It’s coming from inside the house
As someone who’s been remodeling homes for about 20 years, I can tell you it’s not a predictable 9-to-5. When you start tearing down walls, you never know what you’re going to find.
I’ve seen total electrical chaos, where people spliced together wires and just wrapped it all up in insulating tape, popped it behind some drywall, and clearly forgot about it. Handling that kind of wiring is obviously dangerous, but the scariest part is not knowing how much more is still hiding. You’re going: “Is there any of it that we’re not going to find? Because we’re not tearing down every wall.” You don’t want to leave a newly remodeled home riddled with fire hazards.
And creative plumbing might not be as liable to burn your house down, but it can still be a huge pain. Once I tore through a wall in an old house and found a 4-inch cast-iron pipe running through the middle of it that made absolutely no sense; it wasn’t going to or from a bathroom. And you have to figure out how you’re going to deal with that. Can you somehow just leave it alone and build around it, or do you need to spend three days with a hacksaw trying to get it out?
Then there are the issues that don’t have anything to do with hardware. In remodeling, there’s always decay. You’re constantly dealing with disgusting things. I’ve found dead animals—and live animals, which is even scarier—in crawl spaces and attics, and when busting through walls. This job takes a strong stomach.
Oddly enough, it’s actually kind of good news when dead animals manage to stink up a place. It tends to keep the price down, but if you power through and clean things up, that temporary stench isn’t going to impact the house’s long-term value. So I always say, the stinkier the better. At least that’s something you can easily fix.