worst mistake someone else made that you
I was watching Holmes on Homes on the Discovery home channel and for those who are not familiar, he basically fixes what another contractor has screwed up…
Anyway, I was wondering what horrors you guys have walked into picking up on someone elses mistakes?
To get the ball rolling, I recently had a call about a new sunroom that had lost all power. Seemed the contractor that started this job(and was fired from it for whatever reason) had elected to attatch the new copper wiring to old aluminum wiring with plain old yellow wire nuts, and the connection corroded and failed.
Another instance was where I was asked to raise an outside outlet prior to a deck installation. The person who did this original install elected to use an outdoor pvc box and just drill a hole in the back of the box to feed the wire in and just caulk the heck out of the bak of the box where it met the house as well as using caulk instead of a gasket for the cover plate!
Another job found me replacing the 14 guage wire that some joker had attatcked to a motion sensor light and fed into the attic. That would have been fine, except for the fact that all the wiring in this attic was 12 gauge… Thankfully he did not make any connections, just left the loop in the attic. I wondered if he would have done the right thing, or just gone ahead and connected the 12 and 14 gauge wires?
My best story though, involves a hair salon that lost power to most of their outlets after the Chinese contractors working in the nail salon next door fired nails into the wall and pierced a wire…Hmmmm…WOW
I'm not recalling anything really earth shattering, but a couple come to mind.
Saw a deck railing that the HO had said was loose. The ballusters were attached with finish nails and the posts attached to the joists with a couple of deck screws.
And a different HO, years later, as we stood in the back of her house, she's looking up at the ceiling saying well we started this months ago and I don't know if we should have removed that wall. I look up and see joist ends floating above me. Our daughter says her bedroom floor is really bouncy now.
Real trucks dont have sparkplugs
Worst mistake I had to fix was a roofing sub who droped a coil of nails down the vent stack of a house and didn't think to tell me about it. The home owner did tell me after he had the plumber snaked the line 1st in the masterbath, then in the flooded laundry room and finally into the flooded finished basement and pulled the well washed nails from the house trap. We did a lot of drywall repair and carpet removal on that one! Lesson learned: Do not use a vent stack as a shelf for your coil nails!
Do teenage sons driving into the garage wall count??
How 'bout a drunk one with the Hershey squirts flopping down onto the toilet so hard that he snaps the tank off the back...?
Welcome to the Taunton University of Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime. where ... Excellence is its own reward!
"Do teenage sons driving into the garage wall count"
I put a covered porch on the front of my house. The porch is at the end of the driveway. So when my electrican friend came out to do some work he couldn't figure out why I raise the 12" concrete footings for the porch 2' up.
I told him,"when my knuckle head kids learn to drive, I don't them taking out the porch!"
We canucks on this site have discussed Holmes on Homes a couple of times. He is in about his 4th season here and the first season or two are on sale on Home Depot on DVD. He makes up his own code, has extremely poor grammar (I'm not an english grad but I'm not on TV either), goes way overboard on pretty much every project, and always calls 3/4 inch quarter round "3/4 round". Now he is being exported to you guys, enjoy!
Have a good day eh!
P.S. We will trade you MIke Holmes for Jersey boys Bruce Springsteen or Miami Steve!
Edited 11/15/2006 10:11 pm ET by cliffy
He makes up his own code
Is he more strict?
yes- he always quotes minimum code and then builds up from it-(ie; 2x10s instead of 2x8s)
So, constructing STRONGER than minimum codes is a bad thing?
I didn't think so...
Glad to hear THAT!
Extra strong above code comes in handy during holidays and Super Bowl parties!
In my own house, I had to sister in a new full length floor joist where the original one was just cutaway and propped up with a vertical 2x4 on a brick ontop the sand crawlspace. Seems that the 1942 era masons who installed the original mid-house chimney felt the 2x4 would be plenty strong.
