Road Sign Quiz for the Renovation-Minded
Take our quiz to find out if your home renovation has skewed your view of these seemingly straightforward road signs
Every time you drive a car, walk through an airport, or take a seat in a public space, your actions are guided by any number of signs telling you what to do. Or prohibiting you from doing whatever you're thinking about doing.
We got to thinking that anyone who's been through a home renovation might look a little more closely at those signs—and see slightly different meanings in their so-called universal symbols and abbreviations.
Just what do these familiar messages mean to you? Take our quiz to find out.
A) Stop ahead.
B) Leave all plumbing-related hardware here or regret it later.
C) Flooring project of a thousand hours begins with single tile.
D) Might as well start endless search for weird Allen wrench now.
B) Failure to remove ancient TV antenna may cause house to blow over.
C) Consider dialing it down a notch on festive holiday topiary.
D) You've just seen a fish carrying your T-square? Back away slowly from professional power tools.
A) Men's restroom.
B) Always double-check doorway measurements before sawing.
C) Murphy bed should be used only in lowered position.
D) Ignoring spouse's design suggestions may result in slow trip to China—in "economy container."
A) Caution: Radioactivity.
B) Caution: Ceiling fan may be larger than it appears on box. (Much, much larger.)
C) Caution: There's a reason electrical outlets from Bulgaria are so cheap.
D) Caution: Get hard quote on anything contractor offers to have "choppered in."
A) Approaching dangerous zone.
B) "There was a football game on, so I let the kids try their hand at hanging the wallpaper."
C) "Did you know that taxidermy purchases on eBay come with a bulk discount?"
D) "Ha ha, look Honey, the stud finder is pointing at me again! Hey, where are you going?"
A) International symbol for "Cashier."
B) International symbol for "Fixer-upper."
C) International symbol for "Let's just have it custom made."
D) International symbol for "Advise plumber beforehand of any missing exotic pets."
A) Danger: Poison
B) "I know one of these wires must be grounded, right?"
C) "Still trying to dig a hole for that blackberry bush or are you digging for Blackbeard's treasure?"
D) "Can we try an easier project next time—like reuniting Guns N' Roses?"
A) Alternate route.
B) "I want my new kitchen to include an A-level Thermador!"
C) "I want my new kitchen to serve anchovy, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches!"
D) "I want my new kitchen staffed by a security guard with a cockney accent."
A) No parking (except emergency vehicles).
B) No plastering (except master tradesmen).
C) No polygons (except Buckminster Fuller).
D) No purple (except Prince—and even then a little goes a long way).
B) Lefty loosey, righty tighty.
C) Use this handy kitchen-traffic pattern for optimum appliance placement.
D) If water in newly installed shower drain swirls counterclockwise, contact manufacturer or move to Australia.
A) Railroad crossing ahead.
B) Roof reshingling ahead.
C) Need for long-term-rental residence ahead.
D) Unflattering comparisons to Charlie Brown's rec room ahead.
A) Bump in road.
B) Nature's way of telling you it's time to convert garage to fourth bedroom.
C) What your paycheck will need once you've calculated cost of such a renovation.
D) Sound your forehead will make when striking your car's dashboard upon realization that, with three college tuitions on horizon, you'll be tackling job all by yourself.
B) Who wants to play "Guess what's clogging the bathroom sink?"
C) Who suggested crop circles as a low-maintenance landscaping element?
D) Who thought a porthole would give the front door "nautical flair"?
A) Pedestrian crossing.
B) If you discover you've been caulking the tub with toothpaste, a long walk may be in order.
C) Moonwalking on freshly varnished floors is permitted and recommended. (For best results, allow sealant to dry first.)
D) Should ambulation seem unduly difficult, check to see if sidewalk has hardened to "cement overshoe" state.
A) Smoking is prohibited.
B) Rubbing a yardstick to conjure metric-conversion genie is prohibited.
C) Installing brick chimney to give mobile home "cozy curb appeal" is prohibited.
D) Impulse to "accidentally" torch a gut job gone awry is understandable. But arson is prohibited.
B) "I do like fresh pizza, dear—I'm just not sure we need a brick oven."
C) "I do like igloos, dear—I'm just not sure they make very good toolsheds."
D) "I do like Machu Picchu, dear—I'm just not sure that 'lost city' is the right motif for the master bath."
A) Decrease speed.
B) Reaction time of average teenager conscripted to help hang drywall.
C) Word up on any project in which tile confronts gravitational forces.
D) Response time to contractor's question, "Whaddya t'ink of my estimate on dat kitchen reno—'s high?"
A) Vehicle is approaching four-way intersection.
B) Two-bedroom Cape is approaching need for major addition.
C) Shelf-building project is approaching Phillips-head-screw insanity.
D) Basement rewire is approaching point where couple of strips of electrical tape will have to do for now.
A) Conveying hazardous materials is strictly prohibited.
B) Using how-to manuals is strictly prohibited.
C) Carving "HI MOM!" into new kitchen countertop is strictly prohibited.
D) Humming James Taylor's version of "Handy Man" while working is strictly prohibited. (And, in some states, a felony.)
B) "Here's what I think of your brother's back-of-the-napkin floor plan."
C) "This handful of magic beans is sure to grow a sycamore before this weekend's garden party."
D) "Look! I found the perfect spot to store your precious shim collection."
A) No hitchhiking.
B) No slacking off via old I-hit-my-thumb-with-hammer trick.
C) No flipping a coin to decide who'll check septic system for leaks.
D) No asking Roger Ebert what he thinks of your new wainscoting.