is pick up the phone and call a professional contractor.

1.) If you think this is the proper way to get lumber to your jobsite, you probably shouldn’t DIY.

2.) If you have a hard time reading the numbers on a tape measure, call an electrician. And drywaller. And put down the caulk.


3.) If you don’t know what “revision clouds” are on a blueprint, ask a professional before you put a cloud shaped hole in the wall.

4.) If you had problems measuring the outlet placement on your wall, do not think you will have any better luck with a faucet. Hire a plumber.


5.) If you think “construction” is synonymous with “using odds and ends I find around the house to upgrade my pad”, set the old VCR tapes down and find a professional.


And last, but not least…

6.) If you don’t understand the laws of physics– particularly that smoke and ask does not just disappear into nothingness when it goes up the chimney– then hire a contractor.

Courtesy of the Darwin Awards:

(1999) A married couple wanted to keep their home fires burning, and decided to install a wood stove in their Granite Falls home. They figured it didn’t take a rocket scientist to install this basic bit of heating hardware, so instead of hiring a professional, they brought the stove home and installed it themselves.

They even remembered to cut a hole through the ceiling for the chimney vent. Unfortunately they neglected to extend the chimney through the attic to the roof. Pleased with a job well done, they settled down to a cozy evening in front of the fire. The inevitable happened. The heat and sparks built up in the attic and set their home ablaze, providing an unexpected source of warmth from above.

And then, let me add, burning their house to the ground.

If you don’t understand how it works, don’t install it. And sometimes, even if you do understand how it works, you still probably shouldn’t install it. Because obviously you have no idea what you’re doing.

For those of you whose IQ exceeds your shoe size, happy DIYing!

Home Painting Horror: Color Palates for Unrepentant Drunks

It’s too bad that so many well-intentioned people insist on painting their homes during their fourth week into a bender. Not that I mind a little drinking. But friends don’t let friends paint drunk. When you see the mad twinkle of artistic inspiration flood your buddy’s eyes like the dark glint off of a bottle of Jagermeister, it’s your job to hide the keys to the garage and put their rollers and spray guns into the trunk of your car until they graduate from a 28-day treatment center. To wit:

Exhibit A

Exhibit A: Da Nang Shower Masterpiece
Obviously the ceiling fan in what looks like a tidy little shower facility near the Mekong Delta (circa 1968) doesn’t quite do justice to the camo theme. The idea, I guess, is you lay on your back on the floor and watch the fan, and repeat aloud, “I’m still in Saigon.”

Exhibit B

Exhibit B: It’s the D-Tease

When you settle on an external home painting scheme with dots, you can never claim–ala Robert Downey, Jr.–that you came home late and accidentally went into the look-alike neighbor’s dream pad and crashed in the wrong bed.

Exhibit C

Exhibit C: Go Gators (Pass the Dramamine)
Not a chance you went on over to Color Combos and checked for simultaneous contrast before trying this colorblind home painting scheme. Blue for me; orange for my homies!

Exhibit D

Exhibit D: Fen-sooee
The in-laws complained when you threw up in their bed, so why not put them up in Lollipop Land when they return the visit? I’d eschew the concept of a bed entirely and just put a couple of burlap sacks on the floor, tatami style. Trendy!

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)


  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.