Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I Can Do it Myself

There are many projects involved in selling a house.

My house was built in the late 1960's and codes were different then.  Now I cannot sell without protecting any outlet that is within six feet of a water source with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.  And my breaker panels had double taps.  I don't know what they are but they must be addressed by an electrician.  Never mind that I could continue to live here without this stuff and no one will care if I electrocute myself.

My smoke detector is inadequate.  I need to put in a minimum of two smoke and CO detectors that are photoelectric.  It is not that I mind doing this, it is just that who knew my own family was at such risk all this time.

The underground oil tank has to be dug up and the soil tested and cleaned of any contamination.  I did know about that hazard, but it has to be done before I can close on the house.  I should not have filled it in the spring.

And of course there are those jobs that need to get done anyway--a chimney cleaning and a septic tank pump out.  And a dozen those other little, ever present problems like a sticky window or an old water stain that needs painting.

Stripping wallpaper and painting the walls was relatively easy, I am thinking as I find myself getting slightly overwhelmed by the to do list.

The building inspector told me the house was in excellent shape.  I am certainly very glad he did not shake his head and say something along the lines of "You're not afraid to live here, lady?"

I have taken on some of the small jobs.  I re-caulked the tub.  I grouted a loose tile in the entryway.  Today I did something daring.  I got out a ladder and an electric screwdriver and I mounted the two smoke/CO detectors.

 I was able to simply screw one in to where the old ion based one was located.
The second one involved screwing in those expanding anchor bolts first, but I did it.  I had on my Rosie the Riveter clothes today!

I was so impressed with myself that I went out in the driveway with a regular screwdriver and I rigged up a new attachment for the backup camera on my car. I was mad because I had been to three different auto parts places, including the dealership and no one did anything more helpful than shrug their shoulders.  

Time for Tuesday night's destress yoga class.


  1. The idea of you getting up on a ladder to do those things makes me nervous for you.
    I am 72 and can't believe how clumsy I can be at times. We sold our home last year and have lived in a rental while building a condo. Big steps for us, but we make our move this Thursday. I am so happy to finally be able to get settled in my forever home.
    Good luck with your home selling. Hope you will be very happy in your next move.

  2. Good for you! I don't understand this attitude that the house has to be perfect to be sold these days. I thought it was bought as is, where is and it would be up to the new owner get the work done. Yes you have to disclose it but seriously, would the price they offered take into consideration some of these things.

    I had to install new smoke detectors in my old house as well. I'm very nervous on ladders but I did it cursing the new owners every step of the way.

    Yoga class sounds like a great way to end a busy day.

  3. I'm impressed with the jobs you are taking on yourself. Well done.
    It's interesting what codes call for and what they don't. When jill bought her house it had new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, but the plumbing was all plugged up and the the roof leaked and the hot tub didn't function and it took forever to trace what outlets were on what circuits. It's still buyer beware around here.

  4. I have always suspected that the codes were 20% concerned with public safety and 80% with the redistribution of wealth from home owner to building trades, manufacturers, and code inspectors.

    Good job on the DIY! So are you going to rent a back hoe and dig up that fuel tank?

  5. I had a problem with my chest freezer kicking off without reason and since I had to call in an electrician for some other reason we had him (them) look at it. Before he left we had surge protectors on both fuse boxes, two CO2 unites installed, replaced all smoke detectors...15! It came to a couple of hundred dollars but I feel safer. And now in an emergency I could put the house up for sale...getting the septic pumped out this month.

  6. When my mother's house was sold, it was sold as is with a list of disclaimers. You cannot do the same?

    1. Except for my nasty perfectionist streak about some things. :))

  7. House inspections are the pits. They find things you never knew existed! I can't wait until all the nit-picky projects are completed. Keep in mind, our house was built in the early 1900s!! Plenty of errors!

  8. Oh wow! I'm super impressed with you, Olga! There's so much to do in order to sell your house. I am all admiration for you!

  9. You are like my Mom - she would try to fix anything and usually succeed. You get the DIY Award of the year!

  10. OK, you are going to motivate me! I have been saying for a year now that I need to watch a Youtube video on how to re-caulk the bathtub! If you did it there may be hope for me yet!

  11. That is so great that you did all of that. I have been sticking to art projects and cooking stuff recently. I have been considering doing a few things inside the house like repainting and maybe even replacing some of the hardware. Just a few simple things that can be done quickly. I am not very good at committing time.

    Neville @ Electrical Experts


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