13 January 2009

Milk and thirteen sugars #7

This morning at about 10.50am, one of our three builders knocked on the front door to inform us that, at last, their work was done.

Their last task had been to rebuild the bordering wall which they had part-dismantled for access reasons four months ago on their first day with us.

Since then they have constructed an immaculate two-storey extension to the house, comprising of a new bedroom with en suite bathroom, a study, a dining area, a downstairs khazi and a double-angled hallway. They have also sorted out the drainage system for it, re-laid the back patio and put down a brand new driveway at the back and garden paving at the front.

What has been most impressive, beyond the extension's quality, has been their work ethic and attention to detail. Each morning, come rain, sleet or shine, they have been setting to work at 8am sharp, breaking for a brew at 10.30am and lunch at 1pm, before clocking off at 4pm. After every day, they tidied up their tools and materials and stored them away from prying neighbourly eyes. Their cleanliness as well as their ability has been their benchmark and numerous neighbours (especially the ones with skewiff extensions...) have commented, impressed and envious, on this trait. That workplace instruction to leave places exactly as you found them is one they follow to the letter.

The titles of these blog entries have been largely irrelevant too. I based them on the Viz one-off character Cowboy Builder, but these guys forever refused our offers of a refreshing brew, preferring instead to consume their own in their break time.

They've been worth every penny we've paid them.

Inside the extension, the wiring and most of the plumbing is long done, and the living room, en suite bathroom, study and ground floor bog are totally finished. My parents are on decorating duty now for the hallway, landing and dining area, and the new kitchen is being fitted by the end of this week. Slowly but surely, we are getting our house back and the main emotion I feel is one of relief that a) it's nearly over (the upheaval has been immense); and b) it looks absolutely ace.

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