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Stuff People Who Don't Know %^@# Do to Houses
July 29, 2014
8:25 am
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Jenny Say Kwah
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 938
Snarking Since:
March 18, 2012

Our house is almost 150 years old, so right off the bat we have issues. There are two parts to our house: the original one-room, and the stone part that was built at the turn of the century. The stone part of the house is literally just stone, horse-hair, and plaster. No warmth in the winter AT ALL. When the two "houses" were connected, I guess it wasn't sealed or whatever where the roofs meet, because EVERY DAMN TIME that it rains, the stone that is visible from the inside (our entryway and downstairs bathroom) leaks and has water trickling down.

All the stairs in our house are about half as deep as they should be.idontknow

When indoor plumbing was added to the house, one of the bedrooms was converted to the bathroom. There is no fan, and whoever installed a tub put a horizontal drain in. I am not even kidding. What I used to think was a clog that no amount of Draino could clear is actually a long horizontal drain that evennnnnntually goes vertical. As long as I have been here, there has always been standing water. Always. 

The cabinets in the kitchen are not level (the entire frickin house isn't, but whatever), so my Kitchen Aid mixer has to be wedged under the lip of the uppers and that one spot is the only place it will fit. There was a floor vent that blew dust and cat hair up in the bowl until we redid the floor and positioned it sideways (so it would blow out and not up).

This is trivial and just "they didn't know $@%# about decorating" but every single room had a different type and color of carpet. Every single room also had a different type and color of floral wallpaper. The upstairs hot-mess of a bathroom still has both. But, that is our next project…PRAISE BE! party0006

July 29, 2014
9:16 am
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guspants
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 542
Snarking Since:
November 1, 2013

We've found a lot of WTF going on in our house and I'm sure we'll find a lot more. Luckily, most of it has been minor.

-Easy fixes like lack of electrical boxes for light fixtures.

-Previous owners put in new tile in the kitchen/dining/hallway but they applied the thinset directly to the subfloor. Almost all of the tiles are cracked and every time I sweep, a whole pile of grout ends up getting thrown away. We hate the tile anyway but can't afford to redo the floors for another couple of years. 

-Two of our deck posts are sitting on pavers, the other two are sitting on random pieces of wood in the ground which look like they are getting pretty rotten. We had planned on redoing the deck this fall but it's definitely going to be pushed back to next year cry

-Previous owners "fixed" a leaky toilet in the powder room by caulking around the bottom. We ripped out everything last year and there was a definite mold issue from where the water had been trapped. When we were pulling the tile out of there, everything was crumbling from the moisture. They hadn't lived there for 2 years so who knows how long it had been that way.

-Instead of removing wallpaper, they painted over it. We wouldn't even have known but a couple of seams popped.

PetoonyaPicklePuss said 
We went to dig up some grass for a flower bed and found out the wires to run electricity to our detached garage were buried about, oh, five inches deep.

 

We just discovered that ours are pretty shallow, too! It's not our garage, but we have a shed out back that has electrical run to it. We looked out one day to see the dogs digging something up and it turns out it's the electric for the shed and they only had to dig down about 2 inches to get to it. Luckily we stopped them before they could get it out or bite it. I'm not sure how far it's supposed to be buried but we're thinking we should probably dig it up and bury it further so the dogs don't get to it again. eek

July 29, 2014
9:25 am
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Resentment Rental
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 828
Snarking Since:
January 10, 2013

My favorite was when our contractor re-insulated a wall and told us that the wires inside of the wall were not grounded and just hanging inside of the walls. The outlets were not grounded either – just pushed through holes cut through the drywall and left like that.

Then there was the porch roof that didn't have flashing where the roof met the side of the house. The rain poured in unknown to us and caused a mildew problem.

Our house was built in 1880 and the parts there were not half-assed repaired and "upgraded" along the way are still the best parts!

ETA to add (this just happened last week): We were told that the deck outside of a second-floor door is simply nailed to the side of the house and the vertical supports holding the whole deck up and the joists are too small for code. Can't use it until it's fixed.

