The Death Trap

This story starts out with…

It was a beautiful Sunday. The guys had worked hard the past two weekends to lift the cottage, and we were ready for a day of rest. The plan of the day was to keep it simple.

After having many unwanted visitors of spiders and wasps, we were going to add a screen door and put in a new light on the deck.

Off to Home Depot we went and got a new door. We made a stop at the grocery store. Packed up Romeo, our bathing suites, beach towels and Romeo’s life jacket. A barbeque and the beach were the days plans. Cottage Life… it was time to experience what that was without a tool in our hands.

And so it begins….

When husband started to change the  light fixture, first he found, that the junction box had never been attached to the wall.  This is never a good sign. So, we opened the wall on the inside of the house to see what we were dealing with.  Not only did we find it had not been attached to the wall. It had no marrettes and was taped together, with bare wires exposed.

Husband fixed it the proper way with a little mumbling under his breath, and then proceeded to hang the new screen door. Upon examining the door, he found that it would not fit because the door frame was crooked.

Off came the door and down came the door frame. The first thing we discovered was that when they added on this end of the house and the door, they never attached the wood to the bottom or to the house. With the door frame off the wall in the hall, the wall was basically barely hanging on. Down came the second wall. The wall had to be framed and re-attached.

When we opened that wall, we found out we had guest. Because the wood was never attached on the bottom, it had made a passage way for the wasp and the spiders to move in. Lucky for us, none of the wasp were home at the time and we took down eight nest. The spiders on the other hand, they were home. I lost count after thirty.

Husband is now mumbling a little louder. OK, I can actually hear what he has to say, but since this blog is PG rated, I will skip the terminology that wife hardly ever hears him say.

Now what else can go wrong you ask… Don’t ask.

The insulation and the drop ceiling had to be taken down  and the walls were vacuumed out. Then, we went back to fixing the crooked door, so that we could hang the screen door.

Husband takes down the door frame and find inside the top door frame board, the electrical that is running from the kitchen to the outside light.



this one
The board hanging on the left side is the actual piece of wood that belongs in the top of the door frame. You can see the wire we found in the door frame.


They had carved out a gap in the door frame and ran the electrical wire along the inside of the door frame to the outside light.

If that wasn’t scary enough, the wires were taped and extended together with more tape and the wire in other areas were bare.


Some of the wires found in the wall.


Now let’s make this worse. That door that was exposed to open wires attached to the outside of the house and the elements, is our only exit. If those wires would have caused a fire, we would have had to break a window to get out or we would have been trapped in the house.

Actually only partially true, if we could get to the bedrooms, when we designed the bedrooms, we had ordered windows that we could fully take out encase of an emergency. We had also put smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in both of the bedrooms.

Those safety features were put in because of having the Cast Iron Stove. It was a safety precaution we felt we should have with the Volunteer Fire Department being so far away. Never did we ever expect the only door to be a death trap.

So the day turned out this way.  A new wall frame was built by the door. A new door frame was built and installed. New wiring was put in. Finally, the light got hung. The screen door got added.



The screen door and light.


And we now have to build a new hallway including , insulation, walls and a ceiling. And of course, might as well replace the floor.

So much for the beach day. But on the happy note, at least we found this out and got it fixed before we slept in there next weekend.

So, I thought that we had been everywhere in the house… We were wrong.  In two weeks we start repairing the very bad bathroom… I think we should be scared, those wires we found, some of them extend into the bathroom.


Romeo never did get to try out the beach and his new life jacket, but he did get to try out the new bed.


Romeo trying out the new bed. He approved.






4 thoughts on “The Death Trap

  1. As you are aware I was in construction for a long time. Lots of stories but one of applicable relevance —- a small reno that soon turned out to become major. The more we got into it, the more my electrician started cursing: hidden lamp cords that could not safely carry the load had been spliced into circuits without junction boxes; ‘course that also meant there was no continuous ground to outlets and lights …. topping it off, polarity had been reversed (your husband will understand what all this means).

    Cheers, Tonu.


    1. And he does. Once we open the bathroom wall in two weeks we will have opened every part of the cottage. We found a lot of really bad crap so far… But the over the door thing is the first time he got upset. But on ward and up ward we go. Nice to see you are still reading the blog.


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