Same friend of mine that I mentioned earlier buys a house for herself.It was orginally built around 1955 and remudeled with an additon in the early 70's. My guess is that there was some other work before and afterwards.The previous owners had spend a lot of money to put in an interior basement drain system. But never fixed the real problem. External grading and drainage. Thus the basement wall had buckleted in over 4". She had to pay for engineering and addtional support to be installed before she could even close. The sellers would not go any lower to pay for fixing it, but she still got a real good deal on it.Then we started fixing up the place. The electrical was a mess.There was a circuit with 3/4 way switches in the basement and the basement garage. They ran 2 wire cable and a separate 3rd wire. That separate wire was run across the botton of the joist and was spliced at one. They had twisted it so hard that one of the wires had broken off. So twisted around the one bare end was a loop that went around about 1/2 turn with insulation on it and another 1/4 turn with bare wire. It made connection SOME OF THE TIME.One of the lights off that circuit was with lamp cord.Also in the garage one of the boxes used a plastic coffee can lid for a cover.There was a sub-panel in the garage for the addition. No romex connectors. Any relation between breaker size and wire size was purely accidental. Also found a couple of switched neutrals in the addtion.In the basement was cutting out some of the ceiling DW to run new circuits. Started hearing sizzling. Thought that we had cut a wire.So there was 3 pieces of Romex spliced with an egg size bundle of tape and under it the wires had about 1/2 twist. Found that it feed swtich box in the room above where the front door used to be. The box was just left hanging in the wall.
previous owner of my house put a lamp holder inside a coffee can with a puched hole in the side to feed a wire thru with no connector. wired it to and adjacent light slipping it under the fixtrure into the box and then just snugging up the fixture so not to pinch the wire. great stuff."it aint the work I mind,
It's the feeling of falling further behind."Bozini Latini
>>"So, constructing STRONGER than minimum codes is a bad thing?
I enjoy the show and have to admit part of what I like about it is how rabid dramatic he gets completely dissing some other guy's work. It's kindof funny.
A lot of the stuff he criticizes is legit. criticism. There are some pretty bone head screw ups that he fixes. Comical, most of it.
What's a little annoying sometimes is he criticizes stuff that is actually OK code wise. How would you like it if some joker walked through your work and decided that code wasn't good enough and jumped all over some little irrelevant detail that was code approved anyway? Oh, that's right, somebody already does that -- the dreaded home inspector. ;-)
Here's a true no joke example. He uses screws to connect framing and criticizes the use of nails as not good enough. What the f?! Oh, wait, do we have a couple of those here too? ;-)
"Let's get crack-a-lackin" --- Adam Carolla
Edited 11/16/2006 10:21 pm ET by philarenewal
Yes, I'm flipping right now between his show and the Leafs vs.the Bruins. I'm only half paying attention but he is cutting blocking for an I Joist floor
Have a good day
Are the episodes you get in Canada a full hour? The one's I see here (Long Island, NY) are 30 minutes and they seem like a LOT is edited away.
I does not bother me if Holmes "don't talk too good". That makes it more realistic. His side comments are sometimes pretty entertaining.
the half hour episodes you have seen are from his 1st couple seasons. I guess when the show became a hit , they increased the episodes to 1 hr. obviously when one films a whole job you gotta edit alot to fit 1/2 hour. the 1 hour shows do get alot more in...twice as much. :)
there is a different feel to the show in the latest season, I think in the way it is filmed and the widescreen format that I'm not as fond as. if you see them eventually you will know what I'm talking about, but will probaly have your own opinion.
I like Mike homes and what he stands for. what I don't like is that Home owners who watch the show sometimes now think they are experts from having watched the show and know it all. I'm all for greater education to the public as well as for my self and each other ( look at success of this furom and FHB)
Mike does have a few odd quircks. they not long ago had a handyman build off sompettion realty type show where each week someone was eliminated. Mike homes , Jim Carrok ( something or other) from another CDN show " Real Renos" as well as some lady I never heard of were the judges. In the final build Mike gave the one guy crap for not spaces is deck boards. The guy defended himself saying that in his experinece they always shrink, leaving big gaps. ( which I can attest to myself) Mike told him, that when they get wet they will expand, with the I'm Mike Holmes - I'm right attitude.
