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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)   
 To:  milko     
43022.5 In reply to 43022.4 
Yeah, it is horrible. I'm beginning to worry that she might need professional help for more than the  building work. She's changed from happy, confident to dull, depressed all the time. The latest is that she's almost certain not to get planning consent even if it's all redone properly. Which means tearing loads of it down to be the same as the other houses. Luckily she seems to have a more competent builder now. He seems shocked by the state of things. Yesterday he came and asked if it was OK to leave a couple of steels across the drive for an hour or so. I said 'no problem' and he confided that he thought it was even worse than he realised when he started.

The real killer is that Patrick told her it was going to be so amazingly special. And she believed him. But I think he probably did himself.

He May Be Your Dog But He's Wearing My Collar

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 From:  milko  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)      
43022.6 In reply to 43022.5 
In fairness I find it pretty rare that a builder/tradesman doesn't act quite shocked at the state of things, it's like mechanics doing that sucking teeth thing before they tell you the whole engine's got to come out, it's gonna be more than the car's worth. But in this case, maybe accurate. And yeah, Patrick probably had a dream but bit off more than he could chew and now he's legged it like a coward.
milko
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 From:  milko  
 To:  ALL
43022.7 
So, in July last year, this went up next door in a bit of a hurry, while all the internal walls etc of the existing build were knocked out.

PXL-20230806-164127639-1PXL-20230807-192956976
Like I said earlier, no notice or communication given, they just cracked on at a mad pace, they also knocked half the roof out for a dormer conversion at the same time.
PXL-20230814-143732802

Putting that scaffolding on top of the extension seemed a brave move. They actually did that after most of the roof work had been done without any, just dudes climbing around a building. When the builder got wind we were looking at it and complaining about things they slapped some render up quick to try and hide the dodgy unsafe blockwork. More knowledgable people saw my photos and tell me they're a wrong type of block as well, there's just an awful lot wrong with the thing. Yes the heights of the opening are uneven. The roof is apparently just celotex insulation sat on uneven boards, it's very odd. We tracked down the managing agency who were extremely evasive and outright lying about stuff, lots of weasel people involved, we also contacted the council. Building Control at the council washed their hands of it entirely because the agents had engaged an independent building control company to review the work - so we spoke to them as well. They wouldn't tell us much ("data protection"), said they were on top of it and all is fine, but at first were unaware the work had even started so big suspicions about them as well, can quite well imagine they'd look the other way for problems in exchange for money. The council did say to keep an eye on any breaches of the terms of the HMO licence, so I suppose that's one for the future. Tina had spoken to the builder a few times, initially as a "oh, hello, what's happening here then?" and then more of a "what the fuck are you actually doing and who's in charge" kind of a way. They were weaselly liars about what was happening, as well as entirely dismissive/insulting about the impact it was all having on the neighbours either side. The owner of the house on the other side is a local landlord so he had a few connections as well, seems like a nice enough bloke and we kind of teamed up to work on it. The managing agency sent a minion to talk to us all, who acted like it was all a big shock and news to him that the building had been done this way, and "we always have party wall agreements in place first" and blah blah... except that I worked out his personal email address was included in our initial "what are you actually doing here" emails from weeks before so yep, weasels all the way down.

At some point in all this some men from oop North came to inspect it, evidently further up the chain to the owner company (a slum landlord property company a provider of low cost social housing). Tina popped out to say hi and they were absolutely slating the build, all the things we'd spotted and more besides. Belatedly, a surveyor gets in touch with us and we end up with a surveyor at their expense for a retrospective party wall agreement of some kind - this is essentially useless legally since the notifiable works had all been done but we did get a couple of hundred quid compensation for minor plaster cracks caused by their internal demolition work.

Then this happened:
PXL-20230818-174408677 PXL-20230818-134758729  
haha! They even ended up drilling out all of the concrete foundation works. The roof and scaffolding were just being held up on those temporary supports for a bit. The builder looked rather sad. I almost felt sorry for him - no doubt he's not going to be getting paid for all this extra work - but well, he was a fucking arsehole, so I don't. Then they built it again a bit more properly:
PXL-20230907-172757060 PXL-20230827-145721460-MP  
I still don't know what the hell's going on with that roof but at least the blockwork is a bit more evenly spaced, and so on.

