It’s now 1st February, and there has been significant progress on the walls. Final plastering is nearly done and wall tiles are in progress. As of today, work on the wood floors has commenced. I went to Dubai for a week, and as is inevitable I received urgent messages requiring my immediate attention as I was in the taxi on my way to the airport.
“Oh, Mr Goat, we do not understand the tiling layout that we previously agreed was completely clear from your AutoCAD drawings.”
The problem completely evaporated upon my return and a ten minute meeting on site. But this serves to illustrate why I’m doing this from Budapest and not attempting it by remote control from Dubai.
Having agreed a date for kitchen installation, the builder is now under pressure to complete the walls, floor, electricity and water in the kitchen area. The gas pipe supplying the stove had to be moved because it’s not allowed to be inside a cupboard, and the builder put the thing in the wrong place. He also needs to dig through his new plasterboard wall to regain access to electricity outlets that will supply the oven, stove ignition, and extractor hood. It seems that the plasterers and the electricians do not talk to each other despite my reminders.
|Bedroom 1 has got plastered|
|That gas pipe needs to be about 300mm to the left|
|This will eventually become a shower cubicle|
|The scary rats' nest of unfinished electrickery|
I paid for IKEA’s kitchen fitter to come and check the measurements that obviously have to match the final surfaces. He agreed that my layout was good and wished all his clients were this well organised. I get the money back, and the kitchen planning fee too, when I actually pay for the kitchen.
Back to IKEA, and I attempted to buy a planned kitchen. There were some minor modifications to the original design, including deletion of the breakfast bar. It had previously turned out that the bar worktop is a special order with a six-week lead time, so I organised this well in advance. It will be delivered well after the rest of the kitchen is in, but I reckon I’m capable of drilling four holes in the right place and screwing for bolts up to the specified torque – which is “good’n’tight.” I am suspicious that the washers as provided are too small to spread the load, so I bought some ginormous washers.
So the kitchen is finalised.
“I’d like to pay for it now and have it delivered next Monday. It can’t be any sooner because the floor won’t be ready.”
“Oh no, Mr Goat. You have to order it two days in advance. We at IKEA are actually incapable of sticking you in our diary for seven days’ time, Come back on Friday night or Saturday morning if you want a Monday delivery. Oh, and delivery and installation are payable in cash to the guys doing the work.”
A brief perusal of my blog post dated 24 November notes how a wobbly and uneven parquet floor would need to be taken up and relaid. There was a guy in today to deal with the parquet, and I found him listlessly cleaning and stacking parquet units. His boss contacted me today to advise that fixing the floor levels would take two days, and therefore IKEA’s kitchen delivery should be correspondingly postponed. He’s only known about the floor issue for ten weeks.
So it’s next Wednesday for the kitchen; not next Monday.
As an aside, I have designed and fitted a kitchen before, which is why I’m getting someone else to do it this time.
Meanwhile in the hall the floor is way too bouncy to carry large slate flagstones. More expense: it has to come up and be replaced with concrete (and reinforcing mesh that is pretty much for anti-crack purposes) as was done in the kitchen and bathroom. Redoing the hall floor will help with finished floor level consistency throughout the flat.
As for shopping, I have all light fittings ready and waiting. The place will be fully furnished, so I’m looking for a reasonable telly that’s not cripplingly expensive. Also microwave, kettle, iron, washing machine…
But I now have a completion date, or at least a date when it will be possible to move in with actual power and water working and some furniture.
The middle of February. Two weeks to go.