When I went back to Pa to take care of my Dad I tried to list his tiny house that was on a good sized lot and had a rental on it. No can do I was told. Huge code violations. So I had a GC come over and talk to me about my "remodel project" that I didn't want. Truthfully, I wanted to turn my back on the place and move back out to Orygun. The Ol'e man flipped at the thought of abandoning his "house". I promised him I would let him stay there for two years and then it was Oregun bound. Not having full mobility due to arth and knees I figured I could do the remodel in two years almost alone. Sooooo the GC and I got together. I didn't know at the time that I was a undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetic and that my blood sugars were hovering around 3 to 400 which is stroke, blindness, kidney failure and foot amputation territory not to mention severe and chronic fatigue.
The rear porch and the roof supports were rotted and the porch was a "crash right thru" and the roof was a "DANGER... FALLING ROOF" affair.
The AC had unsupported freon lines that were 20 feet long from the 20 year ago install that I had always pondered as "just plain stupid" but I hadn't been there for the install and it was for sure I would be there fir the "FIX". I know, I know, now lets not be too hasty in judging those craftsmen as they had to make a killing off this job to support their gambling or womanizing or drinking habits and after all, who can blame them? Right? I'll tell you who.
He mentioned that the toilet must have clogged up regularly right from the start and I asked if he was Claire Voyant? It had, in fact. From the day they moved in and they never had it fixed and it was a problem from day one. he pointed out that the drain was sloped in the wrong direction and $#!% doesn't flow UPHILL.. Claire Voyant and a rocket scientist to boot. I never noticed it before.
The water heater was leaking.
The furnace was not putting out enuf heat and that was due to a frozen valve that had been set in the "1/4 on" posit I won't hazard to guess just when.
Water flow at the faucets was down to slightly more than a trickle. The line feed had been changed over to copper and I thought I might be on a roll right there but I wasn't. Not even close. The copper fed a reduced 2 inch black iron, steel actually, pipe usually used in natural gas circumstances. That fed 1 1/2 inch black iron and then it reduced to 1/2 inch galvanized. This wasn't a "stack" of reducers but long runs of the different materials. I pointed that out to the GC and he offered that these houses were built when the steel mills were in full swing. People built houses from the stuff they could steal from the mills or pick up as scrap. Builder owners and contractos alike.
The house was under powered and I had to install a new box and run all sorts of lines....including the AC compressor which had no cut off breaker, fuse or switch within 10 feet and actually had none at all save the main breaker. Fire trap! The original box had a single fuse and the GC said that on day one the house was not legal.
Sheet rock the entire interior and rip out multiple layers of paneling.
The roof, while recently shingled, had had a leak engineered into the job. The leak had rotted an interior wall and staircase.
The basement had a torrent of water move thru it during every rain. I suggested damming it and going for the hydroelectric power angle. GC said it would bust code and more than a few guts in laughter. Ever the visionary, I proceeded to ID the sources and resolve those issues. A biggie was the crevasse in the front porch steps that dumped all the water that fell in the front yard int the basement via the gas line feed he had buried in sand. I was there for that event as I stayed home from school to help. Whu Knu?
The foundation had a big collapse headed inward tilt in one corner and all the blocks were loose.
All the power had to be pulled in to replace the "rubber coated extension cord wire" that was in the walls. Another steel mill acquisition, no doubt. And yes it crumpled in your hand and exposed copper wire. Why it never burned is a mystery.
Replace rotted flooring around the toilet.
replace tile in bath and kitchen and remove all carpet for the "layer". Saved a buck for Pap.
And just too very much work to list. Took me the two years but I was seriously sick.
I asked the GC if he had ever seen such a collection of disasters before. He answered "Sure, there didn't used to be any required permit or inspection unless you requested it. Then they implemented building code but didn't actually enforce it and then when they did enforce it you could pay the inspector $20 to "not come in". He even offered that at one time you could build a three story apartment bldg with a permit for a single family dwelling if you greased the inspector's palm with $100. Pennsyltucky!!!!
This might seem to be a story limited to Civil Servant bashing and that would be false. It is about building inspection, permits and standards of construction. You and I don't need to be told to do the right, or sane or fair thing. We will do that regardless of regs. But we are not the only ones out there and the only ones really pining for the good old days are unscrupulous contractors. You got too much Gummint? Vote. You don't like it? Go down to city hall and complain, talk to the council, write letters. I did and that started the ball rolling that got a "non fireable" civil servant fired. God knows I have issues with local and fed Gummint. I swear I do on my mother's grave. I won't trade the devil I know for one that I know is worse. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
In my two purchases of VA financed homes the VA stepped in and forced the contractor to upgrade the property to meet the original plans that were submitted to the VA the VA bought off on and in another they forced a $5K discount for my Pac Ocean view because they said that the view was over priced and it was unobstructed
. In the second case the local inspector didn't notice that the walkways were not as wide and shape as required by code. Can you just imagine the bitter comments and sour grapes that that contractor had to spew to all that would listen? And all he had to do at the outset was live up to his end of the contract.......rotten, infernal,. meddlesome GUMMINT. They have certainly been a thorn in my side on occasion and I have had to involve the inspection appeals board and supervisors to get matters resolved. Then I appealed to the commission that I was forced to take such troublesome actions and cause such expense to both me and the city with the appeals. First they gave me what I deserved in the first place and after a lot of hassle. Then I turned around and shoved a sharp stick in their eye by going over all their heads to the commission. Fair's fair. FU....F back. I got lots of time. That may be bad news for you. My friends think it is a serious plus.
Not to be picking on you Clifford or BCO. I love ya both. Admiration and respect is also in there besides the raw emotion.