Moving the electric meter

A qualified electrical contractor begins work on my house to repair the faulty wiring, move the main service mast to a new location on the outside of the house, and upgrade the main service from a fuse box illegally located in the corner of the master closet to a breaker panel in a legal location.

During his work, the electrician discovers additional wiring problems and asks me to demolish more of the basement ceiling.

Basement ceiling demolition

Three friends help me demolish half of the basement ceiling. ($58.79)

We discover more hazardous and illegal wiring and a gas shut-off valve that is illegally situated.

This telephone jack was orphaned behind ceiling drywall.

These wires were spliced without a junction box and covered with drywall.

This metal junction box and another splice that is missing a junction box were both covered with drywall.

Not only was it wedged up against a joist, but this gas shut-off valve was covered with drywall!

Air vents are meant to stem off the main trunk with smaller ducts leading to the outer edges of a room.

Instead, the flippers cut a huge hole directly into the main air duct in the center of the room.

They framed it into the ceiling with paint stir sticks and Liquid Nails.

Backwards gutter

A friend helps me replace a gutter that was angled the wrong direction, away from the downspout. ($117.77)

Civil investigation begins

I turn over all paperwork from my house closing, related repair estimates, and photos from this blog to the Anoka County Civil Investigator. She begins work on my case, pursuing the Seller and remodeler as criminals. The Investigator intends to order a judgement with full restitution, should she find convincing evidence.

I realize that justice is slow and willing contractors are hard to find, so I decide to do some of the repairs myself. I lay out a plan for proceeding on my own and leaving the heavy work to a contractor. Trying hard to keep my chin up.

Continued ceiling demolition

I continue demolishing the rest of the basement ceiling in preparation for more electrical work.

Instead of a proper unions, I discover that the flipper ignored building codes again, and fashioned a duct boot out of wads of duct tape!

I also discover this saddle-tap used for the refrigerator ice maker. Saddle-taps are against building code in Minnesota because they are prone to leaks.

I also find more illegal wiring and hidden construction debris above the ceiling.

Electric and plumbing repairs begin

The next Bagster full of debris gets hauled away in the morning ($144.00).

Both the plumber and electrician return to do more work. The electrician finishes wiring up the new service panel and replacing the illegal wiring throughout the house. ($4,599.00)

The plumber brings in a jackhammer to break up concrete in the downstairs bathroom and laundry room. This is to properly re-do the underground drain pipes for the entire house where they connect to main sewer.

The plumber also repairs the upstairs shower and sink. This is the first time in 6 months since I’ve had a fully working bathroom.

Excavate away

A friend helps me excavate the newly exposed underground drain pipes in my downstairs bathroom and laundry room.

Hidden water valve, fake cable TV jacks

I discover a water shutoff valve that is hidden above the downstairs bathroom ceiling.

Our roommate helps us demolish the rest of the walls and ceiling in the downstairs bathroom to expose the water valve.

We also find several instances of illegal electrical work.

Later we excavate trenches for the new drain pipes.

I also remove the useless and obsolete telephone wires from the walls. Previously, the cable TV technician could not figure out why my jacks weren’t working. Today, I discovered that the coax outlet plates have a few inches of cable attached to them. That’s right, the cable jacks were not connected to anything at all. They only made the house appear to be wired for cable TV.

Diagram of problems

Here is a diagram showing the floorplan of the basement level and most of the major problems I’ve found so far. I consider these problems to be ones that were done on purpose, to cut corners.

Bagster #3

Yet another Bagster full of demolition debris gets hauled away. ($144.00)