Builders - they are not all Irish

Shame to tell, I have never had an Irish builder, but the vagaries of the building profession are not just confined to the Irish. For the hotel keeper, probably the most difficult thing about dealing with builders is getting them to turn up to do the work.

In Cornwall, a builder saying "I'll come dreckly" strikes fear into ones heart. Builders live in a world in which "Next week" means "next month", "this week" means "perhaps next week", "Friday" means the "following Wednesday" and "tomorrow" means "sometime this week, if you are lucky"

It is a funny business, in which a plumber keeps himself below the Vat threshold by knocking off for the month of February and playing golf. Builders start a job, only to disappear the next day to finish the job they abandoned to start your job. And in which the materials that you order either never turn up, are out of stock, or it is the colour/size/specification that actually turns up. Wrong deliveries of course then have the knock on effect of either the builder going off to the builders merchant for the rest of the day to get the right widget, or else abandoning your job altogether until the right widget arrives.

Last year we upgraded a bathroom, and among other things installed a new bath. The bath was delivered with the wrong legs - they just did not fit. The room had to be finished for Christmas as guests were booked to arrive. However a whole house of cards came into play.   The carpet fitter could not be summoned until the bath was installed and the bath panel in place. The carpenter could not install the bath panel until the bath and tiles were installed. The tiler could not tile until the bath was there. The plumber could not put the bath in until the correct legs came.

It took the bath suppliers two goes to get the correct legs to us, and one could not get the next tradesman in until the last one had actually turned up and done his job. Each promised to turn up "dreckly", and each arrived in his own good time.

Of course one sees it all, sometimes I think that I must be the unluckiest man in Britain, other times I realise it happens to everyone. There was the carpet that was cut the wrong way, the new fire alarm system that was installed with a whole bedroom wing full of bells not working, the fire doors that were not fire-proof, the electrical socket installed beside water taps, the three made to measure windows that were 10 cms out all the way round, the waste water pipes that flowed up hill, the central heating system that had its top radiator 30 feet up but with a pump that would only drive the water 10 feet up, curtain rails that would not support curtains - yes, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong

So, if there is a building problem, we call the builder, who tells us he will be round "dreckly"


                And if you want to stay in a nice hotel by the sea in Cornwall, Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall

                                                                                                       Corisande Manor Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall

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