This was all back in August. They haven't been back since apart from one visit. The upstairs windows have been open to the elements and wildlife all winter and the gardens are a mess. The northern inspectors came back a few months later, and I overheard them telling someone outside "Honestly, I'm surprised the guy still works for you" but that's about it. Presumably they'll restart works again sooner or later, or maybe not! I hope we don't need to sell our place while it's all going on still! Also, I really hope we cost the slum landlord people some time/energy/money in all of this.
milko
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 From:  Dan (HERMAND)  
 To:  milko     
43022.8 In reply to 43022.7 
I built my own little extension the other year so I feel qualified to comment that that is absolutely fucking attrocious, and utterly hilarious for a professional. Don't even know where to start, but christ.
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 From:  milko  
 To:  ALL
43022.9 
Funnily enough they're sort of back today! A surveyor went in to see what's going on and if their plans can even be done. Apparently they're trying to find a new contractor to do whatever work, but it's the same owners and management company still.
milko
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 From:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  milko     
43022.10 In reply to 43022.9 
We do things different here.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/toronto-skyscraper-with-1-7-billion-of-debt-has-been-put-in-receivership-1.1987048
"What hurts the most, is people think I’m gonna get rich selling Mother Canada underwear."
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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)   
 To:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)     
43022.11 In reply to 43022.10 
Only 40 of the proposed 85 storeys. Half-cocked comes to mind.

He May Be Your Dog But He's Wearing My Collar

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 From:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)      
43022.12 In reply to 43022.11 
The developer was inexperienced. Glad the banks were willing to overlook that!
"What hurts the most, is people think I’m gonna get rich selling Mother Canada underwear."
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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)   
 To:  milko     
43022.13 In reply to 43022.9 
I suppose the thing is, there's a limit to what you can do with a terraced property. I mean, extension, two storey extension, roof extension. And then you get into issues with planning consent. But there's no limit to the problems that a yippee-yi-yo posse of builders can cause.

Next door, a more down-to-earth pair of builders have become regulars. They've already done more in a week than Patrick managed in two months. I was very impressed yesterday. Two of them manouevered a huge new roof steel in through a tiny hole they'd cut in the wall with no more than well-placed straps. By evening the hole was patched. The neighbour says it's all in place and they've already started on new wooden joists.

He May Be Your Dog But He's Wearing My Collar

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 From:  Gobfounded (YVE)  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)      
43022.14 In reply to 43022.13 
You can build a bungalow, sorry a home gym, in the back garden of a terrace!

Our issues with neighbour's building work have been mild, compared with yours. When we moved in here, just over 6 years ago - also a 1930s semi detached chalet bungalow, which we love because we have 3 small doubles upstairs and downstairs is massive - there was an old guy with what I suspect was parkinson's next door. He was past being lucid. After he died, the house eventually sold to the same wannabe landlord who also bought 2 other nearby houses. He's a cheapskate, taking advantage of eye watering rents here, near the hospital and university, so thankfully wasn't so ambitious with his plans. He employed some seasoned bodgers to tweak it and literally paint over the mould, though.

The first we knew of them was a day of guys bringing the crap out of the garden across the road and dumping it in the front garden next door. Oh, you should expect some mess with building work, they said to Wib. Wib is too nice because the pile got bigger and bigger and they only got someone to take away what they couldn't hide in or behind the shed when they needed room for an estate agent to take pics.

They paid someone to spend a day bagging up all the red gravel in the front garden, after that, so they could replace it with grey gravel. Within a month you couldn't see it for the weeds they hadn't touched.

They badly painted the ugly grey pebbledash. To do that, they removed the guttering and didn't put it back at all for weeks and then eventually put it back badly. The result was all that heavy rain from those storms at the end of last summer pissed all over our front wall with the inevitable consequences.

Some mugs did move in, back in October. Our front doors are at opposite sides of a 50' wide building so they have managed to avoid us in all that time.

As well as a leaky roof (not fixed by the bodgers even though the bedroom ceilings were badly water stained in the estate agent pics) they had obviously complained about the crap in the shed because a hippo bag appeared in the front garden at the start of this year. They're no better than the landlord and his bodgers because they seemed to be using it instead of the wheel bins for their own rubbish like shoe boxes, yoghurt pots, bags of carrots, the packaging off the flat pack they assembled at midnight, one Sunday....

Wib has stopped being too nice and complained to the council about that mess, as it was blowing into our garden and we already have too many rats around here, so that finally went last week. The poor guy had to use his wheelie bin, like the rest of us.
:¬]
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 From:  milko  
 To:  milko     
43022.15 In reply to 43022.9 
Worked out that we have new neighbours! Fairly sure that some foxes have moved in. Good luck to ‘em.
milko
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