Sweet Jesus! – Tell me your home improvement tales of woe.

Home Forum Chat Forum Sweet Jesus! – Tell me your home improvement tales of woe.

Viewing 45 posts - 46 through 90 (of 91 total)
  • Sweet Jesus! – Tell me your home improvement tales of woe.
  • Premier Icon senor j
    Subscriber

    In our last flat, the first job was taking up the nasty laminate floor.
    I still get cold sweats thinking about the discovery in the kitchen ,ALL the floor boards&joists were rotten……….
    Recently moved into another place ….flat roof hell.
    I think I’ll use this thread as therapy during the coming months…..ha.

    gonzy
    Member

    spent 2 month last year doing a total renovation of the back garden including a new lawn.
    i had to get it done in time for my daughter’s first birthday. the job was done 1 week before and i was pretty pleased with myself…but not so happy when the wife’s nieces and nephews trampled the shit out of the freshly laid lawn….

    a couple of months ago we decided to declutter our bedroom and move the furniture around. as i was pulling the bed towards one of the walls, i tripped on one of the wife’s many shoes and fell back onto the wall. my elbow went straight through….it turns out the plaster on the whole wall was crumbling and rather than repair this the previous owners just put fresh wallpaper over it to hide it.

    grahamg
    Member

    For sheer ‘WTF?’ confoundment in the face of the simplest little jobs, my dad filled in settling cracks in plaster work by gouging out 2″ wide strip of plaster and then filling with….. tile grout! He had a big tub lying around and thought it’d do the trick. So instead of a bit of polyfilla sanded over and faultless to paint, he’s got a huge line of shrunken concave tile grout across the wall which looks as cack as it sounds.

    That’s what happens when you divorce your DIY goddess wife (my mum) who basically built and decorated everything.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    A timely thread… I’ve just drilled through a plastic heating pipe on my 1 week old house. Water everywhere and a hole chiseled out of a brand new wall to fix it…

    Didn’t the builders lay foil behind the pipes so you can find them with a metal detector?

    trail_rat
    Member

    “Didn’t the builders lay foil behind the pipes so you can find them with a metal detector?”

    you use a metal detector before drilling every time ?

    i guess i might if i didnt know where every pipe and cable in my house went/came from as i fitted them all

    bad luck to hit one though , probably want to stick a lottery ticket on based on them odds

    my worst ones will be finding the electrics in my gaff were hazerdous to the extreme – to the point where the shower was melting the feed as it was far too small. the garage was wired into the back bedroom lighting circuit and kitchen extension was wired into the main ring by way of a 13amp plug into socket behind a kitchen unit.

    the00
    Member

    I lifted some old floor boards in a box room to use to patch and match in other rooms. When carrying the new boards in to the room, I put my foot straight through the hole, through the ceiling below, and nearly into the coffee pot on the stove, which rather shocked my wife.

    Also cut through the live power supply to the shower thinking it was the isolated cooker supply. Big bang, big spark, big hole in cutters, but no shock 🙂

    johndoh
    Member

    Also cut through the live power supply to the shower thinking it was the isolated cooker supply. Big bnag, big spark, big hole in cutters, but no shock

    I did a similar thing, in full view of my wife and two toddlers.

    Still, it helped prove my argument that we didn’t need to put stupid plastic covers on all electrical sockets because the RCD consumer unit would ensure they couldn’t electrify themselves by pushing something into the sockets anyway.

    (I didn’t *win* the argument, but my point stood).

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    Sanding the front room floor (not a euphemism) at our first house. The missus was in the other room with the TV turned up to 11 to drown out the noise.

    With a loud “ZING” I managed to put a nick in the radiator pipe at floor level which left me with something of a dilemma.

    a) Stay put with my finger over the hole whilst shouting for help.

    Or

    b) Let go of the pipe and call the plumber myself whilst the entire murky contents of our heating system pissed all over the freshly painted walls.

