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Home Repairs Merit Badge


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6. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do THREE of the following:

a. Paint a wall or ceiling.

b. Repair or replace damaged tile, linoleum, or vinyl flooring.

c. Install drapery or curtain rods and then hang drapes or curtains.

d. Replace window blind cords.

e. Repair or replace a window sash cord.

f. Reinforce a picture frame.

g. Mend an object made of china, glass, or pottery.

 

 

Can you repeat any of the above or does each of the three have to be unique? I moved to a new home one year ago and we simply don't have anything that can be done on this list other than paint another wall or ceiling or reinforce another picture frame. Nothing is broken, nothing need be replaced, nothing mended. It could be years (hopefully) before we need to fix any of those. The MBC has stated that we are to do these on our own and just take pics of the project as proof that it has been done. My scout needs one more on this list to be completed. None of our local relatives need any work done either and we would like to avoid roaming the neighborhood looking for someone that needs b, c, d, e, or g.

 

I guess we could always break a piece of pottery and mend it but would also like to avoid that. :) I doubt the final product will look quite as nice as the original. I also guess we could just go buy a cheap piece of pottery too if the answer to the above inquiry is "no."

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Argh. That requirement needs some rethinking.  Time to be disobedient and change requirements. :rolleyes:

 

When I counseled this mb, I asked scouts what needed fixing at their house and then told them what needed fixing at my house. Plenty of tasks as we get a house ready for winter. So a list was made like the following and we went from there. 

 

replace furnace filter

replace batteries on fire/smoke alarms

weatherstrip door/windows

replace door bell

replace door locks

replace light fixture

install under sink water filter <-- scout learned about town water quality

install dishwasher  <--- yes I had a scout remove old dishwasher and install replacement.  Scout was happy, Mom was thrilled.

install kitchen under cabinet lights

replace warped cabinet shelves

fix door closing problems

attach TV stand, dressers, etc to walls or floor to prevent fall-over <--  very popular.

install child-safe house features

 

My $0.02,

 

P.S.  If it ain't broken don't fix it.  :)

Edited by RememberSchiff
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Oh, I agree the list is very limiting, but also, I think generally the spirit of these requirements is that Scouts build a variety of experiences.   Someone should request / recommend an update of this badge, but that doesn't help you right now, Hawkin.  

 

Do you have any offbeat places in your home that need curtains, like maybe a garage window or a basement window?  Think about every room in your house.   Otherwise, I think it's totally fair to ask your counselor if you can repeat and see what s/he says.   

 

Good luck! 

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7 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

 Someone should request / recommend an update of this badge,

 

At least one person did :rolleyes: along with the suggestion about allowing parents to act as MBC (just like Cub Scouts) for this merit badge after all their house.

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6. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do THREE of the following:

a. Paint a wall or ceiling.

b. Repair or replace damaged tile, linoleum, or vinyl flooring.

c. Install drapery or curtain rods and then hang drapes or curtains.

d. Replace window blind cords.

e. Repair or replace a window sash cord.

f. Reinforce a picture frame.

g. Mend an object made of china, glass, or pottery.

 

UNDER THE SUPERVISION of your MB counselor..... does that person need to be on-site?  Sounds like it.

 

And where does it say any of this has to be done at the scout's home?  Maybe Grandma needs a room painted.  And I'll guarantee that no one is going to let any scout repair or replace a window sash cord.  I bet most don't even know what that is.  In this day and age, no one mends anything especially anything made of china, glass or pottery.  It gets trashed. 

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I would recommend having the scout ask at his school, place of worship, etc., whether they need any of those things done.

 

And if they need one more, have them go down to the local thrift store, buy a framed picture, and reinforce the frame.  Then, hang it on the wall, or just donate it back.  While they're there, they can look for any broken objects made of glass, china or pottery.  As a last resort, find one and break it!

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 It used to be parents were de facto MBCs ... back when counselor lists were suggestive helps, not exhaustive bounds.

Also , substitutions were par for the course. I painted the eaves of the house and replaced a worn crank handle on an aluminum window frame.

