Monday, June 8th, 2020

If it’s Monday, this must be the last day of my stay-cation. What have I been doing with it? So glad you asked.

(Just a note: I do not actually hear anybody talking to me as I type these words. Self-isolation has gone on a long time, but I am not at that point in my craziness, not yet.)

I spent a lot of the day yesterday unfucking more of the screwups left behind by the contractor who sided our little red house. I’m assuming that most, if not all, of the actual siding was installed correctly, but I have no experience with siding and how it should be correctly installed, so I have no way to know for sure they did a good job with that unless something dramatic happens, like it peels off in a storm. Fingers crossed, that never happens.

But there are a few things they did that lead me to believe their work is less than exemplary. I mentioned recently I discovered an electrical outlet with something *not quite right* about it, and which I had already spent the better part of an afternoon working to fix. Yesterday, I finished that job after a quick trip to the hardware store to buy a new outlet and weatherproof cover for it.

It was a fairly simple fix: I bought a GFCI outlet to replace the regular one that was in there. It was grounded, but it never hurts to have extra insurance, especially for an outdoor outlet. I had to futz around with the box it was mounted in to get the fat-butt GFCI outlet to fit. All I had to do, really, was take a couple of screws out of it, but to do that, I had to dismount the box from the frame I’d built around it, because nothing is easy when it comes to home DIY projects. After remounting the box, though, the rest was easy-peasy.

While I was at the hardware store, I picked up a second outlet and weatherproof cover for another outlet the contractors left in less-than-serviceable condition. That outlet is in a box mounted in an inside corner of the back patio. When they removed it to tear off the old siding, they broke off all but one of the plastic tabs sticking out from the sides of the box. Normally, you’d securely mount it to a wall by driving screws through all four tabs. With only one tab left sticking out, they screwed it in place with just one screw rather than replace the box, so it would sort of flop around when we plugged in or unplugged from it. In my admittedly amateur but somewhat informed opinion, it was probably not the best way they could have fixed that particular problem.

I also picked up a new outdoor light for the patio. The light over the door was a single old-fashioned spotlight; the bulb must have weighed a pound and a half all by itself. Replacing it was something I’ve been meaning to cross off my to-do list for years, but it’s one of those things that I thought about only when I needed to use the light. Because it was a spotlight, it illuminated just one spot, and because it was a crappy old light fixture, it was rusted into position and pointed at a spot somewhere out in the yard. Not so useful.

Taking down the old fixture, which the contractors had had to remove like all the other fixtures when they did the siding, I discovered they’d half-assed reinstalling that, too, shooting a single construction screw through the base of the fixture into the wall, instead attaching it to the box as they should have done. The box was a good inch and a half inside the siding, so I had to find a couple of very long screws to substitute for the screws that came with the mounting.

All that futzing took a couple hours, so by the time I was done I was more than ready for a cold beer and a few hours in the shade with a book. Time with books & beer is so much more satisfying after I’ve scratched a few projects off my list.

scratching | 9:57 am CDT
Category: fun with electricity, Our Humble O'Bode | Tags:
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