Author Topic: Weird features spotted while house hunting  (Read 93177 times)

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RebeccainGA

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #525 on: May 13, 2013, 01:42:15 PM »
I lived in a "guest house" with a DOOR to nowhere. It was a small house with one main room and a bathroom, so I don't know why they would have thought it needed two doors on the same side, but it even had steps leading to it. No sign of a door on the other side.

A friend also has a door to nowhere, although in his case it's easy to see why the door is there. A portion of the house was renovated, and the door was walled over on one side. The other side they left as a door - if you open it, you see the back of the drywall. I'm not sure why they didn't wall over both sides.

We have a door to nowhere, on the outside of our house. The space behind used to be a storage area that opened to the outside, it was converted into a walkin closet for the master bedroom. I'm guessing they didn't want to mess with it, since it is a brick house, matching would be pretty hard.

As an aside, my lovely dog has decided that chewing up that door (including part of the wood frame) would be a great idea, so I now need to replace it. I'm thinking of just putting plywood over the space, with either siding or building some plant shelves there. Would that be weird?

Not at all weird. My parents have a 'window to nowhere' between their dining room and living room (the house had an open breezeway originally - when it was enclosed so that you could walk between the house proper and the garage without going into 90 degree Florida summers, they didn't close up the window, just took the glass out) and theirs has several shelves that are great for decor - visible in two rooms, too high for little ones visiting in the living room, but low enough (because the house is split level) in the kitchen/dining room to be able to dust.

cwm

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #526 on: May 13, 2013, 01:52:46 PM »
The house I grew up in has a fully interior window. The kitchen used to be a breezeway between the house and garage, and the dining room used to be the kitchen. There was a window from the kitchen to the breezeway, and when they updated the kitchen they just left it open. When the kitchen was renovated recently, we set the height of the back of the countertops to the little window so we can still pass things through if we need them, or get easier access to the outlets in the dining room for laptops and the like.

We also have a window in the bathroom that's strictly for decoration. My dad bought a window frame and put a photograph of a river on the other side and mounted it in the bathroom. It looks like there's a nice river outside, but it's actually just a fancy picture frame.

Bexx27

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #527 on: May 13, 2013, 01:57:36 PM »
I lived in a "guest house" with a DOOR to nowhere. It was a small house with one main room and a bathroom, so I don't know why they would have thought it needed two doors on the same side, but it even had steps leading to it. No sign of a door on the other side.

A friend also has a door to nowhere, although in his case it's easy to see why the door is there. A portion of the house was renovated, and the door was walled over on one side. The other side they left as a door - if you open it, you see the back of the drywall. I'm not sure why they didn't wall over both sides.

My parents' house has one of those. The rec room used to be accessed through the dining room, but they walled over that entrance on the rec room side and made a new entrance from the kitchen. It would have cost more to wall over both sides, and having a door to nowhere in the dining room didn't bother them, so they left it. They also added an extra closet to the master bedroom by taking the adjacent bedroom's closet. So one of the spare bedrooms has no closet and an oddly indented wall. At least they removed the door to the now non-existent closet.
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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #528 on: May 13, 2013, 04:14:35 PM »
Old houses are interesting!

I just realized that my house has a window to nowhere as well. It's in the kitchen facing the back yard. I assume it was originally installed for when people were grilling in the backyard, to be able to pass the food through into the kitchen. At some point it got drywalled over inside and now it's the alcove where the fridge sits. You can still see the window from the outside.

I also have an exterior window between my living room and office. When the house was built, the office was a front porch, so that wall was actually the front of the house. A previous owner enclosed the porch to add more living space but left the window. It's charming; I like it. :)

JoW

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #529 on: May 13, 2013, 10:40:17 PM »
Mount Vernon - George Washington's home - has a couple of windows to no where.   He put them there on purpose, to make the house look more symmetrical.  The guides point them out during tours.

My previous house had 2 windows, complete with curtains, in the garage.   The garage door was on the side of the house, the windows were on the front of the house.  The house would have looked really weird if that wall didn't have any windows.

