OT Another story from long ago

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I must be getting old, I've been in a relflective mood...
Once upon a time, I did a 3 year stint as an electrician, this was mixed in with various carpentry and masonry jobs.
We did mostly industrial work but filled in with new house work and rewiring old houses.
One job was the rewiring of a 30's era house, the lady that owned the place had a minor electrical fire and wanted everything replaced and brought up to code, all light fixtures with the exception of one was to be replaced.
The fixture in question was a huge, many socketed affair made of cast brass, probably weighed 50 lbs, a price was agreed on to repair the fixture and one rainy day work began.
Some one in the past had painted the fixture with a brown enamel paint, we disassembled the fixture, soaked the whole thing in stripper. cleaned it up, polished it with a buffing wheel, reassmbled with new wiring and sockets, and finally give the whole thing a clear coat to prevent tarnishing.
It was a work of art and shone like new money.
Made the trip to hang the refurbished fixture and unboxed it in front of the owner, she turned white, then red, sputtering in anger saying that it had to be painted brown.
A can of brown spray paint returned the fixture to its former tacky glory and everyone was happy.
Main lesson learned: never assume anything when dealing with a client.
basilisk
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On 3/4/2013 9:10 AM, basilisk wrote:

Especially when it requires doing something stupid/unsafe. That is when you can righteously thank gawd for building codes, and inspectors. ;)
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On Mon, 04 Mar 2013 09:30:21 -0600, Swingman wrote:

The county I live in has no rural permitting/inspection structure, there are some rules that apply to general contractors for construction for resale.
Basically, anyone can build anything on their property for their use in any way they see fit, this is nice from a freedom point of view, but many of these properties eventually come on the market and leave buyers with a pile of crap that is expensive to fix.
I am never in favor of more gov't intervention, but the unsuspecting buyer can get burned badly.
When i worked in the trades here, there was no enforcement of any branch of building codes, the only thing that controlled the quality of the work was a GC's moral character.
The electrician I worked with held a master license first in TX and then in AL, he was a sticlker for abiding by the code. We lost a lot of work to those willing to cut corners.
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On 3/4/2013 10:07 AM, basilisk wrote:

Know the feeling ... those who have the ultimate responsibility, and LIABILITY, call the shots ... it would be foolish to expect otherwise, something not always appreciated by clients, architects and other wannabe builders. (Architects are the worst, and I have turned down many a job because of the project Architect)
Also, there is an upside to rigidly enforced building codes that the fly-by-night GC doesn't appreciate it:
... not only does it protect the home owner, it protects the builder/GC in just as many, if not more, ways, particularly when it comes to enforcing performance clauses in contracts ... it is impossible/futile for a subcontractor to argue if his works fails to pass inspection because it does not meet code.
That alone has done wonders for job site relationships and harmony in pursuit of getting the job done right, if you know what I mean ... it takes a bit of "BTDT" to appreciate that point fully. ;)
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"basilisk" wrote:

--------------------------------------------------
I'm surprised the insurance companies will write policies given the above.
Lew
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That is one of the main reasons why, for any house I build in a rural area with no code or inspection requirements, I hire, FBO homeowner, a licensed, third party inspector to inspect every step of the construction process before going on to the next, including a formal Building Final.
Not that I need one, but It is naive to think that any third party, from insurer to future homebuyer, is going to take the word of any GC that everything was done correctly. Not only does it benefit me as a double check, but the client is protected, now and in the future.
I also insist the PE make foundation and framing visits so that he can issue 'wet stamp', "As Built" letters for both foundation and framing, as well as I photographically document all Engineering plan specification requirements for both structures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/ToEngineer?authkey=Gv1sRgCOaP_82H94IW
Only a damned fool, or a crook, would do otherwise.
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How does one get financing to build or purchase a house with no certification as to it soundness[for lack of a better word]? CP
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On Mon, 04 Mar 2013 15:47:11 -0800, Pilgrim wrote:

overwhelming collateral
basilisk
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On 3/4/2013 5:47 PM, Pilgrim wrote:

It is always possible to get a third party inspection ... AAMOF, it is common practice here before buying one, even a brand new home, to pay for a third party home inspection.
The cost is generally in the neighborhood of US$300, and well worth the expense for the buyer.
Now, if you could just say the same for Realtors ...
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"Swingman" wrote in message

