I am having a new kitchen fitted and it is rapidly turning into a complete nightmare. Talk about the best laid plans! Mine are in disarray because of the tradesmen commissioned to do the work and I can feel a major rebellion on my part about to strike. I don' even know if the kitchen fitter's work is of the required standard because he is nowhere to be seen!
Having a kitchen fitted is inevitably a major disruption even if things go smoothly. You will always face a lengthy period without the hub of the home and have to live with microwaved food and a great deal of disruption but I thought that I had organised the project in such a way that the disruption would be minimised. I was wrong!
I chose the date of my kitchen installation carefully to afford myself and my partner enough time to demolish and dispose of the old cupboards and appliances and remove the tiles from the floor and walls. The electrical work was scheduled for 7 days before the fit. The plasterer was booked for the following day so that the plaster would dry in time for us to paint before the kitchen fitter arrived. The electrical work was completed on time but unfortunately the plasterer then called to say he would be delayed by two days. He muttered something about his return from holiday being delayed because of something his wife wanted to do!
The late plastering work meant that the plaster was not dry enough on the day we were scheduled to paint. Despite every effort to dry out the walls, including the use of a hairdryer and a paint stripper (heat gun), we still had damp patches and the decorating had to be delayed. This led to an unseemly rush and us working late into the night in order to be ready for the arrival of the kitchen fitter. Sadly he then announced that he would be coming a day late so we needn't have bothered.
The Invisible Man
The big day finally arrived. I had been without a kitchen for two weeks, my dining room was unusable due to the entire contents of the kitchen cupboards being piled up in there and the novelty of cooking outside and eating on the patio had evaporated. I was sick of cooking in the rain and eating on the patio wrapped up in big woollies under an umbrella. Salvation was now at hand. Except that it wasn't because by mid-morning there was no sign of the fitter.
I sent the guy a message enquiring as to his whereabouts and when he called me back he informed me that he would not be coming as his mother had been taken ill. I was struck by a terrible case of sympathy failure and asked when he thought he might be able to start. His mother's illness had obviously been accompanied by a simultaneous failure of all telecommunications equipment! I wondered when he might have bothered to tell me he wasn't coming if I hadn't called him first. My partner received the same sob story from another tradesman a few years ago only to find that he was actually working on another project down the road.
I should now be half way through the fit but it hasn't even started. I have no idea when things are going to get under way and I am livid. I arranged all the timings carefully and had all my tasks finished on time and I am not the one getting paid! I am now strongly considering a crash course in plastering, plumbing and joinery so I never have to rely on anyone else again
Sally Stacey is a writer and small business owner with far too much work to tolerate tradesmen who can't be bothered to turn up.