5 Scary Home Improvement Horror Stories

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It’s an officially scary season, and we’re marking the occasion in the only way we know how: by sharing horror tales. While we’ve all heard frightening stories about ghouls and ghosts, we’re offering something different to send shivers down your spine. Here are five Jenkinson tales of home renovation terror to get you in the holiday mood need funds for the weekend?

1. The Nightmare Renovator

Olivia Martin and her husband acquired what they believed to be a “very livable fixer-upper” in December 2016, only to discover that it would be the cause of their nightmares for the foreseeable future. The Martins unearthed issue after problem with their new home, newborn baby, and young son.

They were obliged to pay substantial money (or risk freezing to death) upon moving in after rapidly discovering that the home’s heating hardly functioned. False inspection reports necessitated the repair of the ducting and HVAC systems. Following that, the Martin family faced a tree falling on the garage, a flooded basement, a slew of electrical troubles, and a summer loan without air conditioning. Their HVAC system failed once again (yes, the same one they had repaired when they moved in).

They discovered foundation flaws, water damage, and that “virtually none of the walls were fastened to the floor and could be pushed back and forth with a little force” during the deconstruction stage of their basement makeover.

And, even though their property was sold with a “remodeling kitchen,” the Martins discovered that the cabinets and countertops were not fastened lending or glued in, causing them to come apart, “sometimes even splintering into bits regularly,” Sarah said to Forbes Advisor.

To add insult to injury, bugs exist.

“Additionally, we’ve had our never-ending battle includes mice in the walls, an infestation of centipedes, snakes in the carport, and a mysterious groundhog,” Sarah said.

The Martins are delighted to announce that, although this house would have had the majority of us howl in horror, they’re “rounding the curve in making this our permanent home credit,” as Sarah put it.

2. Bubble, Bubble, Double-Flooded and Difficult

Wilbert Jenkins and his family returned from a camping vacation to discover their completed basement wet, and “the carpet was soupy and smelled awful,” Shawn said. While this circumstance was far from ideal, they were fortunate to have a house warranty, which enabled them to submit a claim immediately and have a plumber inspect the damage. Unfortunately, the plumber discovered that the bottom of their water heater had entirely eroded, necessitating an immediate replacement.

While the Jenkins’s house warranty covered the plumber visit, it did not cover the water heater replacement, which they had to pay for out of pocket. “It was a stretch for us given that we had just purchased a house, and I was fresh to my work,” Shawn said. “But we dug into our money and replaced it.”

As a result, the Jenkins paid the bill, and their water heater was replaced the next day. Is the issue resolved? Not nearly enough. The next day, the basement flooded once again.

“As it turns out, the problem was not with the water heater. It did not rust away, resulting in all of this water damage. One of our children flushed a toy down the toilet, clogging the mainline. Our house warranty paid the cost of cleaning the mainline in full. “We were deceived by the first contractor we hired,” Shawn said.

3. It Was a Stormy and Dark Night

Brad Benson hired a firm to replace his home’s windows. Regrettably, neither Brad nor the replacement business he hired thought to check the weather prediction that day. A storm stormed in almost as soon as the old windows were removed.

“I swear I have never seen rainfall so abruptly and without warning, leaving us with little time to prepare. The crew was ultimately able to install the replacement skylight, but not before thoroughly flooding the area underneath it and ruining my sofa,” Brad said.

4. What Is Included in the Box?

Perry Myers was fed up with porch pirates taking her goods and decided to take things into her own hands, devising a cost-effective solution and maintaining her home’s curb appeal.

“Store-bought metal security mailboxes were both unsightly and expensive, and I was certain I could do better. As a result, I set out to get lumber and figure it out,” Perry said.

Perry started by constructing a farmhouse-style package dropbox out of 1-by-4s and 2-by-2s that would sit in her front yard and enable packages to be dropped in without allowing someone to reach inside and remove the item.

“After some thought, I devised a bracket-and-plywood combination that I fastened to a hefty lid. It seems to be effective! As a result, I continued to work on the project until it was completed, which weighed in at a solid 90 pounds,” she stated.

She needed to install an RFID lock to the inside of the door as the last phase of construction. However, since both sections (the one on the inside of the mailbox and the one on the door) needed to be correctly aligned from the outside, Perry was having difficulty getting this correct.

“Of course, I reasoned that getting inside the box and closing the door would be the wisest course of action. I’m a pretty little person, approximately 100 pounds, therefore I should be able to enter and arrange things precisely as they should be… correct? “I grabbed the flashlight and drill, went inside, and locked the door,” she said.

Everything went according to plan, and she could precisely align the components and fasten the RFID lock from inside the box.

“I positioned the drill outside the box and yanked to re-test the door. The latch was securely fastened. It became apparent. I slammed the door shut. It remained immobile. Although there was no battery in the device, I’d performed a few tests prior and was unaware that it was programmed to lock the next time the latch was entered. What happened to the battery? Think beyond the box. What happened to the sensor key? Think beyond the box. Where had I left my phone? Think beyond the box. Where was the drill that would allow me to remove the lock and exit? Think beyond the box. “I was imprisoned!” she said.

