Saturday, March 10, 2007

Back to reality

Well, those wonderful, reliable, punctual Huf Haus people wrapped up just over a week ago... and now we're getting a glimpse of what everyone else has to put up with when building a house: the fact that the vast majority of companies and suppliers work to a different level of service to Huf Haus.

A lower level, in case you're on the wrong track.

The construction of our kitchen started last Friday, and continued on the Monday. It was supposed to be finished that day, only a few hiccups surfaced. We'd ordered two stainles steel worktops, one for the area around the sink and t'other for the cooking island. Well the kitchen guy had ordered the sink worktop in some other non-stainless steel material. Furthermore, while unwrangling the worktop problem, half the wiring up was delayed; so we're missing the sucky hood thing over the electric hob, the dishwasher's still in its wrapping, that magnificent food centre's full of melt water, and and and.

In theory the wiring'll be done next week. In theory the new worktop for the sink area'll arrive the week after. In theory this'll all be wrapped up just before we move in. In theory this was all to be finished last Monday, so yer can shove that theory where the sun don't shine.

And then we have the Bastelraum parquet situation. That was to have been laid down last Wednesday, and the skirting boards nailed to the walls. Easy-peasy, no risk, no trouble. Except that when the parquet guy popped over to his supplier to pick up some 50 square metres of the stuff, he was stunned to find nary a stick of it. Someone'd mopped up the lot on Monday. Claudia was likewise stunned to hear that the factory won't be able to produce more until April, so in lieu of a time machine, we won't have a Bastelraum parquet in place until a couple of weeks after we've moved in. I, on the other hand, was stunned that the daft sod hadn't reserved the parquet a few weeks back when we'd made the decision.

C'est la vie? C'est le guerre, more like. Why do these people insist on introducing unnecessary risks into their work? Do they want their lives to be more exciting? I'm sure this has happened time and time again, over the years, and he still doesn't get round to making that crucial reservation.

Daft sod.

Claudia and I've decided to take all these things in our stride. We've just left the Huf Haus autobahn (efficient, fast, free of traffic) and are now on the local roads (pot-holed, clogged, diversions). We can either bitch about it, or we can feel smug about the fact that 97% of our project was on that autobahn.

On a happier note, the sink unit for the bathroom arrived on Wednesday. Claudia was there to let 'em in.. and was surprised that they'd already been inside the house for an hour. Huh? Turns out that local suppliers operate a sort of house key exchange; they'd got it off the kitchen guy.

Anyways, the unit had been nailed to the wall by the time she arrived, although there was still some work left to do... which was just as well as it was 5cm higher than it should have been. Claudia took the snap shown above, gave the orders to move it down a notch, and left. We'll see how it looks in its full glory later today.

Another happy note: I painted the keller floors last weekend, using a special keller floor paint. Sort of battleship grey, so a side of one of Her Majesty's fleet'll be short a lick o' paint. I really got quite a buzz of satisfaction out of making my own contribution for once. Until that then, I'd been more like the gentleman farmer of the project; mumbling some irrelevence or other, waving a stick at this or that, and then watching the hairy arses march off into the fields to do the real work. At that moment, I joined the ranks of the hairy arses, and it felt rather good.

Also on a happy note, we managed to find lots and lots of lights this week. If you recall, we've a total light count of 45. So we were left with a lot of research and shopping around to do. And the likelihood of spending a lot of money.

Well, we found the window wall lights at Interio, and bought 12 of 'em. CHF 69 each, so what's that? About 30 quid a pop? And we found the 4 wall lights we need for the stairs at a place called Moebel Pfister, a mere snap at CHF 62 each (about 25 quid). And we also picked up 6 ceiling lights at, erm, at one place or other. Hard to recall as all those light places are beginning to merge in my mind's eye. Anyways, they cost CHF 59 (also about 25 quid). We also bought two spot light clusters, but they were way more expensive at CHF 150 each (65 quid).

A total cost of CHF 1,730 (750 quid) for 24 lights. Plus whatever we paid for the four we already had, plus the two on the way from Huf Haus. And muggins here's going over to the house today to start wiring them up. Should take a month of Saturdays, eh?

Make sure you pop over to Bob's Blog (link on the right) as he's experiencing similar difficulties. Well, maybe a lot worse...

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