house – day 119 – tight fit

I was still agitated after yesterday’s no-show and couldn’t sleep. I got up at 06:30 and logged onto the DPD web site. According to their web site, my package was back in the local depot. I tried to go back to sleep, but it just didn’t happen and I tossed and turned for a couple of hours. Around 08:30 I was back on the Mac and I went back to the DPD web site, which informed me my parcel was still in the depot, so I clicked the redelivery option. This option gave me a choice of delivery dates next week, which meant one of us would have to wait in for the package again. There was also an upgrade delivery option and I chose that. By paying an extra £12 I could get the parcel delivered tomorrow (Saturday), before 1pm, which meant at most, we would only be wasting half a day. We really need the showers now, the bathrooms are almost ready, so it has to be done. Fiona was already committed to staying at the flat today, to wait for a courier to pick up the kitchen door samples we had bought from DIY kitchens (we’ll get a refund for them and we need the money).

I had to be at the house for sure today as an engineer would be visiting around midday to move the alarm speaker and check the wiring. A lot of work has been going on around it and I’m not sure it’s working properly.

After a bit of breakfast, I set off to pick up the stuff that I didn’t collect from Screwfix yesterday, and to get a loft ladder from B&Q.

I got to the house in good time and went straight to the shower room to see how the tilers had got on. The tilers were hard at work and the tiling they’d done so far looks great. Looking around the rest of the house, no replacement door panel had turned up here and there was nobody else in the house, but most of the work on the soil stack was complete. I started to do a bit of work on the doors, whilst I was waiting for the alarm engineer, there are still a few bits to tidy up.

The alarm engineer turned up bang on twelve o’clock I think he was waiting outside when I arrived about fifteen minutes earlier. I showed him the cable problems and he set to work. He removed some of the old wiring and tidied up cables under the stairs. It looks like the line is dead so we need BT to come and have a look at it. The alarm works fine though. He also installed a wireless sensor in the hall, which helped reduce the wiring we need to cope with. He also suggested we move the BT master socket that was installed when we moved in, the new phone socket was installed after the old, original British Telecom master socket. That needs to be fixed. It’s also wonky and looks untidy.

After the the engineer left, I popped out for a sandwich. Whilst I was out I got a text message from Fiona, the doorbell had rung in the flat and she’d answered it, but it wasn’t the courier to pick up the door samples, it was a DPD courier delivering the shower heads and mixers. Thanks Delroy, not only did I lose a day’s work yesterday, I’ve also wasted £12 to get them delivered tomorrow. (BTW, the doors were picked up a couple of hours later.)

The tilers left soon after I got back to the house. I told them I’d have the bathroom floor clad with 6mm ply, ready for them to tile it on Monday. I went out to B&Q to get the 6mm ply – it’s very expensive there, but I didn’t have time to go elsewhere to find anywhere cheaper. I also bought some 18mm ply for the loft trapdoor, I’ll make that tomorrow.

It took a good while to screw down the loose floorboards in the bathroom and to clean the floor. Almost every board was loose and there was a lot of crap on the boards. I had to be methodical to ensure the entire floor was solid, we don’t want cracks in the grout or floor tiles.

Once I’d got the boards down, I started work on getting the bath into place, ready for it to be tiled in next week. Chris and his guys had taken the bath upstairs into the bathroom yesterday – the stairs are narrow and the bath is made of 3.5mm thick enamelled steel, I couldn’t have done it on my own. With it already in the room all I had to do was get the bath into position. I eventually got it in place, with timber under the feet and the bath set (approximately) at the right height. It’s a tight fit, there is a gap of only a few millimetres to spare all round, once it’s tiled in, the bath will be fixed in place. I’d measured the space for it many times – there was only just enough room to get a standard bath and small shower in the bathroom. The partition wall I’d built between them was accurate to a couple of millimetres. I was quite impressed with myself.

I was too knackered to crank the bath into its precise final position tonight, so I left that until tomorrow. Before I departed for the flat, I had a good look around the house just to catch up on everything. It is definitely coming together, but there are still a lot of loose ends to tie up (filling here, sanding there, installing missing pieces). I also popped up on the roof (the scaffolding is still there) to check on how repair looks and to photograph rest of roof to record its condition. Then it was time to go home. In contrast with yesterday I was pretty happy, the tilers have done a fantastic job, so far.

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