Note: This is semi-related to "What's wrong with 1622 4th St NW" .
A year or more after I bought my house, I decided that I did not want my washer and dryer in my tiny kitchen. I decided to buy a new washer and dryer and stick them down in the cellar so I could double my counterspace to about 2 feet. All was fine and dandy until the men working on the hookups went to attach the new pipe to the main stack. The main stack is that big PVC pipe that carries away the greywater and sewage into the sewers. They went to touch it and it fell apart.
Let's take this back to a month before I bought my house and a man I call Sonny the Nigerian was 'renovating' the house. The house was owned by a man, now since dead, and his wife who did not live in the house. Sonny was 'fixing' the place up for sale. For the price point and the fact that the area had drug dealers 24-7 and hot mess prostitutes, Sonny didn't bother undoing the crackhead design elements. What he did was hide the problems, and install and wire things ineptly. I had lots of ungrounded plugs, hot plugs, possibly set your house on fire plugs. And later I found, plumbing pipes held together with sheer will instead of pvc cement.
I will admit when buying the place I was impressed by the 'activity' going on with the painting and sanding and busywork. It was better than the place on 5th St I looked at where the seller didn't even bother cleaning up the mess left by his last tenants. My ladder-less home inspector did mention the unconventional aspects of Sonny's reno work. I knew it was an old house and I had visions of re-doing the house anyway, so Sonny's work was a decent temporary fix. I just wish I knew how temporary and how bad.
This is the same Sonny who put up the unreliable cabinets in someone else's house. I didn't feel moved to warn the residents, prefering to do the passive hazing of letting them find out for themselves, which in retrospect, seems very mean. So my wanting to warn the future buyer of 1622 4th Street NW of the structural issues and the possibility of other behind the wall problems, I consider less mean than letting them find out for themselves.