Now I'm going to stop because I'm getting ragey! angry

formerly "maude lebowski"
July 29, 2014
9:31 am
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KAS
Hamprince of Meowtonia
Meows: 7899
Snarking Since:
June 6, 2011

Our rental had all sorts of juryrigged lighting fixtures; the Verizon guy was horrified and asked my husband if we had gotten the place inspected before we bought it.  Not our house, but thanks!  My husband has had a great time tearing it all down.  Many of the rooms still have the original 50s wallpaper, but instead of bothering to take it down, somebody just painted over all of it, and not particularly neatly.  You can see the flowery patterns in some places near the edges.

July 29, 2014
9:44 am
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six figure salary skinny married marathon running lawyer
Feline Porklord
Meows: 1279
Snarking Since:
January 6, 2014

Ok, what is with people painting over wallpaper!? That is not ok!

In my parents' house, several rooms had painted over wallpaper, the worst of which was my brother's bedroom. Underneath the layer of painted over wallpaper was MORE WALLPAPER. Pretty sure my mom wanted to cry when she saw that. Also, whoever applied the wallpaper that wasn't painted over, didn't do so correctly and so it would come off the wall in pieces maybe the size of a potato chip (if you were lucky). And as this was the 80s/90s, so of course every room had wallpaper.

July 29, 2014
9:45 am
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ConstantEyeRoll
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 661
Snarking Since:
January 27, 2014

The main light in our kitchen was a ceiling fan, and we switching it to a hanging fixture- there were literally 12 wires all connected up in there. My poor father-in-law tried to switch the fixture for us and it ended up taking HOURS because sometimes the wires he would connect would make the strangest things happen. One one try, the light switch controlled power the garage/entire outside of the house. One time, we turned the switch on and it was running the garbage disposal. I have no clue who ghetto rigged all the electric work in our house.

 

Currently only ONE outlet in my kitchen is working. No clue why. (We have become good friends with our electrician)

July 29, 2014
9:58 am
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Swamp Walrus
Cat
Meows: 41
Snarking Since:
July 1, 2013

I own a 1978 patio home and I'm still in awe that my guest bathroom has carpet in it. That was fun when the the washing machine(located in the bathroom) overflowed a couple months back… soaked carpet and a reveal that they had just laid carpet over subfloor, so most of the wood around the toilet and bathtub is all rotted.

We also replaced the toilet up there and when we removed the old one the most gloriously tacky GOLD and teal METALIC wallpaper was behind it, which made us realize that the previous owners just painted right over the wallpaper.There's also an electrical outlet in a guest bedroom that if you wiggle it right when plugging something in, the closet light turns on.

 

But our goal this year is to fix up the first floor first, then deal with the upstairs issues.

July 29, 2014
10:19 am
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Chandy Supernova
Kitten
Meows: 4
Snarking Since:
July 14, 2014

six figure salary skinny married marathon running lawyer said

Ok, what is with people painting over wallpaper!? That is not ok!

In my parents' house, several rooms had painted over wallpaper, the worst of which was my brother's bedroom. Underneath the layer of painted over wallpaper was MORE WALLPAPER. Pretty sure my mom wanted to cry when she saw that. Also, whoever applied the wallpaper that wasn't painted over, didn't do so correctly and so it would come off the wall in pieces maybe the size of a potato chip (if you were lucky). And as this was the 80s/90s, so of course every room had wallpaper.

THIS!! We bought a 1940's rancher and we finally finished up the master bedroom. Three layers of wallpaper with a lovely coat of paint over the top of it all. It was like cutting down a tree and seeing the different rings for each decade. Hunter green paint covering oversized mauve and navy paisley wallpaper covering an avocado green floral motif wallpaper covering a light pink daisy patterned wallpaper. Can't wait to discover the cluster of WTF that is the master bath.

sfun_bananachaplin (I'm imagining the bananas are wielding crowbars for bathroom demolition)

July 29, 2014
10:58 am
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Liar liar, your vagina is on fire
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 305
Snarking Since:
April 18, 2014

Oh my god. I am so thankful we haven't discovered anything wrong with our current house. The only issue we have is caused by us. We installed a cat door through an exterior wall since we only have French doors leading outside. The caulk is only a year old but seems to be leaking..,. or the door is letting in water? When it storms badly we notice water on the bathroom floor. I think it's the caulk job. We used an expandable exterior caulk and I think it's crap. So I bought regular exterior silicone clear caulk so he can redo it but my husband hasn't gotten around to it yet, frustratingly. I might just attempt it myself to be honest. How hard can it be? And it's clear so it doesn't have to be perfect?

