|Let's not mention those people again.|
Fab and I have been working our asses off on this house since December, 2011 and let me tell you, we have cleaned up so many potential and existing household disasters, I'm sure it would be impossible to list them all. Nonetheless, let's give it a go, shall we? Here are the top
1. Electricity: My dad spent almost a week helping us combine two small closets into one, but before we could do that, he and Fab spent 2+ days fixing the electrical firestorm that was just waiting to blow up in our faces, literally. The circuit breaker looked like Medusa, there were melted wires in several walls and there was a live wire in the basement. A live wire. That is how you get yourself killed, people. Yes, the house was built in the 60's, but let me just give you a little piece of advice: if you have no idea about how electricity works, don't do electrical work in your house! All of this AFTER the place had been inspected and several glaring problems fixed prior to the sale.
2. Paint: Ever heard the expression "slap a coat of paint on it"? That's what the Randalls did to the whole house, including the doors, hinges, door knobs and light switches. (Except for the areas where they clearly ran out of paint and couldn't be arsed to finish the job. Nice touch, don't you think?) Fab and I may be obsessive compulsive perfectionists in some ways, but for the love of all things that ought not to be painted, take an extra 11 seconds to take off the light switch plate before you paint. Better yet, I bet you would save time if you did, rather than painstakingly painting around it. Also, based on our investigation of all the spots they missed, the entire house was some shade of red at one point. What is that about? Who would want to live in such an aggressive, anger provoking atmosphere? Thank the universe their realtor had at least enough sense to make them slap a coat of something acceptable over that.
3. Mr. DIY: Change of plans. I'm getting too angry myself to list off all the incompetencies of the Randalls one by one, but let's just say that as anal as Mr. Randall told me he was about lining up the tiles just exactly right in the bathrooms, he didn't really give a flying fart about anything else from what I can tell. If there was a shortcut to be taken, they took it. The house looked good when it was on the market. But most of them do. You really have to live in a place for a while to find out just how close it is to collapsing right out from under your feet. Or exploding.
Having lived here for a few months now, and having seen the extent of our inheritance in this house, we have had it with our neighbors telling us what great condition it was in thanks to the awesome, cool, handy, best-neighbors-ever Randalls. So far we have smiled and nodded, but one of these days we are gonna snap. The world, or at least the neighborhood, is going to find out what a half-assed job the Randalls were really doing all those years.
The one thing must concede, the Randalls knew how to relax (which I, arguably, do not.) They quite obviously spent all of their money building the spacious covered deck and lovely screened-in porch, where they spent most of their time drinking with the neighbors who bitterly miss them. Not a penny went toward insulation, landscaping upkeep, energy efficiency, safety or any of the things we see as top priorities. Oh, the windows are drafty? Go warm yourself up on the uninsulated porch with the the gas heater. Not an expert plumber? No problem, the leaks aren't that big! Ran out of wire-nuts putting in those dimmers? Just twist those babies together, shove 'em in the wall, and forget about it!
***As I was writing this, our next-door neighbor dropped by to borrow our reel mower. As we walked around back to get it from the basement, he told us how thankful he and his wife are that there are no longer hundreds of steamy piles of dog shit dotting the landscape in the back yard. Seriously, I am not a dog person, but how can you relax on your deck when the neighbors can't even be outside because of your dogs' poo?