How Not To Kill Your Significant Other With a Shim

Even though we managed to keep up a pretty steady stream of work for the last 12 months, about two weeks ago back-orders, extended delivery times, and our own lack of foresight finally caught up with us.

Which isn’t to say we didn’t have things to do, they just weren’t the immediate things that were going to help us move from the garage into the house. You know, like tiling the bathroom floor so we could install toilets, or hanging doors on the rooms in the hopes that one day we may actually live in the same space but not be able to see each other every single waking second.

Ah, doors. The bane of our house-building relationship. Can I tell you just how many door installations around here have almost ended up with someone getting an involuntary facial piercing via shim?

However, you’ll note that I did not send any Tweets or Facebook updates from the hospital over the weekend, so with that being said here are the top 5 ways not to kill your significant other with a shim while hanging a door.

  1. Wear earplugs. Neither of you is listening to the other person anyway, and the only kind of communication that makes its way through a solid door is insults.
  2. Install the lockset first. Make sure you’re the person on the outside of the closet when the door gets secured in place. By the time they figure out how to pick the lock with a hanger, you’ll be long gone.
  3. Use duct tape. When your partner has both hands securing the door frame, quickly open the door, place a piece of tape over their mouth, and shut the door again. Refuse to hold up your side so they can’t release the door to remove the tape.
  4. Use balsa-wood shims. When’s the last time someone was killed with a piece of balsa?
  5. Have someone else do it. Like, call your Chief Electrician for help with some “electrical work” and then suddenly find yourself engrossed in installing a radient floor heater while the boys do the work without you.

Uh. Not that I would know anything about that.


But the door does look good. The mission-style solid pine was worth the eight week wait.


And think, we just have to survive the installation of eight more of these. Fourteen if you count the closets, which I don’t because I hate it when my life flashes before my eyes.


A couple coats of stain and a little trim, and the closet just might be the first fully finished room in the Memorial house.

7 Responses

  1. My husband and I have hung 3 doors together.
    We needed marriage counseling after each one. Just thinking about doing another one makes me twitch.

  2. so glad i don’t have to hang doors…not on any list or plan…yet…don’t think about back storm door don’t think about back storm door…buy wine.

  3. Never tried to hang a door before – now I’m good and scared.

    Please tell me you’re going to publish all this in a book someday – just nearly peed myself laughing.

  4. My wife simply has no skills in that area, so I have almost never asked her for help. The first few times I did, though, I honestly thought she was, um, messing with me because I thought, “No one can be such a bonhead about this!” But she really can! If we were moving a large object through a narrow doorwary… well, with anyone else, you get to the door and both of you automatically turn the object to get it through the door if that’s what it needs. She would run her hand right smash into the door jamb!

    I eventually learned that she just doesn’t know about this stuff. Some years back she helped me put down the plywood roof for a storage shed prior to my putting down the shingles. The work was such that I really needed another pair of hands. By then I knew the drill. I carefully told her what we were going to do at such-and-such a point, and always reminding her, “If we lose our grip, and the plywood slides off the roof and into the neighbor’s yard, I’ll go get it. Do NOT try to save it; you’ll only pull your arm out of the socket!” And with her, you have tell her every single time as you work your way across the roof. She doesn’t know it’s the same damned thing as you did a few minutes ago unless you tell her! It actually worked out just fine, and she was a help to me at that point. …but I wouldn’t hang a door with her!

  5. I hung my very first door (well pre-hung) by myself last summer. I added a bathroom to our basement, and while my Dude was at work, I was able to complete the ENTIRE BATHROOM with out him! Whoo hooo!

    I do have to confess though, I shimmed the thing BEFORE installing the door knob. It was perfect, closed perfectly, etc… that is until I put the knob on. Now it’s a bit tight. but seeing as now I finished the dry wall and trim before installing the knob, it’s just going to remain a bit tight.

    Lucky for me, hubby was at work. (Actually out of town on a business trip).

    I feel your pain, and have been laughing at your comments! You are living my dream! (Ohhh.. wishing that some day would get here sooner than later!)

    Keep ’em coming!

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.