Come January I had a lovely new kitchen, and a beautiful bathroom.
However. By the spring I started to notice the paint on the wall starting to blister a bit, and lift from the new plaster. This was the inside of the external facing wall. As the weeks went on more and more spots started to show through, until it became apparent there was a problem somewhere.
I reported it and requested someone come to take a look at it. Eventually the surveyor came out, took a look and identified a damp problem. After further investigation it appeared that an external soil pipe was leaking on the brickwork and had soaked it through.
By that winter, around December 2011 (1 year later) P&R Plumbers came out to fix the soil pipe. I was told by the surveyor that once this was done he would arrange for the walls to be dried out with machinery, and once that was done the walls could be repainted. Needless to say this didn't happen. So this year, for most of 2012 (I kid you not) I have been on and on at L&Q for them to finally rectify the mouldy, paint blistered walls.
By November I finally got the call to say it had the green light to go ahead and start the work. 3 day job to hack off the old plaster, sort the damp, re-plaster and return to usable form. So November 19th was the day it would all start, so booked annual leave. Sadly on Fri 16th I got a call to say they couldn't start on the Monday, so would have to squeeze it all in Thurs and Fri. A little too short notice for me to book more time off, so I made other arrangements for Chantal to be here.
Friday afternoon comes and the plaster packs up and leaves. Advising that the tiling, skimming and painting is NOT his job. He says he will be back on the Monday to do a couple of little bits. Monday comes, the guy shows up, does a few bits and that his part done. Apparently the contractor Bryhill had NOT agreed with L&Q to restore to full use at all. On leaving he told me he had somehow broken the toilet pan away from the floor, so this would need changing. And off he went.
At this point the state of the bathroom was, as follows, bath reinstalled but not silicone sealing anything like the gaps between the bath and wall, hand basin fully reinstalled, and a now rocking toilet, with floating cistern as it sits away from the wall and was not boxed in. Poor quality finish plastering still requiring skimming before it can be painted, no tiles on the splashbacks. So pretty useless.
The past couple of weeks have involved me calling Bryhill and L&Q and getting told its the other parties problem, and no one has taken responsibility. Eventually I get some joy, a supervisor from Bryhill visited, checked the toilet and said they would replace it. Hurrah I thought. Then out of the blue yesterday, first thing in the morning a plumber shows up, 'come to replace the toilet mate'. Was a surprise but a welcome one all the same. He comes in to see what he is replacing then shoots off to the suppliers for a replacement.
Now I should note at this point that when Apollo replaced the pan, they used a new type which sits about 1ft further forwards than the old flush wall mounted one I had. However this is apparently the new style, so it can't be helped!
45 mins later he is back. I let work know I had workers in so might be a bit late. A toilet is a simple swap out, but half an hour passes and all of a sudden drilling starts, and goes on.....and on.....and on. Half hour later I popped in to see what was up. Apparently the floor is knackered so he can't bolt it down. So he calls for a carpenter. The plan now is to build a box behind the cistern to bolt it to, then screw that to the wall, and silicone the pan to the floor, which is what they ended up doing. I was 3 hours late for work.
He was also kind enough to silicone around the bath so it was now usable.
Not a great fix, but fed up of the whole escapade I accepted it as it seemed workable. Obviously the tiling and painting were still outstanding. So on the way to work I called L&Q again and finally heard what I wanted. A contractor will come out next week to size the job up and do everything outstanding ASAP!
So today, to celebrate almost having a bathroom back I decided on a long hot soak in the bath. So I filled it up, and hopped in.
All of a sudden I can hear rushing water, I check its not overflowing, its not. So I sit up and the noise stops. Hmmm, strange, so I lay back down again, there it is again. Suddenly I am suspicious, each time the water reaches the overflow this noise starts. But its not the usual sound of water exiting the overflow. Eventually I'm too pissed off to stay in the bath so I hop out, get dressed and the fun begins.
After fighting it for a while I manage to remove the bath panel, and am SO angry at what I see.... The overflow has NO waste pipe attached, so the water is pouring onto the floor.
Enough is enough. The bathroom has been screwed since it was first done, and is slowly becoming a patchwork quilt of badly carried out repairs. I am sick to the back teeth of the poor workmanship, poor service from the housing association, and the crap attention to detail from the contractors.
I should also add that a few months after the bathroom was first completed the cold waterpipe behind the bath sprung a leak. Soaking the floor and bath panel. The pipes all had to be replaced, as did the bath panel.
I just want the whole thing re-done now, properly, once and for all. Is that unreasonable?
The floor can't have a toilet bolted to it, the walls need plastering properly, the bath needs plumbing in properly, the toilet needs securing, the tiling needs re-doing, the shrouding around the pipes is knackered. Surely its cheaper just to start over?
I don't know who wants to take responsibility for it, but between the following companies, you have made it a joke.
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