Young(ish) couple buy their first house – a real fixer-upper – and set about doing the work themselves. On a budget. Hilarity ensues.
You’ve seen that movie, right? I feel as if I have. Far, far too many times. Maybe it comes from being a child of the 80s, the zenith of movie cheese; it’s quite likely. But perhaps it comes from living it out in glorious technicolour reality, when the only thing that could happen to make a situation any more like a dodgy movie would be some dramatically bursting water pipes and a montage.
Apart from the montage, we’ve had the makings of a classic diy farce this week. It was well overdue, though, seeing as I’d actually dreamed about exploding pipes and sparking electrics in the bathroom not long ago, and Lord Balders has had his own comparable nightmares.
I’ve lived through burst pipes, collapsed ceilings, slow leaks and flooded floors before. The trauma has left me battle-hardened. I lay silently in wait, tightening my bandana, sharpening my knife and painting mud camouflage on my face. To think, it took a whole three months before it happened!
I’ve been expecting you, Mr. Flood.
The burst pipes
This is how it happened: Lord Balders decided to crack the whip this week (we take turns being mean when the other one is feeling lazy – not intentionally, it just seems to work out that way) and made me get straight back on to the job of attaching the skirting boards after work on Monday. We had the brilliant idea of boxing in those positively gauche plastic pipes running to the radiator, and after quite a bit of intricate carpentry, the skirting was up and the pipes were concealed.
The fun started when we realised that the oversized skirting boards I had chosen for their luxurious look wouldn’t fit behind the radiator once they had been brought forwards to box in the pipes. Doh. It was one or the other: neat pipes behind little skirting boards, or big boards and pipes in front. Well, what if we tried to fit the rad back on and see? Well? Well?
Both elbow joints at each side of the radiator split with the weight of the thing, sending jets of water shooting up the wall and everywhere else. Cue a frenzied dash for buckets, bowls, anything, followed by a dash to B&Q, and a lot of searching for YouTube tutorials. And I’ll leave it there.
The leaking tap
Until I tell you about this morning’s discovery – the wonky kitchen tap had decided to wee itself all over our top-mounted sink overnight, resulting in a flooded countertop, flooded cabinets and drawer, and worst of all, a flooded laminate floor.
Now, I don’t mean a visibly flooded floor, although I discovered this precisely by stepping in a puddle by the back door; I mean a squelchy, squishy noise coming from under the floor with each step. Talk about back to the 80s – I remember hearing about waterbeds back then, but I’ve managed to up the ante with my waterfloor. I felt seasick all day, trying to clean up the carnage.
I wasn’t able to draw Lord Balders into my rage against the tap, but on seeing the sparks flying from my ears and probably fearing an electrical fire with all that water around, he agreed that we had to get a new tap straight away.
I knew this would happen…
I’d noted the treachery of this tap shortly after moving in, and I knew that it would betray me – it waited until my guard was down, though. Strangely, I’ve been the only one who knew what it would get up to, and even now, I seem to be the only one breathing threat and murder against it. Still, I shall have my revenge.
Anyway, that’s the story of two massive leaks in one week. And the still unfinished skirting board/architrave project.
Any ideas for a good movie title, let me know.