Kimblee

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #530 on: May 14, 2013, 11:43:09 AM »
I lived in a "guest house" with a DOOR to nowhere. It was a small house with one main room and a bathroom, so I don't know why they would have thought it needed two doors on the same side, but it even had steps leading to it. No sign of a door on the other side.

A friend also has a door to nowhere, although in his case it's easy to see why the door is there. A portion of the house was renovated, and the door was walled over on one side. The other side they left as a door - if you open it, you see the back of the drywall. I'm not sure why they didn't wall over both sides.

My aunt's house has a nowhere door... its in her craft room and has about a foot or so of space, then the back of the next room's wall. She has cloth draped all over the walls so you can't see it unless you're shown it.

Once when my cousins (Nine years old and 14 months) were home alone for three days(kinda, they HAD a babysitter but she went with her boyfriend to the lake, leaving the girls alone), A burglar broke a front window and came in. The nine year old got her sister and ran to the craft room, then somehow (no one is sure how) squeezed herself and the baby into that space, turned the lock on the wall side of the door and called the police with a cordless phone.

It took two cops to get them out, once to find the door (with aunt's instructions over the phone, she and my uncle were still out of town.) and another to slip a badge under the door's bottom space. After that my cousin unlocked the door and came out. She was hysterical but the baby had fallen asleep on her shoulder and seemed utterly unbothered by any of it.

My aunt and uncle actually got into a bit of trouble over the whole thing. Thankfully child services believed that they really had hired a babysitter and knew nothing about the girls being alone.
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mandycorn

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #531 on: May 14, 2013, 05:15:50 PM »
My grandmother's house has a walled over window. Their bathroom used to be at the back of the house and there was a window in the tub/shower. When my grandfather built the master bedroom onto the back of the house, he left the window in the tub and just added drywall on the (previously) exterior side. I'd imagine it was because there wasn't going to be a way to match the 1950s pink tile and he didn't want to redo the whole tub.

I think the best part is that I only realized the window was there about a year and a half ago, and it's been that way all my life.
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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #532 on: May 15, 2013, 04:21:09 AM »
Wow, Kimblee! :o I hope they came down like a ton of bricks on that babysitter, and good on your cousin for having the presence of mind to come up with that plan!
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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #533 on: May 15, 2013, 04:45:36 PM »
Wow, Kimblee! :o I hope they came down like a ton of bricks on that babysitter, and good on your cousin for having the presence of mind to come up with that plan!

I highly doubt she ever got another babysitting gig. It turned into a bit of a fued between her parents and Auntie/Uncle. (Babysitter's mother didn't want to give back the money her daughter had accepted for babysitting.)
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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #534 on: May 15, 2013, 04:59:27 PM »
Wow, Kimblee! :o I hope they came down like a ton of bricks on that babysitter, and good on your cousin for having the presence of mind to come up with that plan!

I highly doubt she ever got another babysitting gig. It turned into a bit of a fued between her parents and Auntie/Uncle. (Babysitter's mother didn't want to give back the money her daughter had accepted for babysitting.)

If that happened today, that babysitter would be lucky to avoid jail time!
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SoCalVal

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #535 on: May 19, 2013, 01:23:07 PM »
A house I lived in for 1 year in grade school.  The upstairs bathroom had 2 doors, one to the master bedroom and 1 to my brothers' bedroom.  To get to that bathroom I had to walk through my brothers' room.

I've seen this at least two times.  I have a friend whose parents' house has a bathroom like this; she called it a "Jack & Jill bathroom."  The bathroom was only accessible either going through her bedroom or her sister's bedroom.  I remember thinking it quite odd.  A year or so later, I went to the home of another college classmate (who my friend also knew) and his house (in a different neighborhood across town) also had a bathroom styled the same way -- only accessible either through his bedroom or his dad's bedroom.

House with an attached garage but no door between the house and garage.

