The Perils of Home Ownership

in Home Expenses, Home Repair

This past weekend, my wife and I had a small crisis with our house, which made me again wonder if renting a home might not have been simpler at the end of it all. Every year you must to turn off the spigot in the garage (and maybe in the back of your house) in the fall, or it may freeze up and crack. Last year I forgot to do this and sure enough something in the pipes split and we ended up with a fair amount of water in the basement. It wasn’t enough to worry about an Insurance Claim, but it was one hell of a mess.

I Should Have Turned THIS off in the Fall

I Should Have Turned THIS off in the Fall

Michael James has railed and lampooned me for what a huge mess I have in my basement, well, I can assure him that there is a lot less mess, because we have had to throw out a great deal of stuff that was in cardboard boxes  (and that should have been thrown out a long time ago).

It’s interesting the things that I found down there, such as:

  • Tax Returns going back to 1981 (I am destroying those not of this century).
  • Lots of art work from our kids (who are all at University). Strangely for my 8 year old son we don’t have any art work.


Anyhow, the moral of this story is many fold so let me count it (as is my love of numbered lists):

  1. Turn off the interior faucet (if you have one) for your outside faucets (and if you don’t have an interior cut off, you might want to get one).
  2. If your basement is full of cardboard boxes sitting on the floor, you mustn’t care much about what is in there because it doesn’t take much water to destroy those.
  3. Go through your records and only keep those things that are needed (32-year-old tax returns are not needed, except for a good laugh about how much I made as a co-op student).
  4. If you hear water running in your house, but you can’t find any open faucets, check your basement FIRST.
  5. Always know where the water shut off is for your house (and if you need a wrench or vice grips to shut it off, have one near by).

My, that was an interesting weekend.

{ 7 comments }

  • My Own Advisor June 4, 2013, 7:04 PM

    Sorry to hear about the mess!

    Ouch.

    It happens to every home-moaner though….

    Mark

    Reply
  • Bet Crooks June 4, 2013, 9:50 AM

    Sorry to hear about the mess!

    Another bit of advice I would add is ask a friend to come into your house, even in summer, to check the basement for water if you will be away on vacation for a few days. Hot water tanks can go, too, and if the water doesn’t get shut off for days…..
    (Luckily for us we learned this lesson indirectly from someone else.)

    And for those of you using boat anchor computers still, it’s worth having them on a stand or table a good foot or more off the basement floor.

    Reply
  • robert_m June 3, 2013, 8:42 PM

    BCM,

    When we did our major reno, there were two things done that can help in the future.

    First, a one way stop valve was added to the sewer line. A $50.00 option that can save you from a backed up serwer line.

    Second, a special outside faucet was installed. Although the handle is on the outside of the house, the faucet shutoff is located a foot inside the house. No winter shutoff is required and the faucet is angled so that it drains and doesn’t pool water. Expensive, but a nice touch.

    cheers,

    rob…

    Reply
  • krantcents June 3, 2013, 12:29 PM

    Every homeowner has one of these stories, but it should not deter you from home ownership. There are nightmares with rentals too. Bad owners or poorly maintained properties. You may not know until you lived there for a while. You will forget about this in a few months.

    Reply
  • Michael James June 3, 2013, 10:35 AM

    Brilliant! That’s a very clever way of getting agreement to throw a bunch of stuff out. If I get desperate enough I may try it myself.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman June 3, 2013, 11:22 AM

      I even got told to buy one of those monster dumpster bags to put MORE stuff in. While a tad drastic , it does seem to be working.

      Reply
  • Mark Foster June 3, 2013, 9:52 AM

    Thanks for the monday morning smile. 🙂

    Reply

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