I’ve always known that whoever did the additions to this house in the 80’s had no clue what they were doing. I don’t know whether they were some sort of incompetent contractor, or some do it yourself yahoo who was reaching way too far with their ability. I’ve cursed their unknown names like some religious mantra, almost daily since I moved in to this place. While most of my best cursing is reserved for anything involving the kitchen, the living room hasn’t escaped my fury either.
My favorite example is when we went to replace the rather ugly and weather worn front door. We bought a brand spanking new door from Home Depot. Nice, clean looking, great window in the middle, and highly energy efficient. We watched videos on replacing your own door and had some good printed material. We’re both fairly handy and felt that the job was well within our means. When we tore out the old door we discovered many things. The first was they used no insulation in the walls at all. The second, and more damning, was the fact that the door frame was cut at an angle. We always thought warping caused our door to stick, but no, it was because it was put in at a bit of an angle. Lots of sanding and pounding with a chisel later we had a frame that was much closer to resembling something straight. A few dozen shims later and we had a door that looked good and opened and closed with ease.
All of this brings us today and the newest discovery of previous owner ass-hattery. While stripping the siding above our deck one of the works idly kicked at a board on the outside wall of the house. Next thing we knew our deck partially collapsed. Yes, while on one side of the deck they dug posts, poured concrete, and all that jazz, on the side attached to the house they attached it to the masonry with wood lags. And went less than a 1/4″ in to the masonry. Seriously, a tiny bolt meant to hold some wood together was the only thing keeping our porch vaguely attached to the house. That it never collapsed before this is a bit of a miracle. Fortunately no one was hurt, and now it’ll get attached properly.
We knew there would be something that would got beyond the initial estimate. There pretty much always is. This certainly wasn’t what we had been expecting it to be. With fingers crossed we hope this is the last deviation from the master plan of home repair, but you just never know. Stay tuned.