12 Long Months

As I’m sitting here writing this one year and 9 days after the ground works were started for the kitchen extension the granite work tops are being fitted. Yes, you read that right – OVER A YEAR AND THE WORKTOPS ARE JUST GOING IN! It has, you could say, been a very long and very frustrating 12 months!!

I was thinking that I wish I had written regular updates, however there really wasn’t that much to write about as the work was either terribly slow or it was being corrected by my brilliant husband with the help of his dad where needed.

There are, as you would expect, a number of reasons for this. Unfortunately most of those reasons are due to our inept builders. Not for the loft I hasten to add! The very small team who created our new loft rooms were absolutely brilliant! Quick, tidy and the workmanship was of the highest quality. I cannot recommend Super Lofts enough! That could have been half the problem with my expectations with the kitchen – I just assumed the same would be for that. It wasn’t!

I will post separately about the loft and kitchen, this one is just for a bit of a rant and a quick summary.

To pick up from my previous post, the kitchen ground works were started the same day that the loft was. Everything was go and then quite quick to stop as on day 2 or 3 the builders stated they needed to finish off a couple of jobs before they could carry on with ours as they wanted to dedicate their efforts on us properly. That seemed fair and we were more than preoccupied with the loft quickly taking shape.

However, they did decide to turn up it was the odd person here and there, not a full team, and at random hours in the day as they were still finishing off other jobs. Apparently they had a tricky customer they were tying to please. I can imagine now that customer was probably not tricky at all, just expecting them to come back to put jobs right!

The dynamics of renovating or restructuring a house are interesting, you never think you will fall victim to rouge or shoddy tradespeople. I have a monthly subscription to Real Homes magazine, I’m forever reading up on house builds and what to look out for and a few people I know have been stung by dodgy trades people, but I still thought our work would go smoothly. (Lesson one right there!!) I must say we did have a main contractor who was and is great. He had used this building team on other jobs and by all accounts they had done great work, but for some reason they seemed to go bad on our job and the one just before us. The main contractor was also extremely busy juggling other jobs and even he admitted he should have been on site more to check the state of progress. Instead it was down to my husband to chase when needed (which ended up being extremely regularly).

What is more frustrating is that all we wanted built was the extension shell! The walls, roof and doors. My husband was (and still is) doing all the rest and we had our own tried and tested sparky, plasterer and plumber for the other bits.

Anyway, we are where we are! It’s now early August, Mike now has 3 weeks of leave, although we are away for 1 week of that. I’m working from home so I can help out where needed and the bulk of the kitchen is in – or will be next week when the sinks, hob and the rest of the worktops are installed. We have made a pact that each room will be finished 100% before moving on to the next so hopefully another 6-8 weeks (I’ve learned to be a little more realistic) the room will be completely finished including flooring. So, one year for one room to nearly be done we now have only 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms,  cloakroom, lounge, playroom, staircase, landings, hall way and front door to go!

Wish us luck!!!!


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Hi, I’m Gemma. I'm a wife, mum of 3 (a brilliant boy and bonkers boy/girl twins) working full time, a home owner and soon to be an amateur renovator! Feel free to follow my diary to see how it goes.

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