Renovation Nightmares You'll Want To Avoid

Everyone wants to improve their home. From following along on an HGTV program to watching YouTube tutorials, many are trying to make changes all on their own. What's the worst thing that could happen? We'll, glad you asked. What are you going to do when you find yourself standing knee deep in a pile of torn up jip rock? What are you going to do when you realize you have sheet rock dust in your hair? How are you going to deal with that knot of exposed electrical wires that were hidden stealthfully behind the drywall? Is that black mold on the wall over there in the corner? Yikes! Have you entered the twilight zone?

There are many weird and scary things that can happen during any DIY project. Even when you hire a contractor like Heilman's Renovations you can still find strange things in a renovation project. Here are some renovation nightmares that have happened to others.

Spooky Cat Entombed In Floor

Picture this, you're remodeling the kitchen when suddenly, you notice that cat is missing. You haven't seen him in a few days and suddenly see his empty food dish. So you casually mention this to the contractor as you look here and there for your cat. You assume with all of the hustle and bustle going on that the cat is hiding. Not an unusual scenario. The contractor tells you that you really need to find the cat to make sure it's not hiding in a wall that has recently been put up. The sooner the better.

Pretty soon, everyone in the household is looking for the cat. They're all calling his name and suddenly, someone standing next to a new wall hears a mewing sound. It's not a ghost, it's the cat that you've all been looking for. He had curled up for a nap in a hidey hole and been boarded up in the drywall.

To the best of your calculations, the cat has been in that wall for a few days. Now you have to tear the wall out enough to get to the cat and rescue him. Thankfully, the cat is still alive and the contractor can repair the damage from having to remove the portion of the wall to get to the cat.

DIY From Hell

Our family home was a standard classic 1970s basement that came complete with circa fake brick that included paneled arches in the home and dark wood paneling that made the basement appear darker than it actually was. With the bright red shag carpeting and a tired fiberglass panel for the ceiling, we knew it had to be renovated, but we didn't want to spend the money to do it. So we decided to do it ourselves. Sound familiar?

We began by ripping off the circa fake brick walls and found a DIY framing job that looked as if an 8-year-old had built a fort in the backyard. It was comprised of two-by-fours, two-by-two, and something that appeared to be fencing that was held together with nails that were in varying sizes from roofing nails to railroad spikes. This alone was a nightmare.

In between this nightmare framing job, we found a mass of tangled wire and some black burn marks on the wall. Amazingly the house hadn't caught fire in the previous 25 years. We stopped right there and called in a professional electrician. This was above our field of expertise.

As the electrician was dealing with the electrical issue, we moved on to the ceiling. Slowly we removed the old fiberglass foam tile. They had used a suspended ceiling frame. At first, we thought it just needed some paint and a bit of reinforcement. Since we're not professional renovators, this was a very bad idea. We “installed” the new panels on the ceiling and left the area.

I'm sure the electrician was wondering what he'd gotten himself into by now. Suddenly, the entire ceiling came crashing down. As we ran down to the basement to see what had happened, the poor electrician crawled out from underneath the rubble of broken tiles and made eye contact with me. “Who put the ceiling in?” he asked. Clearly, he was distressed but had no serious injuries. “You really need to call a contractor to fix this,” he said pointing to the rubble. I quietly left the room.

Ghastly Plumbing

If you have exposed beams, pipes, and bricks that are more common and you look up at these in your bathroom, it may appear as if the plumbing has fallen out of the ceiling.

The cause: A previous owner wanted a secondary bathroom upstairs and didn't care how he got it. As a direct result, water pipes, discharge pipes, and other miscellaneous things were all protruding from the ceiling in the living room. Perhaps they should be painted and used as a conversation piece. Ceiling art?

Avoid renovation nightmares. If you notice any of the above scenarios in any phase of your renovation, call in the professionals. It's okay to call for help, in fact, it's the right thing to do. It just may save you a lot of headache, hassle, time, and money if you call in the professionals to do it right this time. Professionals will take the time to double check that there aren't any pets hiding in the drywall, that the suspended ceiling isn't going to collapse on the electrician or anyone else, and that everything else is taken care of properly. You'll save a lot of time and money when you hire the professionals to do the job for you.