So we have a small downstairs toilet that was decorated when we first moved in back in 2004 but is now a bit tired looking so we decide to get it re-done.
To save a few bob, I arrange for a handyman guy who we know to come and do the stuff I can't do very well (plastering the walls and laying the floor tiles and painting nicely - i.e. everything that requires either patience or skill
) and I do the stripping out of the old sink and toilet, wallpaper and wall tiles off, and will refit the sink and new toilet when he is done.
All goes well - I do the stripping (ooer), he comes in and does the plastering, the tiling and the skirting last week, and then I'm left this weekend to do the simple stuff of hanging the sink, connecting the radiator and putting in the toilet.
The sink and rad are just re-used so they go back on no trouble and the plumbing is easy-peasy.
We treated ourselves to a new bog, however, as 7 year old toilets always look a bit dodgy and toilets aren't too pricey.
I had toddled off last week to buy a new bog and just went for a cheap and cheerful B&Q "Treviso" that comes all in a box and should slot in.
This morning I have just one job left to do - and that's unpack and slot in this new bog. I tell the wife it will take 1 hour, or 2 if I plod along.
I unpack the box and already get a bit worried that the box looks like it's been opened and resealed
...... check the innards and, sure enough, the plastic bag that holds the cistern innards is open and on a quick check I find that the bolts that hold the cistern to the pan are missing.
I drive down to B&Q and tell the guy on customer service and he goes off and comes back with a new sealed bag of innards (I assume he ripped open an existing box - so good luck to the next buyer!!) and I go back home with a new bag of innards.
I start to construct the toilet. All going along ok til I look at the "doughnut" rubber seal that goes between the cistern and the pan. It's about as thick as a washer
. Now I've done a few toilets in my time so I know that these leak like a sieve if they aren't big and squishy so you can really get a good seal between the two parts. I chuck the rubbish new one and retrieve the old one off the old bog. Even at 7 years old it's more squishy and substantial than the new piece of rubbish that comes with the new bog.
I soldier on.
Get it all fitted together, connect the water feed, open the valve to fill it, and the water comes into the cistern, fills up to the float bowl.... and carries on inexorably to the top of the cistern. I flush the bog, let it re-fill and again it doesnt stop once it's reached the limit
. I strip down the unit, check the valve, check the float bowl - it's basically knackered. Never going to work, no seal on the incoming water so it just fills and fills and fills.
Down to B&Q again, tell the guy that it's knackered, he goes off and brings a new one (good luck again to the next buyer!) and after a few choice words about the "quality" of this stuff I go home.
New one works fine so all done by 3pm. A mere 5 hours start to finish due to 2 trips to B&Q and an hour trying to fix a broken brand new part.
I know it's only 150 quid for the toilet, and I know that "good" ones are probably 250-300, but why bother making something so shoddy that out of the box it doesn't work.
I checked the stack of boxes when I went back the second time and out of 15 or so on the racks, every single one was resealed with clear tape because I assume just about everyone gets canibalized for the sub-set of decent parts that exists across the lot of them.
What a waste of everyones time and money (not least the B&Q staff).
I really, really HATE everything about DIY..... Should have just given the handyman another few hundred quid and got him to do the lot! but it's even more of a pain when the basic stuff you buy is just so cr@ppily put together and checked at manufacture.....