Category : home repair

A professionally built modular kitchen. Equally good wardrobes, crockery shelf and TV units. Not much can go wrong right ? True. Because, even after 8 years, all the woodworking we had invested in was intact and functioning immaculately. But not that Sunday afternoon.

My Sunday Afternoons

My Sundays are quite the routine that I thoroughly enjoy. Particularly the afternoons. I get to eat my favorite vathakozhambu for lunch, watch a bit of whatever Tamil movie I can lay my hands on and then have a long siesta. Sometimes long enough to even miss the beautiful sunset from my balcony. It is a habit that I relish. Maybe I believed it helped me with the maddening week that lay ahead. Maybe it helped shake the dreadful blues of the Sunday evening (Worse than a Monday morning I say). May be. May be not. But I look forward to that movie and that naaaaaaap. So anything out of the way can really spoil the pleasure for me.

That afternoon Preethi was working on a painting project and she asked me to get her kit from the draw. I opened the draw to claim the palette, oil paints and the linseed oil. I handed over the art gear and shut the draw close. That's when it happened. As I closed it, the handle with the draw face fell down from the draw (Factory made and made by professionals) exposing 4 wicked nails. Since I was getting ready for my nap, I put the fallen piece of wood away to be dealt with later, only to be told, “There are sharp nails jutting out of the draw. You better fix it NOW”.
Related reading: Start your own woodworking hobby with this simple recipe
Be your own handyman
Can you see a smiling face with two wicked eyes ? :)

Anything can go wrong

Well, this is only one example. We have had the bed room door knobs not working. The balcony door stopper not being effective. Even the pulley type clothes hanger becoming completely unusable. Point is, anything can go wrong any time. Each of these small issues has its own merit in increasing the discomfort levels one way or the other. Based on the degree of inconvenience, they will need anywhere from immediate to gradual / delayed attention. That Sunday afternoon incident needed immediate attention because of the exposed nails that were kid unsafe.  

I have spoken about the intrinsic benefits of DIY woodworking many times and it wouldn’t hurt to reiterate it. How many times did you have to endlessly wait for a carpenter to come over and repair a problem? How many times did you have to throw a broken something and get a new replacement for it? Everything has a life and everything will show its true color after due wear and tear. There is nothing really as permanence and even durability wanes with time and use.

Moral of the story

My Sunday afternoon could be yours someday. You will have a pressing need to immediately patch up / refurbish a defective / broken something.   And when that someday comes, why wait for that elusive carpenter.Be your own handyman. Learn to fix it yourself. And yeah, you will not repent it.

Indian Woodworking - DIY
The supposedly permanent fix - I used extra screws 
  • P.S.1 : I ended up watching a Danush movie that afternoon. 
  • P.S.2 : I had the audacity to ignore the "FIX IT NOW!" command and went ahead with my zzzzzing. We managed with an interim solution for couple of days before I provided it with the non-existent permanent fix.

DIY as a hobby is so much fun. Being able to build things around the house by itself is a testament to the joy it brings. But what it also brings in with it is the eventual feeling of wanting to try everything yourself before really turning to a professional. And no. Am not talking about building a lampshade, or a center table, or a wall hanging. Am referring to leaking sinks, broken pipelines, overflowing flush, a flat tyre, a busted electrical fitting and more.
Home repair is largely never spoken about in Woodooz, but I wanted to mention how much it is part of everyday DIY activities and how much of trouble and money it can save us. These are things that I would have never tried if not for the love that I had developed for doing things myself.

Fixing a drain pipe

Take our kitchen drain pipe for instance. I moved my kitchen sink during installation to the corner of the counter. As a result the pipe outlet on the wall and the drain outlet were not aligned. The builder refused to move the wall outlet and hence the usual stainless steel pipeline could not be laid. What he installed was the plastic flexible pipe that required replacement every 4 months. Losing much of our patience we decided to do it ourselves. What transpired was a combination of PVC, plastic pipe and some M-Seal and a no replacement guarantee for a long time.
Fixing kitchen drain pipe
DIY Plumbing

Covering the pipeline duct

Rat menace was something that we could not live with. After a damaged sofa, catching 6 rats in 6 days and finding newly born pinky rats in the service area cabinet, we decided to block the pipeline duct (in the service area) from the terrace through which the rats were gaining access. We approached an aluminium window vendor who gave a quote for Rs.14,000 and a carpenter who gave a proposal for Rs.4000. Not wanting to spend so much, we decided to do it ourselves. With aluminium sheets and some duct tapes, we covered the opening for a mere  Rs.200. Not a pretty picture but never a rat ever after.
Closing the rat entry
Stopping access for rats to enter

Fixing a leaking sink

Have you ever felt the smell of damp wood hitting you on your face ? It happened every time we opened the kitchen cabinet below the sink. The grouting around the sink had caved in resulting in water leaking into the wood below. Despite having an in house plumber, we decided to fix it ourselves. All it took us was Rs.25 of white cement and about 20 minutes of work. Problem solved.
Kitchen sink leaking
Grouting around kitchen sink
Building things is fun, but I have come to realize fixing things is so much more fun. Being able to remedy an issue without having to go around looking for a professional is also much appreciated at home. Am sure many of you do it too and so might think what is the big deal. The fact is not many do it which  makes it really a big deal. That said it is also important to understand when to give up and really seek expert help.

Are you the kinds that changes his / her own flat tyres ? Fixes leaking sinks ? Rectifies a broken cabinet hinge ? Leave me a comment. Let me know your thoughts about how DIY home repair has saved you trouble, time and won you appreciation.

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Woodooz Home Decors,
3/371, First floor,
Metukuppam, Thoraipakkam,
Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR),
Chennai - 600097.
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