Sloping Floors and Other Woes.
My concerns about the welfare of this cabin are increasing exponentially.
I love this place. LOVE IT. More than words can say. It’s not unlivable, though not in idea condition either. We’re comfortable right now.
However, the sloping floors are freaking me out. In the past week for some reason the bathroom floor has gained some major slope-age from the toilet area downward toward the corner of the bathtub. It’s very obvious and not just a slight dip. So much that the mirror on the wall above the bathtub now looks really crooked, and it’s firmly nailed to the wall. The mirror didn’t move, the floor or the wall did. I think it’s that the bathtub now points downward, making the mirror look crooked against it.
Is the huge antique claw foot tub just going to fall through the floor one day?
My only consolation is that the floor is rotting because the ground is too close to the bottom of the cabin, so we wouldn’t have far to fall. Ironic that this is reassuring.
I’m glad I don’t own this house. But I’m so sad for it. I feel like it’s a living thing almost. I am inexplicably in love with it, it’s like a member of my family. I’ve fallen hard for the old wood, quirky personality, and huge wrap around porch.
My other huge concern is that the floor will actually cave in, or a wall will buckle (as there are no studs in parts of the walls), and the house will no longer be liveable. WHAT WOULD WE DO? Our house in the city hasn’t sold yet, so we can’t buy another house. We have all the animals and everything set up out here and they need daily care. There’s no way I would ever, ever, ever in a trillion years go back to living in our old house. Nope, nope, nope. I would just as soon live in a tent out in the field next to this cabin. Not even exaggerating.
I don’t think it was a coincidence that we found this place so suddenly. It all worked out instantly. There’s something at play here that will be clear in hindsight, I have faith. But what? Time will tell, right? That keeps me from panicking too much about the uncertainty of things.
The landlords know about the issues, but they seem to think they can still sell the place and it’s no big deal. It’s as if they don’t fully grasp the fact that the cabin may actually fall down sooner than later. Why are the floors suddenly sloping so sharply? Sudden structure changes are no good. If I owned this place I’d immediately have a professional out here doing major evaluations.
Since they have a mortgage on the house they do have a lot to lose, but maybe they just don’t want to face the fact that things here need major emergency attention. I’m not really sure.
We’re having annoying plumbing issues also. The gray water–which is water from everything but the toilet–drains into the yard and has made a huge gross marsh. It’s not supposed to be there, it’s supposed to go out of a pipe down the hill on the other side of the house! I wrote about this before. My neighbor called them and said that her (new) husband could fix the problems cheaply for them. The landlords messaged me and said they would call the neighbor back in a week or two. Hrm.
Since then the faint sewage smell we noticed has increased. I don’t know why. I don’t know that much about septic tanks from first hand experience. Now the smell starts getting stronger every evening until it smells terrible all night long. In the morning it’s downright rank in the bathroom and in our bedroom next to the bathroom. For some reason it seems to lessen throughout the day, but it always comes back in the evening. Isn’t that weird?
The septic tank is not up to current health department code. It’s not buried underground. The tank is underground, but the top of it is at ground level, so you can stand on it and see it clearly. I showed it to my neighbor and she was horrified.
According to my extreme google research this means the leach lines are not at appropriate points. They’re supposed to be a certain distance below the top soil and a certain distance above the water table. Instead it’s like some idiot just bought a septic tank and plopped it up next to the house in a shallow hole. Well it’s not likethat. It is that, that’s what seems to have actually happened. Google also told me that septic tanks are supposed to be 50 feet from the residence. Well…ours is up against the house. HAHAHAHA! It’s not like there isn’t plenty of space for it to have been placed 50 feet away. Did they just not want to buy a 50 foot pipe, or what?
This is the downside of living out here. The health department doesn’t notice if you have a crazy septic system. Some people out here use outhouses. Not kidding! I met one person who has a well pump in her kitchen and an outhouse out back, and she has two little kids. A lot of people have lagoon systems, or apparently cesspools….these things scare me. Google at your own risk. I prefer my bodily waste to be carried far away and neatly disposed of. Please and thank you.
If you know of septic tanks and their ways what would make one smell stinky? I’m assuming it’s either getting full or just not leaching properly. Especially considering it’s not buried deep enough and the ground out here is very damp. We live in kind of a damp basin area near the river.
The toilet still flushes normally, but it does clog up easily. Very easily lately.
I asked the landlords when they last had it pumped and they said they couldn’t remember, but maybe eight years ago. I’m thinking that’s a long time with no attention, but google gave me varying opinions on that.
The upside about living here is that I’ve never been happier in my entire life.
Plus we’re learning all kinds of things to look out for when purchasing a forever farm home. I am going to be going over any place we buy with a fine tooth comb after this. I’ve spent hours researching septic tanks, foundations, plumbing, insulation, and a myriad of other things.
And I can’t forget the other good thing–Tyler no longer wants to live in a cookie cutter subdivision home. We can never go back to suburb life now. We’ve gotten a taste of the good life out here. I don’t think I’ll be able to live anywhere but on a dead end gravel road now. Did I mention how much I love it? Yeah.
Last night my neighbor was over visiting and she made me show her all the things wrong in the cabin. She was worried about the floor rotting out from the underside. (You can’t see any visible issues in the house other than sloping floors that feel kind of spongy in places.) She says she’s going to call the landlords and let them know they need to fix this stuff or she’ll call the health department, and she will let them know she is recording the call as evidence that they were notified. But she swore she wouldn’t call the health department until after our lease is up and we have plans to move out. If/when that happens…
My neighbor is very no-nonsense and she helps me out with all kinds of things. Not complaining about that. ;) She takes no crap from anyone and she doesn’t beat around the bush. You don’t want to be on her bad side, that I am sure of. My landlords, while I do like them and think they are very nice people with no ill agenda here, like to beat around the bush quite a bit instead of pinning down anything concrete. That frustrates me. We knew the cabin wasn’t perfect when we signed the lease, but we didn’t think it was collapsing or stinking like mold! They don’t want to be landlords, they just needed someone to cover the mortgage since they couldn’t find a buyer for the place. However what they seem to have trouble understanding, which is now painfully obvious to us when living here, is that no one can buy this cabin. It kind of just needs to be torn down and rebuilt on a better spot rather than this marshy hole that keeps causing the piers to sink down.
I just want to stay here forever.
Obviously that’s not going to happen. I might cry.
For now I’m enjoying each moment.