- Water in the basement/crawl. I was called by a homeowner who had been living in a five year old home in New Hampshire and was sure that the carpenter who had been re-hanging his basement doors was incompetent. They would work fine for six months and then have to be re-trimmed. He never looked beneath the floor. A quick excursion to the crawl space found a main carrier that was like moist shredded wheat. You could pull a handful off wherever you chose. Along a similar vein, my partner, Greg Trotter of Commercial Building Consultants, walked through an apartment complex that had just been blessed by an engineering due diligence firm as A+ with less than $1000 in immediate needs. One look beneath the floor sheathing (which had been conveniently removed because it was moldy and rotten, and you saw as much water as the underground cistern that fed the Topkapi Palace in Iatanbul, (also forgotten over the years until someone wondered why the locals were pulling bricks up in the back yards and fishing)!
- Whole beer bottles in the sewer line.Impossible. Even when the last piece of sewer line at a close elbow was removed and the object discovered, there were those who said it couldn’t be there. Students on the roof, drinking beer and dropping the empties down the vent stack to hear the satisfying clatter of breaking glass managed to drop one during an (un)lucky flush the bottle floated around a couple of long radius bends until encountering a close bend.
Reflective cladding on Disney Hall. Who would have thought of
The building features Gehry’s trademark steel cladding —this time on polished concave surfaces that acted like parabolic mirrors to overheat nearby buildings and streets. Additional expense was incurred in the already expensive project to resolve the problem. (www.inetours.com copyright © 2001–2011 Lee W. Nelson)
Once again reminding us that making things foolproof is difficult because fools are so clever. There are plenty of new mistakes to make, so let’s stop repeating the old ones!