It’s a good job we have a sense of humour. It’s fair to say that since we started the extension we’ve been plagued by bad luck and some odd turns of events. We’re used to big projects that take time and patience, but just two weeks in and we feel like we’re being tested.
Here’s a little run down of some of the things that’ve gone wrong. Cue the Benny Hill soundtrack….
– The digger crew were due to turn up at 8am – one day (due to a hangover) they rolled up at 2pm.
– One day’s digging the footings turned into 4 days and 2 evenings.
– When we dug the soakaway we hit the water table within the first 10 mins.
– We kept hitting water, so brought in a water pump. The pump wasn’t long enough, so we pumped it from the garden room footings into the main footings, and from there into the drain.
– Our drain then got blocked.
– Then the water pump blew up.
– During this time it rained for about 4 days straight and the garden and front of the house turned into a quagmire of mud and clay. It was so sticky it pulled my wellies off and stopped the wheelbarrow wheels from turning. Walking over the boards we’d laid was like bambi on ice.
– One of the guys dropped a single key in the mud. We spent a few mucky hours looking for it.
– The day the guys turned up on time it snowed.
– We budgeted for one grab lorry. We’ve had 4 and counting.
– When we’d been pumping water for 3 hours and still couldn’t get rid of it, our neighbour told us that before the houses were built a river was diverted and the tributary ran under our garden.
– All the quotes we had said we’d need 6 cubic metres of concrete for the two sets of footings. We had 12. In one of the footings.
– We poured the concrete and had the hardest frost we’ve had in 8 weeks.
You’ve got to laugh! Hopefully we’ve turned a corner now and things should be plain sailing. It looks like we’ll have to pile the garden room before we can start on that part of the project – which will cost a lot more than we were planning. We’re waiting for some quotes to come back before we can book it in. In the meatime we’re full steam ahead with the main extension. And secretly hoping that the stream under the garden room can be bottled and sold as expensive spring water.