Nice: Thanks for letting us know, WR!
BTW, I hope all is going well/better with your new home, now. :)
Nice: Thanks for letting us know, WR!
BTW, I hope all is going well/better with your new home, now. :)
Thanks. Things are progressing slowly. We have a mediation meeting on the 7th with the electrician and the local authority (he is on their trusted traders site). We send a detailed report showing images of unfinished work, copies of the plans showing where electrical sockets and lights should go, as well as copies of all correspondence (maily emails) between the electrician and ourselves. We have a very strong case. He only agreed to the mneeting after waiting over two months from the original invite after we'd informed the builder that we were taking legal action. We got an email from him the following morning agreeing to the meeting (we reckon the builder had contacted him about us going the legal route). We are hoping mediation will suffice as it's the cheapest option. in any event, we will end up out of pocket once it's all cleared. The British legal system does not support us very well.
We still haven't arranged a mediation meeting with the builder. We have to get a surveyors report first so that we have professional proof of the issues rather than just our word for it - our solicitor has said that even with the photographic evidence and research we have carried out the courts still require qualified professionals to report the issues.
The surveyor is going to cost at the least a few thousand pounds. One builder who came to price up the work reckons it'll take the surveyor all day to work through the building to detail all of the faults, then he'll have to write up the report. We've had three builders around the house to price up the work and all of them have said they couldn't because there were too many problems.
Our solicitor has arranged for a reputable surveyor to sort it out. He said he will give prices for all of the various remedial work that needs to be carried out. In the mean time, we've been finishing off the rooms that are okay (furnishings, pctures, rugs, decorating etc).
The front garden needs the newly grassed area redoing as the builder didn't put any drainage in the ground and he's left the original concrete driveways hardcore in place, which excacerbates the drainage problem. He's also dumped tons of rubble into the garden(to save on skip and dumping costs) and tried to hide it by covering it with the worst soil I've ever seen (no organic content). The back garden thankfully wasn't affected much by the building work and is looking quite beautiful at the moment. We've still to get the patio covered with granite and place bushed along the edges. You can see the corner of the unfinished patio to the middle right of the image below:
You can see a higher resolution image via the following link:
It's hard to see the scale of things. Roughly from where the image was taken to the trees at the bottom of the garden is about 90 feet. There's a hidden garden to the right of the garden shed and trampoline (top right of the image) that can't be seen from the house (except from the balcony above my unfinished study).
Please excuse the off topic content above. :)
What a hassle...
You need an advocate like Mike Holmes, ever hear of him?
Lovely garden though! I can see peiris, azalea, fogetmenots and heather...
Do you have someone help you maintain the garden?
(It is a great year so far, here, for gardens...OUR peiris is the best that it has ever been..)
There's only one game in the listings so far for this weekend and is due on Sunday. It's a decent repeat that garnered over 80% positive votes last time it was given away.
I'm thinking Ignorance really Is Bliss, WR. Short term maybe -- with a shoddy builder it's often only a matter of time till something bad happens -- but if you hadn't known better I imagine you would have had quite a few more peaceful nights rest.
Garden's nice -- we've had such a nasty spring, what with it staying cold, a false thaw, & not a lot of sun, that anything green that happened to survive is just now starting to show hints of life. That means just a 3 month growing season this year, so not holding out a lot of hope.
We only discovered problems after the builder tried to palm off completing the balcony on a friend of ours who was doing the tiling in the kitchen, dining room, study and bathrooms (plus balcony). He was quite slow and wa sholding the builder up. we pointed out that we had already paid him for the work. he was quite rude so we started to check some of his work. Virtully all of it was hidden.
As for the garden; yes, I employ a gardener for 4 hours a week. I'd rather do it myself, but can't with my disabilities. I can water the garden and pull a few weeds, but even that causes pain.
The garden looks even better this week. :)
The game today, Mystery of Mortlake Mansion, was one my wife's really enjoyed -- thanks GOTD.
"Things are progressing slowly. We have a mediation meeting on the 7th..."
I don't know what it's like in the UK, but sadly here in the US it's gotten to where anyone or any company that actually does what they say they will, or what they're supposed to do, is cause for celebration. That's especially true in the trades.
" ... a friend of ours who was doing the tiling in the kitchen, dining room, study and bathrooms (plus balcony). He was quite slow..."
