Today Kevin completed Phase One of our work in the kitchen to sort out the dry rot under the old cupboard, and to construct a walk-in pantry. The kitties were pleased to be released from the bathroom after their third day being shut in there – Beatrice fell out of the door like she did yesterday, but Phoebe was busy weighing herself – she was sitting on the bathroom scales! She weighs 7 lb!
The new render had dried sufficiently overnight for Kevin to plaster over it. This is how it looked at lunch time.
The work completed by mid-afternoon.
Kevin was trying to put back the pieces of laminate flooring but was having a terrible job with it, because it was so tight. In the end, I suggested that he leave it for the kitchen fitter to do, and he said if I was happy to do that, then he would – he will discuss it with Andy, the boss man, and if we have any further problems with it, to let them know. He wasn’t really happy about leaving his job not quite complete, but we agreed that perhaps the kitchen fitter might have a special tool for this, and anyway he would be very experienced in laying laminate floors, so that’s how we’ve left it. I told him it was fine, because until the walk-in pantry is completed, we wouldn’t be moving back into the kitchen, and were happy to continue to use the flat kitchen for the moment anyway.
This is what the floor looks like now. A huuuuge improvement on the awfulness of just a few days ago! I am so relieved that it is all sound now.
He has nailed down the pale green underlay for the remaining laminate floor panels. There is a visible gap between two of the pieces which he wasn’t able to close. On the rest of the floor, you have to look very closely indeed to see the joins.
Andy called at lunch time while Kevin was on his lunch break so he didn’t see him, but we discussed the work and I told Andy how pleased I was with Kevin and all that he had done, and how pleasant he had been, and how conscientious. Andy was pleased, and said that “best case scenario” at the outset had been to remove the double oven unit and not have to go through into the sitting room, but the result was actually “better than best case scenario” and he was very pleased for us that it had all gone so well.
In the early evening Gary, our neighbour, phoned to say he’d got my message asking him to contact the kitchen fitter. I said to Kevin earlier that we’d probably have to wait a while because if he was as good as Gary said, he’d probably be booked up with other jobs for a while, and Kevin agreed, saying that if he was just sitting around waiting for the phone to go, he might not be that good! Gary bore this out by saying that the kitchen fitter is booked solid till July!! He also said he would never recommend someone he wasn’t prepared to use himself, which is a pretty good recommendation.
The kitchen fitter told him that despite the delay, he would be very happy to do the finishing part, fitting the doors etc., but if it was a question of fitting shelves in an alcove, then he knew a very good carpenter who could undertake that part of the work, and sooner, too. I told Gary I was happy with this arrangement, but would need to see the kitchen fitter beforehand, to tell him exactly what I wanted, so that he could liaise with the carpenter. Gary said he’d phone him straight away, and he’d probably be over to see us one evening soon.
He also said that the carpenter would probably be able to sort the floor OK, and that the kitchen fitter would be able to get hold of some more of the laminate panels to match.
So now we wait, but I don’t think it will be too long before something happens. In the meantime the plaster will have the chance to dry out thoroughly.
I said to Gary that once the construction of the pantry is completed by the carpenter, even if we have to wait for the doors to be fitted, we should be able to move back into the kitchen and use it, and I’d be able to start using the pantry. Fitting the doors shouldn’t involve too much mess, and I’d certainly like to be back in there way before July, especially in view of the fact that I shall probably be having my operation before then, and would like to get it sorted before going into hospital, as I shan’t be wanting to shift a lot of stuff when I am recovering.