In 1989, my wife and I purchased a home, that had been built from the ground up for the previous owner, by Habitat for Humanity. After moving in, we noticed that the kitchen sink and adjoining cabinets, plus the bathroom sink, commode, and bathtub were all loose from the walls behind them.
The pipes under the kitchen sink would often work their way loose, and the floor board would get wet. I had to replace the pipes twice. No matter what brand of plumbing I used, the pipes continued to work their way loose. At one point there was a small slow trickle of a leak that went unnoticed for a while. By the time we noticed it, the floorboard needed replacing.
I purchased the materials for the pipes a third time and also the floorboard until I could save enough to overhaul everything. I was doing the repairs, a little at a time, because I was working two jobs. Before I could complete what I believed to be an easy project, there was an unexpected snafu.
My wife left the crawl space door open one Wednesday evening after returning tools I used to prune three hedges. When we returned home from church, we heard a noise in the kitchen. Upon inspection, a skunk had gotten in through the crawl space, and he had climbed up through the new boards I had not yet secured. The skunk had obviously been there for a while.
I believe it was dehydrated because it was moving slow and did not spray us. Even so, we did not want to take any chances. We called animal control and a young man came out. He seemed scared and left without capturing thee animal. The skunk kept walking around the kitchen going back through the hole, and coming back up again.
My wife went around and opened the back door. We hoped the skunk would leave through it. During the hours the skunk was trying to figure out how to get away, he tore up the new board, and knocked against the new pipes, damaging them.
Finally, after more than 90 minutes, we coaxed the skunk out the back door, and made sure to keep the crawl space door locked. I was very disappointed because had I been able to complete the project upon beginning it, the skunk would not have gotten through.
Had I been able to install metal pipes as in days gone by there would never have been a problem. The new standards requiring fiberglass pipes simply was not working for me, and in this house. A simple project now had to be repeated, and more money spent.
I understand that Habitat for Humanity, at least at that time used volunteers to build the houses, and donated materials. I have to wonder if licensed plumbers and a better quality of materials would have made my job easier. I also wonder how the house passed inspection for an occupancy permit with such substandard work.
The initial pipe that ran up to the actual sink was lose and you could push the sink up somewhat. The hole in the floor board when we purchased the house was cut a little wide and this also aided and abetted the situation. Because of this situation, I now make very thorough home inspections for myself and family members.