I don't mean to dog on my husband by that, he just started a new job. He's super OCD and his DIY skills are normally exceptional. But this was a weird project for sure!

The artist formerly known as Macrame Noose.
July 29, 2014
11:11 am
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fix it in post
Hamcat
Meows: 53
Snarking Since:
July 16, 2014

The previous owners of my house had their priories out of line.  Instead of fixing the structural damage to the home caused by termites, they installed an above ground pool and monstrous deck.  But whatever, I got a good deal on the house and fixing floor joists isn't that hard.  Too bad the pool went to shit during the foreclosure process.

Poorly done electrical is the scariest thing to me though.  I found some hidden junction boxes in behind the drywall, mixtures of knob and tube, aluminum and the rare appearance of copper.  The wiring was such a mess, we had to just terminate everything and start from scratch.  After seeing some evidence of fire damage in the attic, I'm glad I didn't turn that on.

Oh, and I have a whole floor of painted over wallpaper. Layers and layers of it.  I think they were using it to keep the plaster from falling.  That's evidence of laziness at it's finest. Though I figure if the people had cared for it I wouldn't have the chance to work on it so, thanks to the past owners for sucking!

July 29, 2014
11:18 am
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Broke Femur Thus Coma
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 250
Snarking Since:
August 17, 2012

My last house was a doozy. One day my sister came over to help me paint the guest bedroom. She stopped. She looked. She opened the closet door. She walked out of the room and came back in. 

Then she announced I had about four square feet unaccounted for. We started tapping on the walls; sure enough the area next to the closet sounded hollow, so we (incredibly foolishly) grabbed some hammers and started hacking into the drywall.

That's when we found the bathroom. Yep, someone had drywalled in a half bath. I called in a plumber, who said there was small problem with the drainage with the toilet and fixed it for a few hundred books. He guessed that the drainage problem caused the toilet to back up frequently, and instead of fixing it they simply closed up the bathroom. My dad helped me frame out a door, and so for less than $500 I gained a powder room. 

Also in that house I went to switch out a light fixture in the dining room and when I removed the fixture I was staring at an extension cord instead of a lightbox. Not being completely stupid, I called an electrician. That was a FAR more expensive fix. The house had an addition and some room shuffling at some point, and instead of moving the light box they just used a cord (IN THE CEILING).

I'd like to point out I had an FHA mortgage and that house had been inspected multiple times. 

July 29, 2014
11:30 am
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KAS
Hamprince of Meowtonia
Meows: 7899
Snarking Since:
June 6, 2011

hero home said 
That's when we found the bathroom. Yep, someone had drywalled in a half bath. I called in a plumber, who said there was small problem with the drainage with the toilet and fixed it for a few hundred books. He guessed that the drainage problem caused the toilet to back up frequently, and instead of fixing it they simply closed up the bathroom. My dad helped me frame out a door, and so for less than $500 I gained a powder room. 

eek This thread is worthwhile for this story alone.

July 29, 2014
11:39 am
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MurdererofDreams
Hamcat
Meows: 81
Snarking Since:
September 4, 2013

My house has an addition that was built in the early 90s. The original part was built in 1979. The addition has no insulation, which hey no big deal because it only contains the kitchen and the master bedroom/bathroom. There's no fan in the master bathroom. They added part of the addition as a second floor but they put it directly on top of the old roof so there's a f**kton of nearly unsable attic space. The air ducts and vents weren't actually connected to the air conditioner so the air was blowing up into the attic. We had to have that fixed right away. When the duct came by to look, he was so baffled. There are vents that are literally not connected to anything. The eletrical seems to functioning but I worry that it's a mess. There are two electrical boxes and one of them isn't labeled at all!angry



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