Sunday, 9th May 2021 – The Great House Extension Project (Days 135 – 142)
You thought it was all over, didn’t you? Well, it is and it isn’t. We still have the front porch to remodel, the patio to be built outside our new bifold doors to replace the hole that is currently there waiting for the unwary to fall down, the kitchen lobby to extend, and the leaking conservatory to replace. Of these jobs, only the patio and the porch will be happening this year, because basically we can’t take another major project this year. The porch, in theory, is only meant to take 4-5 weeks… Needless to say, this was nowhere near as simple as it sounds, and it is not yet finished.
The builders reappeared towards the end of March, dug a massive hole outside the front door over the course of two days, and then left. It wasn’t the usual duo of Dave and Darren, who would have told us what was planned next. These two had no idea when they would be back, or even if they would be. The following week they did finally reappear, and the new walls very quickly took shape. Then they vanished again. Three weeks later Dave and Darren showed up and began to restructure the roof. This took four days (for some reason they didn’t appear on the Wednesday), and then they had to stop because they couldn’t get the materials needed to finish of the roof, but at least we were able to get moving on the new front door.
A visit to our friendly neighbourhood window and door suppliers, Infinite Windows in Milton Keynes, was quick and easy because we were pretty sure what we wanted and just needed to make sure it was possible. It was. They came to survey the site the following week, and then came the bad news. There’s about a 6-8 week lag on the doors. And without the door none of the internal work can be done…
So currently we still have a massive hole outside the front door, covered by some boards, and a jerry-rigged step made out of bricks. And that looks likely to be the situation for some time to come. We had hoped we could get moving on the patio while we waited, but no. The slabs are on an 8-10 week time lag and cannot be got any quicker for love or money. The fact that it took the suppliers two weeks (!) to come back to us on the availability (they won’t answer the phone, everything has to be done by email, and they only seem to answer their emails once a week) has added to the pain. But if that’s how long we’ll have to wait, then we’ll just have to suck it up.
Oh, and to add to the fun, we don’t currently have a house number in place so the postman and various other delivery people seem unable to work out where we are, even though the previous houses are numbers 46, 48, etc. You’d think they might be able to figure it out, wouldn’t you? We have a new number plaque but don’t want to fit it until we know it won’t get damaged, so we’ve resorted to a laminated piece of paper hooked around the door knocker. Strangely enough, some delivery drivers still seem unable to see it.