In the US a good tileman is a bit rare... Building supply/home improvement stores often have classes for homeowners to teach them the basics, I *think* because they'd hardly sell any tile otherwise. Laying tile can take time. To start with there's laying the sub-floor or a fresh layer of drywall if/as necessary, seal that, then for floors mix the mud [cement - epoxy cement if there's enough $], lay it down with grooved trowels, then set the tile, wiggling it & using a rubber mallet to get rid of air bubbles that will cause especially larger tiles to crack or come up. They have flexible plastic X spacers you can use at the corners, or if you're doing a floor & there's room, lay down a long, straight board, setting the tile against it as a straight edge guide. When the mud's dry, yank the spacers if you used them, & add the grout either with a foam covered trowel, or I've seen some use pastry bags. Once everything's cured, unless you used latex grout it's nice to seal it -- old timers swear by olive oil, but there's commercial stuff available if you want to use it.
It's messy work with the mud or glue & the grout, & the tile's heavy to lug to the job, but it's like most everything else in the building trades, not all that difficult -- you just need to follow the rules. That's where the skilled trades often fall short here in the US, with a combo of not caring & feeling they're smart enough to get away with cutting corners. Larger companies use crews of non-skilled or semi-skilled laborers instead.
Contractors usually juggle their resources [sub contractors, labor, & equipment] between several jobs, and the hard part is getting a busy contractor to finish your job -- a good contract pays them based on milestones, so there's some incentive to finish. In the US then, a contractor or builder in a hurry to finish a job usually doesn't bode well, hinting at financial troubles & not enough work. Another sign to watch for, unless you're talking to a salesperson, is a sort of blanket confidence -- in the trades it's often a sign that the contractor, builder, &/or tradesperson has little experience or idea what they're doing. Simply put, the more you know, the more you know that can go wrong, so a real pro will always try to leave wiggle room if pressed.
"I'd rather do it myself, but can't with my disabilities. I can water the garden and pull a few weeds, but even that causes pain."
I do hear ya. We had sold the house, moving across the state for my wife's job when I became disabled with this stupid illness. Thankfully I didn't like living there, so we'd been renting an apartment instead of buying another house. I say thankfully because once I got sick there's no way I could manage with even a large apartment -- there are days when getting up to walk 20 feet feels like getting ready to run a marathon. *My* 3 plants [which are overdue to have their water changed] are what they call Lucky Bamboo -- not bamboo at all, you stick them in water & for the most part forget them. Everything else growing is my wife's. When she had some plants inside over the winter, every great once in a while I might water them, but that's pretty much it.
Sounds like the building trade needs to be given a kick on both sides of the Atlantic. :) Sorry to hear of your disabilities. It sucks not being able to do the things we used to be able to do. Although its been almost 9 ears since my accident, I think I'm still coming to terms with it.
No game Saturday, just Sunday. I think it's a new game (well, at least one that's never been given away via the game giveaway site before), so will be worth checking out. :)
"I'm thinking Ignorance really Is Bliss"
So it has been said, plenty of times, I'm sure, but in WR's case, it is no doubt a good thing he discovered all the problems/issues right away. I'm sure there's a much better chance of resolution, now, than if the problems hadn't been discovered until years down the road, instead. WR, I do hope the process for getting everything settled won't be too difficult, taxing you physically and financially.
We certainly can empathise about BOTH the builder issues AND the garden maintenance, WR!
We too, cannot do much in our garden;( I am disabled and my husband older) get a fellow to do the grass, and have tried to put in more perennials so MUCH less work...
As far as shoddy,dishonest contractors go, we had more than our share over the years too. We only JUST managed to troubleshoot a leak into our basement; first we thought that it was from the roof, but have narrowed it down(with the help of a VERY honest and decent plumber) to a shower whose drain was not caulked properly, resulting in LOTS of dry wall damage, and a potential disaster if not noticed and addressed! :(
Looking forward to a new game tomorrow. BTW,here in Northern NJ, it is well known that if you want quality work done, you go to the immigrants- for tile and granite work, plumbing, or rough construction (decks, etc) go to the Poles. For garden work, go to the amigos, for catering, go to the Greeks.
The easiest thing for the elderly and/or disabled is just to move into a townhouse, unless you like apartments. I moved a few years ago and couldn't be happier. All outside maintenance is done for me (just recently got a new roof, deck, had the exterminator for carpenter bees, new shrubbery; I can garden if I like, but don't have to. Yes,I am responsible for indoor maintenance, but the management company has several people they can recommend. It is the best solution for me, as I do not want to move into an age-defined community. I recommend it. (Just be sure the finances of the association are sound, and too the management company).
a shower whose drain was not caulked properly, resulting in LOTS of dry wall damage
Please be careful & have everything in the vicinity checked &/or treated for growth. It doesn't happen that often, but there are some molds etc. that might not be easily visible & pose pretty serious health concerns.
