Quirky Old Home Project #1

When we bought our new “older” home, we knew that there would be some quirky issues.

Houston Home (1)

While it was nicely renovated, the laundry list of items highlighted by the home inspector was long.  If this was our first rodeo, we would have been overwhelmed.

Working with the inspector, the real estate agent, and some licensed professionals, we decided which items were life safety issues and important for us to negotiate and resolve as quickly as possible.  I will just say this now – a good real estate agent is worth every penny of commission that they receive.

Houston Street Bathroom

This is the main floor bathroom in our new “old” home.  Yes, it is also the laundry room.

Houston Electrical Project #1

What we did not know was what was hiding behind this picture hanging over the bathtub.

Houston Electrical Project #2

Yes, after removing the picture, you can see that this is also the room that contains the electrical panel for the house.

Both the inspector and the electrician that we used are seasoned veterans with expertise in working on older homes.  Both of them stated that this was a first for them.

Houston Electrical Project #4

The inspector is also a teacher, and he took pictures of DSH standing in the tub and pretending to work on the electrical panel as an example of what not to do for his students.

Can you guess what project #1 was?  Yes, it was moving the electrical panel to a newer, safer location.

Houston Electrical Project #5

First, DSH had to remove the wood strips and some drywall.

Houston Electrical Project #6

Then the box was moved by a licensed electrician to a new, safer location – outside – not ideal, but certainly better than over the bathtub.

We are left with an ugly gray panel in the bathroom that we are being challenged with how to conceal, but the work was permitted and inspected and completed and approved by both the electric company and by the local building code inspector.  We are now safe and legal.

We hope we are safe.  We have found other electrical work that needs attention.

We have a mysterious orange extension cord that is snaked through the wall and out of an electrical outlet where it is plugged in.  Yes, this is also in our multi-functional bathroom behind the washer and dryer units.  Neither DSH or the electrician can figure out where the other end of that extension cord is plugged in, and we’re afraid to unplug it until we find out.

There are some outlets and switches that need to be changed to the proper fixtures to match aluminum and copper wiring.

We have some outlets that need to be switched to GFI outlets.

We need an exhaust fan in the main bathroom.

We have a wish list of electrical items, too.  It drives DSH crazy to see some outlets turned one way and others turned the opposite way especially ones that are on the same wall and obvious.  So, while he is making sure that all the switches and outlets are correct, he is also turning them all the same direction.  Quirky house.  Quirky husband.

DSH is busy changing how the switches work, too.  He has very specific ideas about what switches should work and what they shouldn’t work.  He has worked on every ceiling fan in the house – some were on incorrect dimmer switches, all were dirty and needed a good cleaning, and several needed to be re-balanced so that they didn’t sway and rattle when in use.  Let me just say this now – this is not the first house where he has worked on every ceiling fan.

Houston House backyard #5

To  use this adorable fountain in the garden, you have to go inside, go down into the cellar, and plug the extension cord, that is connected to the fountain’s cord and that snakes under the mulched bed and into the cellar window, into the ceiling outlet.

Adding an exterior outlet, or two, in the rear of the home is on my list because I am not going to use the fountain if I have to go up and down a steep set of stairs to turn it on.

One item that we didn’t notice and the inspector didn’t catch is that there is no exterior lighting in the rear of the house.  When you come home after dark you cannot see where you are going.  It’s hard to unlock the door in the dark.

Adding some lighting is now on the list.

Yes, older homes are quirky.  Let me just say this now – I actually think the story of the electrical panel in the bathroom will now be a fun one to share about this home.  Now that it has been moved.

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