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Elements of Design, Construction, Remodeling that you Hate!


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This thread was inspired by the granite & stainless thread.

I know when I'm looking at houses there are certain things that homeowners, remodelers etc do that drive me nuts!

I'll start one. I'm sick of all of these gawdy hobby lobby mirrors being hung in front of vanities regardless of size, style etc...

hr2157559-13.jpg

flipper

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This thread was inspired by the granite & stainless thread.

I know when I'm looking at houses there are certain things that homeowners, remodelers etc do that drive me nuts!

I'll start one. I'm sick of all of these gawdy hobby lobby mirrors being hung in front of vanities regardless of size, style etc...

hr2157559-13.jpg

flipper

This will probably offend 95% of people reading this thread, but I can't stand venetian blinds in a home. I think they make it look like a dentist's office. Vertical blinds are even worse.

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I'll start one. I'm sick of all of these gawdy hobby lobby mirrors being hung in front of vanities regardless of size, style etc...

flipper

the mirror is ok if it was the right size. i'm not sure why there is crown in there when the window doesn't have moulding. this looks incomplete.

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Over use, damn near any use, of that beige 12 inch tile. I see it all the time where people slather it ALL over the house, the bedrooms, the halls, formals, den, everywhere.

SPECIAL BONUS POINTS ~ when you have different patterns of tile for the different rooms, so it changes and the tiles certainly don't "line up" when you go from one room to another.

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Mixing architectural styles.

Most annoying, use of colonial columns on craftsman homes.

"I'm going to get my shotgun" annoying, use of turned porch posts on a craftsman.

Tolerable, but still annoying, use of square columns on a craftsman.

"I no longer admit you are my friend" annoying, when my friend, after first allowing square columns on his craftsman redo, then adding plastic Victorian detailing to "spruce it up". :angry:

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This thread was inspired by the granite & stainless thread.

I know when I'm looking at houses there are certain things that homeowners, remodelers etc do that drive me nuts!

I'll start one. I'm sick of all of these gawdy hobby lobby mirrors being hung in front of vanities regardless of size, style etc...

hr2157559-13.jpg

flipper

What a weird little mirror. I can't decide if someone thought that actually looked good, or if they just gave up.

I'm as sick of beige walls throughout a house now as I once was of plain white walls. Both are completely devoid of any character or warmth. As previously mentiond, I'm sick of stainlessandgranite. There are other combinations of kitchen appliance colors and countertop materials out there... :rolleyes:

What I really hate is seeing a high-end house (or, rather, just high-cost) that hasn't had an ounce of planning put into it, especially in the kitchen. When a kitchen doesn't have a well-planned layout -- like a classic work triangle -- and almost no usable counterspace, it makes me want to scream. I realize that having a working kitchen isn't that important to everyone, but a kitchen should at least be functional if only for resale value! Classic example here: http://sheeats.wordpress.com/2008/01/08/the-golden-triangle/

I also hate it when the kitchen is placed so far away from the dining room that you might as well just turn it into a study or a playroom for as much use as it will be to you. You know you're just going to end up taking all your meals in the breakfast nook or the kitchen counter at that point. :lol:

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I had the opportunity to see one of the worst houses ever - it is in Santa Fe on Highway 6...google street view only captures the entrance, but live maps kind of gives you an idea:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&...045518142676368

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&...1&encType=1

What...the...HELL? Is that really a house? Or a cult compound? I really like the rusted shed to the rear of the house; adds that perfect touch of insanity to the whole tableau.

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What...the...HELL? Is that really a house? Or a cult compound? I really like the rusted shed to the rear of the house; adds that perfect touch of insanity to the whole tableau.

I think it might be the new Galveston County Jail. I'm pretty sure I saw it featured on MSNBC's "Lockup".

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while this is an extreme example, neither the sink nor the toilet should be in front of the tub. i see the toilet example quite frequently. that is a poor design.

044.jpg

It looks like this is a remodel, though, and like they were working within an already very tight space.

It looks terrible and isn't very functional, but I can see how there may have been a method to the madness given the space constraints...rather than just plain dumbassedness.

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I can't find a picture of it right now, but I HATE when a range is "installed" at the end of a run of lower cabinets.

Leaving one side of the range exposed looks terrible and putting it right up against a wall is ridiculous!

Plan to leave some usuable counterspace on both sides of your range people!! :)

flipper

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I dislike every single element of design, construction and remodel in this house:

http://www.har.com/9822584

I don't even know where to begin. Maybe with the pictures that are all hung at the very tip-top of the wall, all in a row. No, no. That's tasteless.

