I have a townhouse so my next door neighbor's house (in a separate
building at a right angle to mine) is almost the same as mine.
But he keeps hiring guys who do second-hand work.
The fence: Put in a stockade fence and in a couple years the pickets
shrank so one can look into his yard between every two pickets. Should
that have happened? Do good fence companies age their pickets?
Also, a couple big pieces of picket fell off, so even better views
through those holes. I don't see that as the fence company's fault
but anyone putting in a fence should be sure to get a few spare
pickets. His company's out of business now. (and some spare
shingles, spare tiles, all the scraps of the carpeting, a little spare
everything, and the exact brand and formula for special-mix paint.)
Then he put in a light. I would have run the power from the
receptacle in the upstairs bedroom, drilled a hole through the
overhang, and powered it that way, but the guy he hired removed his
front porch light, ran flat surface channel up the wall to the
overhang and over to the light. So no porchlight and that ugly
Then the HOA wanted a floodlight on the end of his building, so he's
got silver conduit running from the previous light half-way back, to
the middle of the side, and up to the attic level. The conduit is
noticeable everywhere. I had already run power to my attic, for a
light and fan (and radio and tv) so when the HOA had wanted a flood
the on the side, I had him go straight through the wall and connecd to
my power. No conduit. If I hadn't already run power to the attic,
I would have done so before allowing the flood on the side.
Then he put on aluminum siding on the second floor (first floor is
brick). The houses are not clapboard, so he used vertically oriented
siding. A couple years later in a windstorm, one piece came off at
one end and flapped around. Should I blame the siding company for
that? What I do blame them for is the screws they used to
screw it back, with big silver heads iirc. And I'd already noticed
how they had reattached the downspout they had removed to install the
siding. Don't most downspout brackets have a sort of fleur-de-lis at
each end. Mine do and the ones on his first floor do but the ones on
the second floor are just rectangular and look like scraps rolled up
and squeezed flat. They look terrible. I can't post a picture,
because I can't let him catch me taking one.
Finally, he replaced the steps going up almost a flight to his front
door. Looked nice 6 months ago, but grey instead of tan. Now I see
they're spalling already. Do you know what the contractor did wrong?
He did, before the fence went up, with his friends, probably all
firemen, put in a cement pad and a pre-fab, home-depot style shed, and
afaik that's still in good shape.
And another neighbor a couple doors away replaced the deck years ago.
I was going to need a new deck so I went over to talk to them. They
used those metal hangers for every joist (when aiui, they shouldnt' be
needed at all), they used right angle brackets for the railing
uprights, because they didnt' know how to do toe-nails, and they never
took the "treated wood" labels off of any of the treated wood.
And oh, yeah, my other next door neighbor, several owners ago, needed
to repair the privacy "screen"/fence in front of the front patio. They
wear out every 20 years or so. I still had dial-up then and I'm on
the computer when the net fails. I go downstairs and they're using a
pole or a pick to do something, get the rotten remains of the 4x4 out
of the ground maybe. I complain that they cut my phone line and
they offer to or start to fix it with a wirenut. (This will be
underground when done.) I stop them and get a soldering iron etc. and
solder it, then wrap it with the silicon tape. They were sort of
laughing at me for doing it the hard way, soldering, and I was
laughing inside that they don't know how to do it. On Monday I call
the phone company, and she tells me their guys would just use those
jelly filled connectors and regular electrical tape. So I think I did
a better job than the phone company would have and for sure better
than those handymen would have.
I do most of my work myself, but did hire a guy to do the roof. He'd
done three of my n'bors with no complaints. 5 years later I have no
None of the flaws are so noticeable that they will lower the price of
my house, plus I plan to be dead then anyhow, but I had the need to