I’m the type of person who fixes things expediently. Add a dash of duct tape and a pinch of contact cement and call it done. It’s not pretty, but it works — for a while.

There are many skilled and generous people who post tutorials showing the correct way to repair just about anything. I study these and take notes. Then I see what supplies I have in my basement and add about three extra hours to the total time estimated for the job.

Being newly unemployed, I’ve noticed many repairs that need my attention. Household flaws that didn’t bother me when I was at the job every day suddenly annoy me. I made a list and fired up my laptop.

The first item on the list, a frayed bit of carpet, was something I could handle, but thinking of my slap-dab approach, I first called the people who originally installed the carpet and asked for their recommendation. They recommended getting a service person to come out with an initial $85 charge. Thinking about my unemployed status, I went ahead and started the repair myself.

The online tutorials prescribed essentially the same thing: lift up the carpet, tuck under the frayed edge and then fasten it back down. I needed a tool to lift up the carpet — check — a heavy-duty staple gun — check — and some carpet sealer … no check. I went to Lowe’s to get some, and after repeating my search at Home Depot, I was all set to begin the repair.

Lifting up the carpet was easy, but there was a surprise. The furring strip used to fasten the carpet to the floor was all smashed up. A trip to the basement and some shuffling around and I had something that would do. I went back upstairs.

The carpet installers had fastened down their furring strip with screws. Whoops, guess I’d need my drill and some screws. Back to the basement.

In the basement I found two heavy drills that my husband used around the house. I like using a “lady” drill, the kind that is both lightweight and powerful. The sleek little Makita drill I was accustomed to using was nowhere in sight, so I called my husband at his job to see if he knew where it was. He suggested I go out and buy a new one for myself. Tempting, but again I thought of my lack of income and decided I’d try to use one of the two manly drills.

Both of the burly drills failed to drill through what I discovered was a concrete floor. I needed to use a concrete drill bit which we did not have. Should I go back to the hardware store? Hmm. Maybe there was a different way to do the repair. 

Back to the Internet!

Someone online suggested gluing down carpet to a concrete floor. Now they were speaking a language I understood. I bought some epoxy, and quickly mixed up a batch. Success at last! The glue technique worked great. Voila! Completed fix-it job.

My repair job was done and in just under four hours. I consider that an acceptable qualifying time for an amateur repair person such as myself. 

As to that list of household repairs? It may be time to concede defeat and call in the professionals. My time is valuable, after all.

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