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It’s tradesmen time again…..

The clocks have gone forward, and that means that the quotations start coming in from tradesmen, all of whom are determined to help me renovate the cottage. One thing seems to be leading to another, and what I had thought would be a fairly simple and self-contained job looks like it’s turning into something much bigger…..

My bedroom is very cold and draughty. It’s at the far end of the house, and the wind whistles around it in winter. The secondary double glazing is very leaky, and there’s always a lot of condensation on the windows in the morning. Last year I got a quote to have the windows replaced with proper hardwood double-glazed units, which should be warmer, less draughty, and far less prone to condensation. It didn’t get to the top of my priority list back then – replacing the bathroom window was more urgent – but I did promise myself that I’d get around to it soon. 

Today the builder came round with his re-validated quote from last year (he’s held the price the same, which is good). He brought his joiner with him, who is the person who will actually make the windows. The frames are a very odd shape, and the two windows in the bedroom are both subtly different sizes, so everything will need to be hand made. Nothing in this house seems to be off-the-peg! But the joiner was concerned at actually fitting the new window units, and broke the news that he would probably need to chip away at the plaster around the edge of the frame – so I’d have to get the bedroom redecorated afterwards.

That’s not such a huge problem. The last time the bedroom was decorated was the year we moved in to the house. That must be close on 18 years ago, and it does badly need re-papering. Last year, I did get Rob, my trusty decorator, to stick down all the peeling bits of wallpaper, and to replace the worst-faded bits. But I knew that was only a temporary bodge, and that I’d have to bite the bullet and redecorate soon. So having my hand forced isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

So I phoned Rob, and asked him to quote for painting the new window frames (he’s cheaper than getting the joinery company to do it) and for re-papering my bedroom. He mentioned that when he was working in there last year, he noticed that my radiator valves looked to be corroded, and had clearly leaked significantly in the past. He said that he didn’t think he’d be able to guarantee to be able to drain, remove and replace the radiators when he was decorating the room, and that I should really get a plumber in first to replace all the valves. There’s three (largely ineffective) radiators in my bedroom,  and if I’m getting them done I may as well get the plumber to replace all the valves in the old part of the house, since I strongly suspect that my bedroom isn’t the only room with a problem. 

So what I thought was a fairly manageable job of replacing two windows in my bedroom, now looks as if it will involve a decorator and a plumber in addition to a joiner and a glazer. Somehow, nothing to do with this house is as straightforward as I would hope!

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Sally B | 12 April 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    You only have to listen to the Flanders and Swann song “The Gasman Cometh” to know what’s going to happen!

  2. Gillian | 12 April 2016 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for that happy thought, Sally! I found the song on YouTube and am horribly afraid you might be right!

  3. pauld | 13 April 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Just say to hell with environment and go for upvc, probably cheaper and they could use upvc strips down vertical edges if they damage plaster.