Perry had no way out of the closed door, so she tried to squeeze through the lid. She ultimately made it out due to an insignificant design flaw in her clamp and wooden mechanism.

“I was forced to rework the mechanism. If I could squeeze out, a porch pirate may be able to squeeze out a little gift. However, I was able to improve it. And nobody understands what I went through to create this DIY.”

5. The Little House of Nightmares

In August 2020, Rosalie Bush and her partner set out to find a property. Although the home required some remodeling, they recognized the promise and submitted an approved offer later that day. Everything went swimmingly, and they were ecstatic… until it was time to close.

“The agent informed the owner that he may remain in the home for the night after it became ours. We were taken aback. That is not the case. “However, being my lover, he let the gentleman spend the night,” Lucia said.

When they returned the next day to check on the home and confirm the former owner had fled, they were surprised.

“He abandoned everything. Utilized soap, deodorant, and razors. He forgot to take his clothing out of the dryer! We faced a mountain of labor. We began discarding and donating items. There was just too much. We had a dumpster in front of our home for weeks,” she said.

And this was only the preliminary work required before they could relocate it. The home needed extensive remodeling work. They began by tearing up the carpet to reveal the underlying hardwood floors, badly discolored and destroyed.

“The floor stains appeared as though someone had been brutally killed and then dragged to the door throughout the whole residence. I was aware that had not occurred, but the flooring had been damaged. We had to redo them ourselves, and believe me when I tell you that I still have sawdust in my sinuses,” Lucia said.

The pair then began renovating the kitchen. This was when they discovered the whole home was not insulated. And the bathrooms were so awful that they had to be entirely gutted and rebuilt.

“It was a series of events. It’s been nearly a year, and we still have unfinished tasks,” she said.

Despite this, Lucia said that they were able to make their ideal home from this house of horrors on a small scale.

How To Ensure That Your Home Improvement Project Is Completely Painless

While these tales may have dissuaded you from attempting your home repair project, have no fear. We’ve compiled a list of guidelines to ensure that your project runs successfully and that you avoid becoming a victim of your own home renovation horror tale.

Make a Strategy

While it may seem self-evident, jumping headfirst into a project is seldom sensible. Often, determining where to begin is the most challenging aspect, and proceeding without a strategy is a prescription for catastrophe. Having a clear end objective in mind will provide a firm foundation for your project and aid in developing a project plan. The final aim may alter as the project progresses, which is OK. A flexible strategy is preferable to no schedule, so sit down and write out your project objectives before pulling out the tools.

Determine the Budget for Your Projects

Having an estimate of how much your project should cost might ensure that it is finished properly. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring someone to do it for you, spending significantly more or less than the average cost of your job is often a red signal. Before purchasing what you need or contacting professionals forbids, do due diligence and investigate the typical cost of a project similar to yours. There are a variety of variables that may affect the cost of your fantastic job, but knowing the average enables you to make educated choices.

Recognize When to Call a Professional

Simply because you can complete a task does not mean you should, and understanding when to stop is one of the most critical strategies for avoiding a home renovation catastrophe. In general, if you have the time, talent, expertise, and equipment necessary to accomplish a job, you may be able to do it yourself.

If any of these are missing, it is generally best to see a specialist. And even if you are perfectly equipped to take on a job, hiring an expert may be the wisest action. Do not force yourself to take on a project because you have the resources to do so. Often, homeowners spend more money attempting to DIY a job (mainly when they do it incorrectly and then have to bring in an expert to repair it) than they would have spent had they just hired a pro from the start.

Acquire Multiple Bids

If you employ a professional, getting various estimates (even if it is an emergency) may help you avoid a home remodeling nightmare. By obtaining at least three offers, you’ll be able to determine if one is much too high or significantly too cheap. While a reasonable offer may be enticing, bear in mind that it may indicate poor-quality work. Choose a person that is well regarded, experienced with the sort of job you want, and offers a price that is in the center.

Confirm It in Writing

Regardless of the size of your home renovation project, ensure that a contract has been negotiated, drafted, and signed by all parties involved. A warranty protects both you and the professional(s) and is always a bright idea. Ascertain that the contract specifies the project’s specifics, the timeframe, the contact information for everyone who will be working on it, the expenses, and any other critical project data. If there is anything in the contract with which you disagree or do not understand, ensure that it be reviewed, explained, and revised before signing your name on the dotted line.

Communicate

Maintaining open lines of communication between you and everyone involved in your project is a simple and efficient technique to guarantee that nothing goes wrong. Ascertain that you have the contact information for everyone contributing to your project and vice versa. Encourage dialogue, ask questions as they arise, and maintain a courteous demeanor. You’re all here for the same reason: to ensure that your project is completed successfully.

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