 

But, volunteering to spruce up someone else's home is a rewarding strategy. In fact, I happen to know a tired old scouter in a house twice his age on the north side of Pittsburgh ...

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We just had a "promotional visit" on this Merit Badge (along with some of the related "trade" ones) as our last Troop meeting. There are always some boys who are attracted to this sort of thing -- we promote it as 'old school manly'* sort of thing. We did Auto Repair one year on our church van. My son was so excited when he did plumbing when he got to solder a copper pipe --did it much better and neater than I ever had--that when I needed one done in a tight space in my house I let him do the job instead of me. He was 12 at the time and did great. 

 

I view these Merit Badges as trying to drum in most boys that someday they need to know they are capable of repairing things --or at least diagnosing-- instead of just calling a repair man. Most of our parents are profe$$ionals and while they seem like good lawyers, doctors, etc seem to have a minimum of practical skills. I like to pass on what my late dad gave me --he was an accountant who could debate you on the logic of Thomas Aquinas (though he was an atheist) while pulling a transmission over the weekend for a DIY overhaul. I am not as skilled as him but I learned enough rudimentary stuff by watching and being taught the simple stuff. 

 

 

*I realize lasses can be as handy as lads it's just that until this year we were marketing to boys.

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Agree with others, look to see if their neighbors, church, other scouts, friends need those repairs done.  tie service in to the MB, seems an easy solution. 

side note, I read (g) and "Made in china" :laugh:

Edited by Gwaihir
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On 11/30/2017 at 10:20 AM, Tampa Turtle said:

We just had a "promotional visit" on this Merit Badge (along with some of the related "trade" ones) as our last Troop meeting. There are always some boys who are attracted to this sort of thing -- we promote it as 'old school manly'* sort of thing. We did Auto Repair one year on our church van. My son was so excited when he did plumbing when he got to solder a copper pipe --did it much better and neater than I ever had--that when I needed one done in a tight space in my house I let him do the job instead of me. He was 12 at the time and did great. 

 

I view these Merit Badges as trying to drum in most boys that someday they need to know they are capable of repairing things --or at least diagnosing-- instead of just calling a repair man. Most of our parents are profe$$ionals and while they seem like good lawyers, doctors, etc seem to have a minimum of practical skills. I like to pass on what my late dad gave me --he was an accountant who could debate you on the logic of Thomas Aquinas (though he was an atheist) while pulling a transmission over the weekend for a DIY overhaul. I am not as skilled as him but I learned enough rudimentary stuff by watching and being taught the simple stuff. 

 

 

*I realize lasses can be as handy as lads it's just that until this year we were marketing to boys.

Home Repairs, imo, is one of the most important merit badges on the list.  You want to breed independence into a boy (or girl) let them fix their property. 

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  • 3 years later...

I'm a dad to a scout who crossed over this year from cub scouts and was considering being a merit badge counselor for this badge. In my opinion, this is a very useful badge to pursue for general life prep (the Arrow of Light related badge was also pretty handy to know). A couple of the possible projects though had me scratching my head on how the scout would perform these:

- Replace a pane of glass
The only windows I've come across recently have been double-paned sealed windows that the average homeowner wouldn't replace on their own. Maybe this project is more common with older houses having single-pane windows?

- Waterproof a basement

How in the world does a scout (or homeowner) waterproof their basement on their own? I'm envisioning a home builder installing drain tile and a sump pit system, along with waterproof sealant on the exterior of basement walls (before the ground is filled in around the basement). Could use some clarification on what is suggested by this one.

- Replace window blind cords / Repair or replace a window sash cord

Are these items that an individual can generally replace? I'm not aware of these cords just giving out, and if they did what you would do besides replacing the blinds.

- Reinforce a picture frame.

I've hung many a picture frame over my years, but I'm not sure what it means to reinforce a frame. Does this refer to frames that are falling apart?

