There are no easy home repairs

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When it comes to home repairs, there are no easy jobs. One shingle lost in a windstorm will reveal an entire section of rotted roof. Replacing a simple faucet washer will lead to a massive plumbing job that will leave your house without water for three days and create a zone of chilled silence between you and your wife that will take weeks to thaw.

Last week I decided to plug a small hole in our bathroom wall left from years ago when the bathroom was also the laundry room.

No sweat, a half-day job at most.

The minute I removed the vanity, however, I realized the entire wall was crumbling and would have to be replaced. That meant removing the toilet, tearing out the old wall, installing new drywall and replacing the toilet.

I’m not sure why I thought that would be easy.

For starters, the bolts holding the toilet to the floor were no longer bolts, but crumbling mounds of rust. Next, the bolts holding the tank to the bowl broke and the remaining water gushed onto the floor where it mixed with the plaster dust and rust to create a thick brown slurry that stuck like glue.

While installing the new drywall I noticed the original valve for the toilet was in the wrong place to accommodate the new toilet. That meant shutting off the water so I could move it. I assured my wife it would be for no more than an hour.

I sweated bullets, but, fortunately the new valve went in easily and the water was back on before any major clouds of discontent could gather.

It’s been three days now. The new wall is in, I am ready to paint, pop in the baseboards, install the new toilet, and – voila – job done.

Another half day, tops.


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