Measure once, cut once, paint it over.

2005-05-06 17:36

My house has been home to a variety of do-it-yourself people. There’s a light in the basement which can be disabled by unscrewing either of two fuses. We don’t know exactly why. The blinds on one of the windows upstairs are spray-painted — strings and all. The house is full of patchwork corrections on top of originally ill-considered things. We’ve found grounded outlets where the ground wire just ran a couple of inches into a pipe to run into… Well, nothing. The lamp over the upstairs kitchen sink has a pair of wires (of the same color!) coming out of the wall to it, and then has a ground wire running around inside it, not connected to anything.

A while back, one of the handles on a kitchen cabinet came loose. We finally figured it out; the bottom side of the handle was never even screwed on! It was just shoved into wet paint which had dried around it to hold it in place lightly until it came loose. So, today, I took it off, went into the basement, found a matching screw, knocked the paint out of the hole, and put the screws in… Only to discover that the hole was about 1/8” off.

Now, it turns out… It is not very hard to get the holes lined up with something like this. What this means is that whoever put that together just plain didn’t care about measuring.

A bit of work later, it’s at least screwed together. Wouldn’t hurt to repaint the cabinet and maybe fill in the rest of the hole (I enlarged the hole a bit so the screw could line up), but it works. I just hope the next owners are patient with our house full of weird things, upside-down connectors, and the like. It’s not our fault!

Peter Seebach

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