Bathroom hell! Advice please.

(8 Posts)
Squidgems Mon 26-Sep-16 20:47:00

After many years of putting it off bathroom renovation started today. Bathroom fitter started ripping off tiles and panelling to reveal large crack in brickwork. See pictures. There had been a crack in the grouting of the old tiles that was getting wider but I thought it was down to blown plaster.

I've contacted my insurers and a company is coming round on Wednesday to check for subsidence orif it's a drain problem.

My 1930s terraced house, where the back wall extends about a metre or so from one of my neighbours was checked for subsidence a few years ago but the report was that the foundations were deep enough. A broken pipe leading to a drain below the bathroom was was fixed. The drain itself was repaired a couple of years ago.

The problem is that on closer inspection of the crack it looks like an attempt has been made in the past to fill it in. What will an insuer make of this? Will they say that it is not covered on the insurance?

Also the bathroom fitter thought it was okay to plough ahead and has taken out the bath and basin leaving me with the one and only toilet in the house. He thinks he can go ahead and patch plaster the remaing walls and start tiling.

My tiles and new bath, all.paid for, are due to be delivered tomorrow. Everthing else I've got.

I'm mad at myself for assuming it was blown plaster and not a huge crack that you can literally see daylight through. I'm mad at myself for being too soft and not stopping the bathroom fitter from taking out the bath and basin before the crack has been investigation. Now I'm without a functional bath or basin and could be without one quite a few weeks.

I'm also mad at myself for not delaying the bath and tile delivery when I don't know when they can be fitted and I don't have space for storing them longterm.

I've got a young adult son with Aspergers who has sunk into depression and won't wash but I need to!

Sorry fo the length of this post but in all I'm feeling very upset and feel that I'm jinxed when it comes to making chanes to my house.

Peanut14 Mon 26-Sep-16 20:53:58

I didn't want to read and run, no good advice for you but sympathy, that's awful.

Could he put in the new bath in the meantime while you are waiting for the insurers to come out? i don't think I'd let him continue with work until the insures come.

anotherdayanothersquabble Mon 26-Sep-16 21:05:13

Oh no!!! I have only sympathy, no advice. Your bathroom fitter is rather unhelpful! Don't be mad at yourself. I am all for carrying on hoping for the best singing to myself in my head when things get dicey.
The fittings and tiles can stay in the bathroom for now.

Hopefully the company the insurance company are sending round will be useful. Do you have any builder contacts? (I suspect you would have thought of them if you did so feel free to slap me over the internet)

Is the bathroom fitter a one man band or does he have any colleague / mates who could come and have a look?

Have you got any wine in? I think you are going to need it.

These things do happen to other people, during our bathroom refurb I posted on Facebook the dramas of the first few days as it was mildly amusing but when the work was still going on five weeks later I just prayed people would stop asking. Problems included pipes in the wrong places (took down the roof to reveal a nighmare), shocking wiring, shocking suggested solutions to said shocking wiring, missing crucial components, water running down the stairs while the radiator was being fitted and then three months later water started coming through the ceiling below.

Squidgems Mon 26-Sep-16 21:45:48

Thanks Peanut14 and anotherday for the suggestions. I hadn't thought about getting the bathroom fitter to just connect the bath and/or to store the tiles and things there. I knew it would help me to vent on here and get some good advice.

The only thing is that the new bath is a steel one and I'm worried about chipping it in that environment. The chap who is doing all the work is Polish and doesn't speak much English. Any difficultes in communucation are dealt with through a translator over the phone.

Sorry to hear that things went a bit wrong with your renovation, anotherday. Hope it's lovely now.

I don't know any good builders and have been trying for months to get tradesmen in to refit the kitchen and bathroom. I thought I had someone sorted but they dropped me at last minute for a more lucrative longerterm contract! See I'm really jinxed.

JT05 Tue 27-Sep-16 07:40:27

I'm no expert, but it looks like the crack is in the corner by the ceiling. If there are no cracks on the ground floor it could be something easier to fix, to do with the roof structure. Still of concern, though. Hope it gets sorted soon.

homeaway Tue 27-Sep-16 08:29:13

Can you store the tiles in a shed or garage ? I think you need a structural engineer to come and have a look . Do not panic , it can be sorted but it might take time.

Squidgems Wed 28-Sep-16 19:50:31

Thanks everone for your helpful advice and kind words. You helped to stop me having comlete meltdown.

Today I emailed photos to my insurers. They've judged from the photos alone that it is a wall tie failure or lateral movement which is not covered by buildings insurance. Told me to appoint (meaning pay for) a structural engineer.

Has anybody had experience of this problem and importantly what are the typical costs for the structural engineer and costs of sorting out the issue? I'm worried now that I won't have a proper bathroom for months.

grannycake Fri 30-Sep-16 11:52:05

I have just finished a bathroom renovation. I did have the wall ties replaced at the rear of the property and couldn't start the bathroom until then. Cost approx £700 - am in S Wales. However I didn't need scaffolding which would have put the price up. Older houses mean you often uncover problems when renovation. We also discovered hat there were no lintels in the window or door of the room below the bathroom and the joists all needed replacing. Original budget/timescale for bathroom and new boiler was £10000 and 3 weeks. Ended up taking 9 weeks and cost £15000.

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