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Laurel and Hardy, Keystone cops, Benny Hill and Hungarian builders

Laurel and Hardy, Keystone cops, Benny Hill and Hungarian builders

Old Aug 26th 2014, 9:19 pm
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Default Laurel and Hardy, Keystone cops, Benny Hill and Hungarian builders

I have finally decided that my ugly patio of huge uneven cracked concrete slabs has to go to make way for something nicer.
BIG Mistake!
First builder comes and looks and gives a very low quote to remove the slabs and lay new blocks, but I have to go to buy the tiles and arrange transport, ok.
He arrived Monday morning as promised with 3 young lads, one sledge hammer and two crow bars! well the slabs are one and a half metres square and 40 cms (15 inches) thick, after 4 hours they had managed to lift and smash up just one of them, so I gave him 5000 fts and told him to go away and never return!
Builder number two, promises that he has the right equipment to do the job, costs a bit more and he is not free for another week, he duly turned up with a huge tractor with forks on the front, all 110 square metres were lifted up and taken away on 2 trucks, all within 4 hours, so now I am feeling happier. then in comes a load of gravel and they start levelling and preparing to lay the blocks, but as they are walking on the gravel it is bouncing like a trampoline!
So another halt and discussion,
The soil is unstable, it is in strips of clay and sand alternating side by side, the sand is firm but the clay is like walking on half inflated balloons, so the gravel has to come up and the soil taken out, BUT this is not a job my builder can do, so I have to find another contractor to dig out and take away the soil, he is asking me how deep, how the **** would I know! so have to stop work and call the builder, except he doesn't actually know either, finally it is decided to take out half a metre and refill with course hardcore, so work starts, now if you had just be contracted to remove a load of very unstable soil would you really drive a truck on to it to load? well they did and of course it sank almost out of sight, so another delay while they arrange a large 4 wheel drive tractor to pull it out, which of course damaged the fuel and air tanks which were sitting firmly on the ground, more delays, a replacement truck arrives, size of an overgrown transit, which can only carry one and a half scoops from the digger at a time, so 3 minutes to load and 20 minutes waiting for him to tip and return.
Final the job is done now for the hardcore, NO they only take soil away they don't do hardcore, call the builder, no he doesn't do it either, so call another contractor, yes he can lay it but he doesn't supply it! I have to go and buy it and arrange delivery, sounds simple but trying to get it delivered and dumped in the road and making sure contractor is there at the time to shift it is a nightmare in the making.
So finally after 2 weeks the site is ready for the builder to lay the blocks, except that I want a drain channel fitted down the centre, he doesn't do drains! so yet another contractor is needed to come and fit a few plastic drain channels.

So for all you budding DIY renovators out there who are struggling to do all the work yourself, be thankful, BE VERY THANKFUL that you are not involved with Hungarian builders!
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Old Aug 26th 2014, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Laurel and Hardy, Keystone cops, Benny Hill and Hungarian builders

I don't know which is worse, those who say they can do it all and then cannot? Or those who can only do one part of a job. I used to project manage jobs and it amazes me how many cannot read a bid document and bid a project and win the job and then cannot complete the job. Hungarian contractors have plenty of company with UK contractors.
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Old Aug 27th 2014, 10:35 am
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Default Re: Laurel and Hardy, Keystone cops, Benny Hill and Hungarian builders

Originally Posted by duztee
So for all you budding DIY renovators out there who are struggling to do all the work yourself, be thankful, BE VERY THANKFUL that you are not involved with Hungarian builders!
Sorry to hear that Duztee, I could see the smoke coming out your ears as I read it! Now.... imagine dealing with that on a daily basis and having to be answerable to clients - it's tough going
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Old Aug 27th 2014, 10:43 am
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Default Re: Laurel and Hardy, Keystone cops, Benny Hill and Hungarian builders

I think I would have just put something on top of them if the slabs were that thick! My verandah floor is just poured concrete but I would probably have tiled it eventually. There is certainly no shortage of cowboy builders though, I had a couple here who put down a concrete floor in my barn....
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Old Aug 27th 2014, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: Laurel and Hardy, Keystone cops, Benny Hill and Hungarian builders

Oh dear :/ sounds like hell. You now have me worried!
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Old Aug 28th 2014, 11:17 am
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Default Re: Laurel and Hardy, Keystone cops, Benny Hill and Hungarian builders

Have a couple of shots of Palinka and then you'll feel a bit better!
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