I fit the handle back into the door—but the latch wouldn't catch. I then tried to manually pull back the latch—but it wouldn't budge. Then I used my nail punch and hammer to remove the hinges—a sure bet—but the door was so tight in the frame I couldn't budge it. There I was, trapped in my own bathroom.
I considered escaping through the window, but given the 9 in. of snow outside, my stocking feet and no key to get back into the house, I decided against it. Mild panic fueled a couple of karate kicks that split that hollow-core door into splinters. I think I'll paint the new door before I hang it.
Tangled up in Snow
Cheap Paint Job
After about a half hour of chain sawing, I heard a thunderous crash and ran out to see what had happened. The rope trick obviously hadn't worked and the trunk had fallen smack in the middle of the deck (which was not part of the remodeling plan). Thankfully, no one was injured, but we ended up hiring a contractor to remove the old deck and build a new one, which was way more expensive than hiring a tree removal service.
Hot Enough for Ya?
Oh, That's What That Wall Is For
After assuring my wife that I could finish the project over a long weekend, I started demoing the lath-and-plaster wall. By bedtime, I had the wall down and most of the debris bagged and stacked. I climbed the stairs to our bedroom, which was directly above the living room, and went to sleep.
The following morning I awoke to a bowl-shaped bedroom floor! I stepped gingerly across it, ran down the stairs and discovered that the living room ceiling had sagged 6 in. during the night! Turns out I had removed a load-bearing wall. As we sped to the rental yard to pick up jacks, I sheepishly told my wife that I might need more than three days to finish.
The Eye of the Beholder
I was remodeling my daughter's second-floor bedroom and had all the demo work done. I was ready to start the next phase when I saw daylight coming up through a hole in the floorboard. But that didn't make any sense. How could there be light between the ceiling downstairs and the floor upstairs?
So I got down on my hands and knees and peered through the little hole—and saw an eyeball looking right back at me! I almost had a heart attack right there. When I screwed up enough courage to take a second look, I realized that a piece of broken mirror had lodged itself in a knothole. I'd nearly frightened myself to death by staring at my own eyeball!
Caution: Highly Foolhardy
Raindrops Keep Falling.....
After I left for college, my father decided to empty my waterbed. Unable to get a good siphon going, he gave up and dropped the hose on the floor and left the room to take care of other chores. Hours later he noticed water dripping through the ceiling below. The siphoning had started after all. When I went home that weekend, he had several garbage cans in the living room and had drilled holes all over the ceiling to let the water out. Poor Dad. I'd never seen him more frustrated and forlorn. I don't think we'll be shopping for another waterbed anytime soon!
A Waste of Time
Standing next to the mower, I pressed my foot down on the brake, turned the key and sure enough, the engine started right up. I then took my foot off the brake and watched in horror as the mower sped away, ripping the ends of the jumper cables off as it went. I had forgotten to put the transmission in neutral! Thankfully, I was able to hop on and stop it before it got too far, but I got a hearty round of applause from my neighbors, who appreciated the clown show.
I'm building my own home, and I pride myself on being able to tackle almost any job. I thought I'd figured out a great system for installing the prehung doors. My problem came when I got to a closet door that opened out from the closet. To keep the door frame square, I nailed blocks at a 45-degree angle to the outside of the jambs. I then got my shims, level and nail gun ready and went into the lighted closet and started shimming and shooting nails into the jambs. When I finished, I tried to open the door. The blocks were nailed across the jambs on the other side. I didn't have a hammer or a pry bar, but I remembered the cell phone in my pocket. I called my brother, and after I listened to his hysterics, he agreed to come and rescue me. He hasn't mentioned it to anyone yet, but I know he's just waiting for the right moment.
Super Glue Follies
Broken Toy Box
The toys at my northern Michigan cabin were multiplying in the garage, so I decided it was time for an addition. I doubled the length of the garage, making it an end-to-end, two-car structure. To save money, I hand-framed the roof rather than use factory-built trusses. With all this extra garage space, I'd be able to buy even more toys!
After several snow and ice storms up north, I received a call from my neighbor, who asked the dreadful question, 'Remember the garage you used to have?' The weight of the snow had caused the roof to cave in, crushing my speedboat, trailer, snowmobiles and dirt bike inside. After careful forensic study, I figured the overloaded rafters had pushed out the walls until the roof collapsed. Probably, I hadn't used enough crossties, leaving me with the lesson that a sturdy toy box is worth spending more for.
What a Turkey
I grabbed a small hammer and a screwdriver and started tapping on the ice. One, two, and on my third tap, there was a loud hissing sound. I had ruptured a refrigerant line that was just below the ice. The estimate to repair the line and replace the coolant was about the same as the price of a new freezer—$350. I bought the new freezer and put my very expensive 'free' turkey inside it.
Floor Sander Stampede
I quickly discovered that the sander's switch was still on. The thing started up and shot across the room like the rabbit at a dog race, with me chasing it. It crashed through the wall I had just painted, leaving a hole about the size of...well, a floor sander. Even worse, my wife and daughter had been watching. They quietly left the room. I also left the room...to get my drywall tools.