Given that I’ve written about residential design and construction for the past 11 years, you would have reason to think I might also have some ability in this area. You would be wrong. I have a great deal of knowledge and I can tell good work from bad, but tools and I do not have a strong working relationship. I’m not even crafty.
The picture at right may seem to indicate otherwise, but I assure you, it was taken at an event organized by Delta Faucet Company. The staff put us in groups of three to install both a basic bathroom faucet and a hands-free Touch2O kitchen faucets. Except that I dislike being crammed into a cabinet, installation went fairly smoothly, although slowly. Also, the product managers kept me from doing anything too dumb.
So when my bathroom sink stopper quit rising and lowering, I peered into the vanity to see what I could see. The lever worked fine. I hadn’t done anything to the stopper. Clearly this was magic beyond my powers. I called a handyman. He fixed it in 30 seconds free of charge, and assured me he could get through the rest of my list the following week.
Feeling shame at this point, I set out today to do the one task he gave me: buy a new toilet seat for the guest bath. First I thought I would remove the old seat and take it to the home improvement store so they could tell me what to get. Then I realized I couldn’t remove it because the rusty screws holding the seat to the lid were too stripped. So I measured it instead, and took photos of my measurements, because that’s how how much I don’t trust myself.
Once at the store, I realized how smart this was, because I had no idea if the seat was elongated or round. After much climbing up and down the scaffolding (not an employee in sight for at least 15 minutes), I found the seat I wanted (American Standard Laurel Molded Wood Round). One left. In an open box, which meant a 50 percent discount. Score! The guy assured me all the parts were inside and showed me how the plastic screws and bolts hold the entire thing on–which made me realize I never needed to remove the metal screws in the first place.
So, after an hour roundtrip to the store, I completed the seat switch-out in maybe 10 minutes. My cat thinks I’m a genius. Everyone else thinks I’m an idiot. My handyman is out a few bucks. Not to worry, I still have a list for him.