The purpose of this post is to give regular readers an update on why things have been so quiet on the site for the past few months.
Living amongst a demolition zone
Firstly, the building works on our home, are way behind schedule. We are currently over 30 weeks in. However, the work done does not reflect this time scale. Why? Because our builder has too many jobs on the go and the project has been poorly managed.
This post is not here to gain sympathy or comments on ‘this should have been done or that should have been done.’
What it is here for is to explain, as succinctly as possible how the works are disrupting our daily lives.
Currently I am sat in my bedroom, which is piled up with furniture from the lounge and spare room. Builders I have learned, do not complete one area and contain their mess. They also don’t give a lot of warning when a major event is about to commence. For instance, before the whole project began, in February, we were given about 2 days notice that the digger was coming. Prior to that we were told the footings would be dug at the end of February!
Delays, and yet more delays
Since then, we have been dealing with various setbacks including
- subcontractor emergency operation at Easter, and long-term hospital stays.
- mis-communication from trades people about timescales. The roofer thought our main contractor was no longer working on our home. He’d cancelled him due to not having his subcontractor on-site. He then omitted to tell the roofer that he’d need to re-book him at a later date. The roof was eventually completed towards the end of July.
- a plumber who did not answer his phone for 6 weeks to tell us whether or not he could undertake works to install a boiler. When he did finally answer his phone, he told me simply he is ‘too busy.’ Not helpful, and not a way to generate future business with our builder.
- Installation of glazing that was not made to the correct measurements. The glazing company’s representative came to take measurements. We checked them, and so did our builder, so we placed the order. When it arrived, they had clearly not got their measurements correct. Passing the buck onto us and our builder was their first response. After which, we dug out the printed records that showed the correct measurements on the e-mailed order.
Wake me up when September ends.
In addition to all this going on, I’ve been getting our daughter ready for ‘big school.’ She started reception year last week, and is on a phased settling in period. This week, she is staying for lunch.
The transition to big school has been a steep learning curve for my husband and I as parents, and also my daughter. She is adjusting to a new routine, as are we. More events are being put into our diaries with the school having sessions about teaching our daughter to read, and outings to a local nature reserve.
Then more decisions need to be made about the house! These decisions would be more straightforward to make, in an ideal world, as we’d be able to obtain quotes directly from suppliers rather than having them go through our builder and entering a ‘Chinese Whispers’ scenario. The world is sadly, not ideal.
Communication is a difficult area, between my husband and I. Between us and the builder. In my experience, if things are not written down, they didn’t happen. I am attempting to coordinate timelines for our builder, sourcing quotes for multiple trades. On top of that, logistics are proving troublesome, as possessions are being boxed up and distributed between various locations on site or at extended family’s homes.
Trying to Keep Calm and Carry On
In a previous post I talked about my therapy. The therapy is ongoing, and currently I am in Threat mode. I bark at the slightest noise, or request. Much like an over-reactive dog, once I get wound up about an issue, it exaccerbates and I get more emotional. Feeling like I do not have a safe place to escape to, as I need to stay close to school to collect my daughter. I am living day-by-day, with barely time to plan and process what needs doing next.
So in the short- medium term, work on the blog has gone to the back-burner. Companies who have emailed me, may not be getting prompt replies, for which I apologise. At the moment, the future of the site looks uncertain, as I need to focus on the project of ‘making our house a home.’ My current hosting runs until December.
Should I end up closing the site, I will attempt to post a proper farewell to all my loyal followers.
Until then, I’m keeping things open. My visits to social media have been less frequent recently, so if anyone has reached out and not had a reply, I apologise.
Thank you to those that continue to visit the site and show support.
Featured image is taken from Flickr, courtesy of Madison Childrens Museum.