I suppose that with the almost complete lack of communication from the Council, the forthcoming works were always likely to take me a little by surprise. What happened on the first days, though, left me absolutely dumbfounded. I'd been told by Mitie that I'd need to clear out all my personal stuff from the kitchen and bathroom. What they'd meant was that I'd need to clear out the toilet as well. With all my belongings in whatever spare corner I could find, this is how things looked at the end of the first day:
At least, when the plumber had finished there was a WC, bath and wash basin, and a rickety trestle table with a plumbed-in kitchen sink.
On day 3 I was told the radiators would be removed....oh, no, the electrician would be coming to rewire...oh, no. The rewiring and radiator replacement were postponed until next week. This is the stage I'm dreading. Already, stuff that normally sits in draws and cupboards has been piled up wherever it could go. Now I'll have to move the entire contents of the flat away from the walls and radiators so the workers can get access. My big question is where to....
There'll be additions to this post as the work continues so that other tenants can get an idea of the noise, dust and disruption. If you have any questions about the work (I'm in for the full works - kitchen, bathroom, toilet, radiators, rewiring) and how it's likely to progress, please comment below or email the blog.
All I can say is the amount of chaos and the feeling of being squeezed into the smallest remaining space is far beyond anything I'd imagined. You have been warned...
A plumber turned up to put new radiators in today but he had the wrong size radiator for the bedroom. And he couldn't touch the boiler because the flue housing was asbestos so the asbestos team would have to be flown in. Of course, it isn't asbestos but that's the way it goes - they're not going to touch it. So, one radiator down, one boiler down, one flue and flue casing to be replaced. Tomorrow for the asbestos team, Wednesday for the right radiator. And when they signed off, there was no heating or hot water. I had to go down and back up the 67 stairs to find someone in the Mitie office to send the plumber back. Who arrived and found the airlock that was stopping it from working. Curious, really. You'd think they'd check the heating and water before leaving for the day, wouldn't you? Wouldn't you check whether it worked?
Coming up for week 3
Almost finished? Not quite. The walls have been plastered and that's about it, really. The electrician, who disappeared at some point on his first day, has not been seen since. The radiator guy got another electrician to set the rheostat, which doesn't work. I've had to switch the heating off entirely because even set to the lowest temperature the boiler pumps hot water around the flat non-stop. The missing radiator has not been installed.
Oh, that reassurance they will reconnect the oven at the end of the day. They do, they do, they do, and then they don't. By which time they've all disappeared. Total lack of respect.