Friday, July 08, 2011

If you can't fix it, feature it!

Before we moved here we lived in a brand new condominium complex in Waterloo Ontario, and for some of the time we were there, I was the property superintendent. It remains my firm belief that there was never a question *if* the building inspector was paid to look the other way on a lot of construction issues, the only question was *how much* he was paid. I'm going to go with a lot.

We had stair railings with dangerously large gaps, we had patio doors that created snow drifts INSIDE some of the units, we had non-functioning smoke detectors. But mostly we had water. Every spring, I either sandbagged our front step or we lived in a waterfront condo. Just about every basement leaked, and a number of backyards had enough standing swampy water to attract swarms of mosquitoes and, eventually, frogs to eat the larvae. We regraded. We added drainage tile, but essentially living in the bottom of a bowl was more than any fix we could come up with. It was always wet.

So, what do you do with a persistent wet? Plant water loving trees, of course! Thuja occidentalis, to be exact. A small hedge of arborvitae sucked up the "water feature," kept the basement dry, and looked exactly like it was meant to be there.

If you can't fix it, feature it! Mistake? Oh no, I meant to do that!

1 comment:

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

though we are very proud of ashley and danny building their own home, and the others in their block, we cringe at the shortcuts taken....like no headers over windows and doors...how to you get away with that???