The Top Ten Things Not to Do While Working Outdoors

a home improvement

 

This post originally ran on September 15th, 2014. Seems like it is still good advice today. I hope you enjoy it.

***

 

It’s that time of the year again when certain outdoor chores have to be done in preparation for the coming change of seasons. The weather is finally turning a little cooler, so the projects put off because of the heat can now be done. This list has been inspired by the times I have not paid attention to the Top Ten Things Not to do While Doing Outdoor Work.

The Top Ten Things Not to Do While Working Outdoors

10 If you need to fix or waterproof your outdoor deck, do not start the work after noon. If you do, at best you will have to work past dinner. At worst, you will quit the project only to find yourself doing the work in the snow.

9 If you need to go up on a ladder for anything, do not ask your spouse to spot you at the bottom of the ladder. At best, you may drop a tool that will be regrettable. At worst, your spouse may find themselves breaking your fall, which will be unforgivable.

8 If you need to use a power tool, do not forget the safety glasses. If you do, at best, you may get some debris in your eye. At worst, you might just get an exciting ride to the emergency room for significant eye repair.

7 If you need to use a chainsaw, do not try to saw off anything over your head. If you do, at best, you may not be able to avoid a falling limb. At worst, you may find yourself trying to avoid a swinging chainsaw running at full speed.

6 If you need to paint anything, do not think a spray gun is a way to go if you have no experience. If you do, at best, you may find the job harder than you expected. At worst, you may have covered the trees, shrubs, and your car with the beautiful coral shade you are using.

5 If you decide to rent any kind of machinery to do your work, do not fail to read the directions. If you do forget or decide to ignore them, at best, you may cause the machine to break down. At worst, you may find yourself and your machine in the living room when you actually intended to work on the driveway.

4 If you need to use any kind of grease on your project, do not fail to take off your shoes before entering the house. If you do forget, at best, you might only have one small piece on your shoe. At worst, you will have walked all the way through the snow-white living room before you notice your tracks and hear the sound of a gun being cocked.

3 If you intend to fix any plumbing, do not forget to turn off the water. If you do forget, at best, you will get a face full and be drenched before you go and turn it off. At worst, you will wish you had built an ark before beginning the work and are now watching your belongings wash down the street.

2 If your project includes electrical work, do not forget to turn off the electricity to the item you are working on. If you do forget, at best, you will cause some sparks and then go turn it off. At worst, you will cause an arc of electricity that will melt the tool you are using and permanently clear your sinus while providing you with a full-body hair removal treatment.

1 If you decide to dig in the yard to plant those big trees, do not forget to call the utilities to find out where all the lines are buried. If you do forget, at best, you may accidentally cut your neighbor’s cable, and they are a work-at-home IRS agent. At worst, you may cut more important lines and assume you survive you will be fighting the outage charges for the rest of your life.

86 comments

  1. Hi John, did you get my last comment I posted, for some reason wordpress keeps rejecting my comment here? Do they go to your spam? Charlotte

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I got it and gave it a like. I’ll go back and comment so you can see it. 😁

      Like

  2. Great list, John. Leave it to the pros…that’s my motto!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, except for some simple things. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. For some people, I think #7 should just be stopped at ‘do not’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I sold mine years ago.

      Like

  4. Yeah, let others do the outdoor work. 😉 Thanks, John! xx Michael

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  5. All good advice. I’m with Jill. Some things are best left to the pros.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True. The older I get that list to the pros gets longer and longer. Thanks, Joan

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Great list, John, and, yes, the list of fixes we leave to the pros gets longer every year we get older 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Good list, John. I have a plumbing project to do today. Water will be off. I will double check.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, please check. No need to go swimming if you don’t have a pool. Thanks,Dan.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My husband ran afoul of #1 once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can happen. I hope it wasn’t electricity. Thanks, Liz

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was the neighbor’s cable TV.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah well. No harm done then. I did that a number of times and finally called the cable company and got them to move the stupid thing to the lotline.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Smart move! Where we live now, all the utilities are above ground, so my husband just hits tree roots and rocks. Lots of rocks.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes there are always rocks right where you want a tree.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. All very good advice, John. Some seem obvious, but since McDonald’s has to warn people that the coffee is HOT, nothing is TOO obvious. 😁

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Very true. Like the warning on those little moisture things in pill bottles. “Do not eat.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, silica does wonders !! 🤪

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Good things to keep in mind when doing some work around the house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Best time to have the list. Thank you, Tim

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    I’m with Jill, As much as I enjoy “fixing” whatever, some things are beyond my abilities. I love your list, John. Another great one! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gwen. As I get older the items that I can do become less and less. (Not that I mind) 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gwen M. Plano · ·

        I was going to mention age in my comment — the ladders just seem to get higher by the year, don’t they? 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And the ground harder when one hits.

