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Could Be Worse

There are phrases you don’t like to hear from your plumber. Among them is “You ain’t gonna tell me he put a pipe THERE?”

Despite this momentary alarm, however, a very nice man named Moses the Plumber (and god, does the marketing not write itself? “Moses will part the waters for you!” Give me five minutes alone with the man’s business cards…) has assured us that it’s a bad toilet flange, which is easily fixed by pulling the toilet off and putting a different (bigger?) flange on. Due some…eccentricities…of plumbing, for some reason the toilet drain comes out of the side of the house and into the porch roof, which is…um…different, but in this case, it at least meant that the porch was getting the leakage instead of the hall closet, so that’s a good thing, even if we all stood around for a bit and scratched our heads.*

And it was caught quite early, and so the wood is not rotten and there is no mold and it is about as straightforward and simple (and above all cheap!) a fix as one can hope for. So all is well with the universe.


*The house is generally solid, but there are some weird quirks that apparently are uniform across all the builder’s homes. He did not believe the underside of the sink needed to be closed off from the other cupboards, and the attic door, despite being a completely normal door in all regards, is six inches off the floor for no reason that anyone can determine, and don’t get me started on the eight-inch-wide flower bed in the backyard.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

In a similar category of comment: "Bloody hell, it's going UPHILL!"


Sounds a lot like our (new old) house; we spend a lot of time going "why did he.... never mind. Don't want to know."

Glad you caught it early and it's fixable!

When my family moved into our house (in 1985), there was orange shag carpet in the kitchen.

We're still a bit mystified by that.

Fingers crossed your homely woes do not get any worse but if you find yourself in need you do have a fan who works for Build.com ;)

There were certain things the builder for what eventually became our house did not like to do, like make sure walls were plumb.

Leak horror story: Our neighbor's roof sprung a leak last summer, but the leak was between the walls and therefore they didn't notice until the water was coming up out of their recently-laid floor.

The bathtub was apparently not considered important enough to merit actual squaring, with the end result that it slopes towards the wall, which you don't notice until you try to lay tile and...wait, WHAT?

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"and don’t get me started on the eight-inch-wide flower bed,"

For some reason, this makes it sound like Leonard of Quirm (c. Sire Terry Pratchett) had a hand in the layout of your home. Because it's either that or Sarah Winchester's ghost traveling cross-country for no apparent reason.

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From the structural engineer I hired to examine the roof of a house I didn't buy, and then asked if he could take a look at the deck while he was there:

"Sure, that's easy, I ca--oh my God [as he rounded the corner and saw it]. DON'T STAND ON THAT."

Yeah, so, apparently you're not supposed to use 2x4s for all your bracing and support pillar needs, especially not on something ten feet high. Who knew?

This one takes a bit of backstory to explain:

My family built our house (the previous one having burned down due to no fault of our own), and we had an excellent architect and a contractor that mostly followed instructions. Part of the design included two decks out back, one connected to the upper floor and one connected to the lower. The way it was built originally, there were three support pillars clustered fairly close together near one corner of the upper deck.

Some years later, my brother's then-girlfriend's father, a contractor, moved in. When my brother proposed and then announced that the wedding would be held in our parents' back yard, the contractor pitched in making said yard a good place for a wedding. This included building a few more decks, painting all of them, planting the garden, and removing one of the support pillars from the corner of the deck. He insisted that it served no purpose and would obstruct the view of the ceremony. My parents let him do it.

Come the day of the wedding, my uncle and cousin both arrive. Uncle is an architect, and his son is an engineer, and they are both terribly nerdy, to the point where instead of mingling at the reception they spent the entire time critiquing the design of the neighbors' houses.

At one point, however, they came and found me, and pointed at the spot where the support pillar had been removed. "Shouldn't there be a pillar there?" they asked. "There was," I told them, "but [contractor] said it was unnecessary and removed it." "Ahh," they said, edging away from that section of deck. "Well, it's your house. I think we'll be inside..."

BAHAHAHAHA! That's better than our answer to them!

Our house is a bit over 50 years old, but was built with stone wainscoting and masonite above, and Pella casement windows with aluminum storm windows on every single window that opens.

We just laugh when anyone attempts to talk us into siding or windows. They give up pretty quick.

Sounds like you have a "shotgun" house! Or are there hallways?

Ewwww.... it wasn't grey water.

*makes face*

So glad that's on the roof and not in the house.

On the subject of names and slogans: I was driving at one point behind a service truck for "Resurection Gutters" with the slogan "Gutters that last until Jesus comes back!" I am sure they do a booming business here in the Bible belt.

On the other hand that was in the late 90's so they may have figured their gutters only needed to last a few years until the Millenium.

I saw a slogan on an electrician's truck last year that said "Let us remove your shorts!" I thought it was pretty cute.

See, that would never have worked where I grew up, because the pipe would have frozen the first winter.

Having spent a very long time in Minnesota, that was my FIRST thought.

My parents built their house when I was a kid.

For their master bathroom, they selected a shower that was one solid, molded piece of plastic.

One day several months after we moved in, it started raining in my closet. That's when we found out that some genius had stuck screws through the bottom of the shower pan. My parents called the contractor, screamed a lot, and got the shower pan replaced and the water damage repaired.

Ten years later I looked at the ceiling in my closet and noticed that it was discolored and, er, bulging. Turns out that whoever had fixed the shower pan had gotten the drain slightly wrong, and now the entire bathroom floor had been suffering from a decade's worth of a slow leak. Lucky Mom had kind of wanted to remodel her bathroom anyway.

When I moved in to my trailer, there was orange shag carpeting...IN THE BATHROOM.

And in the rest of the house too. Stapled over another, older layer of carpet. Just...tossed on the older carpet like a quilt. AND STAPLED.

I understand none of this.

Some folks' ideas of "a good remodel" terrify me....

Toilet flanges -- the big seal between the toilet and the standpipe in the floor -- have a finite lifespan. When they hit that lifespan, they're going to need changing.

Stick the replacement for this one in your calendar application for 2 January 2031.

-- Graydon

the attic door is six inches high because the builder HATED dwarf clerics and wanted to thwart them from ghost hunting.