Archive for the 'Oops' Category

Oops, Water in Painted Stucco

February 10th, 2017

With stucco, you can either let it show its natural color, or you paint it. The problem with painting it is that if any water gets in behind the paint, there’s no way for it to get out. And paint cannot reliably keep water out in the first place—there are always cracks forming in the […]

Oops, Wrong Ply

February 2nd, 2017

A marine-grade plywood would have been a better choice for these backboards. Even an exterior-grade ply with its phenolic binders would have held onto the laminations, though edge protection is always a wise safeguard.

Oops, No Ventilation

November 22nd, 2015

Peeling paint in only some areas of this exterior suggests vapor was gradually making its way through from the inside, loosening the bond between the paint and the wall. Behind the peeling areas you’re likely to find a bathroom, kitchen, or other humid area without a good vent. If this were new, tightly-sealed construction, but still […]

Oops — Low Clearance

April 15th, 2013

The building code actually does let you encroach into the public right-of-way.  But the sidewalk here on Ames Alley is narrower than the bay above, and at 11′-4″, this bay is two inches shorter than your typical mid-sized rent-a-van.

Oops — No Wind

January 21st, 2013

If we learn from our mistakes, students at Sanchez School will certainly benefit from the placement of this fence-top wind turbine.  As anyone walking by could tell you, the generator would do better on top of this 40-foot edifice than at the sidewalk. But would that be enough?  Industry rule of thumb suggests placing turbines […]

Oops — Overwatering

October 25th, 2012

The watering system on the Dolores Street median looks grossly inefficient, but is actually par for the course. The EPA cites studies that show up to 50% of the 7-billion gallons of water a day used for residential landscape irrigation is wasted — due to overwatering, evaporation, or system over-design.

Oops – No Photosensor

September 17th, 2012

Well, at least they put in compact fluorescents. Now their bill for this pair of lights is a quarter of what it was. Obviously a photosensor would cut that down to an eighth or so. Say the original pair of 75w incandescents cost 150w x 24 hours x 365 days = 1314 kwh, x .15 […]

Oops – Half-Off Paint Job

March 3rd, 2012

These apartments were only half-painted because: A. The co-owners didn’t agree on whether it was time to paint. B. The scaffolding company went into foreclosure after a month. C. A wealthy neighbor across Guerrero St paid only for the side that faced him. D. The owners chose the painter who’s estimate was only half the […]