Sunday, 14th February 2021 – The Great House Extension Project (Days 118 – 124)
On Monday last the lovely man from Hillary’s Blinds came back to fit all the curtains apart from the one that needed to be redone because it was too long. That won’t be back until the 18th of February at the earliest, but at least at the end of the day we had a full set of curtains at the front of the house, and we can now shut the world out should we want to. He also arrived late but warned us well in advance that he was running behind schedule, and duly turned up when he said he was going to. He also cleaned up nicely after himself despite having to drill holes to put up the curtain poles. The only way you could tell he’d been in the house was that we had curtains.
On Tuesday the electrician was due back to complete the LED lighting downstairs and the wardrobe lights in the dressing room. He was due at 10:30 but inevitably turned up late, didn’t let us know he was going to be late, and still didn’t finish. Despite apparently carefully measuring up and writing all the measurements down he didn’t have enough LED strip to complete the job! I was also, more than annoyed with what he did in the dressing room where he just left a tangle of wires on top of all the wardrobes. Apparently that was fine because “no-one will see them.” That, in a nutshell, is the problem with him. I may not see them, but I WILL KNOW THEY ARE THERE. So I’ve bought some cable trunking to put them neatly along the sides out of the way where they won’t collect dust, and they won’t get in the way of anything we want to store on top of the wardrobes. He would have been sacked from any race team I’ve ever had anything to do with for that level of sloppiness and carelessness.
It got to 5:30pm and he was trying to insist that he wanted to keep working and I just wanted him out of the house. We have a routine on weekdays, and that means sitting down to dinner at around 7pm, after showering, and getting organised for the following day. He was getting in the way of that, and he was going to have to come back anyway. The last socket could wait. I was just glad I’d insisted he do the dressing room first. We needed him to be finished there because I had a day’s holiday booked to spend emptying the storage unit in Milton Keynes of all our clothes. Two of the lights weren’t working though because we didn’t have enough slots in the driver to plug all of them in. A quick check on Ikea’s website made it clear that I could buy it online and click and collect it the following day. I bought one of the light switches too to control the whole lot – all 10 lights.
On Wednesday, therefore, I made fours runs to MK, because it took me that many trips to get all the stuff into the car and home. By the time I was done, the unit was cleared, I had the Ikea stuff ready to fit, and we were due a refund of £122 on the rental. One unit down, two more to go!
On Thursday we had to get Darren back to tidy up after the electrician, filling in holes, plastering and painting them, and repair the paintwork that he’d messed up fitting the light strips downstairs. Meanwhile, having lost patience with the Ikea online ordering process when it came to getting the stuff I’d ordered in early January actually delivered, I gave in, ordered a fresh batch, and did the click and collect thing again. It meant the three shelves we wanted as extras could be fitted (in the case of one of them after a monumental fight to figure out how to get a full sized shelf into a corner unit after the units have all been attached to each other – don’t ask!) and the two drawers I managed to break when building them could be replaced. We were ready to unload all of the bags into the drawers, shelves and hanging sections.
On Friday the builders were back, finishing the overlooked loft boarding process. We now have plenty of safe, solid storage room in the loft and we just need an extra light at the end of the loft space. I have contacted the competent, organised electrician we normally use and asked him to come and do the work, because there’s no way I’m letting Jonathan do it. Meanwhile, he, the damned idiot electrician, told Mal that he would be back on Monday, the one day I had specifically and repeatedly told him he couldn’t be here because it was the day we were getting our furniture delivered back.
After a certain amount of swearing from me, the contractor let me know that he was now going to show on Friday. He said he would come back between 4:30 and 5:00 and he actually did! Colour me utterly stunned. He did the two remaining jobs in 45 minutes, cleaned up after himself and headed off at around 5:30. So that was it for any indoors work from the contractor now.
Saturday we kept right on with emptying bags into wardrobes, and by the end of the day I had dealt with my stuff. That left Lynne to do the other bags and fill up her side of the units. While she was doing that, I spent Sunday dealing with the Amtico flooring downstairs, stripping off the finish (a VERY smelly process), rinsing it with fresh water twice, and then adding two coats of satin finish dressing. It looked brilliant once I’d finished though I was pretty exhausted at the end of the day. It had to be done, and it would probably be the only time I could get a run at the entire floor. It was now protected and would hopefully stand up to two removal men dragging large amounts of furniture around on it on Monday morning.