After two months of trying to get a carpenter to come and fix my doors, my landlord finally persuaded a local carpenter to show up. He’s certainly not a believer in the “measure twice, cut once” school of carpentry, but in the end, his work is pretty decent. At Rs500/day, he’s not the cheapest around, but it’s not unreasonable rate. His inability to get it right the first time is puzzling, though, considering that there is plenty of work for him. If there was little demand, his poor measuring would be a good excuse to extend the job, but that’s not it, so I have no idea what the problem is.
In other countries, the very first thing a carpenter learns is how to measure correctly. But this guy . . . well, he doesn’t measure straight across, so his measurements are always too much. Or if there is hardware along the door, he measures over the hardware, which adds another centimeter or two. Curious.
Of course, all his tools are hand tools, including the saw he used to saw the doors. He can saw a straight line, at least. I have to give him credit for that.
I had him make new front and back doors because the old ones had so many gaps that lots of critters could easily get in. Definitely worth the expense. But I couldn’t get him to understand that the thresholds should be directly under the doors, so finally I surrendered to having them next to it. They are too high, of course, so I’m worried that someone will trip over them, but at least they keep most of the critters out.
And, as with everything else I’ve hired done here in the village, I ended up doing some of the work myself. The floors are uneven, so there was still a gap under the thresholds. For one, I put some removable poster putty underneath it to seal the gap. The other one is getting some homemade wood filler that I found directions for online. Not perfect, but considering that things like putty are not available in remote areas of India, it’s pretty good. Anyway, my house is now ratproof, at the very least. I didn’t have a problem, but since rat traps are sold in the hardware stores, I’m sure it was just a matter of time.
Now I’m working on the gaps in the woodwork around the windows that the ants like to use to come in to the house. More wood putty, but I’m adding a bit of cinnamon (which ants won’t touch because it burns their little feet) to the mix. I suppose they will immediately find a new route, but what to do?