Thursday, 14 January 2016

Progress and Problems

It's been an eventful few weeks with lots of issues to deal with, and with Christmas thrown in there hasn't been much spare time to update the blog but here's a summary of the progress and the problems over the past few weeks.

Screed

The screed went in on 11th December and the plan was that the plumbers would return the following week to connect up and turn on the heating. The boiler has a screed drying program that runs for 2 weeks and progressively increases the water temperature in the pipes to expand and contract them while the screed is still pliable so no cracks form later.

We tried several times to reach the plumbers to confirm they were coming but had no luck for days. When we finally did get through they admitted they had too much work on and wouldn't make it before Christmas but would come some time early in the new year to start the heating.

They eventually came earlier this week on the 12th January to turn on the heating and connect up the water and gas.  The screed drying program is now up and running although the screed is more or less dry so we really hope no cracks form.

Plastering

The internal plastering should have begun on 11th January but this has had to be pushed back as the plasterers can't work in the house while the screed drying program is running as it would be too hot. They have agreed to start on 25th January instead.

Kitchen

We have now paid for the kitchen and it was due to arrive next week but with no plaster on the walls or floor tiles laid we have had to push this back to the beginning of February. The plumbers also put the pipes for the sink in the wrong place so we thought we would have to redesign the kitchen to fit around them. Fortunately they moved these when they were doing the work earlier this week so they are now correct, but it looks a bit odd. Fortunately all the pipes will be behind the kitchen units.

Before:

After:


Floor Tiles

At the start of January we had a call from Moebau (the DIY company contracted to deliver all the internal fittings and building material) to say the tiles we ordered would not be ready on time for the delivery and would come mid to late February.  This meant we would have to move everything back again including our moving date, putting Sophie's place at the kindergarten at risk too. Steffi made several calls and complaints until Moebau agreed to remove and refund us for the tiles so we could go and choose our own from a local DIY store. This was the first time we actually saw what anything from Moebau costs and were shocked at how much we would get back for the tiles considering how basic they were.

We then spent some time looking at tile options and decided on wood effect tiles that are much nicer and more stylish than those we would have received through Moebau, and were also €600 cheaper!

Our tile choice:




We also had to remove the grout and silicon from the Moebau packet too as these would be the wrong colour. They sent us a quote for the extra cost of sending us black grout (they don't have brown) but the price they quoted was about double what brown grout cost at the local DIY store so we asked that they remove this too.

Going by the price of tiles and grout from Moebau we are now wondering how many thousands of Euro we could have saved had we asked them to remove everything and bought our own materials and fittings. We estimate it would be in the tens of thousands.

Windowsills 

As with the floor tiles, Moebau sent us a quote for the "price increase" of the windowsills we wanted in real stone rather than pressed wood. They quoted us around €400 extra, which seemed a bit steep but we decided that to keep things simple we would accept this. Only after we agreed the order and received the confirmation did we get a part number. When I googled this it was not a stone windowsill as we wanted but the exact same windowsills in pressed wood but with a marble effect laminate rather than plain grey... for €400 extra! We obviously cancelled the order (it took Moebau more than a week to agree with us that these were not what we wanted) and asked again for a quote for stone windowsills.  The new quote was for €800.  As we had had some time to do research we knew we could get real stone windowsills for the whole house for €400 so we cancelled the order with Moebau and ordered the ones we found for €400 instead.

Here are a couple of the new windowsills:

For upstairs we ordered slimmer windowsills so they wouldn't hang over the radiators.

It was only after all this we found out that Moebau wasn't charging us the extra price but the full price for the windowsills. Thy say refund should come from the company that installed the windowsills and damaged them. This company will only agree to refund us the cost of repairing the windowsills we originally receives so we're not too happy with the whole situation. We also have not received any refund from them yet.

Heating

As mentioned above, the heating is now up and running but the system is not finished and there is still a good six hours of work to do as the solar panels, hot water tank and piping, and the down-pipes are not connected. The plumber promised he would be able to come back at short notice to do this once we know our moving date. We shall see if this is the case.



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