    After 10 minutes of hollering I went for option b)

    The plumber turned up and said that he was on his way to another job but would be back in an hour or so. In the meantime he left me with a circular saw to cut the end off the floorboard near the pipe so that he could get access to fix it on his return.

    Never having used a circular saw before I was somewhat alarmed by its ferocity and was rather surprised when it leapt out of my hand and ploughed a 2ft long 1/4” deep slit across me freshly sanded floor.

    Not my best day.

    Roll on 6 years…

    In my new house I decided to undo the mystery wing nuts on the wall in my son’s bedroom. Then the toilet on the other side fell over.

    MrsPoddy
    Member

    We removed our old kitchen to find that the soil pipe had cracked at the base and we had a soak away in the corner of our kitchen!
    We also found a hand sawed arch that was very skew-whiff – the plasterer found it hysterical and could still recall it 3 years later when we had him back for plastering the lounge

    In my new house I decided to undo the mystery wing nuts on the wall in my son’s bedroom. Then the toilet on the other side fell over.

    brilliant!

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    you use a metal detector before drilling every time ?

    Yes. Doesn’t everyone?

    *reads thread*

    Evidently not.

    hora
    Member

    Never having used a circular saw before I was somewhat alarmed by its ferocity and was rather surprised when it leapt out of my hand and ploughed a 2ft long 1/4” deep slit across me freshly sanded floor.

    Not my best day.

    Roll on 6 years…

    In my new house I decided to undo the mystery wing nuts on the wall in my son’s bedroom. Then the toilet on the other side fell over.

    😆 sorry have another 😆

    benman
    Member

    Didn’t the builders lay foil behind the pipes so you can find them with a metal detector?

    They did, but I didn’t own a cable detector at the time… I do now though!!

    They were only 10mm pipes too, and weren’t directly above or to the side of a radiator. Incredibly unlucky to hit one 🙁

    Premier Icon sadmadalan
    Subscriber

    I thought I was bad in putting a nail through a central heating pipe while securing a floorboard. I’ve got a long way to go.

    Thanks for cheering me up – especially the toilet wingnuts!

    wife wanted a cast iron bath in our old Victorian terrace/cottage, figured the weight of said bath filled with water and 3 people stood in it (best case scenario). Pulled (chipboard) floorboards from the 1980’s refurb to find the joists rotten…..Had to drop kitchen ceiling to get steelwork in, boiler packed up at roughly same time (winter) so decided to install all new heating system. Only hot water was from old electric shower before it was ripped out then afterwards from a kettle. Only heating was gas fire in living room before it was ripped out. Wiring old and knackered so full rewire as well. All loose lat&plaster ceilings dropped, roof relaid (stone). At one point you could see sky&clouds from the living room as nothing inbetween. Parent in laws took pity and let us stay for ‘a few weeks’ – 5years later finally moved back in.

    In that 5 years found out we couldnt have a family so had to then go upto what was going to be our family home and try and work on it with my head in bits and not much love for it.

    Other than that fairly easy to do the work-did everything myself and got signed off by local BI, could never get the hang of plastering full walls or anything on roof (not good with heights).

    Happy in there now but looking for ‘the one’ to do a full refurb on, want workshop/tinkering space rather than bedrooms nowadays.

    Premier Icon DaRC_L
    Subscriber

    My first proper house a victorian terrace had that wonderful plastic (the adverts you’ll never have to paint the outside again) covering the front render.

    Anyway that stuff is rubbish and had cracked, water got in behind and the render was blowing. No tradesmen would touch the job (or for outrageous money). So I took it off over the summer using a paint stripping torch and scraper. We had scaffolidng up for the roofers…

    So I’d finally got to the last patches up by the eaves on a hot summers, windy day. The guys who built the loft extension for the previous owner must have brushed all the wood shavings into the eaves…

    The fire took hold really quickly from initial smoke to raging fire. I moved faster than a monkey on amphetamines with a bucket up & down the scaffolding and had put mostly put it out by the time the fire brigade arrived.

