Friday, 8 August 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Downright Shoddy

So near and yet so far. Yesterday's visit showed once again that Ian and his team are working flat out on the necessary but boring unsung work like building the base for the oil tank and the stone wall to help camouflage it - and taking pride in every stone and joint, whilst others, in particular Flaxton Forge (who are making the balusters for the staircase and gallery, not to mention supports for the kitchen island unit) and Aurora Conservatories, are proving a real headache, the first by never answering calls as if manana is too urgent a concept, the second by being, well, bad. You remember how their first error was to measure the conservatory roof wrongly? Bceause of that, they had to go back to the workshop, leaving the shell of the building exposed to the elements for several weeks. This meant that the glazing bars are already warping and coming loose. In fact, the standard of workmanship has totally unsatisfactory all round. We're tempted to knock the whole thing down and start again. There are gaps between the door-frame you can see daylight through, the scribing between the chapel wall and conservatory frame looks like it was done by children and will soon leak. The second photo of one of the glazing bars is just one of many examples of shoddy workmanship and the second a total lack of attention to detail. It may seem trivial to complain that two adjacent screws don't match but when you're paying top notch, you expect no less. Aurora pride themselves on being a first class bespoke conservatory company. The evidence belies that claim. And they keep sending bills which will not be paid until they get the message that their work is unacceptable.

But there is good news. Robin and Tom are back with their paintbrushes and rollers and are such fun to chat to. (Tom has promised us some plants for our pond.) Alan continues to do a brilliant job fitting doors and Richard and Ryan work on (albeit slowly) fitting kitchen units and other cupboards. And the staircase is arriving next week - at last!

Oh and in case you were puzzled by the first photo, we are not setting up an illegal distillery behind the garage. These are the newly installed and rapidly filling rainwater butts. Lift the lids and breathe deeply . . . they used to contain whisky. After muttering and moaning over bad workmanship, a good sniff of that makes everything rosy again. It needs to be. We'll be moving in within six weeks . . .
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Jo said...

Sally, I sincerely hope that you're not going to pay Aurora until the conservatory is perfection itself? I can't believe such shoddy workmanship. Don't pay them until they put it right! You're paying for the best! They have really let you down.

Jane Smith said...

Having lived with builders for over a decade now, on and off (yes, I know...) I feel your pain.

Don't pay them. Demand that they put it right. Those mismatching screws would drive me up the wall if I had to look at them every day, and they're not a small thing when wrapped up with everything else.

Bah. Apart from all of that, though, your new house is looking wonderful.