Friends

02 April 2017

JOBS DONE AND MORE TO COME ... PART ONE

At first I thought Charlie the cat had wet the carpet but it turned out that the radiator was leaking. And how!
The system is this: a spare room, which was once Joe’s office, has been changed to Charlie’s room. It has chairs he can sleep on, a discreetly placed litter box, and an ever-open window through which he can come and go.
The reason for the open window is two-fold. It opens onto a covered side passage at the end of which is a lockable door to the garden and a cat-flap. It means that Charlie can come and go in the night without the need to wake me. Ingenious, I thought. The room is cosy, having radiator and comfy chairs to keep Charlie happy. That is until the radiator developed a leak. Poor Charlie and poor me having to walk on a very wet carpet. The leak must have developed in the night and is labelled as discovery No.1. Yes, there is another leak, in my bedroom, and worse than the first.
Panic! Well, what else could I do. It was no good smiling and saying it will be okay tomorrow. Leaking radiators don’t work like that. So, what to do, or rather who to contact.
I looked in the phone book and on line but, really, I didn’t know who or what trades-person I wanted. Those radiators had been serviced regularly by one guy (Mr K) so I wondered if he would know who to approach. He did. Moreover, he came right away. At least two heads were better than one, especially since mine didn’t seem to be working.
I can do this, he said, as he toured the rooms, each one having a radiator, and each one, he discovered, useless. They all seemed to be going at the same time.
You should have seen the mess after and during the drainage of all five radiators.
I told Mr K (as he worked) that I hadn’t known who to contact, an electrician, the water board, or someone in the gas business. None of them, he said, in future just ring me and I’ll know who you want and get them there. I love that man!
The words ‘new’ radiators worried me for a while, especially as mine are very, very long. It meant money! I had visions of having to spend thousands on purchases and fitting, even more of a worry considering that I have booked a company to measure up for a change in the bathroom. Because of the dangers of getting in and out of a bath I decided to go for a wet room and someone is coming to measure up two days. Should I tell him not to bother or what?
I broached the subject of money and asked Mr K how much he thought new radiators etc would cost and was more than surprised when he quoted hundreds not thousands.
It is strange, though, that all five radiators went at once. Mr K and I both thought that but he reckoned Joe had organised it from his place in heaven because coincidentally probate etc has just been finalised.
Because I need to change the bathroom I welcomed the visit (pre-booked) of a representative of a local firm that deals in this sort of thing. Because getting in and out of a bath is getting a trifle precarious I decided to have the thing removed. The expert I called in was really helpful. He talked me out of my idea of having a wet room and will work round the shower at present installed. The idea is to have a much lower ‘tray’ so I only have to take a small step instead of literally climbing into a bath. I will have a stool to sit on and smart surrounds. Tiling will be as is, just added to. Only the floor will need to be seen to. The expert recommended Karndean flooring, which I already have in hall and loo, and would you believe I have some of it in an unopened box that the guys who did the hall left behind.
While Mike (the expert) was with me Mr K and his son came to measure up the previously mentioned radiators. This meant I had three men to deal with and organise … date-wise (wink). Well that’s Monday dealt with. Tomorrow will bring what tomorrow will bring, I won’t know until Mr K phones me with further details. It’s a bit nippy here without warmth so I think I’ll switch on the portable electric heaters.
A few days later the new radiators arrived, posh ones too. They made me realise how outdated the old ones were. Not only did they no longer work but they were no longer attractive to the eye. Now they look smart and I have heat, only snag is the control box which doesn’t want to control. Fortunately, I can bypass the timing and just put it on when I want it. Hopefully Mr K will be able to fix that as well. 

22 comments:

Denise inVA said...

Mr K sounds like a one of a kind. Glad he was able to help you. Goodness, that must have been dreadful, especially the timing. Hope things will go smoothly with your new bathtub.

Valerie said...

Denise, it was a nightmare, day and night! Poor Charlie thought so, too.

Ron said...