    The kids did enjoy their trip in the fire engine 😀

    ekul
    Member

    When we were renovating our house we were completely redoing the bathroom which had a frosted glass window into an old coal bunker next to the kitchen. Anyway, as me and the missus’ dad were working in there she was making brews and washing dishes in the kitchen. I’ll never forget the screaming and swearing that came out of such a normally well mannered mouth as I shoved a sledgehammer through the window about 8 ft from where she was stood.

    That and the moment her mother decided it was safe to walk on the insulation we’d put under the floorboards, when the floorboards were still up. Left a hell of a bruise!

    Marin
    Member

    Just spat my tea on clean table after reading harry the spiders wingnut story!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    RCD consumer unit would ensure they couldn’t electrify themselves by pushing something into the sockets anyway

    You can still get a shock if you touch both live and neutral. RCD only protects from shocks to earth, iirc.

    globalti
    Member

    Sparkie came one day and did some work and I asked him to set up an extra wall socket in the small bedroom. So he left a loop in the ring under the floor and told me just to cut it when I was ready and wire into the new socket. Our house has the rings for upstairs and downstairs running through the first floor and what he forgot to tell me (or didn’t realise) was that he had put the loop in the downstairs ring. So off I went to turn off the upstairs ring and fetch my prized Park Tools cable cutters…. cut through the cable and BANG… one spark-eroded and completely useless cable cutter. Expensive mistake.

    johndoh
    Member

    You can still get a shock if you touch both live and neutral. RCD only protects from shocks to earth, iirc.

    Unless the child is stood on a bucket and wearing wellies, they will be earthed though.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Well, my kids often wear wellies, they also sit on furniture and floor coverings and the like.

    Ok so the kid would have to stick something in both holes in the socket, but that’s possible. But socket covers might actually be worse than nothing since UK sockets have protective shutters in anyway, but kids apparently have a habit of removing the covers and re-inserting them upside down, with the earth pin opening the shutters leaving live and neutral visible.

    http://www.fatallyflawed.org.uk/

    johndoh
    Member

    socket covers might actually be worse

    Yes I tried that argument with my wife too.

    And no, I didn’t win that one either.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Not me, but a mate of mine is currently building his own house.
    1. In dispute with the structural engineer who claims he’s owed an extra 5k for calcs on a retaining wall which was out of scope in the original contract – is currently being sued by him
    2. Except the contract is between the SE and the Project Manager (not my mate) which is good except
    3. the PM has misappropriated 10k of my mates money doing up his own properties, has been fired and is now being sued by my mate;
    4. The sacked PM is the only one who knows how to fix the steel on on the first floor – the architect has offered to reproduce the instructions/drawings but wants an extra 5k for it AND is currently being sued in a separate action by the PM
    You honestly couldn’t make it up. It makes some of the horror stories you see on Grand Designs look like you’ve lost a few guy lines putting up your tent.
    I shouldn’t laugh 😆

    PS He also appeared on an episode of the The Planners, when planning permission nearly didn’t happen.

    edlong
    Member

    PS He also appeared on an episode of the The Planners, when planning permission nearly didn’t happen.

    Sounds like it might have been for the best if that had been the outcome….

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Midlifetowers was (bits still are) a fixer upper when we bought it. Mrsmidlife’s mother comes to stay for Christmas, has her customary four courses, no salad, thanks.

    Later she retires for the night, goes to the loo and both her and the pan crunch through the woodworm ridden floor. Oh how I tried not to be caught laughing.

    Premier Icon matthewjb
    Subscriber

    Still, it helped prove my argument that we didn’t need to put stupid plastic covers on all electrical sockets because the RCD consumer unit would ensure they couldn’t electrify themselves by pushing something into the sockets anyway.

    (I didn’t *win* the argument, but my point stood).

    I thought that the current view was that the plastic covers were dangerous as they circumvented the covers to the live and neutral that sockets have.