---------

I was initially concerned that the project list is too limiting and reliant on the scout having access to items that are in need of repair, but the opening page does mention having some leeway on what can count (from the badge pamphlet):

Quote

"This book provides a good overview of home-repair projects, but it is by no means a complete reference. For some requirements, space does not permit going into construction details or listing all possible repair variations. Therefore, any new construction or installation or completion of a similar project (for example, any toilet repair or adjustment) qualifies as achieving the requirement so long as the Boy Scout understands and demonstrates the basic concepts involved"

 

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30 minutes ago, IndyDad said:

I'm a dad to a scout who crossed over this year from cub scouts and was considering being a merit badge counselor for this badge. In my opinion, this is a very useful badge to pursue for general life prep (the Arrow of Light related badge was also pretty handy to know). A couple of the possible projects though had me scratching my head on how the scout would perform these:

- Replace a pane of glass
The only windows I've come across recently have been double-paned sealed windows that the average homeowner wouldn't replace on their own. Maybe this project is more common with older houses having single-pane windows?

- Waterproof a basement

How in the world does a scout (or homeowner) waterproof their basement on their own? I'm envisioning a home builder installing drain tile and a sump pit system, along with waterproof sealant on the exterior of basement walls (before the ground is filled in around the basement). Could use some clarification on what is suggested by this one.

- Replace window blind cords / Repair or replace a window sash cord

Are these items that an individual can generally replace? I'm not aware of these cords just giving out, and if they did what you would do besides replacing the blinds.

- Reinforce a picture frame.

I've hung many a picture frame over my years, but I'm not sure what it means to reinforce a frame. Does this refer to frames that are falling apart?

---------

I was initially concerned that the project list is too limiting and reliant on the scout having access to items that are in need of repair, but the opening page does mention having some leeway on what can count (from the badge pamphlet):

 

  • Yes, the "replace a pane of glass" is definitely aimed at older homes.  But even in newer ones you'll still find single panes sometimes in garage service doors.  Or interior "french doors".
  • Waterproof Basement: I suspect they are talking about the more minimalist "paint-on" waterproofing products.  All you do for those is caulk holes and cracks, then paint on the waterproof barrier.
  • Yep, pull cords on blinds are definitely wear items for people with expensive blinds.  With cheap blinds, they may well be integrated and intended to just replace the whole unit.  And yes, window sash cords are definitely replaceable since they were typically just cotton fiber rope.  It's just that people almost never do replace them because as soon as they run into a window that doesn't open, they just replace the whole unit.  But that will vary by geographic area.  The payback on replacing with double hung windows is only a sure thing in Northern climates where winter will suck the heat out of your house.  In a more Southern climate, if you don't have A/C, there's not really any reason to have more than a single pane of glass.
  • The kinds of picture frames that need reinforcing are going to be the kind housing pictures in sizes upwards of 10"x12".  When you start talking about 50 year old 12"x18" family portraits and the like with reasonably ornate wood frames, eventually they'll need to be either reinforced or taken apart and re-glued and reassembled.  This could also be done on the more expensive wood poster frames or other artwork frames.
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@IndyDad, welcome to the forums. And, thanks in advance for all you do for the youth!

If you have a scout with a baseball, and an old house, you have needed a pane of glass replaced! Yes, blinds can be made/replaced/fitted/repaired to your house.  With old artwork, the paper backing can wear off of antique frames.  Waterproofing is often a matter of reshaping a lawn or cleaning out clogged drains. But, we've also had our kids digging and chinking!

If scouts do take you up on this badge, your are about to learn a lot of what a scout can do!

Some "new house" projects:

  • Run Cat-6 cable safely through a house to avoid tripping hazards, etc ... splice a connector on cable. .
  • Replace an outlet with wall-mounted USB ports.
  • Check the water temperature/pressure on the house main.
  • Install a wireless router, determine it's optimal location, tune it to avoid interference with neighbor's signals.
  • Install a rainwater collector. Test the quality of collected water and determine appropriate uses for it.
  • Safely replace incandescent fixtures with LED.
  • Install energy-saving timer switches.
  • Help program a "smart" thermostat.

That's what I like about this badge, there are lots of possibilities.

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Why do I have a hunch the person that wrote that list just wrote down what he had done in the past month. And the guy that wrote the paragraph about any repair had recently fixed a toilet. I'm doing window trim now so wood skills are high this month.

I'd say anything that is in the G2SS is okay. Have fun and just remember, only you know where the goobers are.

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