Bathroom Blues.

Hello everyone! I hope that life is treating you well, as we start the cound-down to Christmas with the first Sunday in Advent.

I'm afraid I had a bit of a meltdown today. The bathroom renovation is now heading into its sixth week, and considering our builder-bloke said, just before the works began,
je confirme bien la date du vendredi 21 octobre c'est le plombier et √©lectricien qui vont commencer et moi je commence le 24 octobre pour environs une semaine. "  ( I confirm that the plumber & electrician will start on 21st October, and I will start on 24th October for about a week)
I think we have been more than patient! 

There are so many things wrong, or badly done, that we despair of having it ever looking good!  He has not tiled right up to the ceiling - we admit that this might be a bit tricky with the beams, but why weren't we told? Also he's left great gobs of cement at the top of the tiling:
and if he's not finishing off to the ceiling, shouldn't he at least paint that part?
Look at this delicious piece of finishing off around the beam (Yes, that is more gobbets of grouting on the beam):
Another slightly bizarre thing is the way he didn't cut one of the tiles, to the correct height (granted the ceiling slopes, so it isn't horizontal) leaving it like this:

It's standing slightly proud of the others and, as you can easily see, not at the same height. It's like he just couldn't be arsed to cut the tile to match the others.

We are pretty sure that he forgot the fact that we'd asked him to box in the pipes, as when I asked it about it, there was a rather telling pause before he answered. And so how he's now going to do this we're not sure, as he has tiled right up to the pipes themselves - so how is he going to fix the box?:

And, with a charge of 222€ for the boxing in, he has the cheek to suggest that in fact we will be expected to paint it! (even when we'd asked him to tile it!) The best bit about the whole thing is the painting of the wall, and that's Mr FD's handiwork, because we hadn't asked the workman to do it (kind of imagining it was included in the "renovation of a bathroom") it wasn't "on the devis" so he wasn't going to be doing it, thank you very much! 

I see this guy every week at dance group, and although, as Mr FD reminds me, we are the consumers and we're paying him a pretty hefty fee to do the work, I feel embarrassed that we're not happy with it.

This morning, waking up again with a feeling of despair and dread about another week trolling down to our friends' home to shower every morning, I started crying and shouting at Mr FD (not that he is to blame!) I feel it's partly my fault because I suggested we used this guy as he was a student of mine, & I thought we'd get good service from him. How bogging wrong I was! I am worried that - if he doesn't put stuff right - Mr FD might want to pursue him through the small claims court, which would be a hassle in French. And it would mean I'd have to give up dance group, because I couldn't face him after that! (Yes, I'm already looking way into the future and panicking about what ifs...) (My speciality!) 

We have written a long, non-accusatory email, explaining what we are unhappy with, including photos - and had the French checked! It's hard because we rarely see him as we go off to work at 7.15, and he arrives (two days a week, if we're lucky!) at about 9.00, and he's never here when we get back at 5.45. So we've been communicating (not often) through emails, which isn't ideal. We hope to be able to settle this amicably, either by phone, or face-to-face, if he'll come over in the evening, but who knows.

I know that this is really a first-world problem - there are no bathrooms for so many people in the world - but it really is starting to depress me. I'm no longer excited about the thought of a new bathroom, but wishing we'd never started the project. It was fine the way it was!



  1. Oh my goodness. It sounds like he doesn't know how to do this and didn't want to admit it. We've had that happen with a handy man we hired once. He was overconfident and under-skilled. Argh. I'm so sorry that it's turning into such a nightmare, Mouse!

  2. Oh no. This is terrible. Why are there SO MANY ISSUES with work people like this. I never seem to hear of things being done right and on time. First world problems or not, they are still VERY hassling, upsetting and potentially might have long term impact on you- e.g. having to give up the dance group etc. I am so sorry.xx

  3. Oh no, what a rubbish thing to happen. Could you sack him and get someone else in to finish the job properly? I am both amused and saddened by your 'yuck' tag.

  4. Oh Mrs FD (Sorry I don't know your name). I am so sorry to read this. No wonder you are in tears.
    Don't you dare give up the dance group! He's the one in the wrong.
    Hold your head up high and stand your ground.
    I hope and pray you get this sorted before Christmas. Not a good start to Advent.
    Gentle hugs and prayers for you and Mr FD xx

  5. Oh, that's awful! Think I'd have to say something to him face to face, it's your house, AND you're paying him good money! If you haven't paid him in full, I'd be tempted to get someone else in, with references, and just be honest with him, that he has done a rubbish job...good luck, and hope it gets finished before Christmas! xx :)


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