Mike also goes nuts with the screws, leading to discussions like one I started awhile back titled "howeowner likes screws" which some of you may remember.
overall though I "I like Mike" especially when you see some of the stuff people have gotten away with on some of these Home owners. I think he genuinely cares about these people, and has turned it into successful thing for himself - good for him
don't like his commercials though, "make it right" for coffee ....stick with the show.
Edited 11/19/2006 12:24 pm ET by alrightythen
The first seson or two were 30 minutes. The later episodes are 1 hour. I think this is his third season of 1 hour episodes.
Have a good day
What the hell does his grammar have to do with his competence in his trade? If you have been on this site you should know that quite a few of the posts are in the same category, [Me included]. Where did he make up his own code?, goes way overboard on most of his projects?. Give an example and we may have a discussion..............................................
"If all else fails, read the directions"
Ex-wife has a 1940-ish farmhouse. When stripping off crappy panelling on the dining room wall, she discovered that when the archway between the kitchen and dining room had been enlarged the previous owner had simply taken a sawzall to it and not bothered with a header.Dinner invite with her and daughter turned into "bring your ladder." Her comments on the previous owner's skills as an electrician cannot be repeated in front of a Marine DI, it would embarrass him.Leon
Ill keep it short and sweet:Push pins through romex above a drop ceiling.
You wrote to Cliffy: "What the hell does his grammar have to do with his competence in his trade? ..."Kind of a harsh post, don't you think? I hope Cliffy won't mind if I come to his defense a little here. If a tradesman doesn't seem to know how to use his tools properly, I begin to question his competence. When a man makes a living talking on the air or writing in a publication, then language is his tool. If he doesn't know how to use it properly and accurately, I think it is fair to criticize him for that.The guys writing in these forums are not professional communicators, so our grammatical errors are not important.BruceT
I don't think that Cliffy likes Holmes, I've watched the show and I have never seen an inability to communicate in a reasonable manner, I think that he is being picky. BTW quite a few of the posts on the forum are professionals, and just like me they don't know how to use proper grammer. I don't think that I was that harsh
Bruce said "professional communicators", not "professionals".I can see your perspective as well as Bruce's, and I think I have to side with Bruce on this one. If a contractor is just working on my house, I might care less about whether his grammar was A-student perfect. But if he goes on TV and wants to be taken seriously, there's another level of expectation. I've never seen Holmes On Homes, so I can't speak firsthand as to how good his English is.The same reason I can tolerate a level of colloquialisms and grammatical inaccuracies in our local TV/newspaper reports. If I were watching/reading the same thing on national news or a major print publication, I would have much higher standards...Disclaimer: Spelling and grammatical errors are a particular pet peeve of mine, so my opinion is shamelessly biased.
keep in mind, he is Canadian...Maybe there is some difference/idiosyncracies
The Grammar cannot be that bad or it would have been edited out.
I would have to agree. My former employer and friend, a multi-millionaire, made some rather terrible grammatical errrors. No big deal but when you are on the board of directors of a large bank, own a company that provides service to high $ clients in corporate jets it does not reflect very well. Side humor, when Pepsi was acquiring Pizza Hut, he offered the chairman of Pepsico a "coke", southern speak for generic soft drink, soda, pop in other regions.
Know a minister who makes many errors, and it detracts from the message. If your job is communicating you should get whatever help you can to resolve shortcomings like this. Then again my BIL calls me a "picky f*****". I guess attention to detail has it's price.
Thanks!Have a good day
I've been busy for a few days , but I'll try to answer.
I feel that grammar and language is an important part of the trade. (I highly dought Mike Holmes is a certified carpenter). We are skilled people who must be professional everyday, particularily when the owners are around. Just because alot of people in this industry smike on site and swear frequently, it is poor behavior. I'm not a TV host but I can string a few words together when necessary.
As far as making up his own code, I don't take notes when I watch the show but I'll give you two examples I remember.
