John C. Kirk (johnckirk) wrote,
John C. Kirk

Time for another rant about building work. This week's special guest star is the gas company.

To recap the story so far, I applied for gas in April, the survey was done in May, and I got a quote (which I paid) at the end of June. The (eventual!) schedule was that Fulcrum/Transco would turn up today to install the pipe from the gas main into the building, then British Gas would connect that to a meter tomorrow. I'd hoped that I'd have hot water after that, but apparently I also need to wait for my plumber to turn up next week and connect the meter to the pipes in my flat.

What actually happened today is that Fulcrum turned up and spent 2 hours digging a 2m long trench in the road outside. (This got complaints from the shop next door, so I'm not exactly endearing myself to the neighbours, which I feel bad about since they took receipt of a parcel for me a while back.) At the end of that, they still couldn't find the gas main. You'd think that they'd have a map or something, but apparently not. Once their shift was over, they left, and they'll try again tomorrow (which may delay the meter installation). If you hear a loud explosion from the direction of Croydon, that probably means that their pneumatic drill has located the gas main. I'm also informed that the quote I got doesn't cover the cost of the pipe running upstairs, i.e. into my flat. Evidently that's an optional extra. So, they're going to phone me in the morning to let me know how much that will cost.

Next time, I'll just hire Laurel and Hardy and have done with it. They may be dead, but it's hard to see how they could do a worse job than these monkeys. Mind you, I do have EnergyWatch (the watchdog, like Oftel for phone companies) investigating this, so I'll have a word to them in the morning.

Meanwhile, my worktops have been sitting in the hallway downstairs for the last 3 weeks. Being granite, they're a bit too heavy for me to easily carry upstairs on my own, and I'm worried about damaging them if I drop them. So, I've now got the estate agents nagging me, because they're trying to sell the upstairs flat, and (quite reasonably) don't like having to step over my stuff when they show prospective buyers around. The plan on Tuesday was that the kitchen guys would try to come on Friday, but if they couldn't make it then they'd definitely come on Saturday. The new plan is that they can't make it on Friday or Saturday, but they've promised to come on Monday. Is "definite" or "promised" more certain?

So, current status:

  • No central heating, and the window that got broken in May hasn't been fixed yet ("in case it gets broken again"), so there's a nice brisk breeze coming through that.

  • No hot water, no water at all in WC's basin, only half-functional shower, and no plumbing to dishwasher/washing machine.

  • No cooking facilities, so I'm living off takeaways, which is expensive and means I'm getting fatter.

  • Plastering not finished, which means I can't paint the walls yet. In turn, that means that I can't put curtains up, and that I can't sort out shelves/unpack books, so I'm still surrounded by boxes.

Bah. If anyone wants to run a sweepstake on when this will actually get finished, feel free - someone may as well benefit. Still, on the positive side, I haven't had to deal with squatters. Rock on!
Tags: builders, gas, rant

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