    Premier Icon mos
    Subscriber

    Not gonna go into details cos it depresses me, but after spending 4 yrs doing up a house from the 70’s, i can think of at least £100k’s worth of stuff that we probably didn’t actually need to do.
    Oh well, should be back into positive equity in about 50 yrs. Then we can sell.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber

    Some of these are classic.
    I found a few beauties in my old house, pulled the GIB off the small stud wall in the kitchen, which on the plans was just a stud wall, to find the whole roof truss assemble hanging onto a 2cm notch. Ended up having to pull the whole ceiling of the room, put in a double wood beam and cover it up before the inspector came back as it wasn’t in the plans and would need another consent ! That was a long night. Found the plugs in the bedroom connected by just putting them through the wall and round the outside of the house using internal wire, all rotten, all live and old tin bath touching them and thus live as well ! Stopped cats getting in right enough.
    Took all the GIB off the inside of the house, removed the internal ceilings and started reframing it all. Builder cut massive hole in S side of house for french doors to go in which were made specicially. **** apprentice skillsaws right through them somehow so need to be remade. 5 weeks in winter with no S facing wall i.e. facing Antarctica. I ended up putting up my tent in the living room to sleep in as it was warmer. Said apprentice also welded himself to a live light socket one afternoon with his claw hammer. Was an impressive sight, like fireworks night.

    Rockplough
    Member

    Well if anyone’s bothered, the wall’s now been repaired and looks not bad.

    Got cooker up the stairs thanks to Rockplough Sr., a couple of lifting straps, and some swearing. No thanks to downstairs neighbour who refused to move pram out of close and into her visibly empty hall because she had ‘all the stuff for the baby’. Real reason probably that pram was filthy with mud which she’d traipsed all up the close and didn’t want on her nice cream carpet.

    Some of these stories are funny but horrific. I feel lucky.

    Was someone sitting on the wingnut toilet pan at the time?

    I’ve just got over a nightmare of a week.

    Got my mini digger out to help a neighbour dig a drain in his garden and went through our electric cable 😳

    I’ve just got over a nightmare of a week.

    Got my mini digger out to help a neighbour dig a drain in his garden and went through our electric cable 😳

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    and then a double post misterfrostie.

    It’s really not your week 😉

    I then overflowed the bath and nearly wrecked a £1200 freshly plastered kitchen ceiling – water pouring out of the new light fittings.
    Same night I then screwed through a central heating pipe in the main bedroom and did the same thing to the living room ceiling.
    I genuinely am quite reasonable with DIY but for whatever reason that particularly week it just all went tits.

    and then a double post misterfrostie.

    It’s really not your week

    LOL I know. The bad week was several week ago now though 😀

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Not DIY as such, meant to be professional! My Dad used to own a kitchen firm. He sent one of his fitters out to a house to install a very expensive new brass sink. Client was on holiday so had arranged for neighbour to let him in. Fitter goes round, gets access, has a grumble about the fact that the sink was full of washing up, tears out existing sink, fits new one, does washing up, jobs a goodun.

    Turns out neighbour has let him into the wrong house…

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I then overflowed the bath and nearly wrecked a £1200 freshly plastered kitchen ceiling – water pouring out of the new light fittings.
    Same night I then screwed through a central heating pipe in the main bedroom and did the same thing to the living room ceiling.

    At least the power was off 🙂

    johndoh
    Member

    Turns out neighbour has let him into the wrong house…

    Wins

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    as a yoof we went on holiday to Crete on a 18/30 piss up. There was a small ‘incident’ in our apartment that resulted in some fire damage to a whitewashed wall. Perfectly acceptable repair made by applying liberal amounts of toothpaste over the scorch marks.