1. I joists are good but they need blocking every 4 feet to meet code. (Or something similar to that)
2.You can't use 1/2 inch plywood on the roof, it doesn't meet code.
With the going overboard, just watch any episode. I have a friend who lives near Mike Holmes. Halton Hills Ontario. Word is on jis street ia that HOlmes and gang sue the former contractors to pay for their work so the homeowner isn't shelling out more cash.
***I think they do great work for people who really deserve to be treated fairly***
Have a good day.
I recall an early Holmes on Holmes 30 minute episode shown here where the floor joists (maybe I-joists?) flexed so much that the tile floor was cracking.
Does floor joist code change depending on the finish flooring?
Best I know the minimum is L/360 for deflection. Works pretty good for carpet if you don't mind a little bounce.
Code minimums don't equal good homes
Yes it does, my truss designer and supplier designs our floor packages. On each engineered drawing the areas with tile are shown. If the joists are at the maximum for span he requires that I cut down the spacing. (12" OC)
Not that I am aware of.
Have a good day
I watch Holmes on Homes all the time, I have never seen a show where he can't articulate enough to explain what he is proposing. I don't know what the code situation is in Ontario, but where I live in the USA they could be regional, [you have to know what code he is violating before you can say he is making up his own]. As far as filing a suit against the original contractor; in the USA I don't think you can do that unless you are an aggrieved party. Sorry that this post ends up as a continuous sentence, but I have a problem with computers and grammar. You have a nice day also.
Yes, of course, only the injured party -- the owner -- can sue. But they could pay the lawyers for the owner to make it happen. A friend of mine is an attorney specializing in defending contractors on construction defect suits, mostly commercial high rise stuff. He says there's a five year statute of limitations, so at four and a half years, those buildings get the fine tooth comb treatment, looking for anything wrong.
Yo Mr. Grammer, your speeling ain't so good.
I highly dought Mike Holmes
That would be doubt.
You might want to go over that post he wrote again. I think I saw 5 spelling errors.
That one reeeeeally stood out.
my spelling is great...
when I use spell check :)
Does that work now? Used to come out looking like Johnny had been at it.
yeah...I think they change how it worked awhile ago now.
I was going to say something but gunner would get on my azz about it.:o)
A loss to the Cowboys is like a pimple on your butt. Sure its annoying but it does'nt matter in the bigger scheme of things. -maverick
I'll meet you in grammar school!
Have a good day
My own screw up -- firing ring shanks into hardibacker to do a tub surround that was way behind schedule -- all pipes were clearly marked -- moving fast without paying any attention: bulls-eye into the copper shower pipe. Could not have done that if I was trying.
Another's screw up, standard bathroom stacked over kitchen; somebody enlarged kitchen; never changed bathroom framing above or compensated in kitchen framing below. My business partner and I were ripping out the kit. ceiling and see the old corner of the bathroom just there in mid air in the middle of the ceiling above. The old last joist and corner of the rim nailed together with nothing underneath. We both backed out of that kitchen slowly to get some shoring. To this day I have no idea what kept that entire bathroom from landing in the kitchen. ;-)
"Let's get crack-a-lackin" --- Adam Carolla
I have told the story here before of rebuilding a new house that a bank had taken away from the spec "contractor".He had windows in on the street dside and not the rear.The roof made for a decent trrampoline, built over spiced short sections of 2x8.Point loads settled over plywood subfloor onlyetc.....I tore it down to the top plate to re-build, added beams in the crawl space, blocked to point loads and built up from there.One of my favorite ones is a HO who thought he was a designer/architect.He boutght an old place here and told me he wanted to open a wall between a bedroom and a storage closet nearby. I told him it would not be possible. He never asked why, so I left it at that. We went on to other things....I heard the story later - he went in the small storage place wanting it to become a bathroom or walk-in closet for the bedroom, and fired up his wrecking bar on the wall. He ran into the back side of the brick fireplace htat is in the bedroom.gotta give the guy high marks for persistance though - he went tothe bedroom, scratched his head a time or two, and decided he could move over five feet and get a doorway through next to the fireplace. He fired up the wrecking bar again - aimed it at the plaster there, and ended up poking thru the exterior wall two stories up.His next move was wiser - "Call Paul to fix this mess"
Welcome to the Taunton University of Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime. where ... Excellence is its own reward!