How about the travertine EVERYWHERE that doesn't go with a single thing in the house? Or the decision to put what looks like pink and white linoleum on the porch? Or the over-the-top cabinets in the kitchen? Or the equally OTT bathroom? This is a 1950s ranch-style home, people. C'mon now... <_<

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I dislike every single element of design, construction and remodel in this house:

http://www.har.com/9822584

I don't even know where to begin. Maybe with the pictures that are all hung at the very tip-top of the wall, all in a row. No, no. That's tasteless.

How about the travertine EVERYWHERE that doesn't go with a single thing in the house? Or the decision to put what looks like pink and white linoleum on the porch? Or the over-the-top cabinets in the kitchen? Or the equally OTT bathroom? This is a 1950s ranch-style home, people. C'mon now... <_<

That thing is priceless!!!

At first, I thought my favorite was the clock way up against the crown mold. But, then I saw the added corner stones to the exterior. :lol:

Maybe someone should invent garanimals for home remodelers.

EDIT: Thanks to travelguy, we now have a word for these stones...Quoins. Thx, trvlguy.

Edited by RedScare
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Here are some of my biggest pet peeves for an old house and a new one:

hr2197442-1.jpg

Typical bad East End flip featuring: Hardi-Plank that is too wide for the scale of the house with trim boards that are too narrow, cheesy fake 6 over 6 Home Depot aluminum windows (HATE!!!!), cheesy fake wood front door also from Home Depot, wrought iron supports that look too small for the load of the large gable above them, porch has been replaced with concrete slab that will attract termites to the front wall, poorly placed industrial outdoor light fixture, and paved front yard.

hr2155996-10.jpg

This house has many design errors. Scale is completely off, and there is not enough articulation in the building surface. The windows and mullion pattern are way too large for the building. The fake shutters are just pathetic, plus they are only used on one side of the house. The window on the bottom story has a sill, but the ones on the second floor do not = potential for water intrusion and stucco failure. The porch is too narrow and will probably never get used. Roof pitch is too shallow. I hate stucco/fake stone in general, but no cap stone & flashing is used here = water will get behind the fake stone and it will eventually fall off. To top it all off, the landscaping is out of scale with the house, but we wouldn't want it to cover up the "designer's" beautiful creation, now would we?

hr2155996-13.jpg

Interior from the same house - poorly laid-out kitchen with absolutely no seperation from th family room. Where do you put the dirty dishes during a party? Who wants to watch TV with the diswasher going? Finally, I HATE "Gallery Furniture look-alike" kitchen cabinets with corbels.

Edited by Dan the Man
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Link fixed. :)

several of those are bad designs. the last one especially. when the oven or dishwasher is open you cant access the sink. when the dishwasher is open it'll block the lower cabinets and makes the upper ones harder to access (when you'll actually be emptying the dishwasher)

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hr1960177-3.jpg

not to mention the upper cabinet situation. if you're standing at the sink the nearest doors open away from the sink and the left cabinet will be difficult to access in general. they are basically useless. where's the stove ventilation? won't even mention the frig.

Edited by musicman
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not to mention the upper cabinet situation. if you're standing at the sink the nearest doors open away from the sink and the left cabinet will be difficult to access in general. they are basically useless. where's the stove ventilation? won't even mention the frig.

Is that it? Are those all the cabinets available for over-counter storage??? What a miserable kitchen. And what are those random little cubbyholes in the wall opposite the range? Did someone try to make a cabinet area out of what used to be double wall ovens? Why wouldn't you just replace the wall ovens (double wall ovens = value!, for me, at least) and stick with a stovetop on the counter, which is what I'm sure was in the kitchen before that fugly range?

:blink:

ETA: nothing beats the geniuses who decided that it would be a great idea to have the washer and the dryer in the kitchen, flanking the main counter on either side. I can't tell you how much I hate having them in there.

2232222882_55d924e52b_o.jpg

We've seen other people in the same floorplan as ours reroute the plumbing and electrical into the massive hall closet downstairs, then put them in there -- which is where they should have gone in the first place. That's just too rich for our blood right now... :(

Edited by sheeats
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I absolutely loathe the laundry room in the middle of the house setup, especially if it's on the first floor.

This forces the vent for the dryer to be vertical, which creates a huge fire hazard becaues of the lint that collects at the bottom of the pipe.

This, along with inadequate ventilation units for rooms that generally have lots of people (I tend to be very sensitive to temperature changes.

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I hate when people leave a few inch gap between a vanity and a tub or shower. You can't clean well in there and it just smacks of poor planning.

hr2030244-10.jpg

You can avoid it by doing it like this:

TonaMBath.jpg

flipper

Edited by flipper
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What...the...HELL? Is that really a house? Or a cult compound? I really like the rusted shed to the rear of the house; adds that perfect touch of insanity to the whole tableau.

