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Ever Been in Over Your Head?

6a00d8341c630a53ef00e54ffdaf6c8834-800wiThere’s an interesting story by Michelle Hoffmann in today’s Real Estate section titled: Weekend wasters struggle with DIY home-repair jobs.

The subhead says: That HGTV show made it look so easy. But growing numbers of budget-conscious homeowners are tackling jobs beyond their skills — often to the dismay of their mates. Can you relate?

And the story starts out like this:

When her husband decided to fix a leaky pipe in the bathroom in their West Hills home, Ethel Brook, 78, watched his progress with chin in hand and furrowed brow. As one weekend rolled agonizingly into two, the retired market researcher gently suggested for the 450th time that her husband of 20 years hire a professional.

Undaunted, a determined Leonard Brook, 79, “sweating and hunched over,” his wife recalled, plodded onward in his quest to fix the bathroom pipe.

Meanwhile, Ethel, desperate to get her bathroom back and save her husband from another lost weekend, called Rick Hill, owner of a House Doctors handyman franchise in Santa Clarita. Within a day, Hill fixed the problem and repaired the wall damage.

“Things got a little out of hand,” Ethel recalled. “It was too big of a project for my husband. He couldn’t repair it. And I couldn’t take it anymore.” Read the whole story

For me, I started to suspect my husband was in over his head replacing a leaky pipe when he bought a fire extinguisher in case his soldering caught fire. The job did turn out, even though it took one full weekend day to finish, including trips back and forth to the hardware store. And I couldn’t help but compare what Bill makes in a day in his career to what it would have cost a plumber to come out. If Bill wanted to do it for personal satisfaction, fine. But, honestly, he didn’t seem to be having much fun.

This brings to mind the story of Ian Denchasy of Culver City, who tore out his entire kitchen on a whim and finally realized he didn’t have a clue how to get it back together again. A kind carpenter saved the day.

How about you? Have you ever gotten in over your head? And how did you survive it?

(Graphic: Los Angeles Times)

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