It's called "Structural Paint" when it holds up a whole room like that.On my very first job as a helper, the carpet guy finished Friday night on the 1000 ft addition we'd just added. Monday morning was when we discovered 2" of water standing in entire wing--he'd put a nail into a bathroom water line set into the new slab. August in Texas. Not pleasant. I think they're all still in court: HO was a lawyer.Butch
Friend buys a 1943 house to remodel and flip.She THINGS that it only needs some paint and cleanup. Which is did.But she wanted to fix up the bathroom.Mechanically it was in "good shape". Relatively new furance/AC, copper pipes and ABS drain pipe. New breaker panel.But when they hooked up the drains to the sink and vanity they had used S traps and connected them into the new drain pipes.But she want to install a pedistal sink. Also want to install a washer in the basement and that required a basin pump and that required connecting a vent.So all those ment going into the wet wall and reconnecting to the orginal stack for the drains and also to connect up higher for the basin pump vent.The stack was CI and it connected with a rubber coupling to the ABS in the basement.After a couple of hours working I got the CI cut about 4ft from the floor. (It was close aginst a stud and the plaster on the other side so I could not use a snap cutter).But I could not get it out.Coupling was off the bottom. Finally two of us pulling, twisting, and hanking it started to move.What they had done was to install a reduce on the top of the ABS in the basement and went down to a 2" pipe that was stuck up in the CI stack about 2 ft. The area between that pipe and the CI was solid full of rust.Few other electrical problems. Some of the 20 circuit had been extended with #14.When the furnace/AC was added they ran #12-2 to the AC (which was big enough, but had a 30 amp breaker instead of 25) and they tapped off for the furance with the neutral connected to the ground.And all of the receptacles and switches where covered with 4 layers of paint and 1/8" of tocabo tar so they where replaced. Since the color was bad on the insulation I went and verified that the hot/neutral was good on all of the recpectacles after I got done.Turn out one circuit had been spliced in the basement to extend it the connections where backwards.
I built and installed three 40' long by 2' deep plywood over 2x4 framed shelves for K-Mart once. The original units, built and installed by another contractor, had cascaded off the block wall after being loaded with returned electronic equipment.
The other guy had used lead anchors and 1/4/20 bolts with 1/4' washers to attach the shelves to the block. Every anchor was in a bed joint that had horizontal reinforcing in it. I don't think any of them were every set, just poked in the hole andthe bolts run in.
Do you have any idea how many returned stereos, tv, microwaves, etc. you can get on 120' of 2' deep shelving? His insurance paid big time.
I was so nervous about my rebuild that I put three men on the bottom shelf after we installed it, and had them jump up and down. Those shelves were still in use ten years later when the store went through a complete renovation.
Last year just about this time I was asked to install a kitchen and do some trim. I went to look at it when the sheetrock was being hung. The owner said she had a good sheetrocker. The entire room and walls did not have a whole sheet on them. It was all patched together with assorted small pieces like 16"x24", 18"x40", 10"x10", it looked like a quilt. In some places they removed the old drywall but in others they just went over it, on the same wall. There wasn't one screw in straight and judging from the pattern, most of them didn't hit anything but air. Extension jambs on the windows tapered an 1 1/2" from top to bottom and side to side. There was also a 4" waste pipe right in the corner where the cabinets would go, right out from the wall a good 8", like a fireman's pole. "Do you think you could cut the cabinets around the pipe", she said. She was surprised when I told her she had to fire those people right away before they went any further. Not only did they not know how to hang rock, I don't think they'd ever seen it hung. If I hadn't known the owner, I would have walked/run out laughing.
Beat it to fit / Paint it to match
Just went to look at a house yesterday that was lifted, remodeled and rocked already.
Owner acted as general. Nice guy. Poor guy.
