Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Nightmare Journey to a New Bathroom

We've been waiting to get the work started on our bathroom for almost 2 months now. It's been a bit of a nightmare to be honest and I can't wait until the full thing is finished!

It all started in February when we discovered that water had leaked into our downstairs bathroom. It turns out we had had a slow leak from the pipes in our shower which just happen to be concealed behind the tiles in the bathroom upstairs. Husband had to take one of the tiles off the wall to fix it and disaster struck; the wall came off with the tile and the wall behind the shower was falling to bits. Clearly this slow leak had been happening for awhile.

We called our home insurance company and they arranged for a surveyor to come out and check the damage. After paying a hefty excess (because it was loss of water), we eventually saw the first surveyor (yes, there was more than one) about a week and a bit after instigating our claim. They inspected the damage, which had also gone in to my office downstairs and partially out into our upstairs hall, and said that it would all be replaced and repaired.

We were hoping to hear back with a materials list and conformation of the amount we could spend on flooring, tiles and paint but they came back to us and told us they were fully booked for 6 weeks and would pass the work on to one of their sub-contractors so they could get in and do the work sooner.

We heard from this second company about a week later and they said they would have to come out and do their own survey. This took another week. So almost 4 weeks down the line, we still hadn't had any work done.

The second surveyor came out, inspected all the damage and left with their report and photos.

We waited. And we waited. And we waited some more.

Husband was calling the first building company back pretty much every day. The report hadn't been received was the general excuse. Promises of it being chased up. When he called the second company, he had no joy either. It was like pass the buck between the two. No one wanted to admit fault. We found out after numerous phone calls that the second surveyor had sat with the report, waiting to email it for 2 and a half weeks!

At this point we were just about to begin the Easter holidays. Of course, with me being off for the full two weeks, it would have been pretty handy to get the workmen in then. But after making a huge complaint to the insurance company (who couldn't believe that the work hadn't started), we eventually got a start date for yesterday. Ironically, had we stuck with the first builder, the work would have already started about a week and a half ago.

It's been a complete hassle with Husband having to phone back and forth between three different companies (the insurance and two builders) and having to arrange to take time off work to be at home when the builders are in. We've got alternative accommodation after another company had to step in and handle the full thing but we still have a massive complaint in because it has been so poorly handled and very inefficient. The most frustrating part is when people say they'll call you or have a manager call you and then don't follow through with this. We've had this from all three companies.

So the workmen arrived yesterday to start ripping our bathroom out, putting up new walls, new tiles and new flooring. Husband had taken the day off and I was scheduled to take the rest of the week off to save Husband taking unpaid leave. They arrived around 10am by which point I'd already done almost half a shift at my work!

When I got home at 4pm, the builders had gone already. I couldn't believe it. But then Husband dropped the asbestos bombshell.

Apparently the builders think they've found asbestos behind the tiles. When Husband explained that it was actually the stuff used to put the tiles up on the wall and not asbestos, they wouldn't entertain him which, I can understand. Obviously they have to think of their jobs and health of all of us. So they left at 2pm and all the work is currently on hold until it can be tested. My bathroom is, well, not a bathroom any more. The bath is out, the toilet is out and the sink is out.

Of course, I'm now pretty pessimistic about the whole thing. I'm not good with DIY; I've said that many times on my blog before. I don't like the upheaval and mess it brings. I'm more than happy with the end results but it's the getting to that bit that makes me feel a bit crazy. I don't pretend or deny this fact' I do not cope with with DIY. I had Husband phone all three companies to make sure that reports had been sent that afternoon so that the person who tests these things can be out to us within the next day or so. Once they come out, it can take 2-3 days for the results to come back and then what happens next depends on the results.

Thankfully we have two toilets or we'd have been moving in to a hotel (paid for by the insurance company) until it was sorted. We do also have a hotel room booked until the work is completed so we can use it as and when we need to shower and the kids are excited to go for a sleepover and breakfast at the weekend. I guess it is also a blessing that we have good cover in place for these eventualities. I am annoyed though that in this day and age of technology, emails and so on, communication (or lack of) is still a huge issue for customer service companies.

Our new bathroom will come, it's just taking a lot longer than I wanted!

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