The front of the house at our new address is still in need of a lot of work. We’ve replaced “The Door” and done a bit of damage control, but there is still so much more needing to be done. Our handyman did a pretty good job of repairing the brick wall, it’s no longer in any danger of falling on passes by, and the bin men no longer need to wear steel toe-cap boots to empty the wheelies, but after the last installment of the “Plumbing Saga” the steps up to the front door now look a bit like a patchwork blanket.
The drain which is supposed to take away the water from the downpipe attached to the guttering has always been slow to empty. But since the leak under the front steps, the flow has been pretty much non-existent, add to that the flash flood we had in our street at the beginning of 2020 and the recipe doesn’t bode too well for the future so I looked into trying to get it fixed.
The investigation of the problem and the finding of the right workmen to fit within the budget would have been difficult in normal times, but add to that a global pandemic full of social distancing and lockdowns as well as the end of year seasonal official office holidays and getting it sorted has been an achievement in itself.
The day before the drain men arrived I spent an hour or two shovelling stones (well actually scooping stones into a small container and moving them a bit at a time) away from one side of the front garden to to the other. In theory this would save the top layer of stones from dissapearng into the hole which had to be dug … I don’t like to share my house with workmen. They’re not all bad but very few live up to my expected level of perfection. After I’d moved the stones I set about the broken bits of wall with my camera to be able to compare before and after pictures … and then I waited …
As workmen go, the two who turned up weren’t too bad. Covid protocol meant I was to keep my distance, but they weren’t expecting to have access to the house … and I had a pretty good view fron behind the net curtains in the bay window. I greeted them at the front door and explained that I’d moved the stones for them, they seemed quite pleased at not having to do that part. I was a little disappointed to find that they were only here to put in a new drain and pipe, and not to fix the wall where the water had been coming out.
They got to work digging a trench along the route of the old drain while I took to the telephone to find out what would happen about the wall. It would appear that we need to have a report from the drain men who were fixing the cause of the damage to the wall before the wall can be fixed.
While I was peering through the net curtains, Hubby pointed out that I would have a better view from upstairs. There was a better view, and since there was also a bigger distance, I leaned out of the window to check on how things were going.
Covid protocol apparently allowed the drain men to accept a cup of coffee each, but I put the cups down on the path for them to pick up when I’d stepped back. (What a strange world we live in) . The new pipe was fitted and a new drain installed with set up which prevents any stones finding their way into the pipe. The drain men spread my stones back out evenly across the front garden and left everything looking neat and tidy. This time next year I plan to be watching out for daffodils pushing their way up through the stones.
As for the repairs on the wall … tune in next time for the next thrilling installment of the “Plumbing Saga”.
More “Fixings and finishings” on the new house.