How to Complete a DIY House Project

So, You’re a Homeowner!

Congrats! That’s super exciting. I, myself, am a first-time home owner. There’s something special in having a house, owning something that you get to take care of, and of course–being responsible for all your own home improvements!

In this day and age, DIY feels super feasible. We have the internet, after all! Plus there’s youtube, and HGTV… message boards, and even phone-a-friend options, too! It seems silly to pay a specialist in some situations where with a little time, elbow-grease, and patience–you can successfully Do-It-Yourself!

So… Something in Your House Needs Improving?

Great! You’ve come to the right place. This particular post refers more specifically to “How to Fix a Leaky Shower Faucet.” However, I feel a lot of this information will be universal for many DIY House Projects. I hope you find this information helpful to prepare you for  whatever your next DIY project might be!

How to Complete Your own DIY Home-Project:

(in just 40-somethin’ easy steps!)

1. Figure out if this problem is really a problem.
Does this problem bother you a lot, on a day-to-day basis? Better get started!

2. Double-check that this is a reasonable project to complete on your own.
Do a little research–consult google, youtube, those kind of places. See if other people have had success doing it on their own. Get a feel for how much it costs.

3. Pick a day and commit yourself to seeing it through!

4. Pull up the directions on your fix-method of choice, and get started!

5. Take a picture of your spouse working on DIY project because it’s cute and still fun.

6. Break one screwdriver on really crusted over, calcium water built-up, screws.
Have a little laugh. That was such a cheap screwdriver anyway!

7. Realize you may need a tool you don’t have. 

8. Try to improvise and break a second screwdriver.
Yup, these handles aren’t budging…

9. Make a trip to the Local Hardware Store.
Buy a new screwdriver, the tool you need, and another tool you might need (just in case). Hey, never hurts to widen your tool repertoire, right?

10. Now that you have what you need, get back to work! 
This should be a piece of cake, now that we got the right tools!

11. Get a grip-strength workout in for the day trying to unscrew the tube/cuff.
Try not to pull any muscles.

12. Research “ways to get a better grip on unscrewing the tube/cuff.”

13. Have one success (out of three…) of getting the tube/cuff off!
Yeah, we can DO this!

14. Pry off remaining cuffs in an unconventional manner.
Also realize there is two-inch thick foam sealer? buildup? what in the good heck is that!? around the tube and in the wall that should definitely not be there.

15. Start chipping away at the whatever-it-is with the broken screwdriver/s.

16. Make a mess, but find some success! 
Patience is paying off! … Also–hey, new motto!

17. Get another grip-strength workout on the remaining tube/cuffs.
Tag-team it, if necessary. (It’s necessary)

18. Realize you might need another tool you don’t have.

19. Make a second trip to the Local Hardware store.
Pro tip: Remember your cash for the soda machine and ask questions to make sure you got everything you need so you don’t have to come back.

20. Unpack the DIY kit you just bought, and figure out how all the parts go into the wall.

21. Realize that although one tool was included in the kit, you still need another tool. 
(And you don’t have that tool)

22. Make a third trip to the Local Hardware store.
Purchase one extra supply that will help “ensure you can get that valve seat out.” Receive very specific directions on how to complete removal of the seat, ask repetitive questions to make sure you don’t mess it up.

23. Get home, take a break, watch some Olympics because… man, is anyone else tired of this yet?

24. Follow those very specific directions given to you at the hardware store.

25. Break the valve seat anyway because it’s so rusted out.
Let’s be honest… you probably didn’t stand a chance in the first place with how rusty that thing is.

26. Realize no one has probably ever changed or maintained these faucets in this house in the past 30-40 years.
Quite possibly ever. Your house was built in 1942, right?

27. Have a minor mental and emotional breakdown because what the hell did you think you were even doing trying to fix anything about a house? You don’t know anything about plumbing! You’ve never owned a house! Oh my god–you messed everything up and we don’t have the money to pay a professional! 

28. Take a chill-pill after a brief lapse.

29. Call your parents.

30. Call your in-laws.

31. Research some other people who have had this same problem.
Watch some youtube, read some forums… you know, didn’t we do this before? 

32. Find a fix other people have had success with (that requires a larger screwdriver).

33. Ask a neighbor if they have a larger screwdriver.
(They don’t)

34. Fix it “enough-for-now” and turn the water to the house back on so your spouse can do laundry, and so you two can have dinner for the night. 

35. Make a fourth trip… this time to Meijer because the Local Hardware store is now closed.

36. Buy ANOTHER screwdriver.
… how many of these things does the average person need, anyway? 

37. Attempt fix “hack” that has worked for other people.
(it won’t work for you)

38. Schedule a time your father-in-law can come over with larger repertoire of tools.

39. Watch your father-in-law take two more trips to the hardware store. 

40. Watch your father-in-law use a blowtorch on your pipes.
oooooh fire pretty.. 

41. Feel useful by providing insights and temporary fixes. 

42. STILL unable to get the seats out, after tag-teaming various ideas, and rigging up a fix that might hold the leaks back, decide it’s about time to give it a rest.

43. Screw the shower back together, turn the water on, hope for the best.

44. Notice shower is still leaking.
Sigh… 

The saga continues . . .

IMG_5410

Aforementioned photo-of-spouse-when-project-was-still-fun photo (see: step 5)

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5 thoughts on “How to Complete a DIY House Project

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