Idiot Homeowners

I had a post going, but it was another Baby Boomer one, and hating on the Boomers gets old even for me.  So I’ll push down that hate for a bit longer and puke up a different kind: idiot homeowners.

I should turn these events into a series, really, because every time I begin a home repair or improvement, I find evidence of unsafe and shoddy previous home repairs/improvements.  The gem today being the master bathroom fan, which never vented properly, resulting in a constant war on mold.  And with the air in this region already terrible, I’m certain it was doing nothing good to my respiratory ailments.

Air Quality

Something had to be done.

I had previously made an attempt to fix the ventilation, going so far as to stretch ductwork up through the attic to the roof vent, so it was surprising that it still wasn’t doing the job.  Obviously I needed to replace the fan with a more powerful model.  So after some examination of the space and mounting required from the attic side, I procured a super suckerpator 3000.  Or something like that.  Samsung, I think.  120cfm/min.  Awww yeah!

After some infuriating screw removal with constantly failing drill batteries, I pulled the fan from its mount.  The cover, which obviously should have been removed prior, dislodged and crashed to the bathroom floor.  I peered through the opening, and encountered a different arrangement of shapes and colors than I was expecting.  It was the wrong bathroom.

I expressed my anger with the appropriate words which, accompanied by the sound of the fan cover a moment prior, summoned an inquisitive wife.  But, as the bathroom in question was already being dismantled for a remodel, it was a minor setback.  I’ll just have to replace that fan later.

But, where in the hell was the other fan?  No evidence of its existence was apparent from the attic.  Exploratory house surgery was needed.

So I removed the fan cover in the proper bathroom, pushed a wire up the side of the fan, and employed some assistance to wiggle the wire while I looked for movement back up in the attic.  Eventually, after peering about the far corners of hell, there it was: on the very edge of the attic where the roof met the eves.  Translation: it was not attic-accessible.  The new fan I bought required that.  I had to get a different model.

Okay, that’s fine.  There’s plenty of that variety on the market, obviously for scenarios where people are unable or unwilling to access the place from above.  I picked out a new fan, albeit not as powerful (the super strong ones require brackets that mount into multiple joists).

No-attic access fans are mounted on just one side.  Two metal flanges with holes are attached to a single rafter.  The new fan was designed this way, as was the old fan.  But the old fan was attached with 12 gauge fencing staples, which meant I had to reach up past the drywall with pliers and gradually wrench and twist the dam things out.  And the drywall, having been subjected to decades of mold and moisture, was none too resilient.  It crumbled away in the process, much of it hitting me in the face, until eventually the staples were removed and I could pull the old fan out.

And there the problem was revealed.

A casual observer might notice that the insulation was rolled out on top of the fan.  And no, no provision for the vent was made.  All this time, the bathroom was venting into this tiny space, causing water damage.

Well, at least I know now.  No sense getting angry.


Okay, back to the story.

The new fan installed with minor problems, but now that the drywall had disintegrated, I was left with yet another problem.

Okay, yeah that’s not going to work.

That’s better.

I used the cover from the other fan.  I’ll patch things up later, and of course I’ll need to procure another cover, but for now I at least have some proper ventilation.  Finally.

Idiot homeowners.


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