Saturday, 2 June 2012

Builder Fatigue

How do they do it on Grand Designs?  One minute the place is a wreck and workmen are everywhere. The next, Kevin McCloud is walking up the path between manicured lawns and a door opens onto sunlight streaming through huge, polished windows, leather sofas, a new sound system and a pristine empty kitchen worktop.

Two years ago, we got as far as the place being a wreck, workmen everywhere, the furniture coming out of store and then that was it. Builder fatigue set in.  We could not face the sight of another van in the drive, another pile of tools in the hall, another "bonjour monsieur, dame" as heavy boots clumped along the veranda.

And the still to be done niggly small stuff that irritated us - like the naff blue plastic water pipe emerging from the smart tiles in our two new bathrooms and the loos not flushing quite properly - stayed just that, stuff still to be done.

It has taken us two years to recover from builder fatigue.  Finally, we have someone cheerfully doing "the snagging" and at long last the blue water pipe is hidden under smart conduit, the flush is "formidable", the lights that were never quite right have been changed, cracked bathroom tiles from settling walls have been replaced and we are even contemplating further work!

And the reason for the cheerfulness through the snagging process? We have a different builder. It's like doing someone else's washing up. So much more fun than doing one's own.

And who knows, maybe in five to ten years if Kevin should stroll up our path he would find that our "Grand Design" too is finally finished.

Grand Designs


  1. Builders do not seem to be known here - unless you want to build a tower block.
    You get the family or neighbours or friends to set to...with interesting results.

  2. It is daft that one can manage to live with these imperfections. 20 years ago I would not have lasted a week without a job being finished.
    Now we just shrug our shoulders and say we'll get around to it soon.
    It must have something to do with getting a pension.

  3. I don't envy you that one Fly! It's hard enough asking an artisan builder here to re-do something, I'm imagining trying that with a cousin or a brother!

  4. Hi Lesley, I've always been a wimp when it comes to asking someone to re-do something. I tend to say "that's fine" and force a smile through gritted teeth!