straying off the 'DIY' route and back into 'dodgy professionals' territory;
we'd just bought our first flat - one bed and in need of some serious work. Saved up for a new kitchen and made the mistake of getting professionals (company beginning with M, not sure if they're still about) round. The two fitters turned up and got on with things; they were scheduled to finish on the Friday afternoon. I would be coming home and my wife and I were going down to Devon to my parents for the w/e.
I was on the train home looking forward to seeing our new shiny kitchen when got hysterical phone call from my wife. Clouds of smoke coming from the airing cupboard. Luckily the flats still had a live-in janitor who happened to be passing and as I was on the phone he ran in and saved the day.
To cut a long story short (involving professional surveyors etc):
- They'd not replaced the original early 1960's 4 circuit consumer unit (old-school wire job) as they should have done (that only had 3 working circuits it turns out).
- Instead, rather than a new shiny box with enough capacity they'd just jammed the new, range oven, the kitchen plugs and the main plug circuit into one.
- My wife'd turned the hoover on and it'd overloaded but as they'd pretty much bridged the fuse with the thickest wire they could find the whole box had caught fire.
- None of the new plug sockets in the kitchen had been earthed, all four of them were wired incorrectly.
- When drilling out the new plug socket boxes they'd actually gone right through the wall in a couple of places. We only discovered this when we moved the christmas tree in January and noticed some wallpaper that had been glued down / moved a chest of drawers in the bedroom to find a hole through to the kitchen.
Thank god there was no gas in the kitchen for them to mess up. Had we gone away without it overloading with us in the flat the surveyor reckoned it'd have slowly caught fire whilst we were away.
The company were a complete shower afterwards; suddenly their sales pitch line of 'we employee ALL our fitters ourselves' changed to 'they are subcontractors, not our problem'. Needless to say their offer of sending the same chaps back to make good was refused...