Sunday, October 23, 2016

Budapest IV

Progress is still slow. However, I got a partial quotation from a builder, and I now know what the kitchen will cost, and approximate costs for floors.

Pending finalising costs and getting a programme for getting it done before the heat death of the universe, I've been sightseeing. Although there's a comprehensive public transport network, I've walked bluddy miles in both kinds of weather. 

Roman baths at Florian ter flyover
Aquincum theatre
Aquincum in the rain
Aquincum colonnade
Aquincum: Painter's House reconstruction
Sunset over Pest
Buda Castle and the Danube
Elisabeth Bridge
Arpad Bridge and Margaret Island. Sunny weather
The other kind of weather

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Budapest III

Progress is agonisingly slow.

Builder No.1 turned up, listened to what I wanted to do, and said he's get back to me within a week. Then he disappeared into the aether, and two weeks later has been impossible to contact.

Builder No.2 appreciated my plans, noted that I know what I want and have some understanding of construction, and then told me that he's fully booked and can't possibly take on any new work until at least January next year. So why talk to me at all, if you've just signed contracts and filled your order book? Because I know what I'm talking about and there's limited chance of ripping me off, perhaps?

Builder No.3 appears keen, having been to the apartment twice and taken copious notes and measurements. But still no cost and time estimate. I'm stuck in Budapest at $35/day and achieving very little.

Not entirely true. I have made repeated visits to the premises and taken many measurements. The kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom layouts are pretty much finalised. I have an appointment early next week with a kitchen design specialist, and I have sources for tiles and hardwood flooring lined up.

The latest, and hopefully final, kitchen layout
Still no news on replacement windows and doors, nor on central heating or bathroom fittings.

As I said: agonisingly slow.


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Budapest II

So the Goat has met a builder and is awaiting a quote. He is meeting a second builder on Friday, and a third the following Tuesday. He's also been discussing tiling for walls and floors.


All manner of ceramic tiles are available, but blue terrazzo is inexplicably Not Coming In Budapest. The Goat has been on Facebook Messenger and Skype with Beloved Wife in an attempt to get an agreeable colour scheme, and to this end he's spent interminable hours in front of Google SketchUp.

The hallway with blue floor tiles
The hallway with slate tiles

The bathroom with slate

The kitchen with slate

The kitchen with blue terrazzo on the floor

The kitchen with wood worktops and floor
 No decisions have yet been made, except the layout of the kitchen is fixed so the power and water points can be finalised.


Monday, October 03, 2016

Budapest I

The exterior
The Goat has been busy since his contract in Qatar reached its logical conclusion.

Beloved Wife and her Goat have now got into the minefield known as ‘real estate’.

Having looked at numerous properties in Budapest, the Goat agreed that ‘The FixerUpper’ was the one that they’d want if only it were possible. And then the Goat suddenly reached the end of his contract in Doha and thus a construction industry project manager became available to oversee renovation of a fin de siècle apartment. 

There’s a lot of work to do. The place needs a total rewire, replumbing, new heating system, and gutting the gas system. The heating system consists of three horrible and ancient gas heaters that will have to go before they kill all the occupants by vomiting carbon monoxide… A combination boiler that will deliver hot water at the taps and for the heating is a major part of the refurbishment.

The master bedroom
 A wall needs to be moved, or more accurately demolished and a new one built a couple of metres away. Glorious parquet flooring will be retained where possible, a new kitchenette will be built, and the old and rather barren kitchen will become a master bedroom.

The kitchen
The kitchen and sitting room
The bathroom and toilet are both completely horrible, a situation made worse by the existence of the toilet in the ghastly German style.

Current advice includes that refurbishing the windows is probably more effort and cost than simply replacing them, and the old wooden units would still be draughty.

The Goat is currently preparing layouts in AutoCAD. He discovered that this building is far from square, which will be interesting. He’s staying in Budapest, seeing quotes from builders to do the work. Of course, all the really good English speakers are in the UK doing the ‘Polish plumber’ thing, so language may be an issue. Fun, innit?


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