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Thread: know of any funny home repair disaster stories?

  1. #1
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    know of any funny home repair disaster stories?

    Hi folks,

    I'm researching a book on home remodeling and building horror stories, disasters, and mishaps. Anyone out there know of any? It could have happened by a homeowner or on a job site by a builder or subcontractor.

    One guy I know went to change a light bulb in a ceiling fan – not the most complicated job. He ended up falling off his ladder onto the kitchen table, part of which bashed a hole in the wall while the ladder smashed through a nearby window. Oh, and by trying to save himself he ripped the whole fan out of the ceiling.

    This one’s worse – a builder was doing an addition and had to build carefully around a old oak tree without damaging or killing it. As soon as the last coat of paint dried the tree fell on the addition and destroyed everything. Ouch!

    I'd love to hear more if they're out there.


    Kicks

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    After a hurricane in Pensacola, Florida a friend of mine discovered a huge live oak tree in his back yard was now slightly uprooted and leaning precariously over the back of his house. He called his insurance company and they said he should have the tree cut out immediately

    He called every tree service in town, but due to the weather they were all too busy to get there for at least a week or two.

    He was sitting there wondering what he should do when he heard a chainsaw running across the street. Looking out he saw a pickup truck and two men cutting a tree in the neighbors yard so he walked over and asked if they could give him an estimate to remove his tree. The lead man came over and looked at it and said they could get it just as soon as they finished the tree they were working on.

    About an hour later the pickup pulls in the driveway the men came to tell him they were ready to start. My friend had to get ready for work so he signed a contract and wrote them a check, then he went in to take his shower. He could hear the saws running for about ten minutes then came a terrible bang and the tree came crashing in on the house. He ran out to see what was going on and found a chain saw laying in the driveway, still running, and the pickup was speeding down the street never to be seen again. It seems that instead of starting at the top of the tree and taking it down a bit at a time those fools had cut the butt and dropped the tree on the house.

    To add insult to injury my friend called the insurance company again and told them what had happened only to be informed that the insurance would not cover the damage. The insurance company agreed that the tree needed to be removed, but dropping it on the house in that manner was gross negligence on the part of the workman, therefore they were responsible for the damage, not the storm.

    My friend then located the contract he had signed and found there was no address or phone number for the tree service. When he later tried to locate them through the city licensing bureau he found out they had no license and the contract was fictitious. To this day he has not been able to recover any of his losses.

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    This isn't a disaster but I know you'll get a kick out of it LP. Customer called us to lite his new tankless rinnai water heater that we installed( mounted and connected gas lines, plumbers to install water lines). We'll we get there take a quick glance to make sure everything is there. Later on customer informs us that he made the final water connections to the unit cause the plumbers only stubbed out for it. So we go in turn the water on and soon there is hot water, then I notice that the water flow quickly drops and I hear water running, I immediately think...wow he has a busted water line inside! Nope... he glued CPVC fittings to pex pipe at the heater...they blew off and water was flying outside( outdoor unit) I couldn't help but laugh...mainly cause this customer was an "engineer".

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    Talking home built in 1908

    My father purchased a home in the mid 60's that had been built in 1908. The plumbing and electrical service had been installed sometime in the mid 40's.
    There was alot of remodeling to be done and we (there were 7 of us from 3 yrs old to 12 years old) started in right away 3 days after moving in!
    All the interior walls were 1x12 (yes) with cheesecloth, lath then plaster and filled with, yes, you quessed it. Sawdust!
    We removed the plaster, then the lath and pulled the cheesecloth off. Dad insisted that remove ever little bit of that cheese cloth and of course that meant the tiny pieces that were stuck to 1x12 were the tacks had been in.

    Luckily, they were in a straight line from the floor to the cieling. We set to work pulling the stuff off the wall, when my brother found a much quicker way! We completed 3 rooms in no time! If you light the bottom piece, the flame will zip up the wall and just burn it all off! We thought we were very smart, until Dad came in and say the black scorch lines up all the walls!

