By Jan Smith
Just because you can’t physically see something, doesn’t mean it has less value.
Let’s take plumbing for example. You have pipes into and out of your house. They are either in the ground or in the walls. If you have had a ‘shonky job’ done and they start “hammering” at you, the disturbance to your peace is enormous.
Every time someone uses the hand basin, shower, toilet, kitchen tap or does some washing, the noise can drive you batty very quickly. You can’t see these pipes but they make their presence felt, wouldn’t you agree?
What about when you turn on the kitchen tap and the water dribbles out? Don’t you get annoyed and frustrated? I sure do – I feel as if it is a great waste of my time. I’ve been spoilt by 21st century technology
Have you ever had a pipe leak in the walls of your home? This happens too often because of another ‘shonky job’. The interesting thing is that these ‘shonky jobs’ are often done by the DIY home owner trying to save some money. Sure, there are unscrupulous plumbers out there who will “sign off” on a mates job rather than tell that mate he’s done a crook job.
But the expense when the job isn’t up to standards set by the authorities really costs you hard earned money. The DIY homeowner who built the house may have long gone after you have bought the house and you are the one left with all the expense of getting it repaired.
I guess the moral of the story here is due diligence before buying a home. Although this can’t always give you the info that you need to protect yourself because there was a licensed plumber on record as having signed off on the job. But it is still worth trying to protect your invested interest.
I’m not suggesting that a DIY homeowner shouldn’t try to save some expenses when building but there are other ways to do it. The DIY handyman could offer to work as the plumber’s assistant to do the job. All these sorts of ideas are worth negotiating with your chosen contractor.
These ‘mates’ jobs can work in reverse too. I oversaw the project of building my brand, sparkling Manor House in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, NSW. Within the first week of moving in, we had an ‘incident’. You see, I had a mate who was a plumber work colleague and he offered me ‘mates rates’ to install my dishwasher.
I had just spent the first week moving in and had just finished unpacking all the boxes. Needless to say, I was dog-tired when I went to bed and as was my habit, I started the dishwasher as I went upstairs to bed.
About 2am my Husband woke me up to say he could hear water running. Yep, you guessed it. The dishwasher had burst a connection and water was running so hard we heard it from upstairs at the other end of the house. Luckily I was able to turn the water off to the house and we spent the rest of the night trying to mop up enough water to stop it from saturating through the carpeted dinning room, family room, lounge room, rumpus room and my study. We couldn’t do it, of course, but luckily, I saved my books but sadly not my roll top desk.
And then it started raining. Not just drizzling, but it poured down.
It poured down for the next week. The carpet was saturated and it started to smell. Frankly, the house stank. And so did my opinion of my ‘mate’.
So the value in what you can’t see is in the results you get when things go horribly wrong.