When Do-It-Yourself Turns Disaster DIY

Posted by Mrs Money on May 12th, 2011

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I’m all for doing home improvements to help save money.  In our house, I have painted pretty much every surface in our house, replaced flooring, installed baseboards and quarter rounds, and even tiled one of our bathrooms.  I’ve become pretty good at home improvement (but definitely have made mistakes) and I’m proud of what I’ve learned and accomplished.  I think it’s funny because at our house the roles are pretty much reversed.  Mr. Money does the cooking, and I do home improvements.  I do a lot of the other domestic duties, but that’s because I enjoy doing them.  He is good at cooking and I’m good at everything else. Just kidding. ;)

There are some projects that have been over my head, and I’ve turned to Mr. Money because they are “man jobs”: electrical, plumbing, etc.  I know that if I put my mind to it, I could probably do it, but I’d rather not electrocute myself, thanks.  I have to give Mr. Money credit, though.  He will attempt almost any project I ask him to do.

About a year or so ago we would recognize this awful smell that would be in our basement every so often.  I attributed it to the sump pump stinking, and started pouring a tiny amount of bleach in the sump pump to kill any bacteria that would stink.  We’re on a septic system so I had to be careful not to put too much in, or do it too often.  It seemed to help, so I didn’t think anything of it.

A few weeks ago Mr. Money decided that he couldn’t finish fixing the outdoor faucet that he tried to repair.  He couldn’t get one side in, so we decided to call a plumber.  The plumber came out and gave us a quote on repairing that faucet, replacing the tub trap, installing another outdoor faucet, running a gas line, and replacing some of the pipes under our kitchen sink.  We decided it wasn’t too expensive, so we told him to go ahead and do it.

The reason he had to replace the pipes under the sink was because Mr. Money had replaced them, but they were loose and leaked at certain times, driving me batty.  I’d open up the doors and there would be a bunch of water pooled, warping the wood.  So…

When the plumber was here, he got to work under the sink and realized that he’d have to cut through the bottom part of our cabinet to get to the next pipe.  When he did that, I swear it smelled like a cow had defecated and then died under there.  It smelled like raw sewage.  What happened was when Mr. Money replaced the pipes, he didn’t link the bottom one into the one underneath it so all of our grey water was draining into our crawlspace and then into the basement.  No wonder it would stink like that occasionally!  We had to put down 40 pounds of lime down to soak up the dampness and odor.  It worked pretty well, but has definitely taught us a lesson: when you’re in over your head, it’s better to hire a professional than to try to do it yourself.

I am so thankful we won’t have to deal with that awful smell again, and I’m glad all of our issues have now been dealt with.

Do you have a do-it-yourself story that turned disaster diy?

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9 Responses to “When Do-It-Yourself Turns Disaster DIY”


  1. Money Beagle says:

    LOL, yeah, I’ve got a few of those stories. I think we all do. Years and years ago, I had a CD player (which were pretty expensive at the time). The tray wasn’t sliding out very well so I decided to take it apart and figure it out. Just needed a minor adjustment, but in the process I cracked something on a circuit board, so that was the end of that.

    Your story sounds yucky but look on the bright side, at least it wasn’t a waste pipe from a toilet that he forgot to hook up.

    [Reply]

  2. I am acquainted with several families who are deathly ill and have spent thousands to renovate their homes due to water leaks creating black mold, so you are lucky you got off with only stench! I’m glad you got it figured out.

    [Reply]

    Double my money Reply:

    This is exactly my story, i had to spend a few thousands to repair my damages after a in house adjustement.

    [Reply]

  3. krantcents says:

    Since I realize I am not too handy when comes to these mechanical issues, I immediately call the plumber, electrician, carpenter, mechanic etc. I am real good at finding the best at a reasonable cost though. I will stick with my expertise and let the talented tradesmen do their thing. Maybe I should barter for the service?

    [Reply]

  4. mommymommymommy says:

    My dishwasher handle was jammed so my kids could not open it. DH “fixed” it by breaking the dishwasher!!! Luckily, my handy man knew how upset I was and managed to fix the dishwasher, but the handle still jams. We just got a new one in the mail yesterday. I have no real luxeries in life and I consider my dishwasher one fo them!

    Great blog! Glad I stumbled upon it!

    [Reply]

  5. Oh bummer!

    We are definitely tackling projects around our house, but I am uncomfortable with plumbing and electrical, so we always hire out for that. So far we’ve redone our laundry room (it’s off the kitchen) which entailed finishing a large wooden cabinet down to its natural wood, painting, and then having a vanity custom made (we purchased a used cast iron sink for $70 off craigslist to put in it and then tiled it using leftover tiles from when our previous owners retiled the fireplace in the livingroom).

    Now we are tackling our master bathroom and small bathroom downstairs simultaneously. So far so good!

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  6. I haven’t had any DIY goof-ups, thank goodness. Although now you have me wondering exactly how hard it would be to re-tile our bathroom…

    [Reply]


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