Renovation 2007: Thou shalt not kill

Forgive me, O Lord, for the sinful thoughts that welled up in my heart, for desiring to hire a hit man to deal with a certain Nigerian contractor, and place in my renovation budget. May the murderous anger that fills me be replaced by charity and forgiveness. And I ask, may I not find any more like surprises that trigger these thoughts in the first place. Amen.

I haven’t mentioned him in a while because dang it, I moved on, and I just attributed many of these things to nameless ‘crackheads.’ Yet, I am going to say, and warn all who read this posting, if you meet up with a Nigerian contractor named Sunny, don’t let him anywhere near your house. If you buy a house that was recently ‘fixed’ or ‘renovated’ by this man, tear everything down to the party walls and the joists. Why? Because this man’s ‘work’ is dangerous.
I’ve begun part of the demo in the house and while whacking away at sections of drywall I discovered something that makes me afraid to sleep in my house. Sunny, being the contractor who ‘renovated’ the house for sale had a false wall near the part of the house that meets up with the kitchen.
I had gathered that the false wall was built to hide the radiator pipes. Yes, that and something else. There was a big crack hidden behind the wall that I’d seen the top of and figured I would fix in this renovation. This week I pulled back more of the drywall and discovered that big crack jagged down to an enormous sized hole about 2 feet wide and 1.5 feet from the floor. This hole continues through the floor revealing the joists and the drywall for the ceiling of the cellar.
Unfortunately I haven’t gotten a real camera yet and my Palm camera can’t get the lighting right so I’ll have to describe this. Start about 4 feet from the ground with a crack in the plaster. Go down about 1.5 feet and increase the size of the crack creating a 1/2 gap in the crack. Three feet, make the gap 1 inch. Then from there open up a big hole, where near the top you see a brick hanging loosely. Behind most of the plaster surrounding the hole, nothing. At the bottom of the hole you will see joists, wires, and three bricks sitting on the ceiling of the basement.
The reason for the murderous thoughts was what the big hole meant. Above the wall that sits between the 1 floor kitchen and the main structure is an exterior brick wall. I’ve always wondered what was keeping up that brick wall seeing that the basement didn’t continue that wall….. Apparently, nothing! Nothing is keeping up that wall! That wall being my bedroom wall, the wall that my bed leans on. Sunny’s cheap ass slap dash crackhead work put the structure of my house and possibly my life in danger. I. Was. Livid!
I can forgive the superglued plumbing, the unsecured plumbing, the wiring that makes no sense, the toilet encased in tile, the poor paint job, the crooked windows, and the nasty textured paint, but this, no.

9 thoughts on “Renovation 2007: Thou shalt not kill”

  1. i guess you didn’t get certified inspector to go through the building before you purchased? i think they’re about 250

  2. That’s terrible! There is a lot of crummy construction in the neighborhood, I’m afraid.

    We rent on in Shaw and had a house fire, because the fireplace was not rebuilt to code. The landlord hired workers that used the wrong brick, didn’t seal cracks, etc. We had a fire smoldering under our floor for hours. Fortunately, we only lost use of our living room for six months – – and not our lives.

    People renovating on the cheap don’t care. You are 100% correct to call the work in your house “dangerous.”

    That’s why when I next buy a house, I’m going to look for one where the owners did any renovations for themselves, and not for resale.

    Best of luck with your big project!

  3. rr 446 — I had my whole house inspected before the closing, but some important flaws didn’t show up until after the walls came down. According to the licensed home inspector, I had only 2 little code violations: a missing chimney cap and a boiler pipe valve release which should didn’t extend close enough to the floor. However, once the drywall came down, we found: 1) a crack in the sewer pipe running down from the upstairs bathroom; 2) ceiling joists which had been improperly cut; 3) dry-rotted interior wall 2 by 4’s in first and second floors; 4) HVAC ducts that were falling off the ceiling and not lined up with registers; 5) a smoke alarm hooked up to the main electrical system; 6) dry-rotted door frames on the second floor; and 7) other leaky cold-water pipes. None of these things were visible to the home inspector. I actually think the best time to have a home inspected is after you’ve done some demolition. But wouldn’t it be too late by then?

  4. I had an inspector.

    But the inspector can’t tear down walls, or pull up the carpet, or put holes in the ceiling ’cause at the time we did the inspection, the house wasn’t mine and I didn’t have the right.
    I went by the first time homebuyer handbook. I went on the inspection prepared to get dirty and take notes. The notes are in a file, somewhere in a box (like most of my stuff). From what I can remember the stuff I’m encountering was never mentioned during the inspection.
    The crap I’m looking at, now that I’ve torn down walls, could never have been discovered in a buyer’s inspection. It was behind a layer of paint, mud, and drywall. It was hidden. Consciously, purposefully hidden from view.

  5. How certain are you of the spelling of this terrible contractor’s name? Is it Sunny for sure, or can it be Sani/Sanni? The reason I ask is because I bought my house, which I believe has been built by a Nigerian developer named Sani or Sanni. It’s pronounced “Sani” and not “Sunny” though, so I was curious if this is the same guy who renovated your house… if so, perhaps there is cause for concern for us as well…although we have not experienced any issues with our house yet. Ofcourse, it’s only 2.5 years old.

  6. Sounds like Sunny, I never saw his name spelled.
    He did work on a house that didn’t sell quickly, renters moved in. When the renters put their dishes in the kitchen cabinets, the cabinets fell off the wall.
    In the 6 years I’ve been in the house I discover the Sunny related problems when I want to change or adjust something. Like when I wanted a new shower head or when I installed a washing machine.

  7. thanks, Mari. i hope once you are done with renovating your house, you’ll be free of these terrible remnants of sunny’s work. i do dearly hope that the man who built my house is not the same guy who did yours… no major problems yet, but who knows down the line if i discover a big gaping hole some place hidden… scary!!

  8. REL-> That is so weird. I too live in Shaw and the same thing happened to me. For a second there I thought you were my roommate who wrote in. Maybe we had the same people work on our fireplaces… Shudder.

    In our case, when the “mason” “repaired” the fire damage (collapsed chimney, fireplace and big ole hole that exposed our basement neighbor and next door neigbors’ apts)he just put up sheet rock, laid some wood down and painted. I pray that my next door neighbors don’t use their fireplace because the floor beam that supports both of our apartments was never repaired properly from the fire.

    At least I got half of my rent off for a month. *eye roll*

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