Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Renovation Ructions

I am sure you are all aware I want to sell my house and move to New Zealand. I decided long ago that two major jobs were needed to make the property presentable.

1. About 20 years ago with some students I built retaining walls and paved an area at the back of the house. These walls were collapsing along with some of the pavers. A more professional job was needed.

2. I have an ensuite which I have always hated with its shiny black tiles and without going into details the fittings had become rather grotty.

My plans were to have the walls and paving completed first then the ensuite.

Therefore at the end of last October I rang 4 landscapers. In the usual fashion here, 2 arrived to quote, 1 promised but did not arrive, the other never rang back.
One man was very contemptuous of my original work despite it having lasted 20 years. The other, a woman who advertised on the local gay website, was very complimentary of my amateur work and, the two quotes being comparable, I chose her.
The arranged start date in mid November passed (rain delaying earlier jobs was understandable). Then the early December date also passed and work finally began in second week of January. Her not having an assistant worried me as some of the work is heavy but she said she would work 4 days per week. Soon heat was an excuse although I felt starting after 11am was a bit ridiculous in Australian summers.
Seven weeks later with no more than 2 short work days per week the walls are finally nearing completion and hopefully the paving will soon start. At least I do not have to be home for work to be done though I sometimes help with unloading timber.

Not wanting to delay any further I began the ensuite process in late January. I needed my sister's input as although I have the gay gene I do not have the fashion sense that is suppose to go with it. Tiles and fittings were selected, work quote accepted and last Monday week chosen (after my return from travelling south for a few days).
I moved out of my bedroom to a very uncomfortable, narrow spare bed in the 2nd bed/junk room.

Work started only half a day late and everything was gutted by Tuesday afternoon. Waterproofing was done Wednesday and needed 24 hours to dry.
Friday I heard there was a delay for a tiler so I went to the movies. Monday nothing, Tuesday nothing. Today Mr Tiler rang and said he would be here at 10am. Appears his father-in-law is sick in Melbourne and, while he unloaded tools and we carried tiles into bedroom, he then left but hopefully will work a few hours tomorrow morning before flying to Melbourne and return to finish the job next week. Then I have to reorganise the painters who were to start this Friday.

Meanwhile I have just helped my landscaping lady carry timber around the tiler's trailer and face another week or more of uncomfortable nights.

I have always said I hate having anything to do with tradespeople and this vindicates my beliefs. Perhaps this is my Lenten penance.

1 comment:

Birdie said...

You mean you have 40 more days of this? Your sacrifice is not supposed to be thrust upon you. But this is an old story that many have told.