Saturday, 10 September 2011

The end is in sight, Thank Crunchy.

Actually, "in sight" might be stretching the point a little. Let's say with a bit of luck and a fair wind the end is sort of somewhere on the distant horizon ... Even so, despite a bit of rain and a threatened hurricane, the end of the week saw huge progress. This is the non-Health & Safety method of moving a skip which had been delivered in the wrong place:

Don't try this at home children, it requires special equipment such as scaffold poles, but if it worked to move the Stonehenge bluestones it can surely work to move a big empty metal bin.

Thursday saw the removal of the rear roof followed by the very rapid application of waterproof membrane, temporarily tacked down.

Friday gave us proper battens to hold the membrane and support the tiles, plus another 1500 or more tiles carried onto the roof and stacked in place.

It also gave us four large holes cut in various ceilings to enable the installation of Velux sun tubes. A couple of rooms at the back of the house are north facing and can be very dull. The internal corridor is even worse with no windows and no light unless doors are open, it is known as the Bag End Black Hole.

LP's recent excavation also reminded us how much water is around ...

Saturday was the turning point. All the tiles on and much clearing up. The ridge is meant to be installed on Monday, weather permitting (but it won't be). It feels snug and watertight. Hurrah. What is NOT hurrah is that after the roofers left we went outside and had a squint at the four Velux openings which were fitted this morning and realised either the supplier has sent the wrong ones or the roofer has ordered the wrong ones. If you have curvy pantiles these would fit fine - but we have sleek smooth tiles and it looks like crap. Management did the obvious thing and checked the booklet which comes with the tubes - he's right, they're wrong. Bugger.

Monday morning will contain a deep and meaningful conversation with the roofing contractor. The reason he ordered the Velux units and not us was because I was concerned about getting the wrong fixing kit. I have a suspicion he's going to tell me that once they are leaded-in it will look fine but that's not going to work. We appear to have read the Velux instructions more carefully than him and there are also queries about how he's fitted the dratted things. Good job the ridge is not on because taking off all the Velux openings and refitting them is no small task. It means removing an awful lot of the surrounding tiles ...

Also on the snagging list are are three of the solar panels which are a different colour from the others. Oh, didn't you know about the problem with the panels? Ah well, that children, is because it is just SO MUCH FLIPPING FUN here that I have to keep some of the details to myself otherwise everyone would want to come and join in .....

Whine, whine, whine: I'm feeling more than a little overwhelmed by the delays, mess and negotiations required to get the solar panels fixed, the Velux units fixed, the colour-changing bathroom tiles fixed, etc. With Management is away all next week I will have to work extremely hard not to get rather tetchy whilst I try to reach agreement with numerous trades to get things right . . . I know I'm being stupid - how many people would swap places with me in an instant if this was all they had to deal with. In the Great Scheme of Things these "problems" are nothing, but I find this stuff hard.


  1. I think I have an appropriate saying for you. "When you're up to your arse in alligators, its hard to remember that your goal was to drain the swamp."

    Hang tight, Bilbo. You can do this.

  2. 'with a bit of luck and a fair wind' - don't know about the former, but I think you'll be getting the latter. I too have a saying for you (though not as good as the one above). 'The best Tonic has a large Gin in it'. There's always a bottle here if you need to escape!

  3. What a fabulous (obviously Floridian) saying LOL! 'Tis always frustrating when the tradesmen don't get it right, but it's also very common and inevitable when you're taking on huge jobs simultaneously. As OH often says, there's nothing in life that needs to be said in an unkind way, and I'm sure you can work it out with your "men", hopefully without stressing yourself too much. They sound like a bunch who take pride in their work, I doubt they want an unhappy customer any more than you want to be one.

  4. FFG - you are so right, girlfriend! Thanks for the laugh, much appreciated.

    CB, the gin is tempting but then I'd not be able to drive home, and I have absolutely no intention of mixing alcohol and car keys. Once it is all over, however, will you join me in multiple servings of Bombay Sapphire?

