It is Friday, so this is for the do-it-yourselfer planning their next project.

Last weekend at the hardware store, I saw a guy buyingshower valve a few plumbing parts. I asked him what project he was working on. Clearly frustrated, he responded his intention was to change out a 20-year old shower valve. Initially, he purchased only the valve but returned to get a different plumber’s wrench and penetrating oil. With new tools, brute force and his inexperience, the shower valve broke off the pipe in the wall as he attempted to remove the original valve.

The trip today, he confessed was to check prices on replacing broken tiles and was forced to buy a bigger escutcheon plate to conceal the wall cavity the emergency service plumber had to make to complete the pipe repairs to get his one bathroom house operational before Monday morning. This guy ended up paying overtime plumbing rates for service on a Sunday.

The lesson here? Know when to ask for help. Coordinating this repair with a trained plumbing contractor would have been an hour and a half job, charged at the more reasonable, daily rates. Probably wouldn’t have needed to get the tile replaced either.