9' walls an inch and a quarter out of plumb, windows in same room with heads 3" out of alignment. Soffits way out of square.
Ripped off a piece of cornerbead and the mud on one side was 3/4" thick.
They want me to straighten out critical areas. Where do you begin? and end?
Told them I would help out, but I needed specific tasks, not an unending project.
Trust in God, but row away from the rocks.
I helped my friend once who was renovating the bathroom in his condo. He called me because he noticed after he removed all the tile and plaster that the cast iron tub seemed to bounce.
I discovered the plumbers handywork. There was one joist under the tub, and it had been notched along most of its length from a 2 x 8 to about a 2 x 4. Oh, and it was only supported on one end, the other had been cut completely free of it's support.
Lucky thing they only took showers.
Never under estimate the power of finishes like tile, and plaster to hold things in place.
Not quite according to the topic, but I did spend a day helping some friends-of-a-friend who were building a greenhouse/atrium for a local "green building" cooperative. The day was special because the cooperative was holding a workshop for DIYs to learn the fine points.First thing I noticed was that the rafters were bearing on a single plate above a patio door along 6 or 7 feet of the exterior. I quietly expressed my concerns to the crew, and never said a word to the HO or the workshop attendees. Left feeling pretty conflicted about the whole thing.“Expectation strolls through the spacious fields of Time towards Opportunity.”
Umberto Eco, The Island of the Day Before
Many years ago a client, owner of a condo, asked me to look into a problem the association had with a new roof. When I looked at it, it was apparent that the two roofers had started on opposite ends of the roof and somehow the guy on the left installed one more course than the guy on the right. I wish I had a picture, but it wasn't pretty in the middle. Apparently when they met in the middle and saw the problem, their "fix" was that they sort of blended them together so that one course sort of died into the other. What was really astounding was that they expected that no one would notice. You could have seen it from the Space Shuttle.
Hmmm ..... Maybe add a dormer? ;-)
*Trim nail thru the pocket door (or sash rope) -a classic!
*bath vent terminates under kitchen window - Niiiiice.
*115v tablesaw plugged in to 220 outlet -"Riverdance", anyone?
*open 5 gal. paint tarp yank -fun for all.
*circ saw depth change/carpet cut - ....okay that was me.
The best one happened on one of my first jobs. Loading materials into my friend's volvo station wagon, we had a disagreement. I didn't want to ride with a pressure treated 4x4 pushing against my shoulder, he didn't want to spend time tying it to the roof. I said we'd still have to tie the hatch in back, to keep it from bouncing. He felt that the door would close if we put the front end on the dashboard.
To my surprise, the four by four fit almost perfectly.
"See?" My friend said, and gave the rear door a confident shove to close it. Sure enough, it closed all the way. At the same instant both the front AND back glass exploded like two NBA backboards. There was a puzzled hush in the Home Depot parking lot as we processed the new turn of events.
"Well, let's go." I said. We put on our sunglasses and drove to work in crunchy, windy silence.
Edited 11/16/2006 3:11 pm ET by saulgood
That last one might make the "Great Moments" section in FHB.
You win! That made me laugh the hardest! Talk about where is a video camera when you need one?
early in my career when I thought nail plates were an unnecessary expence, I ran a base board nail through a water pipe. now I'm pissed because it's my last day and behind on time, didn't have my sweating tools with me etc........got my tools, open the wall, stuffed the insulation up into the cavity and began to solder the pipe. well I guess I didn't stuff the insulation up far enough....ever see how fast fiberglass insulation can burn...ever see how fast it can burn when the water is turned off??? ever see two maniacs ripping the drywall off to get at the insulation??? ever grab burning fiberglass insulation with your bare hand??? DON'T!!!! get the picture..... glad I was working for someone else then and not on my own.
Saw a guy do that in the HD parking lot. He had a pickup with a cap. Threw in some lumber thru the opened back window, slammed the window closed, and left behind a pile of glass. It took ten minutes to stop laughing.
"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." Invictus, by Henley.
