27 March: You’re Fired

Where did the time go?. I just looked back at the first blog I wrote (rubbish, how did you all keep following?) and it took me back a little, I can say. Finally, I have a little bit of time to breathe. Well, actually, three minutes actually until my micro meal pings in the oven. But three minutes is three minutes.

Siberian weather means beaver hunting hats ;)

Siberian weather means beaver hunting hats ;

It’s been a ker-razy couple of weeks, I can tell you. I haven’t had an awful lot of time of late, owing to the fact that for the last two and a half years, I’ve been studying voodoo. Well, equine shiatsu actually, but it’s a little bit akin to voodoo. My course finally ended at the weekend and I had to hand in the case studies I was supposed to have started back in the summer. Obviously, being a deadline Dora, I left writing ten thousand until the last minute. Panic stations all round and, although I made the deadline, I couldn’t finish the final day Sunday because of the atrocious weather. I mean, what is going on? Snow, blizzards, frozen Turdis and no showering for days, I’m sure we’ll have an absolute belter of a summer to make up for it. But I won’t be holding my breath…


These ones actually lead somewhere!

Anyway, on the house front, the staircase is in, woo hoo. Rich and I have finally got used to it without getting altitude sickness, or having to take a rest break half way up. It was a tight fit, what with the door opening downstairs and, basically, Lazy God has been demoted to Lazy Boy unless building control are happy to sign it off (I did get in touch, and they said ‘yes’ but you never know until you’ve got the paper). Still, it proves he’s not infallible after all.

Health & Safety, how not to do it

Health & Safety, how not to do it

Brett, our very tame glory job bob, has come back and plastered the hallway, I’m sure the Health & Safety executive would have been very impressed by his and Paul’s consciousness to safety concerns. Alternatively, Cirque du Soleil might be interested in giving them both an interview. Still, it’s done now. And looks totally glorious…

Looking splendid

Looking splendid

Rich and I will have to mask everything up and get Wagner out again. We’ve finished the two old bedrooms which is a bit weird – it seems like only yesterday when we had hammers and chisels as our main tools of (de)construction and now, here we are, adding the finishing touches to the fabric of the building.

Paul's Room

Paul’s Room

Stu's room, in smurf blue, with giant cock still visible ;)

Stu’s room, in smurf blue, with giant cock still visible 😉

What else has been happening? Oh yes. Basically, a fucking disaster, that’s what. I almost wasn’t going to mention it because it makes me sick to my stomach. To say that I went a bit mental last week, would be an understatement. It seems that Gary (that’s Gary Reeves if anyone has found this on google), our electrician, turned out to be a bit of an amateur, who was well out of his depth on this (not very complicated) job.

Kitchen should have been finished but now there's more electrickery to go in...

Kitchen should have been finished but now there’s more electrickery to go in…

In various parts of the house, we’ve got wiring for LED downlights. Not everywhere, because we didn’t want it to look like a car showroom, but in certain places, there’s wiring for them. Instead of pulling the wires through the plasterboard and skimming round them, we had a discussion (on numerous occasions) about mapping the wires and then cutting holes and fishing for them. With something like a downlight, which is recessed into the ceiling, this is quite a normal practice as the hole you cut out for the light, is plenty big enough to fish for the wires and connect them.

Walls primed, ceilings painted then disaster.

Walls primed, ceilings painted then disaster.

Last week, I suggested to Gary that he should start looking for the wires and pull them through, just to save there being a monumental task at the end when we were ready for second fix. He turned up and, having found the lights in the kitchen (er, because he got a map out the van which I had given him) fucked about for a while said he needed a word. Basically, he told me there was a problem, and that he couldn’t find any of the wires. Like, any of them.

Obviously, the first thing I said was, ‘But you mapped them’ (I had asked this about a hundred times during the process and the reply was ‘Yep, don’t worry, I know exactly where they are’) and he then said ‘No, I haven’t mapped any of them.’

Richard and Russell have to make sense of this

Richard and Russell have to make sense of this

Instead of taking responsibility for his own fuck up, Gary then proceeded to blame everyone else. Apparently, no one, including Brett, Stu, Paul, Julian or I, had asked him if he wanted the wires pulling through before plastering. Except we all did, more than once, and the reply was always ‘No, I’ve mapped them, I’ll pull them through afterwards.’ His solution was to turn our ceilings into Swiss cheese by drilling holes everywhere in search of the wires. Being an electrician, apparently it’s not his job to map where all the wiring is, especially as I’d asked him (‘yes, yes, I know where they are’) on more than one occasion. I don’t mind people making mistakes – it happens, Christ knows I fucked up employing him, but the last thing you want to be doing is blaming everyone else on the job, especially people who have put SO much time and energy into the build. But no, Gary thought it was okay to blame, and continue to blame, everyone else, which made me very angry. I told him to fuck right off. He didn’t need asking twice.

Russell, fishing for lost wires
Russell, fishing for lost wires

Which is just as well. Having had another contractor in, looking for the wires in the ceilings are the least of our concerns. The whole kitchen – two ovens, warming drawer, induction hob and extractor are basically running off one isolator. ‘Amateurish at best, incompetent at worst,’ was the prognosis. There isn’t the required feed to the ground source heat pump – even though Gary had all this information, so we’ve got to chase out the walls, make loft hatches to run wiring where there wasn’t previously, put in junction boxes so we can use the light fittings we’d chosen previously and change our LED stuff – because they all need drivers that aren’t actually there.

Then, obviously, we’ll have to make good, wait for it to dry and redecorate.

My Richard and his collection of Rollers. I don't think this is what he had in mind

My Richard and his collection of Rollers. I don’t think this is what he had in mind

The kitchen worktops were supposed to be installed last week, basically finishing off the kitchen, but in light of the electrical debacle, we had to put them off until god knows when so that we can rectify the problem. I suspect it’s going to put us back by a month. Honestly, I’ve been gutted. You spend so much time and energy planning something like this, all the difficult stuff runs smoothly and just when you start enjoying it and the big concerns are behind you, you get some dickhead screw you over because he hasn’t got the balls to say ‘Actually, this job is too much for me and, even though I’m a qualified electrician, you wouldn’t want me wiring a plug.’ We still have to decide whether we’ve got the energy to take further action. I’m sure I’ll find it though.

Oak detail should be on the gable end by end of the day tomorrow

Oak detail should be on the gable end by end of the day tomorrow

Elsewhere, better news, the guttering has been installed, the ridge still hasn’t gone on (darn weather) but Oh.My.God, Nigel has fitted all the ground source heat pump stuff and man, it looks brilliant. Not that we can use it, because obviously it doesn’t have the right electrical feed ;( Considering it’s effectively a boiler, it’s actually quite sexy. In fact, I’m not going to say anymore than that for the moment, I think it deserves an update all of its own.




4 responses to “27 March: You’re Fired

  1. Glad there’s at least a little good news here – can’t believe that Electrician (If you can call him that) What I know about electrics you can write on the back of a stamp, but all that gear off a single isolator? Named and shamed is the least that should happen. What a toolbag.

  2. Can’t believe that has happened. I’m gutted for you just reading about it. Hope it gets sorted soon and you can continuing enjoying the process. Kel x

  3. Which one? The thatch (on the old house) or the clay tiles (on the new bit)? You could always fly the thatchers over for a little bit of work 😉

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