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The "Previous homeowners were a bunch of windowlickers" Thread

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Old 03-06-2010, 03:29 PM   #1
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The "Previous homeowners were a bunch of windowlickers" Thread

I'm sure everyone that's bought a house from a previous home owner has wandered into a few gremlins and patches that there's no way in hell you would have ever slapped together yourself. Here is room to vent. I'll start.

I can understand all the nails and nail holes in the wall. They must have been very impressed with The Louvre and wanted to bring it home with them. I can understand some loose doorknobs and loose cabinet handles, the house was only built 3 years ago. A walk through the house with a screw driver fixed that. Blowing out the (only) outlet in the garage, ok... maybe they tried to jump their car from the wall socket?

But the back door... the trim around the window is held on with giant rounded broad head screws. No paint. No filler. Not even in straight. Just thrown in there to hold it together. And they're rusty.

Side story: When we moved in we were hanging out around a campfire at the neighbors and found out our house had been broken into. Only house on the block with any kind of criminal activity. But the previous owner bought, then got orders out, then rented. While the renters lived there the house was "broken into" twice. Each time only their big screen TV was stolen. Insured paid out. End of story.

Well I found out how "They" got in. They pushed in the glass on the back door. And the trim was just screwed back up. So I got some wood filler, and some finishing nails, and some white paint to do it right.

Except there's no wood on my back door. It's insulated with a metal shell. And the trim is plastic. And the plastic is broken. That's why they drilled holes in the metal door with giant ugly metal screws. Cause they were to fucking cheap to get a $50 piece of plastic trim.

Now I need to return $35 worth of wood repair shit and track down some stupid ass plastic trim before my hack job back door falls apart. Or someone breaks into my house with a gerber.

Alright, I feel better. Your turn.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:35 PM   #2
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I'm a Home Inspector, i've pretty much seen it all.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:00 PM   #3
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I'm a Home Inspector, i've pretty much seen it all.
Come on, whatcha got
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:57 PM   #4
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While gutting my house I pulled a piece of romex out with a nail driven through the hot and neutral wires. Didn't break the insulation, but not good. I could fill up two pages of stuff that the P.O. did to my house. Thank god I totally gutted it and everything is new.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:04 PM   #5
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About the worst I've found in my recently purchased house is some poor wiring for the cable/satellite. It was hideous and was the first thing to go. They ran it outside the wall and put plastic covers on it to hide the wires, but yet let you know that there was in fact wires present. This was strung throughout the house. Actually now that I think of it, the sprinkler system in the back doesn't work either. I've got some work cut out for me, but it's not too bad. Yet.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:08 PM   #7
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Previous owners were "nature people" and let birds nest all over the house. Found a nest in the duct work for the range hood that vented to the outside of the house.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
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many moons ago, I patched up a fist sized hole in the wall of a rental house with a circular cutout from a 24 case and liberal amounts of paint. actually looked decent. If yer not part of the solution, yer part of the problem
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:30 PM   #9
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I got one for ya...P.O told me there was hardwood floors under the carpets, so i decided to pull up carpet piece by piece to refinish the floors. Rented the sander for the weekend. Had some buddy's coming over to help seal the floor. Pulled the carpet up in the first room to find EVERY board in the floor was screwed down with drywall screws to keep them from squeaking. I bet there was over 500 screws in that floor. So no finishing that room.

Next room. HUGE 20"x20" hole cut in the floor and patched with plywood with wood filler on top of that. Have NO idea why they cut a hole in the floor but that room was shot as well.

Next room which is the living room. Everything looked fine at first. Once i started sanding, i found out that the previous owners were actually renting space to a family of termites and the top layer of wood was being held together by the sealer, once i sanded it off and got down to the actual wood, it just started crumbling. Needless to say, i was one pissed off person ripping up all that wood and replacing the floor.

Next, decided to redo the old basement. Electrical wires and junction boxes everywhere. Started ripping out all the electrical and realized there were 4 wires running directly into the metal duct work going up to the attic. They actually drilled into the duct to run the wires. So i have 4 wires going into a rough cut metal hole with SHARP metal shavings sticking INTO the wires.

