My Home Improvement Lesson: Do it Right the First Time
By Brooke at 30ish on May 23, 2010
I bought my first home about 2 years ago and it was missing one little thing that can prove to be very important to a woman that lives by herself (or really anyone who is safety conscious)--a peephole. So a couple of weeks ago, after yet another unannounced visitor came knocking on my door, I decided to take care of the problem--get a peephole!!
Turns out, the sell them at any hardware store for under $10. Nice! According to the directions all you need is a drill and a 1/2 inch drill bit. Being that i am pretty smart (drill a hole in the door, screw in peep hole thingy...doesn't sound too hard, right?) and super independent--I set out on installing my peephole.
But first, I decide to text Chris to get any last minute advice. Chris is a guy I've been out with a couple times who happens to work in construction. He's pretty cute, with piercing blue eye, nice build, a little shorter than I prefer, and nearly ten years my senior. He seems to be very sweet and quite handy. The down side, his ex-fiancee still lives with him. Red flag or yellow warning flag? I hadn't decided yet...
Me: "any advice on installing a peephole?"
Chris: "put it at about 3 ft high"
Okay, smarty pants...I am about five foot eight.....
Me: "So I can see the mini-burglars?"
Chris: "lol, you got it. wait til I get back, and I will do it"
That's so not going to work for me. First because he travels for his job and it will be at least a week before that happens--I want it done NOW. Second, I am stubborn, independent and I (darn it) can do this myself...it's a hole in a piece of wood!
I busy myself getting out my drill and bits and notice that the largest one I have is 3/8 inch. Okay then. Another trip to the hardware store or....insert my not-so-helpful tendency towards impatience here....deal with the 1/8 inch too small bit. It's only 1/8 inch, right? Eating a little bit of pride, I text Chris again --who is on the road to his next job site in a truck full of his coworkers.
Me: "it calls for a 1/2" bit, I only have 3/8". can I make it work?"
Chris: "do it right the first time"
Me: "but it's only 1/8" ?"
Chris: "you could use the side of the drill to make the hole bigger"
Ah ha! That's what I'll do! I carefully measure and make where I want to put the peephole. I get a chair to stand on and start drilling. I carefully drill the hole, struggling a bit to keep the drill level while trying to put enough force on it to get through the wood door. (You can't have a peep hole that looks up to the sky or down at a visitor feet!) The drill passes through the opposite side of the door with out too much difficulty. I have it, a nice hole in my door. I peer through it and see the light out side, and think "perfection"!
I get out the peephole that I purchased from the hardware store and......crap. An 1/8 of an inch difference is bigger than one would expect! I pick up the drill and start passing it back and forth through the newly created hole to make it bigger. After several passes, I compare it to the hole AND....nope. I am still way off. I am starting to get concerned that the hole will become all wonky and end up more of a oval, or worse a blob shape, and then the purchased peephole really won't fit! Not too mention leaving a big old ugly hole in my front door....To the hardware store!
After about 20 minutes and one helpful-older-gentleman-hardware-store clerk later, I have returned home with a shiny 1/2" drill bit. By this time Chris has sent me a text to check on my progress:
Chris "it is going to be harder...but if you mess it up I will fix it when I'm back"
I am back standing on my chair, ignoring Chris' warning and start back at drilling. Almost immediately the drill bit jams in the wood and the drill twists sharply in my hands almost knocking me off the chair. "Uh-oh" I say to myself, this could get a little dangerous. I wiggle the drill bit out of the door, tighten it, and try again. Again it jams in the wood and the drill twists. Of course, Chris was right. This was harder.
I go slower, having to back the drill in and out, with it repeatedly jamming. After many passes--did I mention that I am also tenacious?-- luckily no injuries, and only minor damage to the paint on my door, the hole is 1/2" wide and all the way through the door! I can now easily pass my peephole viewer thingy into the door. Success!!
I think Chris was a little disappointed that he didn't have to rescue me. I have never been great at playing the damsel in distress--unless of course it involves a large spider! Things didn't end up working out between us, mainly I believe to a lack of chemistry....plus he was still living with that ex-fiancee (that he fondly referred to as Satan) and she didn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. I've dated enough to see waving red flags when I see them. (Plus, I don't want to be referred to as Satan 2 anytime in the future.)
At least now maybe I can spot those red flags before I let them in--now that I have a shiny new functioning peephole!!
Brooke at 30ish
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