It's interesting Glenrd hearing about the trades there... In Florida there was a lot of competition in landscaping & roughing in houses, so no one group or ethnicity owned that. In Michigan I used to see it, but most of the really skilled have moved on to greener pastures, or warmer climates to retire. The Phoenix area was/is different too... unskilled labor [most often from across the border] claimed almost all the basic building & home construction, leaving a big gap for freelancers to install things like windows & doorwalls etc., for more money than they could easily make elsewhere, so people moved in from around the US to take advantage.
we are not ready to be in a town house yet...
Glad that it works for you, though! :)
yes that was a concern for us but
we have cleaned, had it re plumbed, re mudded and plastered where the damage was , painted and and it is now all fresh and dry.
Interesting, as we both had had what we thought were allergies, and those are all gone, so WOW, probably was related!:)
sorry guys, it wasn't a new game. Still a worthy one to add to your library if you missed it last time, or are a newcomer to the site. :)
btw, Mikiem, I also have a lucky bamboo. It was given to me by my work colleagues when i left the eye hospital to restart my teaching career, (which lasted 4 weeks to the accident that has left me unemployable), so it wasn't a lucky bamboo. It's shed it's leaves once in 9 years. looking healthy at the moment, with water changes every few months or so. amazing that it survives on just water and CO2. I did try and give it some plant food about 4 years ago and it lost virtually all of it's leaves.
It's shed it's leaves once in 9 years. looking healthy at the moment, with water changes every few months or so. amazing that it survives on just water and CO2. I did try and give it some plant food about 4 years ago and it lost virtually all of it's leaves.
We've got some plant food that's comes as time release pellets you're supposed to sprinkle around the soil -- every once in a while I'll add 1, maybe 2 to their water. :) I have been known to tend to extremes -- there was an old orange tree in the backyard when we bought our house in Florida, so to bring it back to health I bored a couple few dozen holes about a foot deep at the drip line, where the rain water hit coming off the leaves, & I filled each one with plant food. For the next 2 or 3 years the branches were almost touching the ground there were so many oranges, & almost the size of grapefruit! It's a wonder I haven't managed to kill these plants off that way, but I've restrained myself. :)
As far as luck goes, did you ever consider that maybe it worked? Perhaps otherwise you would have been buried? :) For all the terrible effects of my illness, many's the time I had a close call before that, actually going back as far as I can remember -- I was around 5 when I put my arm through a plate glass window & severed an artery. Maybe my illness was/is somehow lucky -- it's often hard to think of it that way, but when the only thing you can change is how you look at life, might as well go for the positive. :)
haha that's true. I got the bamboo four weeks before my accident. By rights being hit a 50 to 60 mph should have left me dead.
No gamegiveaway this Saturday, but we do have a classic repeat tomorrow. :)
Ooh... Wonder what you mean by classic. First person shooter :)
the classic repeat was 4 elements. :)
No Gamegiveaway for Saturday, but yet another classic (and very popular) on Sunday. :)
The classic is now one of my favourite games and I usually detest Match 3's. :)
Looking forward to tomorrow for another classic. ^_^ Cheers.
We've got games both days this weekend. Saturdays a repeat, Sunday a ngame never given away beofre via the game giveawayoftheday. :)
Have a great weekend folks.
If you didn't already know, the Steam sale ends in 3 days time (Monday 30th 6pm GMT)
There's no game on Saturday, but we do have a really good repeat on Sunday. One of the better games given away via the game giveawayoftheday..
Thanks for letting us know, WR.
BTW, I hope all is going better with your new home, now. :D
We've got two games this weekend.
Saturdays game is quite a large download (as far as arcade games go). It's not as large as last weeks, but is still a sizeable download; epsecially for those with very slow connections. Please do remember the morning rush will mean slower downloads, but please do start early, especially if you are still on an old modem connection.
btw Mikiem, meant to add re the lucky bamboo. Yes you could be right. At the speed I was hit, most people are killed, so I was lucky to survive.
There will be two excellent games this weekend
Thanks for letting us know, Stephen. I always look for this thread every Friday night so I can get started first thing Saturday morning.
I am glad that things have begun to normalize again for you. I hope everything is going to be even better in time.
I am glad to see that so many people are responding to this with all their heart! Great!
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