And to beat it all...This house was inspected by 3 different home inspectors.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:20 PM   #10
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I got my workbench together enough to be functional and screwed a power strip into the side. I plugged it into my "busted" garage outlet and it powered up, for a second. I fscked with the plug and found that it's just really temperamental. Got a solid connection and it powered up the circular saw no problem. Guess it's just some crud/corrosion screwing up the connection. Scratch that off my "things to be angry about" list.

Got the contract information for my home warranty last week. Need to give them a call.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:21 AM   #11
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I will say this. I purchased my house off the court house steps at an auction, meaning the house was foreclosed on. Now some people when their house is foreclosed on think, "it's my fault, I signed the documents that were false that said I made 4x's as much as a really do and I said that yes I could make the $5000/month payments. It's my fault I'll just leave." While others think, "It's all the banks fault for making me think I could afford this house. How can I screw them and the next person?" Let me tell you.

We (my wife and I) purchased the house in late July of last year during California's most amazing landslide in home prices and sales all thanks to ARMS, and people falsifying their income statements. Anyways, we did a walk through before we purchased so we kinda knew what we were getting into. No appliances, missing switch covers, no light fixtures, cracked tiles, windows that were supposed to open, but still haven't, blown heater motor, the list goes on and on. Here's the kicker, they pulled out cabinets, not just doors and drawers, but full cabinets, and more than one. They pissed on the carpets, and then let their animals piss on the carpets, or vice versa. Either way it was awful.

Then the biggest upset, sprinklers. I hate them regardless but this house has made me LOATH them. Luckily by chance and God's grace we discovered through a friend of my wife who the 2nd owners of the house were, (the family down the street informed us that their brother was the first owner, we knew the second, and the 3rd was a out of town guy who rented it). So we contacted them about the sprinklers. He being an engineer has blueprints of the sprinkler system that he designed. In my previous profession I too drew blueprints, so I was gitty like a school girl on prom night. So i start digging around, come to find out the 3rd owner, decided that he didn't like the original sprinkler system so he put in his own, OVER the old one. He didn't take the old out one, just put his OVER the old one.

So now I have 2 sprinkler systems in the back yard. Only half of which work, and of the half that do work, only half of those work with the timer. So yeah, I LOATH sprinklers. If sprinklers were a person, I would be in prison for premeditated murder.

Here's some before and after shots and some of the missing cabinet shots.

Missing Cabs



Front yard before

Front yard after

Backyard before

Backyard after

Fireplace before

Fireplace after
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thestrangebrew View Post
About the worst I've found in my recently purchased house is some poor wiring for the cable/satellite. It was hideous and was the first thing to go. They ran it outside the wall and put plastic covers on it to hide the wires, but yet let you know that there was in fact wires present. This was strung throughout the house. Actually now that I think of it, the sprinkler system in the back doesn't work either. I've got some work cut out for me, but it's not too bad. Yet.

surprisingly a lot of that is actually done by the satelite contractors. Granted thats mainly because people don't wanna pay extra for the contractor to run wires through the walls. There are many houses in my neighborhood who have dish who's wiring is like this..And most of them are ranch houses where the wires could be easily run through the wall into the attic and snaked down to each respective room.


My rant story isn't from my house since I had mine built. Last year, I went to Denver CO to visit my girlfriend and her aunt asked me to finish a basement bathroom for her while I was there. It was already studded and drywalled, just needed a waterproof membrane in the shower, the floor sloped in the shower stall for proper drainage, some..what I thought was minor electrical work, lay tile and re-install the fixtures etc. The electrical involved installing a recessed can over the shower stall, moving the vanity light from the ceiling to the wall centered over the vanity and putting in a new GFCI outlet. As I started cutting exploratory holes in the drywall to snake the wires fortunately I cut one of my holes directly below what could have been a major fire hazard and I'm glad I found it. The previous owner had taken the service wire coming from the panel that was running through the joists to the adjacent bedroom/bonus room stripped the insulation off of it and twisted the wire for the bathroom electrical and electrical taped it. Anyone who does electric knows that a bathroom needs a seperate breaker installed and there should not be any junction points that are not accessible. So basically I had to re-wire the whole bathroom properly and because she has a Federal-Pacific breaker panel (which should be replaced bc of class action suit, fire hazard bla bla bla) I wasn't able to get a new breaker since they required a special order. She had to have an electrician come in and wire a new breaker since I had to go back home to Atlanta.

