Bathroom, Diningroom, Kitchen, Northeast Bedroom, Northwest Bedroom, What were they thinking?

Why we hate Mr. O…

Mr. O was the previous owner. I actually don’t know if he did all of the crazy stupid things that push my hot buttons… but he did enough of them (and he didn’t fix the others) so he gets all the blame. Mostly this is my personal “what were they thinking” blog entry. In theory if I get it all into one place it will serve as a reminder to myself of why half-assed is a stupid way to go. I really don’t want some future home owner of my house to have a “why we hate Ms. K…” blog entry… I’m doing my best to avoid this.
To add insult to injury, Mr. O and family sold us this house while at the same time they bought a bigger house up the street. This means we occasionally catch glimpses of him as he drives by. I haven’t started throwing rocks at him.. but it’s tempting.


Trim The first thing I noticed about the house on our initial walk-thru was the beautiful trim on the interior. Mr. O put up new cherry trim and crown molding to drum up offers on the house. It is lovely on first look. On second look you start seeing the problems. The biggest tragic thing is that he used drywall screws to put it all up. So even though we have lovely expensive trim… it’s marred by screw heads. It’s also a tragedy since Mr. O obviously didn’t know how to install crown molding.. and made a lot of unnecessary cuts. One piece of trim in the dining room is 3 inches long. This will all need to be replaced.
Kitchen cabinets Part of the selling paragraph of the house was that the seller had done a “minor kitchen remodel”. I’m not sure entirely what this entailed.. but it does seem that Mr. O stained the kitchen’s oak cabinets with a cherry gel stain (to match the new trim). He put the cabinets up with drywall screws and then he stained them. He wasn’t terribly careful so there’s a lot of red stain that’s been brushed on the white walls. He also didn’t stain them entirely.. so some of the edges of the doors were missed.. and a lot of the backs of the doors. It just looks shoddy.
Tile Mr. O re-tiled the floor in about 3/4 of the house. Everything except for the bedrooms is tiled in 79¢ per foot tile from Home Depot. I believe this was done to cover up stained hardwood floors. I believe this also was to make it so he didn’t have to fix any of the wood-rot on the floors. I really suspect that when we start pulling up the tile we’re going to find a holy mess. Also there are 3 tiles in the hallway that don’t match the rest of the house. Just freaking sloppy.
I really hope that we’ll be able to save the hardwood floors. In my fondest daydreams I imagine that Mr. O decided that refinishing the hardwood was too much work so he went the “easy” route and just tiled over it. In my daydream it turns out that after we pull up the tile and the backer board the hardwood floors only require a sanding and refinishing to save them. It’s a nice dream.
Bathroom tile The bathtub surround is tiled an a generic beige tile. The tile job is horrid. Not one tile is flush with another. The grout is grody. The mold is phenomenal. As I said in another entry, it looks like it was tiled in the dark by a monkey and then grouted with mold.


Bathroom Window The window in the shower is hit by offspray while you shower. Mr. O framed this with wood and then painted it white. The paint hasn’t prevented the mold from growing on the whole bottom half of the window frame. White frame, black mold. Not a pretty sight. This will be coming out when we retile the tub and we’ll be tiling the whole window opening (and grading it so that water drains back into the shower instead of just sitting on the windowsill). The picture was taken after I attacked the window frame with a 1/2-1/2 bleach water solution.


Bedroom Windows Mr. O replaced 3 of the bedroom windows with double-pane windows. This is a good thing.. except that when he went looking for windows he found out that the window openings on houses build in 1948 aren’t exactly standard. Instead of buying windows that fit he bought smaller windows and made the openings smaller. On the outside of the house he patched the siding with minty green siding (the rest of the house is beige/grey). It’s a horrible eyesore. Luckily the City burned him about this and required him to replace the windows as part of the conditions on the sale of the house. I wouldn’t mention this (or anything else he fixed before we took ownership of the house) except that we’ve been living in the house for 2 months and we still don’t have those new windows.
Dryer vent The dryer vent doesn’t actually vent outside the house. The vent tube is just pushed through a hole in the floor. Hot, wet, fluff-filled air has been filling the crawl space for years. Lovely fire hazard. Add to that all of the wood-rot I’m sure the damp has caused. Just feaking wonderful.
Garage leak The roof of the garage leaks. Rather than actually fix the leaky garage, Mr. O put up drywall to make it into a “finished” garage. This means that the garage leaked after the first rainstorm and now all of the new drywall is molding from the standing water (and it leaked all over our stuff we’d stored in the garage). We’re going to have to pull down the drywall and fix the roof.


Bizarre Electrical Work This is one of those things where I’m not 100% certain that it’s Mr. O’s fault.. but he’s convenient.. and he probably did it. I can’t seem to figure out what is zoned with what on our electrical box. I think it’s all going to have to be re-done eventually. The dryer isn’t even in a zone. It’s wired directly into the house wiring. I’m pretty sure that’s not supposed to happen.
In the base cabinet in the kitchen under the sink there’s an electrical conduit that “dolphins” up into that cabinet. That is, it comes up in the back of the cabinet and then goes down in the front of the cabinet. Nothing connected to it.. and I really can’t think of a good reason for it to be there. It just takes up space and makes me wonder what other nightmares are lurking under our floors.
Marc reports that Mr. O used “spray in foam insulation” around our switch-plates. This means that as we replace the switch plates we also end up breaking the foam insulation so we end up having to re-do the entire patch job.
Siding The house is covered in vinyl siding. This is poorly installed, cracking vinyl siding that is rippling on the west side. It’s nasty. Marc says there’s redwood siding under the vinyl. I’m hoping someday to be able to strip off the vinyl and restore the redwood. Not sure from where that money’s coming but in this case, vinyl is -not- final.

3 thoughts on “Why we hate Mr. O…

  1. These problems are almost an exact duplicate of what the POs left at the house I bought. Their son was in the construction business, so he brought home odds and ends and they replaced things….. the windows were replaced, but were smaller, so they patched up around them, but never patched the drywall inside. They had a wooden window in the shower. All the plumbing in the shower was shifted to the far left, I found out the soil stack ran up the middle. They painted latex over oil based, they had subflooring for floors, the washer drained out the back of the house, etc. etc. etc. I sympathize with you.

  2. The renos in our house looked alright at first glance too. It just seemed so much better to have a new bathroom , until you find out it’s all shoddy. One of the bedrooms upstairs had the plaster ripped out (and left in the attic space), and was covered in OSB. That didn’t look good, even at first glance.

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