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Stuff People Who Don't Know %^@# Do to Houses
July 29, 2014
11:43 am
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retail detritus
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 670
Snarking Since:
June 26, 2012

I owned a condo built in the 1970s, so mostly the big things were fine, but some small stuff was crazy. The kitchen was enclosed and the previous own cut a pass through and framed it out with what looked like 2x6s cut with a chainsaw. We decided to remove the pass through area and install a breakfast bar. It was then that we discovered that the wall wasn't drywall, it was panelling. That bad 70s panelling with the grooves cut into so it looks like wood? They filled in the grooves with spackle and painted. Before that I didn't realize why all the corners in the kitchen and foyer were covered in molding or filled with quarterround. 

When we decided to solve that, we didn't do a great job either, putting thin drywall over it and properly taping and mudding the corners. When doing that we discovered the the previous owner had hung the door frames improperly leaving huge gaps where the trim wasn't attached to anything but rather stuck to what had to be dozens of tubes caulk used to fill gaps. 

Also, we had 3 panel folding doors installed upside down and upper cabinets installed in the bathroom over the mirrow (that owner must have been really short). 

My new house has no real problems, except that the guy hung all of his pictures with sheet metal screws. HUGE holes when we took out the 8 billion screws.

July 29, 2014
12:12 pm
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Sanctimony and Snark
Cat
Meows: 35
Snarking Since:
August 27, 2013

Oh, I'm forgetting the joy that is having one living room outlet hooked up to the same circuit as the dishwasher.  Which is in the kitchen.  My dad advised not running both at the same time…

 

Let's see, what else.  Not a problem with the construction but when we moved in, we discovered the cast iron drainpipe to the outside (thankfully grey water) had completely rusted through in parts, so every time we used the sink, it all leaked into my already-leaky basement.

 

Some genius decided that they didn't want an outside faucet anymore (or maybe it froze?) and just sawed the pipe off at the foundation wall.  

 

And nothing has electrical boxes to hold up overhead lights.

 

I've actually loved seeing the old 1920s wallpapers where they show under the old dropped ceiling and nasty 1970s paneling that will eventually come down when we have the money to fix/re-drywall the walls underneath them!  One is quite a cool white dot-and-bow swag on dark gray/blue/black (can't quite tell) that I've never seen anywhere else.

July 29, 2014
1:31 pm
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RegionalThing
Hamcat
Meows: 104
Snarking Since:
May 16, 2014

my house had:
*no venting in the attic so the insulation was getting moldy
*some doors hung upside down on kitchen cabinets

*door fronts in the kitchen were all hung upside down

*drawers that cannot open because of the placement of appliances

*island placed too close to the wall by about 8 inches. Just enough for the dishwasher to open.
*laminate floors in the bathroom. The boards were starting to warp and we’re lucky the subfloor wasn’t rotted from the moisture.
*not to code half bath that is so small the toilet seat touches the wall and the vanity was never anchored.

*wires in the stove held together with duct tape

*the lazy $%$ must’ve though that because they were a no shoe home they were exempt form cleaning the floors.  Everything else was clean and maintained but the floors were never more than swept or vacuumed.  Their realtor paid for a service to come do the floors but only because the family had barely started packing when we took possession.

But the neighborhood is great and the huscat knows how to do stuff. My new bathrooms are lovely, the insulation should be blown in soon, new appliances were delivered within 3 weeks (thanks home warranty!) and the cabinet doors have been rehung until we save for a full gut job.

I painted over wallpaper in my old house. chair Started peeling it and the drywall came off so we painted it as a temporary fix planning to get back to it.  8 years later (during which time we redid the bathroom, kitchen, floors, HVAC, roof, windows, expanded the patio and beautifully landscaped the lot) and it still looked fine so fine we forgot about it.  The new owner emailed to ask about it since her painter pointed it out.  It’s only 8 feet of hallway so she decided to leave it.  There are worse things.

July 29, 2014
3:02 pm
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MarionRavenwood
Cat
Meows: 24
Snarking Since:
January 30, 2014

My landlord couldn't figure out why the wall light switch didn't turn on the overhead light. To "fix" it, he changed the light switch to a blank plate cover and converted the ceiling light to a pull string. It's a good thing I'm tall because no one under 5'6" would be able to turn that thing on. The pull chain has broken twice. He tried to make it longer one time by tying a fabric ribbon on to it. I'm convinced that someday that light will come crashing down because it gets more wobbly each time you use it. And who knows where the wires from the abandoned wall switch actually go. others-221

July 29, 2014
3:22 pm
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LifestyleBlog
Kitten
Meows: 6
Snarking Since:
April 24, 2014

We learned when our furnace stopped working that the previous homeowners had put epoxy over a huge crack in the furnace; and that we could have died from carbon monoxide leaking from the crack.

 

They also reversed all of the hot/cold faucets (maybe it's a regional thing).

July 29, 2014
3:46 pm
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MarionRavenwood
Cat
Meows: 24
Snarking Since:
January 30, 2014

Oh, remembered another great landlord move. He told us before we moved in that he was going to be cleaning and re-sealing the wood floors – great! Except he did a shit job prepping it and sealing it, so on hot days strips of polyurethane actually stick to the bottoms of our feet and peel up from the floor.  When he told him about it he answered with, "well that's weird."

