As soon as the kitchen floor was finished we moved back in amongst the dust and chaos to begin the next phase, which was to board over the remaining walls and fit plumbing, gas and an electricity supply, ready for the imminent arrival of the kitchen units from the UK.
The day before the delivery was scheduled the manufacturers phoned to say they realised they had ordered two of the wall units in the wrong size. This would delay the fitting of our kitchen as replacements would have to be ordered, but little did we know that much, much worse was to come.
At last the delivery arrived but when the lorry driver started unloading the pallets containing our beautiful brand new Magnet units I had a feeling that something was wrong and my heart sank.
After everything we have done to the house so far – a new fosse septique, a new drive, a new kitchen floor, new walls, new doorway and, not least of all the choosing, designing and paying for a lovely new Magnet kitchen – you would think that simply getting the units shipped over here would be the easiest part. All they had to do was to secure them on pallets, put them onto a van and drive them here.
Unfortunately whoever loaded the pallets did a thoroughly incompetent job which meant that several of the units arrived broken. Cartons marked “fragile” and “this way up” had been laid on their side with other stuff piled on top of them. Someone had clearly driven the forks of a fork lift into two of the base units, smashing them. Then they rewrapped them in cling film so the damage was not apparent until the whole pallet was unpacked.
We ordered replacements and the shipping company offered to ship them at no further charge but I wouldn’t trust Europa Worldwide to arrange the delivery of anything I ever want to see in one piece again, so we decided to fetch them ourselves, along with the replacements for the wrong sized cabinets. Which unfortunately meant yet another unscheduled and costly twelve hour each way journey across the channel (fourteen hours in fact with a trailer) that we really didn’t want to have to make. I must say that the staff at Magnet handled the whole thing brilliantly and professionally, getting replacements for us quickly and even charging the original price which was a sale price at the time. Such a contrast to Europa Worldwide, whose incompetence and dismissive approach to the whole episode has been unforgiveable.
Our temporary new kitchen. The gaps are where the damaged units should have gone, thanks to the idiot with the fork lift.
We have fitted the items salvaged from the wreckage of the delivery, added some temporary cheap worktops to perch the sink and hob on top of, so that at least we can function for a week or two until we can get the new units fitted. Meanwhile we are claiming for the damage on Europa’s insurance. In my opinion insurance should be against accidents, not negligence or incompetence, which is what caused the damage to our kitchen units. No accident occurred other than being in the hands of some bonehead intent on wrecking our valuable property and then hiding the evidence.
C’est la vie.
Nick is back with a trailer and car full of the replacement units, and is pretty exhausted. But we should be able to get on with building the rest of the kitchen in the next few days and, barring finishing the twiddly bits, should have it complete in another week or so. I sincerely hope so anyway.