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Old 08-25-2011, 07:56 PM   #61
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My house's previous owner - DIY horror stories


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Originally Posted by pete0403 View Post
This made me laugh...

several minor things in the house we bought almost 2 years ago:

-The dishwasher drain was run straight down through the floor and a hole was drilled in the copper stack so the drain hose could be inserted and it was covered with mastic tape.
-several electrical boxes in the basement where connections were made outside the box for some reason
-both fluorescent lights in the basement were wired to the box with individual wires (gnd, neutral, hot) run separately without the sheilding.
-water meter was in backwards (utility's fault) I guess they thought the arrow points INTO the flow?
-Dishwasher supply line was run through an uninsulated cantilever with only 1/4" ply separating it from -20*C nights outside.
-Basement window in slab wall was insulated by a blanket taped to the wall
-aluminum circuit for the downstairs bathroom branched off the outlet for our kitchen fridge which is a copper circuit and a Cu only receptacle. (Reminds me, I still have to fix this *eek*)
-live armoured cable burried with no protection in the back yard to two aluminum sheds
-ceiling light box in our bedroom was protected from the insulation with a plastic grocery bag.
-Extension cord plugged into basement plug and run up through the floor for an electrical connection in the front closet
-the most horrible mess of spaghetti telephone wiring i've ever seen

The worst part: The home inspector missed all of the above.

Luckily I've fixed most of these things. Gonna install a proper outlet in the kitchen for that Al/Cu circuit this weekend to get me by until I rewire the bathroom.
Was the building inspector the previous owner?

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Old 08-27-2011, 08:49 AM   #62
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My house's previous owner - DIY horror stories


Im new here, but some of these experiences make me feel a bit better about my own situation. The only really serious goofiness is the electrical, and not even to create a new hazard. The house was built in 1959, so naturally it has no grounds anywhere. The panel has been updated to 200 amp service, likely when they bricked in the garage to make a living room. The only grounded outlets in the entire house is the 6 that was installed with the addition. The head scratcher is when I was checking things out. A few circuits were replaced some time ago with romex 12-2. Instead of spending the extra $5 on updated outlets, whoever changed the line stripped the ground wire out of the romex instead of grounding the new circuit. That was the bigger head scratcher.

The guy we bought the house from lived in it 20 years and never messed with the electrical (from the breaker panel), however he did remodel the bathroom, master bedroom, and kitchen. While he had the walls down he did replace the "daisy chains" with romex and actually connected the ground on a few of them, although the circuit itself is ungrounded. On 2 circuits he redid he just snipped the ground wire off, but did leave enough slack to strip and connect, so when I rewire this will be easier then having to fish "daisy chains". Of course when I do rewire I will change all the circuits to where they make sense so I dont know how much of a favor that really was lol.

The majority of other stuff include:
-No transition moldings on any surface changes. I have since installed for the living room to kitchen and laundry room to living room (ceramic to laminate on both). The hall and 2 bedrooms still have to be redone so I will wait on the rest.
-The crown moldings in the kitchen, bathroom, and master bedroom were all installed upside down.
-The vertical door frame molding around the laundry room door were too short, so he simply installed a shorter piece to make the distance to the floor.
-Instead of installing a door frame with door in the master bedroom, he installed a breezeway type frame. Not sure what his train of thought was here.
- The kitchen counter tops are ceramic, and has to be the most careless work I have ever seen. At the corner none of the tiles match up, every single last one is uneven.
- The sink was neither clamped or siliconed.
- When he redid the kitchen he took out the original window that went from kitchen to garage (now living room). This was sheetrocked in from kitchen side, but the hole was still present on living room side. His answer was to cut a piece of cement board and spackle it in. This is on paneling.
- All of the cabinets/ pantries in the house the previous owner custom built. My kitchen has no cabinet doors, not the sellers fault. He intended to add the cabinet doors and my real estate agent screwed me on that by taking it upon herself to give that up in an arguement with his agent over other stuff we wanted repaired. I didnt know this went on until the final inspection to make sure the other repairs were made, we decided to still buy as what it will cost to have these doors custom built was not worth walking out on a house in such a great neighborhood and the price we paid. The bathroom cabinets, bedroom closets do have doors though, but no knobs installed.
- Some doors have 1 piece of molding each that is not painted. No rhyme or reason to this either.
-
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:12 AM   #63
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My house's previous owner - DIY horror stories


We had a home inspection in December of last year. Naturally, with my luck, it snowed 7" that day. Wet, heavy stuff. Being a foreclosure, the water was off but strangely they left the boiler on.