Regarding the auto glass... I've seen the same exact thing, except with a surfboard... Knarley.
No matter how you angle it a wavesport frankenstien (old whitewater kayak) wont fit into a toyota landcruiser either.
glad it wasnt mine.
had a buddy slide his boat through the front window of my cap. bummer.
I was pizzed off one day, threw the caulk gun in tha back of the pick up.....right thru the back cap window and the sliding glass cab window. drove around all winter with no window to cure myself of throwing things when I am mad. It worked.but don't try it."it aint the work I mind,
It's the feeling of falling further behind."Bozini Latini
that is the best story i have heard in awhile.. .. partly the way you told it.. loading a volvo.. in a home depot parking lot.. its all classic.. absoluly love it.. thankshttp://www.thesmallbuildingcompany.com
"Well, let's go." I said. We put on our sunglasses and drove to work in crunchy, windy silence. "
Scared my dog (who was asleep at my feet) half to death with my cackling.
Thanks for the laugh.
how does a front windshield "explode"? It is made of laminated glass, not tempered like the rear.
>"how does a front windshield "explode"? It is made of laminated glass, not tempered like the rear"-The same way your head will explode if you read things too literally.Good point, though. I should have said that the back window exploded like an NBA backboard while the front exploded like a laminated NBA backboard. M'kay?
Mkay champ- Though you might be asp backwards...I did in the windshied of my van with a 14' 2x4. It just fit in from the top of the dash to the rear door- until I slamed the rear door saying, "I saved some time not having to tie that on the rack.."
disolves is probably more accurate, irregardless, it totaly dissapears immediatley
I did the same thing, but with top rail for chain link fence, and front windshield of a Mercedes wagon. My 10 year old son was highly amused.
I remodeled a house in East Tawas, MI and noticed that it had the old knob and tube wiring. On further inspection it was found the someone figured that a neutral wire did not have to be run because all you had to do was use the steel and copper water lines for this purpose, a pipe clamp and you got your neutral. There were no grounded plugs. Called in my electrician to convince the home owner that there was a problem. Got it fixed, new survice and rewired the house. Best Regards, Dale Buchanan. Have a Great Day
Aaaaah....rewiring...18 gauge brown lamp cord spliced into Romex with black tape in the walls is one I've seen many times.Knob & tube buried under insulation also a common one. The worst one of these I had was one where the HO insisted that the know & tube was safer than Romex because you couldn't short it out since the lines were so far apart. While that may have been true to some degree, the 30 AMP breaker on the cellulose-insulation-covered knob & tube line that he ran over half of the occupied rooms in the house from was a bit of a safety concern. Voltage drop anyone? When it was demonstrated that only 97-100 volts was available on that circuit when under the usual load, he was finally convinced it needed to be replaced.I recently discovered that the genius that wired the house I live in wired it "commercial style" with single strand wires in EMT conduit, using the conduit as the ground conductor. And some of the conduit clamping screws were loose. Bad grounding aside, when you run 4 20A circuits with a common #10 neutral in a home environment, I consider that to be a bad idea. Needless to say, I'm replacing each circuit as soon as I can.Another good one that many people would overlook is an ungrounded telephone service entry. There's nothing like losing 3 expensive cordless phone bases during one summer to lighting. Although, I must note that under the voltage of lightning, laminated counter-tops conduct electricity very well. Each of the base stations arced into the countertop.
Trying to get a commercial building in town ready to lease. Used to be a florist shop and now going to be a Credit Union. One restroom had a wall mount sink that had a jaunty downward tilt. Tried to tighten up screws and got nowhere. Took it off, bracket attached with the screw-in drywall anchors and the back glued to dw with construction adhesive. Wall now cut open and blocking being installed.
Other side of building had two outside receptacles in nice metal boxes fed by sj cord and run through wall into room and plugged into receptacle. Gutted box and removed all wire.
I recently tore out a kitchen stove chimney that was unused for a good 30 years or more. About 6" below the flue inlet, I ran into what I thought was sand. It turned out that from the time that chimney was installed in the wonderful year of 1885 (on a second floor with 2x8 native timber supporting its full 16' height) it had never been cleaned out. There wasn't even a cleanout installed in it. I ended up shoveling out 6' of ash.
