Bodging – its not new or clever

I saw an interesting post on bodging here.  I agree with much of what is written, except that I don’t think bodging is a new story.  We’ve owned houses from every era from late 19th century through to 1970’s.  Every one of them has evidence of bodges, though of course the bodges changed over time.  In 1898 there was no plasterboard to be abused … but that didn’t stop tonnes of dust, complete with fairly flamable wood, being used to fill a cavity in a chimney as we discovered when we took the chimney out and got covered by all the dust that simply poured out in a huge cloud.

That said, our current house, build in the late 70’s, and extended in the mid 80’s, does appear to be riddled with bodges that we are gradually fixing where we can.  It’s a nice house, but it does feel like, as one of our friends said ‘an architecture students final year project – full of nice touches, but lacking experience’.  We’ve found electrical cables that went between joists and plasterboard … downlighters that had been patched after apparently catching fire … a hot water tank placed on top of an access void … central heating plumbing that had no vent … underground pipes routed right on top of a brick (and cracked) … illegal garage wiring … steel beams that aren’t level … the list goes on an on every time we do a new job.

The most recent, and the reason this comes to mind now is a shower room, where we weren’t getting decent flow in the drain, and had some issues with it getting blocked.  We are redecorating that room, and the room below, so have been able to check the drain pipework, and have discovered that it goes for over 7 metres with a negative fall – thats right, it goes UP slightly, not down at all (and it should drop about 20cm in that length).  Clearly a bodge that cannot be left, but not an easy one to fix – maybe the reason the original builder simply bodged it in and hoped for the best.  The solution has turned out to be moving the shower across the room closer to the drain, which has in turn meant moving the drain, water feed, electrical feed, toilet wall, and doorway position.  None of which was in our plan, so with the plasterer arriving soon it has been rather a rush to get ready.

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