Previous owner buried a gas line under the yard 30' to the garage. Terminated in the garage, no cap, no valve. Only valve is at the meter where the line tees off.

There is a 220 feed and subpanel in the garage, buried in conduit, all okay. BUT, everything in the garage was being powered by the original wire run, which was 2 runs of 12/2 romex buried 6" under the yard.

Pulled up nasty living room carpet to find the hardwood stops 12" in from the walls where it becomes OSB.

Plumbing is an odd mix of copper, abs, and galvanized. The washer, basement bathroom & shower, and laundry tub lack a proper vent.

They carpeted and paneled the basement walls over known foundation leaks. Yay mold! No sump pump/drain tiles.

Every junction box lacks any sort of cable clamp/protection, just romex running thru a raw metal hole (about 11 of them).

Holes drilled above every bedroom door to run cable, phone, and Ethernet cables. Holes in the plaster from wire staples.

Painted wallpaper. In every room. And the wallpaper is bubbled everywhere.

A main structural post in the center of the basement was removed to widen the path from the stairs to the laundry room. They put a screw column in about 3' back. You can actually see the beam sagging under the weight of 3 levels of stairs directly above it.

That's pretty much the worst thing I've found yet. While looking at the old coal cellar, we found this. Decided not to paint over it. Well wishing ghosts maybe...
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:00 PM   #64
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My house's previous owner - DIY horror stories


I feel your pain. I'm about 15 years into a similar situation. The house I bought was one of those that had a new owner about every 3 years........no one did a whole lot of maintenance........it was just a holdover house until something better came along. I had the same thing as you......exposed electrical boxes, old fuse box, knob and tube wiring, hacked up plumbing, just a complete mess. I'm just now tackling the roof which was looking bad 15 years ago! There is light at the end of the tunnel. If I can offer any advice it is this: Don't tackle every problem all at once, tackle one or two at a time & you will make some headway.
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Old 08-28-2011, 03:42 PM   #65
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Yep, one or two at a time. Heck that's overwhelming enough. The previous owners were basically kicked out and decided to stick a piece of wire in the toilet tank on the 2nd floor in such a manner that it would overflow the tank once the water was turned on. That was a surprise. It ran about 2 hours between when the utility guy left and me and my agent arrived. No serious damage, but allowed me to bargain another almost 10k off the price! Fine by me.

Would I buy this place again? Absolutely. Great neighborhood, quiet, nice people, everyone has dogs and is responsible with them. And like other folks on here found, the neighbors were totally thrilled to find out a young couple with kids was moving in, planning to stay, and fixing the house up. They've been great to us so far.
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:13 PM   #66
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That pic makes me want to paint my basement walls. There's something about gray painted cinder block that gives it that government secret secure location feeling. Just need a blue stripe or something.
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Old 08-28-2011, 06:02 PM   #67
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That pic makes me want to paint my basement walls. There's something about gray painted cinder block that gives it that government secret secure location feeling. Just need a blue stripe or something.
Well isn’t that the basement theme you’ve been looking for RS?
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Old 08-28-2011, 06:20 PM   #68
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Well isnít that the basement theme youíve been looking for RS?
Kinda, that's why I said that.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:05 PM   #69
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I'll try to find the 'before' pictures of the 2nd floor bedrooms. One was fluorescent lime green. No kidding. Over wallpaper of course. And the other was your classic 1960's hospital pale 'sterile' green. Oh lord was it awful. The living room was flesh toned and pretty dark at that. And the kitchen....wow. Top half was sponged on flesh tone over pale pink, then a 12" border featuring hopping bunnies. And the bottom half was a dark pinstriped green. Yurk! They even wallpapered/bordered every outlet/switch plate....7 of them.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:25 PM   #70
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My house's previous owner - DIY horror stories


My PO bought it as a foreclosure and did a lot of work to it. Some good and some not so good.

