Tuesday, March 20, 2007

20th March 07

1 week to move in!!!!

Its been a busy few days.....since our elderly kitchen fitter (who didn't know one end of a mid height unit from another) had left.....I've been quite busy!!!!

The kitchen is now in place. The units are placed where they should be on the plan and the appliances placed in their respective places and now await the arrival of the worktop gang.

They arrive on Thursday morning, and, as I am working that day, I have to leave it to Pam to ensure we get what we want. Should be interesting......

They accurately measure the surface and then head off to the hinterland to fabricate a quartz worktop which has shards of mirror embedded. ( This was the thing that sold it to the wife!!!)

They return ten days later with a fabulous worktop which will last a lifetime or quite possibly a lot longer..... and its more expensive than Corian or Granite....but it looks nice!!!
We had some prospective Huf clients arrive the other day.....they will be building in Surrey with a design not dissimilar to ours. We gave our advice gratis.....we should charge for these in the future!!!!!
Lights are still some days away....like Ric in Switzerland ( see link ) I have around 45 lights to connect. My friend Peter came the other day to put some in the lounge where I have now erected my Poul Cadovious Cado wall system. Very 70's, but the Rosewood goes great with the White and Black.
That's the thing isn't it.....I could be puttin up lights, which would be really useful for when we move in....but what do I do???? Put up my Cado Wall system !!!! It will look really great with the fickering of candles next to it. And, tippin' up to bed with my night light......I'll pobably burn the place down!.....still. in this life you've got to do what you want to do!!!!!
Oh , and I forgot to complete the BT connection, so, when we move in we will not have any telephone!!!!! or internet !!!! probably for some weeks.
I have to get the TR6 and 136 boxes in the Garage next week, the rest of the gubbings goes in the various rooms.....should be fun!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


7th March 2007

Why did I employ an English kitchen fitter?

I'm not really sure that he was a kitchen fitter at all. You will remember I had some misgivings, but that was his age and the fact that he had difficulty getting up the stairs, let alone lifting the units up from the basement.

He started work on the Monday and arrived with a flat tyre. OK , so that can happen to anybody but his jack didn't work and I offered my trolley jack which was immersed somewhere back at the rented house. Amazingly I only had to shift 25 boxes before I could see it at the back of the garage. After an hour we had fixed his spare and then he started on the kitchen!.

He had the plans and instructions and I had spent some time over the weekend reconciling the boxes of bits with the schedule and the plans and marked them up accordingly. All present and correct !!!

By the end of the day he had screwed some of the units to the wall and it looked sort of OK. He was always coming up to me to ask whether this was right or that was right and would I contact the manufacturer to check the installation instructions. I did this twice and by the end of the second day, he was complaining that there was a gap of 670mm to accomodate a 600mm unit. He asked me to check. He went home and left me to check....

I spent the next hour checking and re-checking the plans and what he had put together. Nothing matched !!!! This guy obviously didn't follow plans, he just put the units against the wall and screwed !!!!
I met him at 8.30am this morning and explained he had done everything wrong.
'Oh, I'll take that down and start again if you like' he said
'Oh, I don't think so' I said ' I want it done properly and I would like you to leave everything just as it is, and go'
He did, he packed his tools up and went, leaving me with a bundle of half opened cartons and a pile of wood.
He claimed he was a carpenter...he was around 75 years of age and seemed OK. Hey readers, if you are having a kitchen done by an independant fitter, watch out for this one. He's dangerous!!!!!
Anyway he's gone and I'm back in control, which is fine.
The second oven arrived today, it was missed off the delivery last week, because, according to the delivery man, they thought it was a mistake. There were two ovens on the order!!!!

' Oh,' I said, 'You don't know my wife, yes there are two ovens, identical'

Handy if you're cooking for a banquet, or for the local rugby team, but neither of which we have done recentlyor likely to be doing in the near future!.

The other things that happened since last week, the Germans came and delivered the GREY carpet, and one hour later the German carpet fitter came and fitted it. took two days ......Perfect !!!!!!

Must go.....I have some kitchen units to fit.....and make a call to defer the stone worktop templating which was due on Monday!!!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

1st March....Handover!!!!!

Frank ( the german plumber/technician) took us through the technical bit of the handover last night. He explained the hot water coming out of the left tap and the cold out of the right tap. Well I followed it up to that point but when we descended to the hall and sat in front of the central heating programmer for 40 minutes....my eyes glazed over. Apparently you can programme your holidays into this piece of kit and it will switch everything off, or keep it running on low until you arrive at the airport on your return. It will probably book your holidays for you too!!!It will then fire everything up and make sure its warm when you come in through the front door. Marvellous!!!! It has an outside sensor to monitor the weather and to anticpate whether the boiler needs a boost to ensure the inside temperature is constant. Its very complicated and very impressive. I can now throw away those oil filled radiators and electric fan heaters..........well, maybe I'll keep a couple, just in case.
The basement houses the plant room, where I have spent many a happy hour trying to feed the water, electricity and BT cables through the ducts to the outside. Here lurks the Enterprise Galactica control room with boiler and associated technologies. Fortunately there's a manual (in English) telling you what to do and there was a great debate about where this special wooden Huf manual and holder should be placed in the room. I stepped back from this one, and left it for Pam to decide, after all she is probably the one who will be resetting timers, ambient temperatures and checking water pressures. If it goes over 8 bar pressure, run for your life, and there was one valve that Frank said 'DON'T TOUCH', but I now can't remember which one.

We signed the requisite documents saying we had read and understood everything even though we hadn't and I promised Frank I would take the manual home and study it sometime.
The handover the next day was a far less stressful affair. Rudiger ushered us through the rooms with Fred, the German chippy alongside. Rudiger stuck yellow tape where anything wasn't perfect and Fred was there with a selection of paints to address any tiny marks of imperfection. Well, we could only find four instances of minute damage and Fred appeared rather disappointed that he could do no more.
The windows sparkled like new, everything spotless and the carpets hoovered showing a uniform pattern where the machine had been.
At the end of our tour Rudiger appeared with a black holdall and in it was a selection of paints for exterior and interior, some special rawplugs for the basement area, a wax crayon for taking out scrapes on the black woodwork and a tool kit with the Huf Haus logo for any maintenance one might have to do. Another manual with instruction on the electronic blinds, tile and carpet maintenance etc etc. And another set of documents to sign and then....the handover of ten sets of keys!!!!!

OK, so we're on our own now!!!!! Later I spent a little time going through the kitchen unit delivery in readiness for our fitter arriving Monday. A bottle of bubbly arrived (thanks Julian) and we toasted the new house....(our other two offspring live abroad...Vanessa in France and James in Dusseldorf) and we saw the sun set from our vast lounge window.

Now we have kitchen fitting, lights,etc etc and the ground works.......