Rubin on the floor

Hall Hell: Now With Added Bathroom Hell!

Hey, remember yesterday, when it was revealed that our blocked drain issue was worse than we’d thought, and would take one extra day, and another £600 to fix? We now look back on that day as The Golden Era of the Hall: a halcyon time when all we had to worry about was the giant pile of earth in our hall, the gaping hole in the floor, and a level of mess that would surely take days to put right again. God, I miss those days.

That hole in the floor, you see, may not have been much fun, but the thing we had to keep reminding ourselves was that it could have been worse. As you may recall, for instance, when we first discovered that the hall would probably need to be ripped up, there was also some talk of the bathroom next to it having to be ripped up too, and possibly also the kitchen. And man, that would REALLY have sucked! I mean, wouldn’t that have  just SUCKED?

You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you?

Yeah, the bathroom floor has had to be ripped up – or part of it has, anyway. I almost burst into tears when Terry told me.

As I mentioned in the first post in this saga, although having the hall floor taken up is a pain, the fact that it’s wood laminate means that it’s reasonably easy to replace – a bit time consuming, yes, and it’s definitely annoying to be having to replace it AT ALL, but it’s straightforward process, which shouldn’t generate TOO much extra mess.

The bathroom, on the other hand, is tile, and it’s been installed right onto concrete. The only way to take those tiles up is by smashing them to bits. And that makes me want to cry, because while those tiles aren’t what we’d have picked personally, if we’d built the house from scratch, they’re high quality, easy to clean, and totally inoffensive. We might have replaced them ONE day, but right now they weren’t even on our wish list of home improvements. Not even close. That floor – like the floor in the hall  – should have lasted for years, and it just seems so wasteful to see a perfectly nice floor be destroyed purely because some random builder hated his job and wanted to lash out at someone.

This is actually one of the reasons we were so keen on buying this house in the first place, now I come to think of it. All of the other ones we’d looked at would’ve required some major renovations in order for us to be able to live in them. This one, by contrast, didn’t really NEED anything done to it. And I mean, sure, yeah, there are things we’d LIKE to do – replacing the kitchen, for one. There’s really nothing we can’t live with, though, and this whole, horrible situation, with the house almost uninhabitable due to building work, is exactly the kind of scenario we’d hoped to avoid by buying it. GAH.

Anyway, our hall looks like THIS now:


I know it LOOKS a bit better than yesterday’s photo, but that’s just because the giant mound o’earth has moved slightly, and it’s better lit. I mean, look: now we have a traffic cone and everything!

A traffic cone. Inside my house.

You know things are serious when there’s a traffic cone INSIDE YOUR HOUSE, don’t you?

The half-bath, meanwhile, looks like this now:


And this is the hole they knocked in the wall, in an attempt to avoid having to rip up the tiles. The thinking was that it would be easier to fix the wall than the floor, but of course, that didn’t work, so now we get to fix both of them: YAY!

hole in the wall

No photos of what Terry and I look like at this point, but imagine two wild-eyed, stressed-out people in industrial earplugs and a film of dust, and you’ll be on the right lines. Rubin, meanwhile, has had to go and stay with my parents for the duration – there’s just too much dust and noise for a little dog, and he’d also have to navigate the mess that is the hallway every time he needed to go out, so we figured it was safer all round for him to go and live somewhere clean and peaceful. Lucky him!

Terry and I could technically do the same, I guess (we’ve definitely considered it!), but one of us needs to be here to supervise the workmen, and although I can pretty much work from anywhere, Terry can’t work without his computer (his is a giant desktop, which would be a real pain to move) – not that he’s been getting much work done anyway while all this is going on. With all of that said, although I guess it’s hard to tell from the photos, the house is currently close to being uninhabitable (apart from anything else, we can’t really cook in a kitchen that’s coated in dust and debris, for instance, and bearing in mind that it’s a sewage pipe that’s being dug up… well, you can imagine.), and we’ve just been told this morning that here’s a chance it might not even be finished today: if the house remains like this over the weekend, and the work starts up again on Monday, we will probably have to move out, because the thought of living with this for (at least) three more days is honestly unbearable.

Thankfully, the insurance have once again agreed to cover the replacement of the floor, and they’ve also agreed to pay for the extra work that will now be required. (The company charge £600 per day, so THANK GOD the insurance are being reasonable.)

The hated kitchen floor, meanwhile, is the only floor on this level of the house which remains unscathed. That totally makes sense, because it’s the one floor in the house we actually WANTED to replace. It’s like raaaiiiin, on your wedding day…

Renting is looking better by the day. really.

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  • Oh no! That’s awful. At least it’s being covered, but still… And I do hope there’s a complete conclusion complete with taps working demonstration because I’ve had my basement flood repeatedly because we have an old pump thing to push the waste water to street level and our landlord ought to replace it but really he just keeps repairing it enought to work til it doesn’t anymore. So it’ll be nice to see that you’ve had a happy ending.

    Fashion and Happy Things

    October 10, 2014
  • Have panic attacks started yet Amber? Hyperventilating? I think i’d be at that sort of level by now…. bless you, it will be worth it in the end!

    October 10, 2014
  • £600 a day? If I could just bear the smell of sewage pipes I would totally change careers.

    Also: this all sounds awful. But it’s hard to type sympathetic faces…

    October 10, 2014
  • I’m in the wrong line of work. But I’m in the right house, as it’s rented 😉 seriously though, argh for you!! Sounds horrendous!

    October 10, 2014
  • Urgh, I really feel for you on this one! Hopefully it will all be sorted soon! x

    October 10, 2014
  • Judy Stevens


    Love, love, love the new diary section. I’m one of your readers who enjoys really every post. Your writer-voice is extremely interesting and funny and I enjoy the fashion bits, the blogging bits, the adventures and even the reviews of products I will never use because I’m a brunette. (I will be looking for your plastic organizer on my next trip to Ikea, though!) So the new diary section is a total win for me because it’s more posts to read.

    Sorry to hear about the plumbing problems. It definitely does NOT sound fun. To me, the worst thing about events/problems like that is the disruption of my normal. It’s just such trial to have to deal with the insurance, the repairmen, the whoever! It makes me long for a personal assistant!

    October 11, 2014
  • Fran


    I am very sorry this is going this way Amber! Best of luck for going ahead.

    October 11, 2014
  • oh gosh, I hope it doesn’t take too much longer and there are no other setbacks.

    October 13, 2014
  • Liz Tea Bee


    Well, it’s now Monday… I really hope you’re coming out the other side of this today.

    October 13, 2014