The previous owner of the house we have bought had some strange DIY skills.
Excellent joinery, poor plumbing. He had created a lovely shower area off
the bathroom, beautifully tiled, good quality shower mixer, but the head of
the shower is mounted above the level of the water in the old combi hot/cold
water cylinder. So with no loft tank it simply won't work!!!!
What tales of SPOT (stupid previous owner tricks) do others have to tell?
Our first house also suffered from a bodge plumbing job. They had installed
a "new" bathroom shortly before we bought the house and the clever "plumber"
connected the plastic bath outlet pipe to the original lead pipe by heating
the plastic pipe a bit to expand it and hammering (?) the lead pipe a bit to
make it fit into the plastic pipe and then loads and loads of mastic. They
obviously did this because the lead pipe went through the wall and into the
tiny ceiling of the kitchen (the kitchen extended past the main building and
had a small pitched roof) before negotiating a sharp angle and emptying
into the hopper outside. So it was probably easier to try and use the
existing lead pipe then it was to get new plastic pipework to negotiate all
the bends. Leak .... the darn thing emptied nearly all the bath water into
what little cavity there was and a year after moving in we had to have the
bathroom, kitchen and living room (directly below the bathroom) ripped out
due to dry rot. Not impressed especially as we were on a low income with a
I think our 'best' example of this was emulsion paint on the radiators
which became slightly sticky when hot and eventually dust becoming
embedded in the surface. Fortunately the local furniture strippers were
willing to dunk all the radiators in their caustic tank. 28 years on we
still have the radiators with the traditional white enamel finish now.
A real pita priming and painting the the lot amongst all the other jobs
we had on at the time.
Back in the seventies I lived in a house that had several oddities:
1. A nail in the wall of the bathroom - handy for hanging up your dressing
gown - but not very ornate. I took the nail out to discover a growing wet
patch on the plaster. Previous owner had decreased the size of the bathroom
by putting up a partition wall with a water pipe screwed to the inner
framework of this wall - a bit too close to the edge, then wacked in a nail
for some odd reason and the nail was the only thing preventing the water
2. In a similar light - pun intended - we had a floorboard that if you stood
on it the standard light would go off - trapped, half stripped wire going
the flooring joist to a very DIY 5amp wall socket.
3. Old gas water heater over the bath held up there only by the pipework!
4. Duck tape around a crack in a gas pipe
5. And remember the old rubber lighting flex? it would have a covering made
of a material woven around it like a rope and the two cores would be twisted
together - yeah! well a 30 foot length of that went to the shed at the
bottom of the garden and fired up the lights and was wired up to a twin
13amp socket (just didn't bother about an earth - only pussy's have an earth
So any DIY undertaken by myself was always met with "Oh my God what will we
Just remembered, I think perhaps the funniest was the loo seat. There was a
chip around the back of the loo pan so one of the holes usually for the loo
seat nut and bolt to go through was not functioning so, "Mr DIY 1974"
decided to mastic the loo seat to the loo - maybe he just got fed up of his
missus telling him to lift the seat!!!
FENG SHUI BATHROOM TIPS
- Keep bathroom doors closed at all times.
- Keep the lid of the toilet down at all times.
- No family pictures in the bathroom.
- Shouldn't be able to see the bathroom from the bedroom.
Chics dig this kind of stuff.
They (chics) also like the modern trend in 'en suite' (referring to a
bathroom off the bedroom - I always add the word bathroom because without
doing so 'en suite' doesn't make sense!). And I've noticed on these stupid ,
I mean, trendy, make-over shows that they are now doing 'in-suite' whereby
if you have a bedroom the size of a football pitch you stand a Victorian
bath in the middle of the room and place the bog in the corner so you can
wake up in the morning and see your better half 'getting rid' on the
porcelain right before your eyes - not very Feng Shui, or very tasteful
either for that matter!
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