Thursday, 1 July 2010

Conversations you don't expect to have...

Last week I called the builder. I was about to order the flooring and other bits for the house and needed to know when he wanted them.

"I've got quite a list," I said. "Shall I start at the top and work down?"

"Okay," he said. "Fire away."

"Well, first on the list is floor tiles. When would you like them delivered?"

There was a pause whilst he checked lists and schedules. "How about 2 August?"

I laughed. Clearly he's joking (as he has before), since the job is due to finish 30 July. My plan is to move in on 2 August.

"Very funny," I said. "Now, when do you really want them?"

"2 August."

Alarm bells start ringing. "But you finish on 30 July."

"No, we finish on 30 August."

Alarm bells deafening the brain's functioning cells. "Erm, no! 30 July."

There was a period of banter where we flung final dates at each other, then he explained everything that needed to be done and how there was six weeks of plastering to be done and four weeks of decorating and still the drains and the plumbing and electrics and...

"I think I'd better just speak to my architect about this," I finally squeezed in, and the conversation ended.

My architect (well, his substitute: he has inconveniently gone off on paternity leave!) was a little bemused. He checked his records. Yes: everything was 30 July. The contract we signed just a few weeks ago: yes, 30 July. I left him to break the news to the building contractors.

It was too early in the day to start on the gin. (No, really, it was. Even in this situation I couldn't resort to that!) So I went and ate a tonne of chocolate instead...

And now? Well, I suspect we'll split the difference! They are hoping to bring in the job two weeks early, and I am thus anticipating moving in two weeks late. (Or maybe three...) There are many more men on site and I think a lot of overtime will be worked but thankfully we are protected by the contract. And I have utter confidence in our builders, who have stated that they won't let us move back in unless the finish is perfect - so they'd better not cut corners!

Oh, the joys of building projects!


The Dotterel said...

Is there a penalty clause in the contract? Something which means they lose a percentage of their fee for every day they're late?

Ladybird World Mother said...

Oh gawd... my idea of a nightmare. Well done for staying so calm. Just look forward to that moment when its all over!

Muddling Along Mummy said...

Good on you for getting a proper contract with a proper date - not that it'll get you in on 2nd August but at least it'll motivate them to get it done as quickly as possible

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