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Two hour jobs that take two days

By Andrew Pollack on 11/06/2006 at 03:37 PM EST

Don't you hate those fairly straightforward jobs when everything that can go wrong does? Between games -- and mostly on Saturday -- I took on the job of replacing an old, noisy bathroom light and fan fixture. At the same time I put two coats of "Killz" on the ceiling and then a coat of nearly white semi-gloss paint. Over the years, some mildew had gotten into the old paint on the ceiling. The new high volume (low noise) fan and the fresh primer and paint (both with newer anti-mildew additives) should help.

Problems? OMFG. Took the old fan out, and saw how close to the hip of the roof that part of the ceiling was. I went to put the new fan box in, and of course the vent pipe was solid, not accordion and fitted to the old box. That was the first trip to the hardware store. Then, in order to get the box to fit, it had to be turned in a way that left the hole for the electrical wiring on the other side from where it was with the old box. Yep, the wires were too short. That meant I had to either force the box to fit or add more wire -- which would mean a junction box since you just leave a splice sitting open in your attic. Well, you can, but then one night you may get a visit from fire trucks so we try to avoid that. So, hours later I had the new box in place, the primer on, and turned in for the night.

The next day, after the games were over, it was back to "finish" the installation. Of course, now the box, fitted in where it is, is about 2 inches higher than the old one. It's above the drywall on the ceiling just enough that the screws to hold the grill and light cover do not extend far enough. Back to the hardware store for replacement bolts and nuts. Finally back, and it won't go in. Why? The crazy mount I had to use is now in the way. Out comes the Dremmel tool with cutter and so too out comes the screw head that was in the way. Finally, all is together and it looks great -- after 2 full days.


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