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Don’t Delay Making Home Repairs

August 5, 2012 · 48 comments

in Home & Garden, Personal Finance

A woodpecker is ruining my quality of life…

Last year, a woodpecker was busily pecking away at a house in my neighborhood.  That didn’t surprise me too much, because this particular house was not the best ‘kept’ home in the area, and I just figured the woodpecker had found some great bugs in the wood.

Flash forward a few months, and I find myself being woken up to the sound of a woodpecker, and he was very busy pecking on the outside of our house- just above the wall where the bed is.  Great, so either woodpeckers can find food anywhere, or  my house now fell into the ‘unkempt’ category.

The end result of the woodpecker’s effort was a nice 4 inch in diameter hole in the stucco of our house.

We knew we wanted to replace the stucco with siding anyway, so we didn’t address the problem immediately.  BIG MISTAKE.

Guess what happens when you leave a four inch hole in the side of your house?

Birds will make a nest, that is what.  (This nest is located between the stucco  and the outside wall, the birds cannot get inside our house, thank God.)

We had animal control come out to see if they could somehow get these birds out.  Turns out the bird not only made a nest, but laid eggs.  Animal control said the bird was ‘protected’, so they couldn’t do anything to help us.  They said we needed to wait until the birds all grew up and moved out on their own.

That was pure hell.  Every morning at sunrise, all the babies started squawking endlessly, and you could hear mom taking off constantly to get food for her brood.  These birds were right by my head, so sleep was impossible.  It was like I had my own personal rooster.  However, after a few weeks, the whole bird family packed their bags and moved out.  Finally, I could sleep.

Guess what happens when one bird family moves out and you don’t instantly block up the hole?

A new bird family moves in.  (In our defense, the hole is so high up that we do not have a ladder that reaches high enough to repair it ourselves.)  So, we are back to square one, except this time, it is just one bird that has taken up residence.  He seems pretty comfortable too, and I don’t think he will ever leave.

We are in the process of getting siding estimates, but it is a lengthy process.  I am so mad at myself for not calling someone out immediately to cover up that hole when we first saw it.  However, we never thought about birds nesting.  Then after they left, I didn’t want to cover it too soon in case there were still some birds in there and I didn’t want to trap them.  Unfortunately, I waited too long and I am now suffering from sleep deprivation.  (Why do birds have to chirp non-stop by the way?  Can’t they be more succinct??)

Better To Fix A Small Problem Than To Desperately Try To Fix A Large, Expensive Problem

In synopsis, if you notice even what you think is a small problem with your house, get it fixed immediately.  You just never know what one small issue will lead to.  Sure, you might have to pay a little money to have a minor repair fixed.  However, that is a lot better than having to pay a lot of money down the road.  Actually, in our case, the loss of sleep bothers me even more than the money aspect!

Have you ever had a small problem with your home snowball into a much bigger concern?




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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Centavos August 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

We have a mutual non-aggression policy with most wildlife. Don’t bother me, I won’t bother you. Little Thumper can prance and frolic on the lawn and the flower beds, but if he starts in on the veggies, out come the small-caliber preventive measures. Bird nests are a tougher deal. You can’t turn the water hose on them for fear of water getting inside the house. Catching it early and closing up the hole is the best remedy.
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Lance @ Money Life and More August 5, 2012 at 11:35 am

That stinks! At least you’re moving forward with the estimates now so hopefully the issue goes away soon! I have a stucco townhouse and I’m not a huge fan of stucco but all the other townhouses have it too so changing probably wouldn’t look too good… oh well :)
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Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager August 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Yikes! Now you have me on my toes. Right now I’m focused on enjoying me house. (And doing some minor landscaping in my back yard).


Don August 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm

That sucks, but it’s a very funny story (kind of). Feel bad for you, glad you got it taken care of!

Yeah, I have some things that need fixed, our builder sucked (to my surprise).
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Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter August 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I love birds from afar, but if anything disturbs my sleep, all bets are off. We haven’t been putting off any big fixes, but our lawn guy seems to have taken a chunk out of the very bottom of our siding in the back yard and I do not know if it’s important to fix it or not…
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First Gen American August 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Okay, was it bad of me to laugh at this story? I missed your humor. Glad you’re back.
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Kris August 17, 2012 at 10:35 am

Feel free to laugh at me. I laughed myself when I saw that damn woodpecker destroying my house. Never thought that would be a problem I would come across.


Joe @ Retire By 40 August 10, 2012 at 12:54 am

Sorry to hear that. We just cleaned out the dryer vent at my rental home and there was a bird nest in there too. Anyway, it’s removed and the flap is being replaced.
I don’t know if I could stand sleep deprivation even for a protected specie…
Joe @ Retire By 40 recently posted..How early retirement will impact my Social Security Benefit


Kris August 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

The problem with the protected species was that nobody would touch them. We had no choice but to wait it out, and we didn’t have the equipment or ‘no how’ to handle it ourselves.

