Bathroom Renovation Experience - Part 2 (Buying my First Home)

I decided to split the bathroom renovation into 2 parts, so this week is all about the bathroom! Once I'd decided on the plan, it was down to my builders to execute it. I had originally booked a different company, but unfortunately due to timescales of completion, they couldn't fit it in before I moved in, which is what I really wanted. One of my now ex-colleagues recommended her husband's company. He is a business owner with a friend, him being the electrician and his partner as the main builder. I waited to confirm dates for completion until they were available because I wanted the bathroom work to be done first, ideally starting as soon as I got the keys. It was all planned out perfectly and then two weeks before, they messaged to say the work would be delayed a week due to annual leave. 

I was so frustrated and annoyed, because I would have delayed the move by a couple of weeks which the sellers wanted to do, and I would have had less overlap between this house and my rental contract. Looking back the communication was poor from the start. It was a very slow and long process to discuss items to be ordered and I asked repeatedly for a cost breakdown because I felt I was being massively overcharged. 

The work started two weeks after I got the keys and the first couple of day went really fast. They completely stripped down the room to the floorboard and plaster and then quickly got the bath into place. They also replaced the iron waste pipe I had already with a plastic waste pipe, combining my boiler plumbing and leaving space for my future downstairs toilet to be combined into. When empty, it felt so spacious, I was really shocked. I ended up going for a L shaped 1650mm bath from Plumbworld, due to wanting a little more space around the toilet, but I kind of wish that I'd gone for 1700mm, so there was no space between. I ordered this myself and it came with a shower screen included in the package, but it's been a bit of a nightmare because I the first came damaged, so they sent out a free replacement which still leaks now so I'll probably have to purchase another in the near future. 

They then started on the tiles, which was probably the most labour intensive part. I ended up ordering the Gandi Perla Matt Porcelain 300x600mm from Easy Bathrooms and I truly love them. I don't think the builders cut them the best because whilst they complained the supplier had cut them poorly, the edges that look messy, are the ones that they have altered. They then fitted the towel rail, sink and toilet before grouting and sealing everything, which became the main issue with the bathroom. 

The grout was great from a distance but when looking closely, there were bits which were over spilling onto the tiles, bits stuck in the grout and lots of bits missing throughout. The sealant was awful. It was excess everywhere, pealing and leaking. It overlapped, over spilling, lifted up. It was just an awful finish. They came back twice to correct it and have ended up putting on grey sealant which they said would fade to a very light grey but it hasn't and I really don't like it. I'm not going to pay anyone to do it at the moment, but maybe one day. 

I'd asked twice if the towel rail was the correct size to which I was told it defintely was and basically the tone said "don't be a stupid little girl". Well, it was the wrong size and they said that it was that size to heat the room, which I knew and was the whole reason I'd bought underfloor heating. It now means that the sink door opens up and hits it every time, plus so many further issues! They've scratched the bath in multiple places and even swapped my shower from a £200 version, to a £20 Amazon knock off that barely works. 

Honestly, the whole experience was awful. On the last confrontation I ended up getting back up from my cousin, her husband and her father in law, because I felt so unsafe. They'd threatened to take legal action and been very aggressive on the phone, as well as retaining my front door key which I didn't think was appropriate. 

I ended up getting a second plumber in to finish the job to complete sealing around the bath for the fourth time, putting up the LED mirror and he even went out of his way to drill holes for some accessories which was lovely. To finish the job, I got a great painter in to paint the ceiling and door and door frame. As the builders had put grouting in all the wrong places, so it wasn't the easiest job, but he also went above and beyond to fill in all the holes and sand everything down. 

The finished product is defintely not worth what I paid and I'm so disheartened every time I go in. I had to fight for everything, and it still wasn't finished to the correct standard when they left. £7,500 is a lot of money for it not to be perfect. I know it may seem like an exaggeration but when you've got to stare at it constantly, it's really upsetting, especially with scratches all over the bath. Stay tuned for the final reveal