In the same house, behind another chimney of identical construction, the fronts of the two studs behind it were burnt off for the first 1/2".
My former neighbor was helping her "friend" convert his attic into living space. They accomplished this by cutting out all of the webbing in the manufactured trusses to make more room. I always wanted to know where that house was so I could watch the roof sag.
She went to Home Depot with this guy, they went different ways in the store to get what they needed. When she came out to the parking lot, she found her car surrounded by Home Depot employees and an expensive grill. Turns out her buddy had walked out of the store without paying for this grill, but when he discovered her car was locked, he was at a loss. So he just left it there and walked off, leaving her to explain.
Lets see, where do I start. This circa:1680 house. When I moved in there was a berm that the people (the significant other was a contractor!)before me put about six feet across the front of the house...maybe 2 1/2' high that they planted shrubs and flowers around and on top of. Needless to say all the rains were trapped between that and the house totally rotting out the old sill plates...BADLY! I fixed it.
There were some old windows in the rear of the house (you can see it in my website below) that were moved from somewhere and installed where it was when I bought this place. They removed all the studs from that wall and installed the three windows. Only problem was,,they only put studs (and single studs to boot with no jacks) on each side of the now triple window with NO header! The entire house was leaning and falling when I bought this place and no one knew why until I started probeing.
I braced the house up and removed the windows, installed three lam beams bolted together with columns below. I ended up building out from there leaving it open and moving the three windows into the new addition directly opposite from where it was originally.
There were so many structual things removed or cut into it was shocking that this place didn't cave in...the list goes on and on and on...
I'm 98% finished : )
I'm 98% finished : )
Good luck, man - that last 2% is a killer!
The following is not the worst mistake I find but one of the most common. About 3/4 of the time, I've seen the bottom edge of storm window tightly sealed to the wooden sill, causing the latter to hold water and rot. Most of these have weep holes at the bottom to drain whatever gets. But whoever installed them ran 1/2" gobs of caulk in there to make sure of no leaks (in or out).
Or sealed them in while "painting" with the storm window in place...
"Work is the curse of the drinking classes."Oscar Wilde
I was working for a kitchen dealership as an installer at the time. Often after getting through a day of deliveries (every thursday 3 - 4 jobs got delivered). always felt it in by back. friend of mine was a massage therapist and offered a massage for echange of adding a couple shelves in her store just as christmas was approaching. Gladly said ok. plugged in my saw a click.. lights tripped off. looked for a gfi, couldn't find it, no breakers tripped. I called an electrician, he came, he looked in the drop cieling, he said I'm not touching a thing up there, it's a liability to my liscence. Called another electrician, same thing. I was stuck, the woman who owned the store was freaking out. a day and a half later I convinced another electrician to get it up and running. promised "never saw him there". Never gat a massage again.
"it aint the work I mind,
It's the feeling of falling further behind."
One I'm bidding right now: original exterior stairs were built with a 5 1/2" rise and a 5 1/2" run. You can't walk downstairs with your feet facing forward - you have to angle them!
"...never charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it, too" - Mark Twain
built with a 5 1/2" rise and a 5 1/2" run.
Must have had a sale on 2x6's.
"When asked if you can do something, tell'em "Why certainly I can", then get busy and find a way to do it." T. Roosevelt
Probably safer to walk down backwards! Buic
The job was to install a nat. gas water heater. The furnance was installed a year and a half earlier by others, when the flue pipe was removed from concrete block wall to make room for larger pipe there was only a hole in the block wall. On the outside wall there was a brick chimney with another hole. I reached up, felt the top of the wall, the 2x6 plate on 8 inch block wall left a large gap only two block above the pipe. Called the HO at his business, he couldn't believe it either, this room ajoined his finnished basement the family had spent alot of time down there. The Fix was a big enough hole in the masonary to accomadate stainless flex pipe to the new chimney cap.