Springtime Projects


Being the main gardener about these parts, springtime has me focused on garden chores and plans ( for myself!), but it always seems there are many unfinished tasks to remind the Handyman about. He gets distracted. So here is the sample conversation we recently had:

ME: Don’t you think 25 years is a fairly long time to wait for something?
Handyman: Yes, I do.
ME: Well, you know the outlets in the living room have been needing replacement for about that long, think you could do that this week?
Handyman: I think it was about 22 years. It’s a pretty easy job- I just need reminding.
ME: I’m reminding you about it right now, what will you need to get the job done?
Handyman: A quick trip to the hardware and getting better quality outlets this time should do it.
ME: That would be great- you know it is really annoying when the vacuum won’t stay plugged in and the light plugs fall out, etc.
Handyman: I know, I just don’t think about it very often.

Segue to the following week: the outlets purchased, but not yet fixed. In the meantime, though, we have decided on something that puts out reminders for pesky jobs without having a pesky wife do all the reminding work:

by the basement we now have a board on which I have stuck post-it notes enumerating said pesky jobs. Handyman knows where to look if he feels like accomplishing something small, but necessary. And there are always small, but necessary jobs around an old house.

I think this is a good solution for the merry-go-round of trying to coordinate job requests and time to work on them without the sometimes irritated feelings that can go with a d-i-yourself lifestyle.

Yes, that #@!#% annoying back porch deck screen door

After numerous attempts to repair the previously mentioned screen door, including replacing it a couple times in the 4-5 years since I screened in the porch, I am going to try a new approach. The main problem has been that the door binds inside its framework in sync with the weather changes (hot/cold, rain, etc). Mainly, being a wood screen door, it swells with moisture/humidity, as does the wood framework. This has resulted in the door being “beyond repairable”.

My solution: I am going to frame out (add trimwork) to the existing 4×4 posts, moving the door out and hinging to the new trimwork. Then I will place trimwork around the remaining perimeter of the door, leaving enough space between the door and new trimwork to allow for maximum swelling. IOW, instead of making the door try to fit inside the existing opening/jamb, I am going to make a new opening slightly larger to accomodate the door. Don’t know if this is the “best” solution, but it is going to work for me, ending the current frustration. I will have to buy a new screendoor, however, as the existing one has been stressed beyond repair.