That's the Franco Pignataro "castle." Mr. Pignataro, an Italian immigrant, is a concrete sculptor by trade and he owns Franco's Italian Restaurant on NASA Road 1 in Webster (it may be Franca's now, if his daughter is running it.) The restaurant is lavishly decorated with statuary and fountains which Mr. Pignataro crafted. He also built the family home to look like a castle. Last time I was at the restaurant he was there, still greeting people. Pretty good, if somewhat commonplace, red-sauce Italian food.

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That's the Franco Pignataro "castle." Mr. Pignataro, an Italian immigrant, is a concrete sculptor by trade and he owns Franco's Italian Restaurant on NASA Road 1 in Webster (it may be Franca's now, if his daughter is running it.) The restaurant is lavishly decorated with statuary and fountains which Mr. Pignataro crafted. He also built the family home to look like a castle. Last time I was at the restaurant he was there, still greeting people. Pretty good, if somewhat commonplace, red-sauce Italian food.

The castle was originally built in the 1920's by a family named Christian. It was called the Christian Castle up until the 1950's. After that the building was subdivided into apartments, hence the swimming pool out front. The Pignataro's acquired the estate some time in the early 70's. They once had several restaurants, one was located adjacent the estate. The retaurant had all of the same concrete sculptures as the castle does now. The family has been selling off parcels of the estate through the years. A classy residential subdivision aptly named "Castle Estates" now covers a good portion of the orginal castle grounds.

The gaint horse statues, copied after St. Marks in Vienna I presume, standing on their hind legs is really startling to unsuspecting passers by. The artist did not skimp on underbody details. :blush:

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If you put a tablecloth over the washer and dryer in the kitchen, you get more counter space:) That's what we do in our Timbergrove house that's had teh washer in the kitchen since it was built. The dryer, a device not imagined when the house was built, lives on the back porch. My wife frequently used the washer as a counter. It does make watching TV in the den a pain when the washer's running.

The worst room addition we saw a few years ago when looking for a house was a 20x15 room with a 7 foot ceiling. Plain panelling on the walls, plain, cheap vinyl on the floor, and an owner who was not forthcoming about whether all the proper permits were pulled (I don' tthink they were).

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Drop-in Stainless sinks w/ granite. You spent the money on the countertop, now spend ~$350 more and put in an undermount sink. Take advantage of what granite gives you vs. formica.

Crown-molding, everywhere.

12x12 ceramic tile/slate installed anywhere but the floor (tub surrounds, backspashes - yuck!). 12x12 tiles belong on floors, not on vertical surfaces.

Newly added to the list: pressed tin backspalashes.

Some older homes are real challenges... the washer/dryer may be in one end of the kitchen (at least together as a pair and not separated!), the house may be so old that dishwashers were not around when it was built, extremely small kitchen or bath spaces where you are going to have two appliances next to each other, bathrooms that have the tub/toilet next to each other... In all these cases, you have to work as best you can with the space you have.

There's been talk about hating beige, etc... If you're appealing to the masses in terms of trying to sell your house or rent it - you need to move to the middle. If that means beige, stainless, and granite - that's what it is. Now if its just "for you" - go all out, be as exotic as you want. Be like Vern Yip on HGTV and paint an entire room BLACK. Anyone see that episode? "This is going to look GREAT when we're done!" ... uh... NO... Thought it would like crap before... and it looks like crap after.

In terms of retro, I really like terazzo floors. It makes me kinda of sick when I see a home in Glenbrook, where carpet was install over terrazzo - and the entire perimeter of all rooms that had carpet are pitted and destroyed by the tack strip for carpet. You really can't repair that kind of damage and get it to look right.

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In terms of retro, I really like terazzo floors. It makes me kinda of sick when I see a home in Glenbrook, where carpet was install over terrazzo - and the entire perimeter of all rooms that had carpet are pitted and destroyed by the tack strip for carpet. You really can't repair that kind of damage and get it to look right.

be nice another rps story just gets old.

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In terms of retro, I really like terazzo floors. It makes me kinda of sick when I see a home in Glenbrook, where carpet was install over terrazzo - and the entire perimeter of all rooms that had carpet are pitted and destroyed by the tack strip for carpet. You really can't repair that kind of damage and get it to look right.

Ceramic tile installed over terrazzo trumps the tack strips. There is one guy I know of that can restore the jacked up terrazzo and it looks good.

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Oh Snap! These people apparently forgot to drop a 110v circuit down low for the range.

That's hilarious...

That picture also features another design feature I hate: long skinny cabinet pulls. Especially when they are used with raised panel cabinet doors; they're more tolerable with slab-faced doors.

Here's another winner, er, loser...

hr2163810-1.jpg

Mis-matched windows in the same wall plane!

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Painted brick. Especially if a house never had painted brick... and then someone decides "hey, this will look good." You had maintenance free siding... now you have maintenance nightmare siding: you're always going to have to paint it from here on out... and there is no pressure washer strong enough to undo it. I've seen so many fireplaces just ruined in this fashion (painted out).

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