One of my neighbors had a small fire that was caused by a birds nest in the dryer vent. I am glad you found yours and got it fixed!


Charlotte @Dining Out Challenge August 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm

We had a ‘put it off’ experience that cost us a lot more than it had too. I noticed that there was water on the kitchen floor and my husband thought it was from the dogs water bowl. I thought it was from the dish washer, but did I do anything about it…nooooo. I waited. Then I started to notice the laminate flooring start to give when you stepped on it. I finally got under the dish washer and found the leak. Then we had to have someone come out and replace half the kitchen floor. I learned my lesson.
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Kris August 17, 2012 at 10:28 am

Isn’t it amazing how quickly water can do damage. I can see where it would seem like the water bowl would be causing the issue though.

Hopefully you got flooring you really like out of the experience though!


Sandy H August 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Reminds me of my husband. Not wanting to take care of a small problem until it leads to a huge problem. I have to nag him a lot. :-)
But it also reminds me of my workplace. There was a leak on my floor. They didn’t fix it right away, now they are going to have to replace the flooring because the tiles buckled and broke.
Good luck with your siding!
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Kris August 17, 2012 at 10:26 am

Leaks are awful!

There was no way we could fix these holes, they are so high up on the house that we would have to buy a new ladder. The company that came and found the birds ending up repairing the holes for 35 bucks, which was great. Now we have to settle on the siding. I am just glad the birds are gone for now!


Nicholle Olores August 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Oh that was really bad. If you got a lot of holes in your house, a lot of bad thing will happen as well, rats, bird’s nest, that’s kinda messy to look at!
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Kris August 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

I hate stucco, it is so ‘not’ durable. We were able to get the holes screened over while we wait for the siding, but what a pain.

At least I am sleeping again!


Mark August 20, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Thanks for sharing your story. It is a eye opener to everyone to not neglect doing repairs in the house because it can lead to more serious problems. Even though, you’ve made a mistake on not fixing that immediately, you still made a right decision by sharing the story here.
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Jackie@home maintenance August 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Haha, what’s wrong with having a nice birds nest in your backyard? Aside from the presents they may drop from time to time. I’m sure the neighborhood cat will balance things out sooner or later :)


Phone Bill Cut September 1, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I’ve seen this happen many times, it always pays to deal with things right away. The problem with older houses is that there are usually many of these opportunities :)


Handyman Birmingham October 30, 2012 at 10:55 am

I had a friend and bees built a hive in her attic. She had the bees evicted, but left hive behind. Guess what? It was filled with honey. What eats honey besides Winnie the Pooh? Rats! So, unbeknownst to her, the rats moved in and decided it was a great place to reside through the winter. More than $2000 later, the beehive, rats, and mess they left made were removed. Your tale of not delaying is a good one! Just think how much cheaper it would have been for my friend had they simply removed the hive.


Local Sniper December 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

So hard to not delay this process lol but thank you for the advice. I wish I was just good at making home repairs.


Tube Sniper Pro December 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Great tips I hope I can start earlier next time. It really is important to start early with home improvement and repairs because things can snowball fast!


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Shelly Slader July 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I love that motto: ” …if you notice even what you think is a small problem with your house, get it fixed immediately.” It’s so true! We had a small problem with our flooring in Kamloops and we let it go for way too long. We hadn’t even realized how bad things were getting until we had to hire someone to completely replace our flooring. Hundreds of dollars later, we wish we had just fixed the little problem it all formed from in the beginning.


SeamusRamirez October 31, 2013 at 4:34 pm

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Kristen Dockery October 30, 2014 at 10:21 am

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Jenn Davies December 17, 2014 at 1:10 am

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Frank Covert January 13, 2015 at 6:51 pm

I used to think birds make those holes and build their nests in their, but I guess its all because there are holes (started small maybe) in the homes. Sometimes they even build nests in our homes gutters, which doesn’t prove to be helpful than harmful for clogging.


Ted Smith January 15, 2015 at 6:08 pm

I agree that you shouldn’t delay making home repairs. If you don’t, you could end up like the people in the article. Or, even worse, life threatening damage could occur. It is better to prevent any further damage from happening than to wait to repair a lot more damage.



Joey Walden January 22, 2015 at 12:23 pm

My siding has a dent in it. It also has rust that formed from the chipped away paint of my 15 year old house. I have to agree with the article on fixing small issues. I think that the rusting issue wouldn’t have happened if I would have just taken care of it years ago. http://www.dandmroofing.com/Siding.html


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