    I still think he was crazy to put 5 kids into a room together at any one time!

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    Back in the late 1980's I worked maintenance at the Quality Inn Motel & Conference Center in Chicopee, Mass. One day the hotel manager came to the shop to inform us that he had hired his nephew for our maintenance crew. Little did we know at the time that the kid had absolutely no training, other than the fact that he had managed to get by as a self taught handyman.

    The engineer decided to give him a simple project to try him out. We had a freestanding water cooler to be un-crated then stood in the back hallway by the kitchen and connect a water line so the kitchen and banquet waite staff would have access to a water cooler. Sounded simple enough to me.

    Four hours later we went to lunch and one of the cooks said he had just finished hooking it up only minutes before. I thought 4 hours a bit much to unpack a unit and connect one 3/8" water line but whatever.

    A few minutes later one of the waitresses came in the employee dining room and says..."Whats up with this water cooler? Push the button and all you get is some stinky air coming out the spout."

    After we finished lunch I and the engineer went and checked it out, sure enough, nothing but stinky air...sort of anyway. On closer inspection we discovered that instead of soldering a valve on the water line as he was instructed, he had attached a saddle tap valve, which is strictly code prohibited, and to make matters even worse, he had attached the tap valve to a 1/2" copper high pressure refrigerant line to the walk in coolers. The Stinky air was in fact freon from the cooler.

    I won't even begin to tell you what i was muttering under my breath while i pumped the cooler down, repaired the refrigerant line and recharged the refrigerant, then proceeded to install the water line correctly.

    Needless to say, that young man had a short career in maintenance.
    Last edited by LazyPup; 09-18-2007 at 07:41 AM.

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    Total disaster!!

    Long story short. While installing facia on new addition to my own house. I went 1 step too high on a 6' ladder. Ladder fell!! Crushed heel bone into 1000 pieces. 8 sugeries and 3 years later still can't walk well enough to return to any form of work. Sucks to be me!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wizendwizard View Post
    Long story short. While installing facia on new addition to my own house. I went 1 step too high on a 6' ladder. Ladder fell!! Crushed heel bone into 1000 pieces. 8 sugeries and 3 years later still can't walk well enough to return to any form of work. Sucks to be me!!
    OMG.. it's glad that you have survived.. and at least you'd better be thankful..

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    I was using a 4 inch grinder today and had been working about 15 minutes and the grinder was getting warm so I stopped and let it cool down 5 minutes then started again when the crazy thing burst into flames. Now there is nothing like running a grinder with a wheel spinning at 10,000 rpm and the crazy thing shooting a ball of flames out of it

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    disaster

    I'm a retired Electrician ..but like all tradesmen can repair just about anything around the home...One morning I was late for my tee time and rushing into the garage I hit the open button on the garage door...it just groaned a bit and lifted a small amount...so I pulled the manual open rope and tried to lift by hand...still in a rush and muttering a few choice words...the door would not lift ..too heavy ..so I had a brilliant idea.. increase the lift torque by the adjusting screws on the motor...next thing the door groaned and lifted a good bit but pulled the top half of the door inwards bending it all to h**l
    Now what???the door is wrecked...then the wife said .."should that spring at the top off the door be broken like that"
    I cannot print what was said about that....$1600 later with a new door and a lot wiser...worse of all when we are in company my wife just loves to tell the story

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    really put my foot in it!

    on the subject of home repair disasters, ive a real corker here for you. about 5 yrs ago i decided to go into the loft to try to discover where a leak was coming from as rainwater was getting in down a corner wall. there was no flooring up there, just insulation and the torch i was using threw as much light out as an imprisoned gloworm. anyway to cut a long story short i banged my head on one of the roofing beams and lost my footing and yes you guessed it! put my foot straight through the bedroom ceiling. it wouldnt have been so bad but the hole was right in the middle of the room and all the dust and bits of ceiling had rained down on our bed. to add insult to injury my wife had only just put new clean sheets on the bed...... i wasnt very popular for quite a while afterwards..

    peter

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