Here’s a comic I made after staying in a hotel in San Antonio where someone had “fixed” a bathroom tile with caulk. It was a large tile that had cracked in half and come loose from the floor. So naturally they caulked the two broken pieces back together, then caulked the whole thing down the floor, EXACTLY how you’re supposed to. It looked really professional… if you squinted… in the dark… looking the other direction… in a different hotel.
Caulk is near and dear to my heart, seeing has how my first home was a 35 year old “fixer upper,” or “fixer constantly upper” or “FIX EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME OH GOD I THINK THE HOUSE IS ACTUALLY BEING SWALLOWED BY A SINKHOLE HOW MUCH CAULK AND DRYWALL COMPOUND DO WE NEED TO KEEP THE HOUSE ABOVE GROUND?!?!?!?… upper.”
Living in that house was a second job. We’d get off work, stop at Home Depot or Lowe’s, spend between $10 and $40 on average, come home then work until about 2am. Every day. Every single day. I did things in that house. Things with caulk. Things I am not proud of. Things that probably aren’t legal. Often I would cram a wooden shim in between a sink or counter top that in NO WAY lined up with the crooked-ass wall, then just caulk and caulk and caulk until it looked level, square and flush. I’m not proud of what I did, but after 3 years of constant fixery upping, the house, which was really more caulk than house at that point, sold to the very first person who looked at it. I walked away from that house like Bruce Willis walks away from an explosion. Eyes straight ahead.
COMMENTERS: What is the most questionable home/car/whatever repair that you’ve ever been a part of?
Karl · 95 weeks agoIs that man sucking the caulk?In my front hall there are 4 lightswitches – kitchen, upstairs landing, hall and outside light*. All of different style. None of them straight.
* The outside light caused many issues when we moved in. I could never find the switch or fuse for it, and replacing the bulb didn’t seem to do anything. Eventually, whilst other electrical work was being done in the house, I asked the electrician to look at it. Turns out it had never been wired to anything. 🙁Our house was originally a little colonial that the previous owners had doubled in size. But they never upgraded the furnace. So this tiny 50-year old thing was working its butt off, doing double the work it was designed for. Until one day, in the middle of summer, when it had been off for months, it committed suicide. It turned itself on and boiled its water tank dry until it cracked open, shooting out steam and fire. Poor thing must have been thinking about one more winter, and couldn’t take the pressure.
Larry · 95 weeks agoMy father-in-law had a power drill that you needed to stand on a rubber mat to use or else you’d get shocked. His father had once replaced a rusty exhaust pipe on the family car with a sleeve from a WWII raincoat.
Stephen · 95 weeks agoI briefly worked for a contractor (side note: he was a racist dickbag) that constantly said “Builders never line things up right, you use calk to cover it up.” We went through several tubes of caulk “fixing” one guys awning. I wonder if he realized he was just paying for a bunch of caulk…
In regard to your house, my wife and I currently live in a 50 year old little house, and the only real problem we have is that THE WALLS HAVE NO STUDS! (that we can find) I swear, I think the house is held up by magic. And time we try to hang something, the stud-finder gives very confused results and we end up having to use mollies. If you don’t know what those are, they are life savers! Perhaps the walls are actually held up by CAULK!!!!
seriously · 95 weeks agoI got two:
1.) When I moved out of my first apartment I REALLY needed the security deposit back, but due to a few accidents I’d managed to put a couple of holes in the walls.
With $15 to my name I bought a very small container of Spackle and managed to cover them up/fill them enough to pass a quick look exam. To fill in the nail holes from my picture frames I used an old college trick and used toothpaste.
My landlord didn’t even check it turns out, and I heard from my old neighbor that the new tenants upon moving in wound up caving in half a wall when they moved in because of my half-assed repairs.
2.) A buddy once cracked a toilet tank in his dad’s house by accidentally dripping liquid nitrogen on it. (He was storing a thermos of the stuff in there and spilled some when he went to pick it up.) We shut off the water, drained what little water was still in the tank and lined it with styrofoam that we custom-cut and krazy glued to the inside of the tank. Oddly enough, his dad never noticed and even sold the house years later without any problems.
JonS253 · 95 weeks agoI once owned a Geo Metro. (Hey, I was broke and divorced! Don’t judge me!) There came a day when the starter went out. I had no money for a new starter; what I did have was a bunch of wire, an industrial-strength doorbell (intended for some sort of nonstandard high-voltage circuit), and a basic knowledge of what I needed to do, having had to hotwire the silly thing when the starter first died.
So I ran a wire from the hot side of the battery, into the inside of the car, where I connected it to the doorbell (which I affixed into the underside of the plastic dash with some screws). Then I ran another wire from the other terminal of the doorbell to the starter solenoid. To turn the car on, I had to turn the key to the “on” position, then press and hold the doorbell until the engine caught. On the plus side, it worked as a secondary deterrent to theft (beyond the car itself) – who expects a hidden push-button starter in a ’93 Metro?
Aetheling · 95 weeks agoI had a little MZ ETZ251 motorbike that had been my uncle’s. He’d name it Lucrezia, and it fitted. A stretch of the exhaust was made of a beer can with the ends cut off and held on with pipe grips (which needed replacing periodically if you drove faster than thirty miles an hour, so I kept my eyes peeled for interesting cans), the seat was made of waterproofed hessian sacking, the paint scheme was a mixture of tar paint, rust red, and shit brown, and when you started it up it coughed a worrying amount of black smoke around. In summer you needed periodic stops to let the heat build-up dissipate. It needed almost constant tinkering to stay working and I never went near a garage in fear that the mechanics would either laugh at me or summarily condemn it. It eventually had a blowout on the way to work one morning and sprayed the car behind me with hot, oily chunks of cylinder. I loved that bike
Khel · 94 weeks agoMy roommate’s terrible little subaru svx kept falling apart on him. The flex pipe going from the engine block to the carburetor broke open, causing the car to constantly pour carbon monoxide right into the drives seat. To stop at a light you would have to hang your head out the window so as not to pass out. Anyways, I “fixed” it for him with a piece of dryer vent tube and a couple of metal zip ties.