Secrets of Crackhead Building Techniques

Got a hole? Fix that puppy right up with adhesive and caulk. Apparently that was the thinking of the crackhead who worked around the electrical outlet in my bedroom. I wanted to replace the metal painted over outlet covers with something white, clean and plastic. So I figured it would be an easy change, scrape the edge of the outlet cover, pop it off and replace. Nooooooo. That sucker was glued in. There was a gap between the drywall and the outlet box and the outlet cover was secured with a massive gob of something that had me tearing off part of my wall. Nothing that couldn’t be fixed with that vinyl mesh stuff and joint compound. But it was annoying because a simple thing that should have taken 1 minute has dragged out because I have to apply the compound, wait for the compound to dry, sand the wall, paint the wall, and then replace the cover.
But really this is one of 100 crackhead problems awaiting for me to discover. I’ve already discovered a dozen so far. There is the nearly clogged up shower head I can’t replaced because someone must have welded that sucker in. The toilet encased in the bathroom floor. There was the plumbing pipe that wasn’t glued (or whatever the adhesive is) together so it fell apart when I had a washer installed. There are all sorts of challenges behind these walls and I’m dealing with ’em one at a time.

6 thoughts on “Secrets of Crackhead Building Techniques”

  1. I had to remove a giant mirror (5 feet across) from my livingroom wall. Whoever hung it apparently decided that screwing it in would be sufficent , so they also glued it using something very strong (liquid nails?). Anyway, lots of plaster lost in the removal. Then there was the smaller mirror by the door. That one they just built up the plaster all around the mirror until the mirror was actually imbedded in the wall.

  2. Hey, use that “setting” 90 minute compound instead of regular compound. It doesn’t shrink/crack as much.

    Also if you are replacind the switches, those “rocker” lite switches look really nice. They sell them at harbor freight for about a third less than they sell them at HD or Lowes (you can get a 10 pack for $10 plus the cover).

  3. My favorite that I’ve found so far is a toilet has hot water serving it from the hot water pipe, not the cold. When I redo the bathroom, that’s a high priority to fix.

  4. How about recycled plumbing? I.e., “patched” copper elbows. About a foot of insulation instead of soffit vents and closing up the eaves. How about, in 1870, cheating on the amount of brick for a firewall (found out after a fire)?

    There are good contractors, and then there are the first constractors a renovator gets. Since if you (we) had enough money, we probably wouldn’t be renovating anyway. If we’d done it before, we’d know a good contractor from a bad one a bit better.

    The second wave of residents after renovation/gentrification won’t understand. And won’t be able to fix their own plumbing anyway. But they’ll start with more money. It’s fun to watch.

  5. That’s a nice comment and I really hate to see something bad happen to it, like getting deleted because no initals or any ID was placed on it.

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