Valerie, Mr K DOES sound like an angel sent from Joe, sent from heaven! Sooooo glad to hear that it won't be costing you thousands. Don't you love how it seems that when one thing goes, so many other's seem to go at the same time. Like last year, when I lost BOTH my computers at the same time so that I didn't have any.

I have radiators in my apartment as well. I live in an older building (1930's) that used to be a hotel. I actually LOVE radiator heat because it's not as dry as electric. Plus, I love the sounds they make when they turn on. Oddly enough, I find that relaxing.

Looking forward to hearing more about your bathroom. Keep us posted.

Have a lovely Sunday, my friend!
X

Valerie said...

Ron, it is true that when one thing goes another follows, I have noticed that before. In this case though there were far too many copycats, one would have been enough. You are right in your statement that rads are not as drying as electric fires.

I will definitely be taking photographs of the new bathroom.... maybe some before and after shots.

Sunday here is bright and sunny, even Charlie is sunbathing. It is April though so anything could happen and probably will.

S. J. Qualls said...

Well, thankfully the 'fun' didn't happen in January! I've wondered about radiators, I wasn't sure they were even in use anymore. I remember my grandparents had them and my sister's apartment in New York had them. I even had them in a story I wrote and had to look up what I could. I sure hope your floors weren't ruined!

Mac n' Janet said...

You're lucky to have someone you can call in an emergency like that. Looking forward to seeing how your bathroom turns out.

troutbirder said...

Heating & plumbing problems are such a pain...especially finding someone to fix on weekends.

Valerie said...

SJ, the floor will be replaced... carpet up and new flooring laid. It will be the same as the hall flooring. The company went to a lot of trouble to get the timing right for the two jobs.

Valerie said...

TB, it's the same here. In fact it's a job to get someone to come out anytime.

Valerie said...

Janet, I will take photos although they won't be good - the light in there isn't all it could be.

Geraldine said...

It's always a pleasure when something costs a lot less than expected. Keeping up a house is a costly but worthwhile venture. I can't wait to have our own home again. We are settling on the Island and I have a nice area picked out hopefully where we will buy a home.

Have a good week Val.😽🌞

Hugs to you and your dear furry guy.😽

Valerie said...

Hi Geraldine, surprise, surprise....I thought you had moved into a new house. Re prices, lately I have had one or two surprises regarding the cost of things... all pleasant ones, I'm glad to say.

kden said...

My Mom had a tub cut down in the middle so she can just step in and take a seated shower. It's helped her tremendously. I wish I had a Mr. K. :)

Jenny Woolf said...

I've discovered British Gas homecare. It's pretty good and you can call them for anything connected with the gas. I wouldn't bother with them though while you have got Mr. K.

The Great Ethan Allen said...

It's not unusual that "everything goes at the same time" Our very old apartment had pretty much all of the plumbing go on it last year. Luckily, it was simple enough for me to deal with..so I did not have to wait for the landlords. Also... Much cheaper than I expected.

Currently I'm working on replacing the Bathtub faucets. Things look pretty good. Makes me wish I had done it last year with the kitchen and bathroom sink and toilet. Best of luck tomorrow!

Jimmy said...

Sounds like Mr. K is a good person to know, it's always a blessing to have someone honest like this to call on when needed, especially when more than one project comes up suddenly.

Valerie said...

kden, Wow that was some operation. Wondering what your Mom did with the other half.

Valerie said...

Jenny, Jenny, thanks for the info. It's good to have another name in case Mr K can't attend.

Valerie said...

Hi Jimmy, yes indeed Mr K is a godsend. He has trained his son to follow him in the trade and the son has passed all his exams. I have great faith in the future!

Valerie said...

Ethan, my husband was never what I call a handy man. He certainly couldn't have done what you have done.

LL Cool Joe said...

We have a contract out with British Gas and they do fix our radiators but I'm not sure if they'd replace them. I was pleasantly surprised at the cost of new ones, which actually can be quite cheap.I'm glad you had someone who could sort yours out so quickly. Seems like you are surrounded by some useful men. (wink)

Mr. Shife said...

Glad to hear Mr. K took good care of you, Val. You, of course, deserve it. =)