28 July – 03 August 2014: London
While we were waiting for the professionals to come and install our kitchen benchtops, Mark kept up his work on the bathroom while I started sanding in the hallway. Although the hallway is small it has 5 doors and 2 cupboards – lots of woodwork to sand back, hinges with layers of old paint to clean up, fiddly walls between the door frames to prepare for painting; hours of entertainment for me.
Marks work was way more fulfilling, the tiles above the bath were grouted and although the corners, join with the ceiling and the bottom row of tiles were not finished, things were starting to look great. I escaped from the sanding for a couple of hours and constructed the bathroom wall unit we had purchased at IKEA. Good thing we had had plenty of practice on the kitchen cupboards as this one was a little more challenging with its “sketch only” instructions - but I got there in the end.
Why Didn’t We Do It Ourselves?
We spent quite some time watching videos on using a router and mitre board to achieve a professional look for the cutting and joining of the benchtops. In the end we decided that by the time we hired the extra equipment we may as well put that money towards getting tradesmen to do the job. Thursday arrived, as did our two kitchen installers. They were very complementary on the work we had done, a perfectly level and square platform for them to fit the tops to.
Necessary tools were laid out, measuring was done, benchtops were marked and the power tools were fired into action. The inside of the flat sounded and looked like a saw mill for a couple of hours while work was in progress. Several fittings were undertaken, swearing was heard, dents into the newly plastered walls were made, paint was chipped – the total butchering of the benchtops continued. The end result is very disappointing and quite unsatisfactory. Ends of the benchtop have been chipped, as have the edges of the imperfect mitre join. Neither top sits square with the wall, one has a gap of over over 1cm behind it, the other has a larger gap at one end.
We were not prepared to let them do any more work to try and remedy their extremely poor workmanship, we wanted them gone before they damaged something else. The kitchen sink has been installed by Mark who is honing his plumbing skills, the other top and gas hobs will stay in the lounge until the gas fitter can come and change our gas socket. It has to be changed as we now have a fixed gas hob instead of a freestanding one and the pipe must be changed to meet safety standards.
Work on the bathroom and hallway continue but the bath can not be installed as the legs didn’t get sent with it and will take over a week to arrive. Oh well, there is plenty to keep us busy!
End Of Week 5, A Disappointing Week