Wednesday, 13 November 2019


Roofer up a ladder above pub sign "Booze+steps+falling over does not = legal action. Mind Your Step
Clf 1 starting work, November 2019
Well, what do you know, the day after I wrote the last post about the roofing situation, Clf phoned to say that as long as it didn't rain he could come and do the job the very next day, which was a Friday. And he actually turned up when he said he would, accompanied by Clf 2. Their distinguishing characteristic turned out to be that between them they consumed more tea and coffee than any tradesmen I've hosted so far, and they provided not only advice about additional work that I might consider, but also useful 'feedback' about previous tradesmen.

First of all we had to effect an entrance into the pub garden, which was locked. I managed to get hold of the cleaner and she let us in, so first obstacle surmounted. During this exercise I was appraised of much that I had missed in the pub situation seeing as how I don't really drink there any more. The man that I thought was the landlord (and is still on the Warwick District Council website as licensee) left quite some time ago, and also departed was the manager who had promised me a free meal after the chef refused to serve me and three friends in September (it's a long story - the pub has been short of a chef for some time and was using agency staff, and this one was a dud). I was given two other names of the people who were now in charge, so I kept dropping in to try and talk to one of them but neither appeared, although the previous landlord was in there having a drink.

Anyway, Clfs 1 and 2 proceeded to start taking off the tiles, revealing the full horror of the situation. Throughout the morning with each cup of tea or coffee (and there were many) I was treated to all sorts of technical details of the roofing business followed by how my house demonstrated the opposite of what ought to be there. The skylight windows (already installed when I bought the house), the replacement membrane installed by Elf five years ago* and the roof itself were all wrong and I was shown many and various faults demonstrating the incompetency of the historical tradesmen. I was even required to climb their ladder at one point so I could see the pooled water, the incorrectly installed skylight, the wrongly overlapping tiles and the three-quarter inch steel nails ("STEEL NAILS!!!"). I demonstrated as much surprise and dismay as I thought were appropriate, while asking "But can you fix it?" and expressed grateful thanks when they said they could.

They managed to get half the job done that day and returned the following day (Saturday) to finish, but unfortunately it was frosty and too slippery for their ladders on the wooden decking, plus the tiles would be stuck to each other with the ice, and it was scheduled to rain (which it duly did). That day I managed to catch one of the named pub managers to negotiate an early entry to the garden for the next day, and while denying that he was in any way in charge he did let me have a key for the next morning. I shall have to make further enquiries about who is really running the show.

So the Clfs came back on Sunday and had even more trouble with the second (incorrectly installed) skylight, but managed to finish the job in a bit more than half a day. Clf was going to stick to his original estimate but I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I hadn't given him a bit more. Plus, I want him to come back to replace the skylights, and Clf 2 is a plasterer, bricklayer and builder so I may have found a replacement for Olf. And the roof, even to my untrained eye, looks lovely now.

* In my report at the time I imagined that Elf might become my handyman and slave, but in fact I didn't much like working with him and this prestigious role went to the sainted Ilf, who is much less annoying and generally useful but is rubbish at wallpapering (not that he would admit it). With the hindsight provided by this job it is probably a good thing that I didn't persist with Elf.

Clfs 1 and 2

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