There seems to be an abundance of both from what I've seen. Sometimes it is hard to tell if ignorance, dollars, or dishonesty are driving the decisions and actions... in other cases it is clearly all three. The homeowners I feel sorry for are those who try to do the right thing and bring in inspectors and professionals and still end up with problems. The stories I'm hearing from associates in FL suggest that the elderly are being preyed upon with pretty much no recourse. Things may look OK cosmetically but fail quickly...
I wonder how the masses in the younger generations can avoid being taken since they themselves generally do not know how to use tools or understand how things work. It is probably fair to say that in general the trades have become "installers" rather than "builders" and that leads to problems on both sides. I've had discussions with my sons about what their friends and classmates can do and the response is that they generally don't know how to do anything... except push buttons perhaps. My sales and service business owning friends have been saying for years they cannot find youth whom know enough to train let alone possess skills. Perhaps in the future the ruling class will be those who can actually do something... everyone will be at their mercy! LOL
John
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On 3/4/2013 5:52 PM, John Grossbohlin wrote:

That would be a switch ... :)
Actually, I'm surprised, at least around this neck of the woods, with the increasing sophistication of both buyers and remodel clients, even first time home buyers.
I originally thought that it might be TV that was driving that relative sophistication, but after watching a few of those show ... Naaahh, don't think so.
I'm more inclined to think now, that those who can afford housing and remodeling are obviously the few who have the money; and most of those (elderly excluded) who were smart enough to make it in these times, are also smart enough to keep it.
So far I can't attribute my observation to anything else ...
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On Monday, March 4, 2013 4:32:40 PM UTC-6, Swingman wrote:

https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/ToEngineer?authkey=Gv1sRgCOaP_82H94IW
And that's just the chicken coup, right?
Sonny
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On Mon, 4 Mar 2013 13:50:32 -0800, Lew Hodgett wrote:

Not a problem getting insurance, but it is expensive relative to city dwellers, my homeowners would be 1/3 it's present cost if I lived in the city. And that is with a large deductable that would leave me almost on my own should the roof get blown off.
Not surprising, the nearest accredited fire station is 14 miles away, and it isn't a manned firehouse.
There are some downsides to living out and away, but worth it IMHO.
With all that said, ALFA, one of the big insurers in AL, culled 60,000 older properties in AL last year. State Farm picked up most of the slack and life goes on.
basilisk
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Why does that surprise you? It would be surprising only if they did so without adjusting the premiums to take those factors into account.
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On Mon, 4 Mar 2013 20:54:37 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

I've never met one who was WORTH a few hundred bucks, personally.
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On 3/4/2013 10:10 AM, basilisk wrote:

Yup. One man's beauty is another's trash. And vice versa.
The very first non-critical task I did when we bought our house was to replace the light fixture from over the kitchen table. My wife and I shuddered a little each time we looked at it, especially when it was lit. It was wrought iron, designed to look like a bouquet of long-stemmed flowers that splayed out on curving stems "tied" together in the middle. It was painted in numerous loud colors, each flower (10 or so) with a candelabra bulb.
I put it out with the recyclables at maybe 9pm for the next morning's trash pickup. It wasn't out there fifteen minutes before someone had snatched it up. I picture the picker chuckling at his good fortune. "These people musta been CRAZY to throw this out". "Hey honey, you're never gonna be-LIEVE what I got for free!".
And I'm glad frankly that someone got some use out of it. Someone other than us, of course.
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On Mon, 04 Mar 2013 14:24:51 -0500, Greg Guarino wrote:

LOL,
At a yard sale local to where I work, there was a picture frame made from a toilet seat, recessed in back and glass cut to fit hole. That takes recycling just a hair too far.
basilisk
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nntp-13.dc1.easynews.com:

That's one of those shock things... The appeal isn't in the recycling, but the surprise someone gets when they see it for the first time.
I was looking at pinball machine parts yesterday, and there was one place selling a decal set so you can decorate your toilet with a pinball theme. (It was in the appropriate section, though: Stupid things you don't need.) DAGS for "Poop bumper" if you're so inclined.
Puckdropper
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On Mon, 04 Mar 2013 14:24:51 -0500, Greg Guarino wrote:

LOL,
At a yard sale local to where I work, there was a picture frame made from a toilet seat, recessed in back and glass cut to fit hole. That takes recycling just a hair too far.
basilisk
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On 3/4/2013 6:28 PM, basilisk wrote:

Where the photo of the ex goes?
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