Why did they do that?

robo (z6a)October 23, 2013

Is anyone interesting in a game of "why did they do that?" - the most puzzling stuff you had to fix after you moved in to a home?

This is mine - the master ensuite, about 4'8" x 7'.

This was part of an enormous reno by the previous owners, but I think they came up with this plan all by themselves (the rest of the master is 19x12, don't know why the bath ended up so tiny):

The jog behind neo angle shower was empty and served no purpose.

After the shower started pouring buckets into our living room, I gutted and redid:

Any head scratchers at your house?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

I have an interior closet door repurposed as an exterior door from garage to back yard. I understand frugality and using a door you had and the garage isn't really an insulated place and it does work just fine. The part I don't get is that this previously used door (with pocket door hardware still there) is not even from this house.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Probably scavenged materials in an existing closet space.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 8:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wish I could find an digital picture of the well system from my first house. From the span the main water line entered the house to the first run there were 41, yes, 41 elbows. Needless to say there was not a lot of water pressure. A friend mine helped me to put in the new system and had 7 elbows in the same space. :)

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 9:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

1959 midcentury modern - not exactly something known for large bedrooms or huge closets. When the previous owners added on to the house they eliminated:

A bedroom closet
A hall linen closet
A built in hamper from a full bathroom
12 inches from bedroom #3

All to add... a hallway to the new master bedroom. Brilliant. An afternoon spent adding a doorway between the master bedroom and family room took care of part of it. Later I'll rebuild what's no longer there.

They also eliminated the light above the front porch, but were thoughtful enough to leave its switch and wiring intact, unprotected and buried under insulation in the attic.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robo (z6a)

My parents just moved into a house where the home inspection could have been on Holmes Inspection Nightmares. They've had at least $6K+ of electrical work done in the past two weeks to fix the previous homeowners' DIY jobs, NONE of which the inspector picked up -- including the unprotected splices hanging out in the kitchen cupboards for the microwave and under counter lighting. Oh, and random wires the homeowner just cut between gfci receptacles. Guess he was tired of them tripping. The electrician told them that anything the old homeowner touched could have easily burnt the house down.

Hmmm....wonder why the previous owners' house they were renovating burnt to the ground shortly before closing?

If it were up to me, I would have never bought that house, I had a super bad feeling about it from the minute I saw the housepaint the previous owners used to paint the bathtub and shower surround -- they didn't exactly seem like meticulous types.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 3:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

(My recycled closet door was definitely not from my home. I think it was a curb find.)

Here is a bedroom addition in my house. You are in the addition looking at what used to be a covered back porch (the door to the house is open). It's hard to tell, but that's plexiglass filling the gap between the new roof and original gutter.

I'm afraid we had to tear that down. It smelled like dog.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 3:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Light switch outside room.

That remains a requirement in many jursidictions where a switch inside the bathroom would be within arms length of a tap.

Otherwise, it's all a matter of ignorance (willful and otherwise) and stinginess. For instance, in one house I renoed , some new light fixtures were wired in with lampcord inserted in channels dug into the plaster. Another had homemade electrical boxes built from wood. Another wired in the diy finished basement outlets with 14 gauge directly into the 60 amp main fuses. Hell, never blow a fuse that way! (The wires will melt first.)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robo (z6a)

Fori that room would give me nightmares!

Worthy I think code here applies only to switches near/in bathtubs and showers.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 10:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oooo, fun!

Let's see, things I pics of:

Homemade MW spacers

Mantel and hearth, hearth not wide enough and they tiled on plywood?

Things I don't have pics of

No wrap or flashing on the outside of the house (but lots of mold)
Deck beams parallel to the house, no flashing (another mess)
Sliding door not secured to the house frame, unless you count a single massive wad of caulk in one corner (I don't)
Lawn sloped toward the foundation
Live wire dangling inside the wall behind the range
Kitchen wiring so odd it took the crew a whole morning to figure it out
DW wiring through the floor under the center of the DW
Pipe connection for the full bath sink not secured (could have leaked at any moment)

That's all I can think of at the moment. We've spent about a decade saving for corrections. This was the first house either of us bought, and we never rented. Boy did I learn a lot for next time!

I'm hoping the next owner doesn't curse my DIY projects. I limit my electric work to swapping out outlets and switches. I only mess with plumbing inside the toilet. I know the Closetmaid wire shelving is installed correctly and securely. I am about to attempt tiling the FP surround, but I'm doing a ton of research first, so it should be ok.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 3:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robo (z6a)

williamsem, I think about that too! What is the next person going to curse me for? Ha ha!

