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Friday, December 5, 2008

Don't DIY

I have always been a do it yourself kind of guy. In over 35 years of marriage I can count the number of times I have paid to have a car repaired, plumbing fixed, house remodeled, etc. I only paid someone to do things that I could not do (and I am pretty handy).

All that has changed since we've moved to Uruguay. I am now having more work done by other people than I have ever had done in my life. I often have 4-5 people working here at any given time and I just check in and see how the work is going. I am learning to delegate. And it's not easy. Take the new door the the parilla (BBQ). I had an iron worker (herrero) build it, but thought that we would install it.

When the door arrived, it had steel tabs welded to the outside frame. Normally you would set these tabs in cement. However, the door was to go inside 3 solid surfaces (concrete or brick), and I couldn't see how they could be installed. So I decided to ask the herrero to give me a price to install it and the large iron gate and decided to let him do it.

The first thing that he did was cut off those tabs (he also saw that it would be impossible to install it by that method). And this is my lesson for the day. Let people who make things install them. If they run into problems they know how to work it out. Anyway, they are about 75% finished and I am so glad that I let them do it. I never would have figured it out and it will be installed, cemented in, adjusted and the locks set for a total of $80 (US). You can't beat that and they have all the headaches.

He is also installing the gate. As you can see, he first has poured a nice concrete channel and set the steel guide for the wheels. After a few days, he will come back and set the gate.

One the of the advantages of having the manufacturer install is that if it doesn't work correctly, he can't blame the installer. I am getting smarter in my old age (I know- it's about time).


Eddie said...

Looking good, Wally. How did they install the door frame - lag bolts? I'd love to see pictures of the finished installations.
By the way, like you, I've never paid anybody to do anything around the house, including appliance and air conditioning repairs. I hope I don't have to adjust like you did once we're in Uruguay.

Wally said...

Interestingly, they drilled and set large diameter steel rods, then welded them to the frame. They actually broke out a bit of brick and concrete (not too much of a loss, since it was quite old and broken up already). However, they went back in, and concreted it in, then molded the concrete to the shape of the missing bricks. Quite brilliant, actually.

I am getting used to having "people", just not to the idea of shelling out money....

Eddie said...

Just checking to see if the glass is installed yet. Can't wait to see the finished product.

Wally said...

I think I will wait for all the concrete work on that patio before we install the glass. You have to go through the new door with a wheelbarrow and I don't want to ruin any new installation.