Friday, December 04, 2009

Repairs and Renewals

We were very late in getting our accounts to the accountant for tax purposes this year, largely due to husband's drawn-out illness.

I really hate the time of year when we have to do the trial balance for the business. As my friend, who's really more into these matters than I, says they don't call it a TRIAL balance for nothing.

One item that came up was "Repairs and Renewals".

It got me thinking as we've had so many this year in the house.

Son tore a large-ish hole in his pyjamas, "But they are my favourite!" So Mum (ie me) ended up mending (ie repairing) it.

There was one week several items of textile (I can't remember what now) needed either repairs or buttons sewn back on, etc.

I was actually quite proud of myself: instead of chucking these items out, we (ie I) repaired those.

The washing machine went wonky. Do we buy a new one or have it repaired? It turned out that husband has bought insurance cover on its repair. Great! One phonecall was all it took to arrange for someone to come sort it.

Meanwhile we had to re-acquaint ourselves with the workings of a launderette. (Eg. it is useful to have lots of change, and please bring your own soap powder, and a good book.)

Someone came and replaced a part. Sorted. We did not need a new machine after all.

Next up, the dishwasher. It had been making funny noises and we realized that the hot steam that is supposed to escape was not doing so and we opened it each morning to water pouring out of these ventilators. No problem. We learned to place a bowl strategically.

Then we found yukky water at the bottom of the machine. It was not draining properly. Then it would not start.

Do we buy a new washing machine or have it repaired? It turned out that husband has bought insurance cover on its repair. It's the same policy, actually. How very useful.

One phonecall and the visit was scheduled.

They found a cherry stone blocking some tube and something else was clogged up with limescale. Anyway the dishwasher is now sorted.

The conservatory roof was letting rain water in. Ah! Do we install new roof or have it repaired?

More crucially, whom could we get to repair it. Folks are quick to sell you windows and conservatories, but few are inclined to do repairs.

One company actually sent out a person who looked and said he'd send me a quote, but didn't, despite my chasing him up.

It was not a serious leak so do we just put another bowl in place to catch the drips?

Eventually we found one company who were keen to install laminates on our roof. It is a south facing conservatory which is baking hot in the summer and stone cold in winter.

This chap came, brought out his mountaineering gear, climbed onto the roof, took photos and told us we needed to have some bits cleared out. The people who built the conservatory did not do the best possible job and yes, he is happy to have the leaks seen to and put right whilst his men are installing the laminates.


Weeks later, we had a cool conservatory. (It became so cool my clothes would not dry, but that is another problem.)

Some months later, it rained, and it leaked again, somewhere else. Phoned the company who sent someone out. He climbed up on the roof, sussed that something had slipped and needed a filler, sorted it on the spot, and that was that. No charge. (Well, alright, we had already paid for the repairs. But some dodgey businesses won't bother once they've got the cheque.)

Yay! So no new roof required.

If you need the name of this company, drop me a note. Otherwise there are people who provide repairs for white goods and they use a repairman near you. Eg:

We are pleased that we have avoided adding to the landfill. Choosing the repairs route also means we are keeping alive the skills of many more people and small traders in the country.

Many won't find employment MAKING washing machines and dishwashers in this country. But if we at least give them a chance, they can be gainfully employed to repair these machines.

Meanwhile I am looking forward to some repair and renewal come Christmas and New Year.

A butler for Christmas, please. Actually a butler is not only for Christmas. Is it?

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