Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Our New House–Final Jobs

After the builders left last year, there were a few problems that developed in the ensuing months, and yesterday Andy phoned to say that at last they had a day between jobs, when they could come and tie up these odds and ends. He and Paul arrived early this morning, and it was quite like old times having them around again!

The main job that needed attention was my bath in the en-suite bathroom. This free-standing bath came with no fitting instructions, and Paul did his best at the time, but I found that the bath was moving if I leant on one side, and then a few months ago I was showing some people around the new house and one of them sat on the end of the bath and it all started to tip up! As a result of this I was very loath to use it in case the movement had caused any breach in the waste, which would cause a flood. Paul did come back and try another tactic to fix it but it didn’t work, and today he finally fixed it for good, by attaching two L-brackets to the side of the bath and onto the floor – very difficult to get at behind the bath! Unless you look behind the bath, you really can’t see them, and it now feels rock solid. Very pleasing! I did warn Paul not to drill right through the second skin of the bath and make a hole right through, because I didn’t fancy pretending to be a little Dutch boy every time I had a bath, plugging the hole with my finger!!

23 Paul and Chris Unpacking the Bath

The grab rails in my bathroom that came from Amazon look brilliant, but the design was awful – they were a real pain to fit, and the covers kept popping off. Paul did glue most of them down but he said that a couple of them seemed to be OK so he didn’t bother. In the meantime they have both popped off, so he has now glued them like the others, so they won’t shift.

04 Grab Rail Attachment Detail

Finally in the en-suite bathroom, the counter Paul had built for me had settled very slightly, pulling the grout away, so he has now gone right around with silicone caulking and it all looks very neat. It won’t be fully cured till tomorrow morning so meantime a lot of my bathroom stuff is back in the bedroom!

11 Cabinet, Basin and Accessories

My hubby has been complaining recently about the electric shower in his bathroom being far too weedy to be any good. It is obviously pretty old, and rather than trying to repair it, he decided he’d like a mixer shower tap fitted to the bath, so Andy turned up today with a second-hand one from his store, for which he charged us a very reasonable sum. It looks great on the bath! The hose from the electric shower is visible on this photo, but my hubby has since unscrewed and removed it. We are leaving the actual shower in place, because to remove it would involve making a mess of the wall. They also fitted the poor old chap a grab rail – he’s feeling his age since his retirement!!

04 New Mixer Tap Shower in N's Bathroom

In my ARTHaven, the grout had also cracked away around the sink, so that is now beautifully finished with silicone caulking. Also, a few months ago, the head of the tap fell off! It is an extending tap with a hose, and I was able to manage jut using the hose, but Paul has now re-attached the tap with his special super glue. I had pointed out to him a little lug on the underside which fits into a corresponding groove in the main body of the tap, but he forgot about it, and glued the tap on so that if you engaged the lug in the groove, the tap was pointing at the ceiling! He said that as soon as he’d done it, he remembered, but by then it was to late, as the glue had set. While I did agree that an indoor fountain may be attractive, it wasn’t really what was required! In the end Paul cut the lug off altogether, and the result is better than before – the tap can now be located in any position without the inner pipe showing, and it’s now working absolutely fine again.

02 ARTHaven Tap Mended and Silicone

In the office section, the two long shelves they had fitted were certainly showing their inability to cope with the heavy loads I imposed on them, so they are now strengthened with a wooden batten, and additional supports have been fitted.

03 Office Cleared for Shelf Repairs

In order for this work to be done, I obviously had to take everything off the shelves, and clear space for them to work. All this stuff was dumped in my ARTHaven:

01 Office Stuff in ARTHaven

Lovely mess, isn’t it. I am not intending to put it back until my hubby has had a chance to measure a rug we’ve got in the loft. If it is suitable, I shall move the bookcases in the office so that I can lay it down, and it seems sensible to do all this while a lot of the stuff is out of the office anyway. The reason I want a rug is that the laminate floor is rather slippery and offers no resistance to the castors on my office chair, which tends to scoot around all over the place when I want it to remain stationary! This has also proved to be a major problem in the ARTHaven proper, so I am unable to use my lovely comfy revolving chair, which is now just taking up space. Instead, I am using my old wheelchair (with the foot rest removed) – I can lock the wheels and it stays put. It is also very comfortable!

Moving everything out of my office has made me realise how dusty everything was, so I’m also taking advantage of this situation in order to clean up a bit in there. We are out tomorrow so I won’t be able even to think about it till Thursday and probably not then, because I will probably be too tired after our outing.

The final job was to fix Mum’s new door. They had fitted this when they replaced the window with a smaller one, so that she would have independent access into her little patio and wouldn’t have to come through our part of the house to get out. The trouble is, she simply can’t get to grips with anything mechanical, and these modern doors are more complicated to work than old-fashioned ones – she found lifting the handle in order to lock it quite incomprehensible, and somehow kept managing to lock the door when it was open, so that the lock projected and prevented the door from closing at all. She then kept banging the door incessantly, trying to make it close, and making the whole house shake in consequence, and the result was that the door wouldn’t close at all without an effort – she had obviously forced something and it was out of alignment. Paul whipped the hinge covers off and adjusted the hinges, and it now works like a dream! The trouble was, Mum then said she’d be able to lock it again herself, and I had a terrible time persuading her NOT to do this, but to continue to rely on my hubby and me to do it for her each evening. We don’t want a recurrence of the problem!

13 Annexe Steps

So all in all, a good day, with lots achieved. All those little niggles are now sorted!

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