Monday, June 11, 2007

Do-It Yourself Disaster (Rated PG)

I moved into a new apartment a couple of months ago and I still have an entire room full of boxes that need to be unpacked. I bought three shelves at IKEA about 3 or 4 weeks ago and have just never gotten around to putting them up.

A few weeks before I bought the shelves I had bought a stud finder and marked all the walls in my spare bedroom so that I could put the shelves and my dart board up. I decided tonight was the night; I was going to be productive!

I had also gone to Home Depot and bought a cool level that sticks to the wall with 3M tape, all the screws and the dry wall screw support thingys that the nice guy there told me I would need.

So, tonight I got out the step ladder, my recently purchased cordless drill, the level, the IKEA shelf, the screws, etc. I made a mark at the height where I wanted the first shelf and then lined it up with the stud I had marked off earlier. Then I got out the level, found the exact perfect spot for it and stuck it to the wall. Only, once I lined up the bubble, it wasn't quite the exact perfect spot, it was about 1/4" off. So I pulled the 3M tape to try and move the level a touch and, well..... a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Yeah, so much for 3M "non-stick" tape.

But, I was not to be discouraged! I spent the next 45 mins trying to get it to stick to this now bare wall beneath the plaster. I tried another 3M sticky thing (wall's already ruined what does it matter, right?), but evidently 3M tape only destroys paint and plaster, not the actual wall surface; it wouldn't stick at all!

But God damn it I had come this far there was no way I was gonna quit now! So I got out packing tape and taped the shit out of the level and literally taped it to the wall. I really wish I had taken a picture of it because it was really comic, but I had no way of knowing what a tragicomedy this was going to turn out to be in the end.

Now that I had the level shooting its ever-so-faint little red beam all the way across the wall, it was time to line up the shelf mount and mark the holes. I did this, grabbed my drill and the screw the Home Depot guy had told me to use on the stud. I gave it a couple of taps with the hammer to get an indent to place the screw in before drilling away. Then, I held up the shelf mounting hardware, put the screw through the center hole and started drilling. It took a little pressure at first, but then all of a sudden the screw just punched right through the dry wall. Turns out, there wasn't a stud there after all. #%#$@^ cheap ass stud finder!

I tried hammering in another stud screw in the hole I had marked just below and got something solid. I was heartened by this and so decided if I had at least one screw in a stud that would be okay, and I'd use one of the dry wall screw backing things on the other one. I screwed in the dry wall screw thing, put the mounting hardware back up and proceeded to drill the stud screw through the bottom hole and the dry wall screw into the top.

Only, they wouldn't lay flush with the wall. The dry wall thing just started spinning freely in its hole. I had put too much torque on it and just spun a huge hole in the dry wall. And the stud screw was in crooked or something because it wouldn't lay flush either.

At this point, I'd been doing this for something like 1.5 hours and it was looking hopeless. So, I took the mounting hardware out of the wall and looked at my handiwork.

...Then, I went to CraigsList and put up a post for a handy man.

And to think, I was seriously considering trying to install ceiling fans myself!

What lesson have I learned from this? I may not be a high-maintenance chick, but I'm no Tool Time Tim either.

1 comment:

Jen said...

You gave it much more of a go than I would have! I like to stick to painting and stuff like that - EASY stuff! Good luck finding a handy man. And way to go starting a blog!