Saturday, 3 September 2011

Hell Hole

After we bought our new house, we found a trap door in the closet of the spare bedroom.
The Entrance to the Hole
What was down there?
Is that a chair?
Turns out we have a crawl space under then entire front of the house. A crawl space with an uneven dirt floor. Full of the previous owner's junk.

So today, I got to spend 3 hours in hell hauling her junk out of there. Like most caves, it was basically 100% humidity, and a chilly 60° F. Being a safety conscious caver, I was wearing long pants, a long sleeve shirt, steel toed boots, leather gloves, a headlamp, and eye protection. My goggles were continuously fogging. I started off wearing a dust mask but it made the fogging worse.

What was down there? A pile of crap.

Boxes, plus...
...old building material, plus... 
...more boxes plus... 
It included:

  • tons of leftover hardwood flooring and wood siding
  • about 50' of various sizes of plastic piping up to 6" in diameter
  • old toys
  • floor tile and wall tile that matches nothing in the house
  • a typewriter, probably 30 years old
  • the box for an old Mac computer, and knowing Macs the way I do, it was at least 15 years old
  • a lot of mouldy cardboard boxes
  • piles of leftover construction material, including a disintegrating box of 12" bolts, a seized 20 lb bag of portland cement, and literally a pile of nails
  • an old film editing machine
  • a slide projector and a set of photographic lights with an English 220V plug
  • a toaster with an English 220V plug
  • a bunch of old military junk, such as a canteen, a web belt and a canvas bag
  • tent poles and stakes
  • 3 spindles for our stair rail, still wrapped in plastic (which appear to be the only things we will keep)
...and the list goes on. All the cardboard was damp and disintegrating, and some of it was moldy. Most of the wood was warped and wet. Here's all the junk piled up for the guys to come and pick it up.
The pile of wood, plus... 
...pipes and boxes.
You gotta wonder, how all this junk got down there, why it was all put there in the first place -- and more importantly, why the previous owner didn't get rid of it as part of her move. It's like the tent and two skateboards we found in the garage. Too lazy to take them down, I suppose.

Kinda like the way she neglected to mention the dishwasher leaks, as does the basement (but only when it rains and the eavestroughs aren't put in EXACTLY the right place).

Ah, the joys of buying houses.


Edwin said...

Nice surprise! Notn how you would want to spend your weekend is it?

That wouldn't go down well with me. Nore would it be tolerated by authorities in Holland, anything you can / are going to do about it?

RyderDA said...

There's nothing I know we can do about loads of crap left behind, other than pay to have the stuff hauled to the dump. In addition, new homes come with warranties for things like leaking basements; there's no such thing for previously owned homes.

On possession, you do a walk through to note things that aren't in the state they're supposed to be (like a hole in the wall that was made after you bought the place). But we never looked in the crawl space, before or after the purchase. The crap left in the garage we might have been able to argue, but there was so little of it that it's not worth it.