July 29, 2014
6:05 pm
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Listy Mcf**kingListerson
Hamcat
Meows: 54
Snarking Since:
April 21, 2014

The lightbulbs on our garage door opener thing are held on with duct tape. But hey, no biggie, they don't work anyway. And I'm afraid of finding out how bad the wiring situation in my kitchen really is…there are 8 recessed lights in the ceiling, and bulbs in them blow out within a few weeks of replacing them. Somethin' ain't right there.

July 29, 2014
7:49 pm
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The 20th Duggar
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 755
Snarking Since:
February 10, 2014

I totally want to find an extra powder room behind my wall! I always worry about finding human bones (never have), but a hidden bathroom would be so much better for property values.

July 29, 2014
8:04 pm
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Anonymous Designer
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 452
Snarking Since:
July 23, 2013

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.

OMG yes! We have painted over wallpaper in our laundry room which gets steamy when drying clothes (no fan) and now the wallpaper is bubbling up below the paint … Um now what? Ugh….angry

July 30, 2014
2:59 am
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otterpop
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 320
Snarking Since:
December 9, 2013

The previous owner of our first house wanted to make a doggie door… but instead of putting it in her door, she cut a hole directly in the brick exterior, through the wall into the house. All of the bricks above the doggie door started shifting and created what looked like a massive crack in the house from the exterior. Luckily she left a stack of extra bricks in the back yard, so when we had the mason come repair her mess, at least we had a pile of perfectly matching brick for him to work with.

July 30, 2014
3:58 am
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Matching Adult Sized Care Bear Undies
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 961
Snarking Since:
March 6, 2013

hero home said

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. 

This made me lose my breath for a moment. WOW. eek

And MarionRavenwood, you poor thing!! I hope all goes well with your move. You've earned some smooth sailing for a while! hugggg

I don't have much to add to this thread which I guess is good, but after 8 years I still feel guilt that I painted my old house's kitchen cabinets without sanding or priming, and with a regular roller so there were little hairs all over it. That was right before we moved. I'm sure it started looking like shit in a short time. I just didn't know what I was doing.

I guess my biggest wtf moment had to do with buying our first house not diy. At the closing the lady said she & her family needed more time to pack & get their stuff out and would we be so kind to let them live there for one more week. We were young naive first time home owners so we said uhh…ok. We had our apartment through the end of the month so we didn't *have* to move that day, but in my area it's pretty customary to move in directly after closing.

Anyway, we said fine, but we had to start moving boxes in because we were so eager to move. So for a week we and this other family had joint access to the (OUR) house. We had a little corner of the dining room where we piled up our stuff, out of the way of their chaos as they finished packing up. It was really awkward. Looking back, people have said we should have charged them rent for that week. But they were staying in the community and it's a small town, so we didn't want to create bad blood.

The funny part is, that family is a twice per year attendee at our church and a couple of times I tried to say hi to the mom and she was not friendly to me. Either she didn't remember me, or she's just a jerk.

Cheetah will let her displeasure be known.
July 30, 2014
4:20 am
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English Butcher Shop

LifestyleBlog said

They also reversed all of the hot/cold faucets (maybe it's a regional thing).

We've got reversed taps in our place too, very puzzling. The owners of our place are Spanish, I assume they preferred it? All our plumbing is DIY and pretty wacky.

We have an inside toilet (glory be!) and it backs onto the wall where the former outside toilet was – the structure is just outside and we use it as a shed. The waste pipe of the toilet runs through the wall and outside to the old toilet waste – it just joins on there. They didn't give any consideration to the slope of the pipe either so a good, hearty flush or two is required for anything to successfully clear the U bend. Total waste of water, plus sometimes something returns for a visit if you know what I mean.

July 30, 2014
7:57 am
avatar
MarionRavenwood
Cat
Meows: 24
Snarking Since:
January 30, 2014

Matching Adult Sized Care Bear Undies said

And MarionRavenwood, you poor thing!! I hope all goes well with your move. You've earned some smooth sailing for a while! hugggg

I don't have much to add to this thread which I guess is good, but after 8 years I still feel guilt that I painted my old house's kitchen cabinets without sanding or priming, and with a regular roller so there were little hairs all over it. That was right before we moved. I'm sure it started looking like shit in a short time. I just didn't know what I was doing.

I guess my biggest wtf moment had to do with buying our first house not diy. At the closing the lady said she & her family needed more time to pack & get their stuff out and would we be so kind to let them live there for one more week. We were young naive first time home owners so we said uhh…ok. We had our apartment through the end of the month so we didn't *have* to move that day, but in my area it's pretty customary to move in directly after closing.

Anyway, we said fine, but we had to start moving boxes in because we were so eager to move. So for a week we and this other family had joint access to the (OUR) house. We had a little corner of the dining room where we piled up our stuff, out of the way of their chaos as they finished packing up. It was really awkward. Looking back, people have said we should have charged them rent for that week. But they were staying in the community and it's a small town, so we didn't want to create bad blood.

The funny part is, that family is a twice per year attendee at our church and a couple of times I tried to say hi to the mom and she was not friendly to me. Either she didn't remember me, or she's just a jerk.

Thanks Care Bear! We're doing our final walk through today! We were supposed to close on the 18th, but the family decided to schedule their furniture sale for the 26th. I'm crossing my fingers house is empty when we go over there this afternoon.



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