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Saturday, 29 August 2015

House Quirks - Part One

So, last week I shared our initial moving in house post and I promised to share some of the more interesting house quirks (or bodge jobs as the Mr calls them), so here we go!

The first thing I noticed when we stepped through the front door with the keys in our hands was that the previous owners had left a lot of random things attached to the walls.  There were coat hooks, childrens plaques, mirrors and strangest of all two notice boards in the kitchen.

A bit of closer investigation to the notice boards revealed that the previous DIY novices had left it all behind as it was attached with no more nails!  I mean seriously, who sticks a light weight cork board to the wall with a heavy grade adhesive when a simple frame hook will do?  What were their magnets made of, lead weights?!

For those of you that are fortunate enough not to be familiar with this god awful invention, when you try to remove anything that is secured to a wall with it, the damage is so severe that great big chunks of plaster are taken with it!


The problem with no more nails is that the damage it causes extends far beyond where it was applicated.  By the time I had removed all the surrounding blown plaster I ended up with this huge area of disaster.


Sadly the damage caused isn't minor either, as you can see it runs pretty deep and is going to need a lot more than the two seconds required for filling a frame hook pin hole, if the boards had been hung correctly.


I know it is a personal taste thing, but I hate dado rail.  At some point, one of the previous owners thought it would be a great idea to put dado rail in the hallway, lounge, stairway and upstairs landing.  In some places this had been secured with the correct pins, but in some places an adhesive had also been used.  More damage to the plaster.


3 weeks in to our project and we are still filling and sanding the bloody plaster!  We've used just over 11kg of ready made filler and I fear the end is still not in sight.  There is no way we could have afforded to get a plasterer out to rectify all the damage caused by no more nails!


This is probably my favourite bodge of all, just because of the sheer comedy value!  The previous owners actually managed to attach the tap upside down.  Not just content with that, but they then layered it with hard curing putty to make it near impossible to fix without replacing the whole bloody thing.


If you are aiming for more than a dribble of water from the tap, then you are out of luck.  The water pressure is so high that it arcs out high over the kitchen window and helpfully waters our flowering tree in the garden.  Try filling a bucket from that!


 In some areas of the house, they decided to screw heavier items directly into the wall from the front.  What mirror isn't complete with a set of 4 screw heads poking through the wood?


When you have children, you want to personalise the house with all their crap and make it accessible to them.  Children grow at quite a speed and perhaps someone should have pointed out that securing a cute animal wooden coat hook at their children's height with no more nails is a bad idea.  Not only will they not be able to easily change the height as their child sprouts up, they also can't easily remove the thing when the child decides that animal coat hooks are for babies.


If the paint on the wall starts to crack and blister, surely it indicates that something is wrong?  Perhaps it would be wise to find out if it was just lack of preparation on the last decorators part, or something more sinister like damp?  Or you could just paint over it (including the bits that had flaked back to bare concrete) and hope for the best!


This is confined to one area of the master bedroom (the corner of the two external walls) and at some point it looks like there has definitely been a damp issue (although it has resolved or been rectified).


The problem with just ignoring an issue like this (or just painting over it) means that when the poor next owner comes to try and rectify another bodged job, the damage has extended well beyond the initial point.


The internal walls of the house have been so damaged by no more nails and lack of general house maintenance that in all honesty we need a professional plasterer to come in and make good.  Sadly the thousands that this will cost is well beyond our budget.  This means the walls all have to be stripped back by us and filled/sanded to an acceptable level.  Unfortunately we are not skilled plasterers (although coincidentally I was considering signing up for a course just before we found out I was expecting!) and so 95% of the house will need to be wall papered to hide any blemishes.  Eventually we may be able to stretch to having one room plastered at a time, but right now this is the most sympathetic and cost effective approach to rectifying the damage.

I've called this post part one as I am sure we will have plenty of other 'bodges' to share with you along the way!



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