Another rant about that job is that she wanted to use an existing floor drain for the shower stall which was in the corner of a 4x4 shower stall. typically a floor should be sloped 1/2" rise for every 1 foot out. With the drain the corner, that means one side of the shower would be 2" higher than the drain side. that would be goofy, not to mention the existing drain was not compatible with a liner. Luckily she knew a plumber he came in and I helped him chisel up the concrete floor with a power chisel. Found out the slab was about 6" thick! finally got all that chiseled up, the drain centered with a proper pea trap and a PVC drain designed to work with the shower liner, poured new concrete, sloped the floor, laid the tile. It all turned out great I was just bummed I wasn't able to finish due to the electric before I had to fly home. Not to mention it took way more time of my vacation with my girl than I wanted to.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjp2 View Post
Previous owners were "nature people" and let birds nest all over the house. Found a nest in the duct work for the range hood that vented to the outside of the house.
That's not good, not only is it not good it can be very dangerous to your health. I hope you cleaned everything out; very nasty.
Damn nature people. lol
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:16 PM   #14
I miss Lucy. :-(
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Bought a house up north years back at a foreclosure sale. Guy who lived there before me had started to fix up the basement. Did his own wiring.

I hooked up the water to my washing machine in the basement. Plugged it in. Leaned on the washer and went to turn the cold water faucet on.

Picked myself up off my ass.

The idiot had hot / neutral backwards and the ground was not connected at the outlet. Probably because every time he hooked the ground up the breaker would pop.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:17 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by tacoman78 View Post
Backyard before

Backyard after

Fireplace before

Fireplace after
I love that backyard, very lucky to have a backyard like that here in Bakersfield. Unless you live outside of the city.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:49 PM   #16
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I worked in building maintenance for a bunch of years when I was in college (I'm sort of a "professional student" so I really do mean a bunch of years). In some places the local government is pretty good about rental properties being kept up to code, not so in most Kansas college towns. Especially bad are the old two- and three-story houses that have been broken up into a half-dozen or more apartments.

I got a work order for a basement apartment to replace a light fixture once. There were two ceiling fixtures in the room, one of them lit and the other one all buggered up like someone had bashed it with a baseball bat. I went to the stairwell and flipped the "basement apartment lights" breaker, came back down to a dark room and for good measure flipped off the light switch too. Started to unscrew the hot wire on the "dead" fixture and... got knocked on my ass. I checked around and found that the good fixture was wired properly but that the broken one was wired to the outlets of the room above it. Now I test everything before I work on it.

Oh yes, later that week I ran into one of the girls who rented the place and asked her why that one fixture looked like someone had bashed it with a baseball bat. She said "Oh, we did that because it would never turn off."
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:53 PM   #17
I miss Lucy. :-(
HerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1980 View Post

Oh yes, later that week I ran into one of the girls who rented the place and asked her why that one fixture looked like someone had bashed it with a baseball bat. She said "Oh, we did that because it would never turn off."
Yup, had an apartment-mate once that would throw his sneaker at the ceiling light to turn it off. Too lazy to get up and go to the switch. Walking barefoot in his room was dangerous.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:15 PM   #18
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Staple happy

This is from a house built in 2000. I don't know how you explain it. Those are staples in a 2x4. This was behind the drywall and the staples weren't holding anything. One of MANY things I find and typically yell WTF!
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:50 PM   #19
I miss Lucy. :-(
HerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shedHerNameIsLucy is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boring View Post
This is from a house built in 2000. I don't know how you explain it. Those are staples in a 2x4. This was behind the drywall and the staples weren't holding anything. One of MANY things I find and typically yell WTF!
Someone trying to teach a rookie how to drive them in correctly, making him practice?
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:57 AM   #20
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1980 is one of the sharper tools in the shed1980 is one of the sharper tools in the shed1980 is one of the sharper tools in the shed1980 is one of the sharper tools in the shed1980 is one of the sharper tools in the shed1980 is one of the sharper tools in the shed1980 is one of the sharper tools in the shed1980 is one of the sharper tools in the shed1980 is one of the sharper tools in the shed1980 is one of the sharper tools in the shed1980 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boring View Post
This is from a house built in 2000. I don't know how you explain it.
Looks like someone's kid might have been "helping."
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