    Premier Icon edhornby
    Subscriber

    Mrs Ed decided to bleed the radiators while I’m bathing the kids (the youngest was about 6 months at the time so needed physical proximity, the eldest is 3) and promptly unscrewed the radiator nut in our bedroom so it pings into the room and the rad starts spewing boiling water into the bedroom… it then becomes my job to replace it :-/ burnt hands from the boiling radiator

    previous house (previous G/F), had a victorian toilet with the high level flush but the pan had a crack in it, needed an external flush pipe connector pan which are £200+ from an antique salvage (sod that!). After weeks of searching I spy one in the garden of a house in another road with a load of junk. I went back one night, jumped the front garden wall, lifted it (it stank 🙁 ) and as I’m making off with said skanky toilet pan the house owners hall light goes on and I hear footsteps and raised voices – so I’m running down the road trying not to drop it and also trying not to hurl

    johndoh
    Member

    Perfectly acceptable repair made by applying liberal amounts of toothpaste over the scorch marks.

    That sounds like the ‘toothpaste on lovebites’ trick taken to a whole new level…

    PJM1974
    Member

    Forgive me for the link – but I used to be a regular poster on b3ta and this post springs to mind:

    Here for DIY fail

    aP
    Member

    Had bathroom redone in 2011, finally finished this year.
    New dropped T&G limewaxed ceiling – unfortunately this was installed before the walls had been finished and tiled, and it was also on the piss.
    The toilet wasn’t fixed to the floor, or the SVP outlet, shame as when I discovered this I’d had a jobby and flushed the loo.
    The shaver socket was wired up wrong, so it was live, and not actually earthed.
    The main stopcock wasn’t fitted correctly and brought down downstairs bathroom ceiling, also the floor was chipboard and changed shape somewhat due to water leaks, this also meant that the expensive cork floor tiles that we’d had laid all came up and were damaged beyond repair.
    The walls were not made good when the 1930s tiles were hacked off, but unfortunately the bathroom suite had been installed by then so we ended up getting lining boards installed to give us a good finish (obviously these were installed incorrectly, and the walls weren’t straight.
    Because the walls weren’t straight, and the ceiling was on the cock, the floor to ceiling mosaics took an age and our tiler also managed to crack both the wash hand basin and pedestal, and snap a cold water feed pipe.
    Coming home one night I found the towel radiator had been installed with the brackets at the 1/3rd location so it couldn’t be used to hang towels on. We now have two drill holes in the mosaics – for which we also ended up spending over £400 in specialist grout, so to fix these will cost a minimum of £45 for one tub of grout.
    Once we’d properly had enough and sacked our fitter, we had a bit of a rest, then got another in.
    We managed to get the majority of the work fixed up over the next fortnight or so, then, one night we heard a chunk, the sudden sound of a waterfall and the combi boiler went bang. Turned off the stopcock, and started mopping up. As a result the bathroom suite all had to come out and sit in the back garden for two weeks while the floor was taken up again, and the bathroom filler connection was fixed correctly as it had blown off the fitting due to not being tightened enough. At this point we also discovered that no1 man had also both not connected the radiator feed correctly so that it was leaking, but also put 4 nails through it. Unfortunately no2 man found this out as the water hit him in the eye as he pulled up some boards.
    The bathroom suite all eventually went back in, we then decided that we’d have to get another bathroom tap as no1 builder had done something painful to the first one so that the water came out at funny angles, and mostly onto the floor.
    Nothing happened for about 12 months, then we got increasing miserable about the ceiling on the cock, so had that ripped out and a new one put in. Because the walls were so shonky I had to design a new detail for the builder to make so that the ceiling edging looked halfway decent. Whilst he was doing this he discovered that the reason we were burning out 2 or 3 £70 LED lamps every couple of months was because they were wired up wrong, and the shaver socket also wasn’t earthed (or wired up anywhere near correctly). We then though it’d be nice to have a bathroom door as we hadn’t had one for 2 years – this had to be a special order, and the door ironmongery I’d ordered from a factory in Walsall took 3 and a half months to arrive (nice when it did though).
    I am not even going to commit to how much that bathroom cost, suffice it to say it makes me ever so slightly upset when I think about it.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber
Viewing 45 posts - 46 through 90 (of 91 total)

The topic ‘Sweet Jesus! – Tell me your home improvement tales of woe.’ is closed to new replies.