This country has always been well known for its craftsmen. Traditionally tradespeople have been trained as apprentices and considered themselves at least in part, artisans as well. I’ve long known that certain corners were cut in earlier work carried out on our flat, but this renovation has revealed an astonishing litany of howlers. Once more we don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
There’s an easy way and then there’s a quick way to make a hole in a wall through which to feed the outlet pipe from a sink. The quick way, which on removing the old kitchen units we discovered had been used, seems to involve a pickaxe straight through the wall. Astonishing!
If it hadn’t been for the fact that the flat above constantly leaks onto us we might never have re plastered the ceiling, which means that we’d have missed that a)the ceiling is too fragile to take the lighting we’d originally planned and b) the cavity was filled with newspapers, or, as C called it “tinder”.
We took C upstairs to have a look around because he was concerned that our neighbour might have applied the same techniques to his bathroom that he had to installing the shower in our place. We have suffered the odd indoor water feature in the room below that houses our computers.
He and our plumber were horrified to see how the boiler had been installed. Apparently the pipe coming out of a boiler is supposed to feed straight into the sewer, because its contents are acidic. When they installed the pipe upstairs, they prised up part of the lead flashing on our roof (charming!), thus reducing its ability to keep out rain, which isn’t that great to start with due to the way it was fixed.
The pipe then … stops! Yes, that’s right, it stops on our roof and feeds into our gutter. The acidic fluid from the pipe will be corroding the lead and then the gutter, before overflowing into our next door neighbour’s garden, potentially poisoning our cat along the way.