Monday, July 25, 2011

Killer Water

Do it right the first time around.

Don't panic. I'm not talking about manuscripts, where crappy first drafts are a given. I'm talking about building a house, where crappy materials and cutting corners to save on cost just does pay off in the end.

Let me preface this by saying that there are a gazillion excellent, trustworthy contractors and builders out there. I've actually worked with some who helped repair damages that resulted from low quality workmanship. You'll find plenty of examples of this on the HGTV show Holmes Inspection. Mike Holmes is incredible (no, he's not one I've worked with), and you can learn a lot about homes on that show. Unfortunately, I didn't get to pick the materials or contractors  used by our semi-custom home builder. And as much as I kept an eye on the process, some problems take a few years to show up.

It took them two years to resolve issues with our front door leaking into the basement every time it rained. We'd guessed what the problem was right off the bat, but checking it out would have entailed removing the door. Instead, they did everything but that, including brick removal. In the end, we were right. They would have saved way more money doing it right the first time around, rather than skirting the issue with minor, superficial repairs that added up in cost.

Why is this on my mind today? Because I'm on day two of painting, re-grouting, caulking, and grout sealing the bathrooms (and laundry room) in our house. We have a big drywall hole in our bathroom that had to be cut out to check for pipe leaks. Turns out, the peeling paint, loose tiles, and rust coming through from the metal edge plates are from cheap paint that was put on without a decent coat of primer (if any at all). The dry wall tape is even starting to show through from lack of proper mudding. Mind you, I always turn on the vents and I'm paranoid about water I take precautions...but I never got around to painting the bathrooms. Who would have thought that would be a water damage downfall?

Anyway, I can cut a straight paint edge without tape. I've done a lot of painting before :) and the results are always super satisfying. However, as neat as the results are, I'm not. I'm sore as hell. I have paint in my hair, on my arms and legs, all over my clothes. I have a busted lip because the roller holder ricocheted into my face when I was pulling a used roller off. Yeah, that hurt. But I'm not complaining. At least I didn't have a pipe burst (that happened to my sister last year...all because of a cheap valve used on a burst through the ceiling and flooded the main floor).

But it's getting done right this time. I wish it had been done right the first time around. I'd be writing this afternoon instead of painting. Water can wreak havoc on a house. The last thing a homeowner wants is a mold issue.

Have you dealt with water problems? Do you do your own house painting? Any experiences that resulted from things not getting done right the first time around?


  1. Ack, I'm sorry. That stinks.

    There are a few things in our house as well where I think the builder just didn't think or care and we've had some issues too. Very frustrating!!

  2. I hear you Jennifer. A person has to 1)care about their work, and 2)use common sense. Repairs can be a major money and time suck.

    We had painted the main rooms of the house in colors I chose, but we have a few small rooms where I figured the neutral, builder paint would suffice. Now I'm thinking of painting those rooms too, because I'm afraid what the builder put up, won't hold up.

  3. I'm sure many homeowners have had some of these issues. We seem to have leaking under the floor tiles in our upstairs bathroom and after knocking away at the outside and dislodging what felt like half the building, the contractor couldn't find the leak.

  4. How frustrating, J.L.! Sounds like what we went through with our front door.

  5. We've had a couple of problems, too. Right after we moved in a gas pipe leaked in the wall behind the cooktop.

    Glad you didn't get a chipped tooth from the roller holder.

  6. Gosh, Carol. I hadn't even thought of that. I'm glad I didn't chip a tooth! Cup half full ;).....of water, LOL.

  7. I'm so sorry. Sounds like you had a horrible two days.

    I've painted interiors and exteriors on all the houses we've owned. It's actually a form of therapy for me. I enjoy it.

    Wished we lived nearby. I'd be glad to help you. Hope it's over soon for you.

    Sorry about your lip. Ouch.