Sunday, 13 June 2010

Sock-et To 'Em!

When the weather has been bad and we can't do any bricking, we have been doing the electrics. We have installed the mains socket ring to the bedroom 3, the study and hallway, the lounge and the main bedroom. This has taken less time than we imagined and Darran has learned a fairly broad range of contortionists skills from scrabbling about in the roof space! That is where he was a few weekends ago when it was really hot!

We're currently doing the lighting circuit, starting in the sitting room. It's going really well. I have the important job of watching the reel of wire as it unrolls to make sure it doesn't all slip off the end and become tangled. Every little helps.

So, all the little bits are coming together.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Connection Complete!

The gas connection proved to be a bit of a saga.

On the first date arranged, the gas men arrived, met with Darran who was on site about what went where etc. and then went back to the mains connection on the roadside to get started. About an hour later, one of the chaps came back up to say that the wrong pipe has been installed from the mains supply to our plot. It wasn't permeable, meaning that if there was a gas leak, it wouldn't be detected and could build up and up and cause an explosion in severe cases. This pipe was put in by the vendors as part of the Conditions of Sale so it was their liability to put this right. Darran called them and explained the situation, to which they denied they had used the wrong pipe, luckily the Gas man was still there and Darran was able to pass the phone over - at which point he conceded!! This meant that they had to dig up the shared driveway and relay the pipe! I won't go in to how many property developers it takes to drive a digger!

A couple of weeks later this was done and we could get on to rearranging the connection.

Connection was eventually arranged for the Friday before the first May Bank Holiday. It was my turn to be Site Agent that day, and luckily they turned up fairly early to get on with it. They brought their long wheel base transit van up tot he plot (this was a mistake, quite why, you'll find out later!) and started fitting the meter box. They couldn't however complete the connection as Shropshire Council would not permit them to put traffic lights out on the road as it was a Friday before a Bank Holiday. Now, this is Wem. This is not a large town, and whilst yes, traffic lights would cause disruption as they would anywhere, but come on - we're hardly central London! So, away they went saying they would write or ring us when they were coming back.

As you will know from other posts, the access to the plot is narrow. And yes, you've guessed it, they got stuck. I said they were brave when they arrived on site with the van. That comment was brushed aside, they had apparently got into tighter properties. OK, three hours later, lets see you try and get out then!? I went down to where they were to find them both puffing fairly heavily on a cigarette with the engine turned off as that burning smell happened to be the clutch. Darran gave the advice that the guttering man had also had problems and that he had to reverse out so that's what they tried next and made it as when I went back about half an hour later, they had gone and there was no sign of any paintwork or dents in either wall.

Then one day, we came home from work, and there was traffic lights outside the entrance to the shared driveway. We had no idea they were coming. They caused a bit of disruption as it meant it was difficult for cars to get around and up to the driveway and parking area. We kept our heads down and in a few days they went, leaving us with a long awaited gas connection!

The best news came a few weeks later when a cheque arrived from the Service Provider compensating us for the fact that gas wasn't available on the date they specified. Good.