Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Good News and the Not

You may recall the settled nature of my last blog: so many things done, not much left on the "to do" list and so on. To be honest, most of the rest of the work consisted (spot the past tense...) of things such as making decisions about curtains, light fittings, deciding on furniture layout and purchasing missing shelves/cupboards/units (circle as appropriate). Nothing was too essential and we could slow down and take our time making thisour home.

Then we smelled something.

It smelled like a damp forest floor. 

It came from under the sink in the kitchen.

At this point I need to tell you about the kitchen. Although the kitchen originally  had no ceiling, the rusted oven contained the remnants of the last supper, none of the electrical appliances worked and the cupboard insides were a health hazard (medals awarded to Christ and Tricia for stoic cleaning efforts), basically the kitchen was fine. The cupboards themselves, once you could see them, were structurally sound although we removed a couple due to a difference of opinion about the need for uncluttered work surface. Essentially we had a very good kitchen once we replaced the hob and oven and inserted our existing fridge into the newly-vacant slot. Even the floor tiles grew on me. It was the one room which could have been very expensive and proved to be a relief.

Then we noticed the smell.

We thought it was the dishwasher as, naturally, it didn't work and was now being used as a glorified plate drying rack pending a decision about its future.

We ensured it was dry. We turned off the water. We went away for a week hoping it the smell would go away.

It didn't - it got worse.

We pulled out the dishwasher and found...

(No, not a dead rat, that was the last house but one.)

completely rotted through floorboards.

That's right - the dishwasher hadn't been plumbed in correctly (we think) and the floorboards under the machine are pulp. We are hoping the joists aren't rotted through because if they are then the whole thing is even more complicated. As it is, we have had a drying company with dehumidifiers and a large fan. They noticed that the back wall was also soaked and measuring 100% saturation with the mortar falling off. Now signed off as dry, the builders are back on Thursday to rip out half the kitchen, replace the floorboards, replaster the wall, hopefully replace the cupboards and all will be sound. If the joists are rotted then the builders need to take up the entire floor: the tiles, the plyboard, all the floorboards, and consequently the whole kitchen will need to be replaced.We are not sure which way it will go partly as we have noticed that when the tile adhesive was put down they managed to cement in the cupboard legs.

The good news in all of this? For some absurd reason the insurance company are coughing up for the lot. We only have to pay the £200 excess. Phew.

RIP Kitchen - do spot the mostly full wine rack. We may be needing some of that soon! And the gaping hole under the sink where the offending dishwasher lived. I presume you don't want to see pictures of the rotten boards? Good.
The range cooker was a house-warming present to replace the rusted-rancid-grease-filled-one-with-missing-nobs-and-no-temperature-control that was there - I love it!

1 comment:

The Gutsy Mom said...

The kitchen looks so lovely -- makes me sad to learn it is in distress! Happy to hear the insurance is covering it. Any update on the extent of the damage? I would love that range cooker, too!