Home Improvement

For me, home improvement mostly involves trips back and forth to the hardware store. It takes me a minimum of five trips to fully complete anything around the house.

Like the weekend we hosted some company. We wanted to show our friends a great time and make them as comfortable as possible. So, in preparation for their arrival, I embarked on a series of home improvement projects.

It’s not that I’m completely unhandy, or lazy; I just tend to get carried away with enthusiasm and end up biting off more than I can hammer. I’m a little new to the whole household handyman thing and it turns out that what I think I can get done and what I actually accomplish are, well, completely different.

The project this time was (I thought) pretty simple: doors. I planned on putting up a couple of new doors to give us and the guests a little extra privacy. This should be simple as can be, I thought, as I pulled up to the hardware store.

It’s always a bit disconcerting when I pull into the parking lot and see all the F-150s, Dodge Rams and trailer hitches waiting to be loaded down with more lumber than I know what to do with. It makes a man feel a little small when he’s paying for his two pre-assembled doors and he’s standing in line with with a guy who’s buying a new (un-assembled) deck, bathroom fixtures and a roof.

Being new to all this home improvement jazz, I naturally measured the doors from the wrong starting point and ended up with doors that were two inches too long. I figured this out by completely installing a door.

After I ripped the door out and headed back to the hardware store, I figured out that doors that fit my jambs are only available by special order. I figured this wasn’t a problem. I’d simply use the longer doors and cut two inches off the bottom. So I bought a brand new circular saw and got to it.

I’m developing a great collection of tools that I bought because the other thing I bought was the wrong thing and now I have to improvise.

After about ten hours of work, several screams of frustration and more than a few colorful turns of phrase, one door stands as a proud monument to my ability to (eventually) get the job done.