Thursday, May 17, 2018

More DIY

Peter Gabriel   DIY

Today we don't just show you DIY we talk about it Philosophically.

What Marcus and Agata did
Our freezer door does not seem to self close anymore.  Whilst Marcus and Agata are of course always take care to close it slowly (so that it works),  if others are going to live in our house then they may not be so careful.

4 weeks later after the ordered hinge has arrived  (NB: Switzerland) we are ready to begin some DIY

The covering door is held by an elaborate mechanism whose purpose is to allow this front cover alignment in 3 dimensions.  Hence the multiple screws.

This has to come off to access the door and then the hinge.

 Here is the bottom hinge

As paranoid androids we make a map of the screws from the removed door so we can exactly use the same screws in the same holes for re-assembly

Now the cover is off the hinge is replaced by simply unscrewing 6 screws on the hinge itself

For a proper job we fully defrosted also.

So discounting the 4 week, you live in Switzerland delay, the whole process took a few hours.

DIY and Philosophy

Marcus and Agata nearly always endeavour to do things ourselves wherever possible. And fixing the Freezer door is just one example.

Other people might have called up a repair company, and with a hands off approach, got the Concierege to let them into our Apartment, fix the problem and send us the bill.  But this is rarely if every our way.

So what are the arguments for and against DIY?

The Argument from Engineering
Marcus and Agata are both professionally qualified Engineers.  Society in general has an expectation that Engineers are somehow magically able to fix things,  and likewise other Engineers somehow expect fellow Engineers not to resort to 'paid help'.

Certainly Society is misguided because I might be an Engineer specialising in Electronic Circuitry but this might not prove useful when Stripping down a failed Drum Rotor in our Washing Machine  (something that did happen last month).

The Argument from Snobbery

I am far too important a person to be bothered with these tasks.  They are beneath me and I must let somebody else handle them.

The Argument from Incompetence
The argument is: I better do this DIY task myself because I have seen the so called Professionals try to do tasks like this and they are basically idiots.  The so called Professionals often end up with a mediocre job at hight cost.

Surely I can do at least as good as job as those fools

The Argument from [Hidden] Incompetence
Actually I am totally incompetent at any sort of DIY.  But rather than admit this I will use one of a list of predictable defences listed here.  Usually that I am too busy to the do the work and so that I must sadly outsource it.

The Argument from Perfection
The argument is:    I'm a professional and possibly a perfectionist.   I'm going to take care to do an excellent, or perfect job.    If I pay somebody to assist,  they won't show such a level of dedication as we do.

Ecological Argument
Getting somebody else in is a waste of resources. They have to travel to me to evaluate, then come back to execute the task. I will actually be saving the planet by doing the DIY

Employment ArgumentWhilst I could do the job this would be taking away work and hence the livelihood of a Freezer maintenance professional. So under no circumstances should I do this DIY 

Special Tools Argument
Special tools are needed to complete the job effectively.  Either I buy those for this one off task, which is costly, and then what to do with these tools afterwards?  Instead I should hire a professional who has these tools by nature of their work.  I don't attempt the work myself therefore.

Slippery Slope Argument
For:  I need to keep doing these small DIY jobs.  Else I will become a fat couch potato.  My Engineering friends would disown me if they saw me outsourcing these trivial tasks.  

Against:  I'm going to delegate or outsource the larger tasks, but do the smaller ones myself.   I mean I know a bigger task when I see it, don't accuse me of slippery slope.

In Summary
There are many ways to argue yourself into or out from a DIY task.  For Marcus and Agata, we always choose to do things ourselves, providing we can do an excellent job, and for the same or less as outsourcing it.

Peter Gabriel: Perspective