How many times have you started a project that seems simple enough, only to have it blow up into a much bigger project?  It seems to happen to me...every time.

You've been there before.  You have about 6 hours available on a Saturday afternoon to tackle one of those projects on your "to do" list.  So you pick one.  It seems small enough to get done in that amount of time.  Then when you start it...it's so much bigger than it should have been.

Today is National Tell A Story Day.  Let me tell you the story of the day that I began painting a bathroom in my house only to end with replacing a toilet.

If you've ever painted a small room, you know that it shouldn't take very long.  I used to paint houses for a summer job so painting has never scared me away.  Normally all I need is a drop cloth, a paint brush, and some paint and I'm on my way.  My wife insisted that I tape it all off though so I kind of thought it might take a little longer.  I got right to it though.  I taped every inch of that room.

Ok...here we go...now I'll fly right through this. Well...not quite yet...the ceiling is gonna have to be added to that list.

So I go find paint for the ceiling.  Luckily I have some in the basement.  Let's knock this out so I can let it dry and then get to the walls.

Boom...the ceiling is done.  Let's fly right through this now.

Well...you can't get behind that toilet tank.  Your wife really wants you do do a good job here.  No sandbagging here.  You better take that tank off.  Then you'll be able to get behind there a little better.

As I'm taking the tank off, I realize the bowl itself is a little wobbly.  It's just a couple nuts and bolts on the side.  You should probably tighten those up.  Let's do that.  You want to do a good job, right?

Well...this isn't good.  I'm trying to tighten the nuts...but it's still wobbly.  I'm going to have to take the whole toilet off to fix this.

This is where most people would shelf that project for another day and finish the one that they had started.  Nope.  Not me.  Let's get this new thing done. That other project (the original one that you started in there) won't take long.

So I take the toilet off to see what's up with the bolts.  Turns out the flange on the ground is actually cracked where the bolts go in.  They won't tighten because it's broken.

You've gotta fix that flange.

Maybe I'll just YouTube it.  Maybe it's not a big job.

15 minutes later, I realize that's a bigger job than I really want to do.  But...after a little more research, I find that there's a metal flange that will go right over the plastic one.  Let's do that!

I drive to the store to get a new flange replacement and a wax ring.  It's around 5pm now.  I was supposed to be done with all of this about 4 hours ago.  My wife is wondering what the heck I've been up to for all this time and I'm super hungry.

I put the replacement flange back on...new wax ring...ready for the toilet.  Let's get this thing done so that I can finish painting!  Flange goes on perfectly.  I set the toilet on top...start to tighten the bolts...it's still wobbly...tighten the bolts a little more...still not right...tighten the bolts just...CRACK!

As it turns out, you can't tighten bolts on porcelain all that tight.  I broke the toilet.  The entire back part fell off.

Dang it!  (Although I have to admit, those weren't the exact words I used)

Time for a new toilet.  I have to go back to the store...again.  But at this point, it's closed.  Of course it is...

Two weeks later, I finally had another day to replace that toilet.  And guess what!  I didn't break it this time!

So now, not only does that room have a brand new paint job...from the ceiling to the floor, but it's got a new toilet that doesn't leak and doesn't wobble anymore.

Why can't any of these jobs be what they start out with?  It's always gotta be something more!

Moral of the story....Next time, only paint what you can see.  Don't remove the tank!

 

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