HOME ARCHIVE2015

A real-life home improvement project tale

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

After spending many hours watching DIY network and HGTV, I decided to refurbish the guest bathroom. I’ve done this type of work before and concluded a while back that watching someone else doing it on TV is a lot more fun.

It was our children’s bathroom for many years before they moved away, making it the perfect candidate for a home improvement project. The problem was starting it.

That’s always a problem, because it is so easy to just postpone it for whatever reason. The nature of the reason is not as important as having the reason.

The bathroom did look kind of ghetto. My younger son, Bobby, got me to thinking that we really needed to do this, by pointing out that we really need to do this. So, one day I decided to start on it. While I was away, Bobby scraped the walls and pulled the old linoleum flooring up. There was no turning back.

But before you get all excited and decide to follow in my footsteps, let me point out a few things.

• These projects take longer than the 30-minute shows on DIY or HGTV. The average completion time of a project on those shows is 23 minutes (taking out the commercials). Your real life project could drag on a bit, depending on what else is happening, like a good game on TV.

• While others may urge you to get started, chances are that only one person will see the project to completion – in this case, me.

• When working on the bathroom and reaching a point where it is unusable, you better hope that nothing happens to the other bathroom.

• During the duration of the project, you may spend as much time looking for tools you just put down somewhere as on the actual project.

• If you don’t know what something is called, chances are the guy at the big box store won’t know it either (If you have to go there when the local hardware store is closed.)

• Consuming adult beverages makes the painting of the walls by the ceiling really interesting. You may have to also repaint a perfectly good ceiling. Just kidding.

• Drywall repairs don’t turn out perfectly, like on TV. But it’s good enough. The towel will cover up the imperfections.

• That fancy new faucet’s drain pipe won’t fit. First you find a $30 contraption that may or may not work, and then you hit a homerun with a drain pipe extender for $2.99.

• The project is never really finished after you finish. There is always something you will notice that will need fixing.

• And you’ll just let it go, like I did.

“Wow, dad, this looks good. It’s like one of those fancy hotel bathrooms,” said the son.
“Now we need to do the rest of the house,” said the wife. She is right, but not now. That’s another show – that one is in a commercial break right now.

My hands are dirty. I better go wash them in the other bathroom. This one is too nice.