The electrical is a mess. Some knob and tube in the lighting circuits but so far it all works ok. Fortunately they wired the outlets to new grounded outlets. However, when we went to use the heat the first winter, no heat in middle bedrooms on floors 2 & 3. Found out they ran all the wires up the heating duct for those rooms. Had to re-run wires outside the duct and reattach it into the heating system. PITA.

The garbage disposal only works when the basement lights are on. This is newer wiring too so not sure what happened there.

Circuits are crazy. I have kitchen and basement and 3rd floor stuff on the same circuit.

Pulled 9 layers of roofing off the back lap roof. Can't wait to do the main one.

Kitchen has 3 inches of flooring built up in it. Some under cabinets and the last few layers not. Also, kitchen walls had plaster pulled off and then troweled with some sort mud or something and then painted. I would like to take it down to the brick but I'm afraid of the job. It seems like pretty hard stuff.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:20 PM   #71
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There's a few things that have made me go "huh?" or want to strangle the previous owner/s:

Caulk - they must have got some kind of special deal on it, because it was used EVERYWHERE for EVERYTHING. For example, there were holes in the wood in the stair treads. They didn't use wood putty to fill them though, no... caulk. Everywhere there's a hole, there's caulk.

We found a trowel (minus the handle) behind drywall, being used as a shim!

Everything in the bathroom must have come from a dumpster or something. The sink had a crack in it. The bathtub had a hole (which was high up, so okay for showering, but not baths!) and the toilet was cracked.

When renovating the 2 back bedrooms we found out why the floor seemed a bit uneven and spongy at the doorway where they meet. The joists had been replaced under 1 room up to where it meets the other, leaving the floor at 2 different heights. They cut small pieces of plywood and left them laying there, not screwed or nailed, just loose.

We also figured out why the AC wasn't working very well in those bedrooms. They drywalled over an open vent, so some of the air was going into the wall cavity.

The worst thing, though, is that they framed walls (it's an old house, originally just with brick walls and plaster, so doing this allows insulation and drywall) in most rooms but didn't seem to want to buy 2x4 longer than 8'. This is a bit of an issue when the ceilings are higher than that! So the studs are 8' (or less) 2x4 with a piece of 2x4 cut to make up the shortfall in distance to the ceiling, and sistered together. Surely just buying 10' 2x4 would have been easier?
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:46 PM   #72
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My house's previous owner - DIY horror stories


Here is another one, yes that's the roof inside the closet.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:43 PM   #73
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Funny thread! Over the years we've learned that:

* They 'fixed' the water-damaged and sagging subfloor in the kitchen by adding layers of 1/4" wallboard in between the floor/subfloor to make it flush.
* The self-installed shower in the 1/2 bath was never fully connected to the plumbing - the drain pipe was just propped up to the opening above - catching 1/2 the water from the shower.
* The mirrors that were permanently hung on the hallway wall and doors were there to hide holes - the one on the wall was there to hide a human-size opening that was cut to add in the poorly plumbed shower.
* Everything leaked: I've replaced 10 joists, over 50 studs and 200SF of subflooring due to water damage.
* The septic tank had collapsed and was 'covered over' by a few sheets of plywood - which rotted and fell in on itself.
* There were no P or S traps on the drains.
* Someone didn't have a clue to actually use CPVC glue on CPVC pipe.
* The builders of the home were lazy and couldn't measure, cut or hammer straight to save their lives
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:55 AM   #74
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As a result of my first rehab which had many of the issues we share. I told myself to always do a total gut and see behind every wall. This house although built in 2005 is just as bad or worse as my first project which was built in 1890.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:57 PM   #75
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Absolutely, Chris - that's my approach - down come the walls and if there's any issue - up comes the subfloor.

Even the ceiling, that too - I replaced all bits of the ceiling that had signs of water damage and I addressed the water damaged areas in the attic as well.

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