AstroNerdBoy: Home Owner 07

This past weekend, my parents came up to check out my new place. More importantly, my dad agreed to help me with a few projects that needed doing. The catch was that (1) I had to take them to lunch and (2) I’d be doing most of the work as Dad would supervise and assist when needed. No problem on either account.

The biggest project took place in the basement with the installation of a new light socket. Prior to Saturday, there were only two (the basement being unfinished) — one in the center of the room from the base of the stairs and one to the right to illuminate the water heater, furnace, and A/C. On the left side was darkness and that’s where the movers stashed a good many of my boxes. So, installing a light there would make it easier to find things.

We had to run wiring from the right light across the basement to the left since the center light was feeding power to the right light. Putting up the box for the socket was no problem, but running the wire across the room ended up being more trouble than initially thought. This was partially due to the fact that we were running the wire alongside water and gas pipes. While that in and of itself wouldn’t be too bad, some of the knock-out plugs in the beams (designed just for running wires through) hadn’t been properly cut and thus we had to drill through. Working the drill in such tight quarters with the fire sprinkler system and the outdoor gas feed was a bit tricky.

However, I made it through and and began wiring the socket in the new box. This meant using wire strippers for the first time, to say nothing of carefully cutting open the casing bundling the hot, cold, and ground wires. Once secured and installed, it was time to connect the wiring to the right light. I’ve never worked with electrical stuff before, so even though Dad killed the lights and I verified no juice came into the socket, I remained a bit nervous about handling the wiring. I soon overcame that and eventually got the new wires connected in with the old. Dad flicked on the switch, and there was light everywhere. I made happy, pig-squealing noises. ^_^

Leaving the cleanup for later, Dad and I worked on other projects including correcting a problem with the deadbolt, fixing a problem with the master bath’s tub drain, installing some new blinds in my bedroom (which was more annoying than difficult), repairing damaged molding on my entertainment center, and repairing a damaged rocker (part of a set that my parents rescued from a barn years ago and restored). A productive Saturday to say the least.

Growing up as a kid, I had no interest in learning to do any of this stuff because I didn’t care about it. As an adult, I have an interest because I have my own place. I’m thankful to Dad for being willing to teach me all these years later. I learned a lot from doing these little projects and I think Dad was pretty happy to see his oldest son not only own a house (which I know my mom is happy about) but willing to learn to do things for himself. ^_^

Reader Comments

  1. I learned a long time ago that the list of things that need to be done when you own your own home is never-ending, and paying to have other people do them for you can bankrupt you.

    I also learned that there are many skilled tradesmen who do wonderful work who also barely have two-digit IQs, and that I should (not necessarily could) be able to figure out enough to be able to do a passable job on some of the things that need to be done. I’ve saved myself a lot of money over the years, but I also have learned when to back off and call in an expert. Sometimes I’ve learned it the hard way.

  2. What scares me is if something major happens. Of course, that may be the time to have the pros come in. I think I need to buy one of those “do it yourself” books. I remember my dad had one from Reader’s Digest when I was a kid. I don’t think he needs it any more.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.