Sunday, September 10, 2006

We Break It; We Fix It

I was looking forward to today…at least for a week, as today is the day the new appliances arrive and I was looking forward to installing them. The good folks at Lowes called last night to let me know that they’ll arrive during the prerequisite four-hour block of time between 11am and 3pm, so I had steeled myself on the couch to sit there and wait three hours and 59 minutes for them to drag in my new appliances. However, much to my surprise, the clock had barely rested on 11am when the doorbell rang. I had them dump the boxes in the front room and take away the old ones that I had removed yesterday and left on the driveway.

As I sat on the floor in the triangle of new appliances with the various installation instructions strewn around me, Kara’s first and only question: “Are you regretting that you didn’t have them install them for you?”

At that point, the day was fresh, and I was happy to put together the new appliances, so spending another $300 bucks for some guy to come into my house and make me feel like a white-collar professional who owns a screwdriver and some kind of saw, but I don’t know where they are… or how they work.

And hey, it only took one trip to Home Depot, definitely a success in my book.

First up should have been the microwave, but I pushed that until second and tackled the dishwasher first. It isn’t the easiest of the three (that would be the stove), but it wasn’t the microwave, which requires drilling holes in perfectly good walls and cabinets. The dishwasher went in without trouble, expect for one missing part that I needed to retrieve at Home Depot.

Back at the old house, I had to replace the garbage disposal under the sink, and at the time, I was perplexed that the new disposal didn’t include a power cord. Either the new one was missing or part of the installation instructions recommend scavenging it from the old one. I still don’t know why that is, but yesterday, when I was pulling out the old appliances, I wondered if this was the same situation as with the disposal. Just to play it safe, I pulled off the electrical cord, drain hose and supply line from the dishwasher and the gas supply connection from the stove.

I was right, none of these appliances came with these things (except for a new drain hose on the washer), so I started the day with a nice pat on the back. However, the trip to Home Depot involved a connector for the fresh water line, and while I was there, someone actually helped me beyond any reasonable expectation. I figured I would replace the copper fresh water inlet pipe from the wall to the washer, and he suggested that instead of spending a lot of money for copper that I get the stainless steel model instead… at it came with the appropriate connector to boot. Nice.

Long story short (for once), all of the appliances went in easy as could be. The mounting bracket on the microwave nearly matched the old one, but I had to drill new holes for the top mounting points and for the cord as it is in a different location than the old one.

Natalie helped. She seems to enjoy my tools, as every time I had to go to the garage to retrieve another one, she wanted to come along and get one of her own. I needed a big wrench, she got a small one, and once she had a fist of tools, she was well into the project, proclaiming: “We break it; we fix it!” as if it has become some kind of family motto or something. Every time we got new tools, she’d announce “We break it; we fix it, right Daddy?”

That’s right, honey.

She was elated when we used her purple level (that I got for her at Target…for $1) to make sure the stove was perfectly level. I taught her how to use it and she helped tell me when the bubble was in the middle. What a big helper.

It took us four hours to install everything (including the trip to Home Depot), and I think it went smoothly. Nothing blew up. I’ve still got all of my hair and fingers, and that makes for a good day. So, did I regret not having them installing the appliances for me?

Not one bit because I had a great helper.

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