It's often the least visible/sexy stuff that is the most problematic and costly. I am so thankful we had an ace home inspector. and that our previous homeowner had little design sense but plenty good sense and made his work solid and tight. Tradespeople coming in often compliment us on how well maintained the home is.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Construction details from a 3/4 bath finished while I was closing on the house. I asked them to stop but once the existing powder room was demo'd it was too late.

a href="http://photobucket.com/"; target="_blank">

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 2:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The subfloor I had to replace was 1/4 in paneling. The even worse part is that I had to go back with 1/4 plywood so the rest of the floors would sort of mesh.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

That's one of my favorites, Pal. I think your guys hired the guy who did the shoe molding on this:

which of course is hardwood flooring, old fireplace hearth, and kitchen vinyl at 3 different heights, perfect for barstools.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 10:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Exhibit A: the cardboard spacers used on the industrial-strength, ca. 1978 IN COUNTER outlets in our kitchen. There is plenty more, but I don't have pictures. We joke that our house was built on the weekends by a pack of cub scouts.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A plumbing riser made of several short (4-inch) sections of copper tubing, swaged and soldered.

A neighbor who extended wiring by overlapping the ends and using medical tape to hold them together.

A bathroom where the water supply lines were garden hoses!

Of course, none of this was permitted or inspected.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Serpentine Exhaust Ducting

(BTW, the receptacle was not in a box.)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 2:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robo (z6a)

I've seen that exhaust picture before! ha ha!

lazygardens - was at a party on the weekend and the homeowner was telling me he pulled a four foot piece of wire out of the kitchen wall that was stripped, spliced (well, wound together) and taped for all four feet!

palimpsest - I think pee wee herman framed in your powder room.

jakabedy - were there any scorch marks? That seems very--scorchy.

More understandable, but I still scratch my head every time I look at this structural post smack dab in the middle of my kitchen. So you blow the roof off, add on the back and almost double the size of the house, move the interior stairs...and leave this in your kitchen?

This post was edited by robotropolis on Mon, Oct 28, 13 at 20:42

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I always say the bathroom was designed by Salvador Dali and installed by the Monroe Brothers (the inept carpenters on Green Acres)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time . . . We've guessed from the many clues left behind that the back room of our house segued from a patio, to a covered patio, to an enclosed patio, to an indoor room. During the transition from enclosed patio, the windows were left in place, *including the glass*. The outside was finished with wood sheathing and the inside with wood paneling, and the glass windows were left sandwiched in between. At least they put in insulation.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robo (z6a)

Unpleasant surprise of the day :'( set right on the plywood.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When a PO changed where the dryer vent went through the wall, why did they not patch the big hole? Oh, wait, they did: they wallpapered over it.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 2:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Seven layers of wallpaper, paint, 1970's cheap wood paneling, paint, wallpaper. Those were the layers on every wall in our dining room and sitting room. Sheesh.

Garage moved from the front side of the house, where the driveway is, to the middle of the backyard. No way to get a car to the garage. If they had moved it 20 more feet back, it would have had access from the alley.

A shop light for the only light in the dining room.

A built in vanity so large that when you sat on the toilet your knees hit the vanity. And the walkway in front of the vanity was less than two feet wide.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 4:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our first home had 60 feet of copper tubing that wound around the basement ceiling in a random pattern from the water intake to the water heater (that sat only 8 feet away). Apparently they hadn't heard of a pipe cutter, lol.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 11:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They were probably paid by the foot.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 9:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

edeevee, on the up side copper is very valuable now - you could sell the excess and pay for the work :)

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 5:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

House # 1 was 27 years ago...memory fades. Our only electrical service in the main bedroom upstairs was one of those outlets you screw into a light socket...this was in the ceiling fixture in the bedroom. There was a makeshift closet (plywood, stained) built onto either side of the chimney. It didn't go all the way to the ceiling. Our clock radio sat on top of the "closet" with an extension cord running to the fixture in the ceiling.

Previous Owner moved into a trailer next door. When Late Husband asked her if she'd like to see what we did upstairs, she graciously said yes.

He's added electrical outlets and closets. Her comment was, "Charlie said it wasn't possible to put outlets upstairs."

House #2 : POs wanted wainscoting, I guess, but couldn't afford it. They took inexpensive vinyl flooring printed with a brick pattern and tacked it on the walls. Bonus points for attaching it so the printed shadows went UP from the floor.

That and the wagon-wheel chandelier in the dining room....

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 10:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

contractor-build kitchen, 3x3 tiles for counter and backsplash, the backsplash was glued directly to the drywall...no greenboard. Oh and ONE GCFI outlet outside, to serve the entire yard if you need to plug in something, like Christmas lights or a yard tool - then it trips

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 2:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wallpaper directly on drywall. We were forced to paint the wallpaper because it couldn't be removed without ruining the drywall. Fortunately we have a kitchen reno coming up so it will get replaced.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 12:40AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Ideas on changing floorplan / budget remodel for family home.
Hello; We are a family of five. Currently our oldest...
Laying tile without cement board?
We pulled some tile up in several spaces. The tile...
Cutting a notch into rafters to push LVLs into the ceiling?
We have a load-bearing wall we'd like to remove. We...
Shaker style question
What are y'all's opinions on Shaker style cabinetry....should...
"Green" Remodeling - where to start?
We would like to remodel using materials and processes...
prairiemoon2 z6 MA
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™