        Like

  11. I had to chuckle — the list for a boat worker differs from that of a homeowner, but many of the dynamics are the same. Substitute caulk for grease in #4 and you’d have the item that would top the list for me. There’s a reason they call deck seam caulking “black death.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It also has a half life of 1000 years. Thanks, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Isn’t that the truth!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Hubby’s done #1 more than once, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope without injury.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. All great advice! I might add one more that is relevant right now, and that is don’t go to Lowes or Home Depot without a pocketful of money. And if you have a bad heart, don’t go at all! Great list, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good one, Jan. Those prices have certinly gone up. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  14. On a more serious note: don’t walk about with a running chainsaw in your hand. I did that once in our old place in Karnes City and stumbled and fell over a wire hidden in the undergrowth. Well, it ended up in a chainsaw-throwing. I think I managed to throw the chainsaw for 5 or 6 yards. Ever since, I put the brake on when I need to move.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good tip. I have to say I’ve never walked around with a chain saw running. Glad you didn’t get seriously hurt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was so happy, and I’m glad I wasn’t hurt when being so stupid.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Great advices, dear John.
    We hate chainsaws, although we have one we always ask professionals to operate it.
    Wishing you a happy week
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had one for years and finally sold it. I had a few close calls and figured it was time. Have a great week Fab Four.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Kids these days. Doesn’t anyone use dynamite to plant trees any longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dynamite is busy catching fish.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Sage advice. Since I’ve no more handyman at home, I get the professionals to do all the jobs… Expensive but at least they know what they are doing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least they should.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. As they should!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh dear. Such good advice, John. I’ll bet you’re happy not to be in Port A. right now — The Weather Channel had someone there this morning, and it looked like they might get BUCKETS of rain from that new storm. While it doesn’t appear to be moving inland, I imagine you’ll still get some rain from it. Here’s hoping you’ll stay safe … and dry!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks like it is going to miss us totally.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I always hold the ladder for the gardener!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. I hope he never has to say, “Sorry about landing on you.”

      Like

  20. I will never work with a chainsaw again after a too-close call back in the day. As for working on anything electrical, I’m afraid that is WAY out of my league, LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t outrun electric so I leave it alone.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s really the best idea.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ZZZZZaaaappppp. Ow.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    Great list! I used to paint houses in the summer when I wasn’t teaching (there’s a commentary on what kind of money teachers make). After twenty summers, I was ready to retire. I had one more job in me—our house. The irony is I didn’t have any accidents until my last job when the ladder slipped, and I broke my back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG. I feel you pain. I broke my back twice. Once in a car accident and once falling. Your story has an element of tragedy. Did you ever finish the house?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. petespringerauthor · ·

        Eventually, the dumb part of my story was I knew I was hurt, and yet I hung in there and finished pressure washing the house before going to ER. I’d say that’s testimony to my grit, but it’s more a reflection of a stupid thing I did—had to get my money’s worth on the rented pressure washer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooooo. I cannot imagine that.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. I used to paint boats. One time I was stupid enough to spray a boat on a windy day. There was a car in the vicinity, but I put up what I thought was enough protection to contain the overspray. Well, it didn’t. When I was finished, the car had a fine blue mist all over it. When I told the owner, he informed me that he had just bought the car brand-new and it was the first time he had driven it.
    I was lucky. I got to work right away before the paint had time to fully dry. The windows and windshield were easy. The body not so much. After a couple of hours it was back to new.
    Whew!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a story. There must have been some tension sweat while the work was in process.

      Like

      1. I was the only one sweating. The car owner took it in stride.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Saintly person for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Great advice, John, and after reading, I think I just won’t work outdoors. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The best choice. Thanks, Lauren.

      Like

  24. I can’t think of all the times that last one came into play!!! 🙂 🙂

    Like

  25. […] The Top Ten Things Not to Do While Working Outdoors […]

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    1. Thank you for the pingback.

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  26. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    Great post, John 🙂 I was nodding to a few of these. I recently saw my husband cut a branch above him with a chainsaw. He didn’t get hurt but it didn’t go well.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Good advice – on all home improvement tasks, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Barbara. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Hubby: “What’s so funny?” Me: “Full body hair removal.” Hubby: “Excuse me?” One of your best, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. I love this.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. No.11 – Do not substitute the ‘after working outdoors’ with ‘before working outdoors’ with respect to a much-needed drink.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very good advice, Ankur.

      Like

  30. […] The Top Ten Things Not to Do While Working Outdoors […]

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    1. Thank you for sharing my post.

      Like

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