    SewAli, your lovely OH is absolutely right. Funnily enough, Stephen (roofing boss) and I had a conversation last week about how there is little incentive for him to put himself out for the customers who scream and shout and get "in his face". It is entirely possible that he did order the right units and the builders' merchants delivered the wrong ones. In his hurry to finish on Saturday ahead of the bad weather he might not have been paying enough attention? We'll chat about this over coffee tomorrow, I will say please (a lot!) and let him get on with making things right.

  5. Hope the Trade Winds blow favourably for you :)

  6. I'm going to enter into this game too with a saying that came to me when I was reading. At that time I hadn't seen that everyone else was doing quotes too. So my contribution is that at least you are "taking two steps forward and one step back". Just think if it was the other way round!

  7. Thanks Mo, it is certainly very gusty here at present but no worse than we usually get in winter. What worries me more is how mild it is (18 degrees at present). A sailing friend was explaining at the weekend how Florida usually gets hit hard because storms pick up energy (and moisture) from the Gulf of Mexico which is warm. By the time these weather systems reach us they've usually cooled down so much they are (relatively) harmless. The problem this week is, apparently, because it's so mild that the storm hasn't weakened as much.

    QuiltSue, thank you, lovely thought which I am going to take further, get my 'positive' head back on and say "FOUR steps forward, one temporary stumble!" Have been looking at some pictures of how much we've done in the last three years and keep telling myself this is just a blip ☺

  8. Silly me, in all the excitement I didn't even see the sun tubes coming!

    Think of everything as short-term inconveniences and that more than likely by the end of this month your roof will be finished, and the scaffolding gone. Time will sure enough come again when it's time to focus attention elsewhere — be it the garden or even fellwalking…

    Just think how different Bag End will look this Christmas compared with last — and look forward to pouring yourself a large glass of something in front of the woodburner with the fells beyond and your feet firmly up.

  9. Ooops, thought I'd left you a comment the other day but must have not pressed the right key or something - blame the streaming cold I've had!
    Anyway, it was along the lines of 'look what you get up to when I go away on holiday'!

    It actually reminds me of our house last summer - didn't need a re-roof, but we did have new soffits, facias, guttering, downpipes, re-leaded the bay roof, redecorated all the external rendering, woodwork ......etc, etc. I think on the worst day I had 12 workmen here and First-Born having a major panic because her passport and visa hadn't arrived and she was due to fly to Ghana to work that night!!!

    This too will pass ...and it WILL be worth it! Trust me - oh, and drink the gin , it helps the pain! :P

  10. hang in there, it'll all be worth it in the end.

  11. Hi James, do you mean we've actually managed to do something without you foreseeing it? (giggle) I know the hassles of the last three weeks are really small but it's been a slog and we will all be very glad when it's over.

    I have already started practising for Christmas, the woodburner has been on in the evenings for the last 2 weeks and Adult Beverages have been consumed!

    Nutty, hello m'dear, welcome back from Foreign Parts. I am sure you did leave a comment but Google is being a right pain at present with this corrupt cookie thing and lots of people are having difficulties.

    We too have had new barge boards, rainwater goods, and there is a flat roof to be fixed when the scaffolding is down. At least we're not waiting on a Passport. We do have the paint to do the outside but the weather put paid to that idea.

    Can't drink too much gin, gives me a hell of a headache!

    Nic - all difficult things are worth it in the end, huh? Hope you are blooming and blossoming and enjoying this time .... if I was a more organised Hobbit I would email you, but I'm nit and I haven't ☹

  12. Oh, I don't envy you having all those workmen around. The only thing worse than having all those workmen around is having all those workmen around and things going wrong. Hope you've managed to sort everything out by now.


I love receiving your comments, sometimes they are the only way I know I am not talking to myself . . . 😊 and I always try to respond to each and every one. So thank you.

(comments are currently moderated, I will free them from Comment Prison as soon as I see them 😱 )