Last year when DH and I were house-hunting, we were shown an annoying house like this.  It was a nice looking house, but I found it quite odd that the garage was attached to the house, yet the only way to get into the garage was either the big garage door or to go into the house, out the door of a bedroom to the opposite side of the house and around to the backyard back to the other side of the house where there was a regular door to the garage.  I said right off it would annoy me to no end to either always have to open the big garage door or make a long journey to get to the back of the house (no door in the back of the house, either) to go into the garage through the regular door.

Also when DH and I were house-hunting, we were shown a house that had a separate building in the backyard that was divided into two rooms that shared a common wall but were each accessible via an outside door.  One room had carpet and a wall painted so it looked like it was a playroom.  The other room had an electrical panel in the back of the room and a concrete floor with a drain in the middle of the room.  It was pretty creepy, and I admitted to maybe having watched too many cop shows because I referred to it as "the killing room."  DH later stated he mentioned the room to a friend who said the house was probably used for growing marijuana (and had been seized as it wasn't a regular sale) and the weird room with the drain was likely for that purpose (the backyard also had a weird amount of concrete poured but didn't look like it was supposed to be a patio and had a drain at one end of the concrete slab -- again, the friend said it sounded like a set-up for a grow operation).

The house we ended up buying has one room painted blood-red with a black accent wall (which we refer to as our "Les Miz" room) and one room painted a muted-purple with a brown accent wall.  They are very ugly, and we question the taste of the previous owners.  There's also a chain-link structure with a roof and a concrete slab that I can only assume is supposed to be a "doghouse" (it had a dog collar hanging from one of the chainlinks).  I can't see housing a dog in that thing when even the tiniest chihuahua would not have sufficient room to run around in it.  I can't wait to have the money to tear it down.  Same with our black "Festivus pole" in the front yard (it is cemented into the ground).  We were puzzled over what it was for for the longest time.  DH deducted that it was probably the pole for a basketball hoop.  I can't wait to get that ugly thing out of our yard also.

ETA:  This reminded me --

I once saw a house with 2 bedrooms with a chain and hook lock on the outside.  (was visiting)  Turns out that they were little kids and the parents didn't want to pay all that money for child gates so they locked their kids in the room.  ???

The "grow house?"  The bedrooms, the bathroom and the pantry door all had hook and eye locks up high (so out of the reach of small children).  I joked that I guess this was to make sure the kids couldn't feed themselves and to lock them in their bedrooms.  Our real estate agent, putting a more "positive" spin on it, said it was probably to keep them from getting into the bedrooms and bathroom, not to keep them from getting out of them (DH was buying the house on his own since this was shortly before we got married so we were really looking at the bottom of the barrel for houses; it made for an "interesting" experience).
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 01:39:13 PM by SoCalVal »



Slartibartfast

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #536 on: May 19, 2013, 02:53:12 PM »
I've seen the locks high up on the outside of the bedroom doors - a family I babysat for had two young boys with some fairly severe issues.  The boys would sneak out of their rooms at night and smash things in the playroom and the den, so their parents put up locks to keep the boys in their rooms when they were supposed to be asleep.  It wasn't ideal from a fire safety standpoint, but it was much safer for them overall.

magicdomino

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #537 on: May 19, 2013, 06:44:58 PM »
For a while, one of my relatives had a chain lock on her daughter's door.  The toddler kept raiding the kitchen at night, and would leave the refrigerator door open.  The door opened enough that the child could call out, but not enough for her to slip through.

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #538 on: May 19, 2013, 06:56:41 PM »
We have hooks and eyes on the kids' doors.  Never for nighttime, but just to contain them when they were little and tantrumming.  Also on pantry doors for when they were young enough to just make a mess.  The pantry hooks have also been useful for keeping the dog from nosing the doors open.
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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #539 on: May 20, 2013, 01:05:49 AM »
The house I built in Brisbane had a two-way bathroom - one door to the master bedroom, the other went into the laundry.  It was an alternative to a separate ensuite bathroom.

As far as the attached garage with no internal access - the original house plan had no internal access, so I paid extra to have the plan modified to install the internal door.  It was a total lifesaver...  and it was only about $120 at the time (early 90's) so it wasn't expensive.