Home Truths with British Gas

This post was kindly written by my lovely husband for British Gas

Not everyone’s good at DIY.

I remember watching my Dad and Grandads as a lad and thinking “How do they do these things?” while they were hanging doors, building walls and constructing things which, to me, seemed of such great complexity that no one could possibly know how they work.

As I got older, I turned my own hand to doing things around the house. I’d had a little tuition and worked as a builder’s mate for a while as a kid, so I thought it’d be a doddle. I started by putting up shelves and graduated to wallpapering and before I knew it I was brimming with confidence.

When the time came to replace a couple of damaged floor boards in my flat, I was all over it.

“Craftsmen? No need! I’ll pocket the cash and do the job myself,” I thought.

After a bit of prep, hauling up lino and old boards and cutting down the new ones, I was ready to get properly involved. I had the radio blasting and was confidently striding around looking for my tape measure when all of a sudden I toppled forward. I was confused at first. Looking around wondering why I was at eye-level with my cutlery drawer – then it dawned on me what had happened and I braced myself to look down.

Sure enough, I was standing on the top of my downstairs neighbour’s fridge-freezer.

“Hi Sarah!” I said, crouching down.

She didn’t say “Hi” back. She just stood there, mug of tea in hand, in her dressing gown, staring.

After I pulled myself back up into my own kitchen (and thanked my lucky stars that I was wearing underwear underneath my shorts) I made a couple of phone calls, and within 3 hours a builder was downstairs, fixing the ceiling, re-plastering and generally making up for my surprise entrance.

Upstairs, I was happily fitting the new boards. I remembered to roll the lino all the way back this time though, so it didn’t flop forwards and lull me into another false sense of security.

I took a lot from that incident, most notably a lot of ribbing from friends, a couple of whom are professional builders, and a hefty bill for the repairs to my poor neighbour’s ceiling. Thankfully she was a reasonable person and didn’t get too cross over the incident but her cat never looked at me the same again.

The moral of the story – or the moral I gleaned from the story – is that confidence is a great thing, but it can sometimes over rule other, much more helpful feelings. So if you fancy doing some DIY, don’t be afraid…but do be cautious.

British Gas has worked with Channel 4 to share some great stories about people’s relationships with their homes. To celebrate the success of the collection of short films called “Home Truths” – here’s our favourite:

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