Saturday, April 12, 2008

Loft clearance...

The government are sponsoring a scheme to enable, particularly, the elderly population to insulate their homes better. However, when I was offered a free survey, I was still sceptical, you don't get something for nothing I said to the teenager (well that what she looked like to me) who knocked at the door. I might have been a bit intimidating with my scathing comments, as it seemed she couldn't get away fast enough. Anyway she left me with some information and I agreed someone could call me to discuss a visit. I didn't hear anything and promptly forgot about it.
Then to my surprise, a couple of weeks later, I got a call and booked a visit. The guy came on Thursday and although I could tell you this guy was what I call a smarmy salesman with his 'oh, this is terrible, I've never seen anything like this' I'll get to the crunch- because two member of the household are over 70 we get the work done absolutely free! Yes you did hear correctly I said FREE!! Then I thought about it and of course it's coming from taxes that I have paid over the years so it's not exactly free but good as!!!
All this guy's patter about the state of the current insulation was to no avail because as I pointed out, it doesn't matter, if it needs doing then that's what has to happen and it won't cost us a penny. He was clearly trying to paint a very bad picture to make me (had I been paying) feel compelled to have the work done, clearly what he does to those who do not get a full grant. The downside is the loft has to be completely cleared and they do not do this unless we pay some exorbitant fee. So I declined and said we would do it ourselves.
The conversation went something like this:

him "I can't do a proper survey with everything in the loft why don't you contact me again when it is clear". (me thinks "he is trying to wriggle out of this agreement, after all we would not be paying!)

me "how long before the work could be done"

him "Six week"

me "Six weeks, why that's plenty of time to clear everything out"

him "maybe you would like to discuss it with your husband and I will need the National Insurance number of one of the people who are over 70"

me interrupting him "my husband works better to a deadline~ and six weeks gives us plenty of time and don't worry about the NI number if I can't find it I can always ring my husband and get it (which I did in fact have to do)"

him (I felt a little reluctantly) "oh alright let's have another look and maybe I can manage to measure up for materials"

me "that sounds great" (smiling sweetly)

I was not impressed with the way he measured for material from the dimensions of the rooms below the loft. Sometimes the measure was hanging and in places he was going to ignore small areas of space ~ but I soon put him right!! I don't know about you but I get really mad when men assume woman know nothing (even when it's true~ which isn't often!)

Our kitchen has a separate loft area and that also needs to have the insulation replaced. Now one thing he did point out was that the original insulation had not been laid correctly between the joists. Now this was done when we first moved into the house nearly 22 years ago (prior to this no insulation and no dividing wall to the house next door!), and has not been effective for all that time~ no wonder our kitchen is always freezing!
The flat on the back of the house is fine as Embee replaced that roof insulation about four years ago, and is apparently the correct thickness.

With the six week deadline in we started the clearance~ below is one of the pictures I took from the top of the loft ladder. Most of the things you see in this picture belong to oldest daughter.
Below is the first carload we took to the rubbish dump!
Below is a suitcase belonging to Sam.........why am I showing this?
Well I want Sam to tell me if she can remember what interesting items are in this case and anyone else who fancies can also have a guess . I will show a picture of the contents tomorrow or maybe as part of my fun Monday post!!!

Beccy we haven't come to any of your things yet~ I know your teapots are up here somewhere!

2007: British is Best Traditional English meal

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At 12/4/08 16:36, Anonymous Grannymar said...

Cuddly toy!

There are advantages to being over 70! Alas I still have a way to go.

At 12/4/08 18:56, Blogger katy said...

when the loft has its new insulation down there will be no junk to put back in it I bet!
whats in the case.......well i would say clothes that Sam was hoping to come back in fashion, but that is too obvious!

At 12/4/08 20:29, Blogger john.g. said...

Your kitchen has its' own loft space? WOW!! It must be huge!

At 12/4/08 20:52, Blogger ChrisB said...

grannymar I too have a few years to go it's the others in the house who have given us this freebie!

katy sorry no clothes!

john no the kitchen just happens to on the back of the house we think it was originally a sort of outhouse or scullery and it is a small loft area with a little trap in the ceiling to gain entrance. Not sure embee will be able to get in there so we are trying to work out how to clear the old insulation. Probably we'll use a rake!

At 12/4/08 21:39, Blogger Willowtree said...

You are just a little old lady, how dare you criticise the nice smarmy salesman! Do you have any idea how much training is involved in order to produce just the right amount of condescension and incompetence?

I was thinking about the Gov's motives, and I think I may have it (given they couldn't give a rat's arse if you froze to death). If you are the same as us, you'd get a pensioner discount on the electricity and gas, so if you were properly insulated, that discount would be less.

At 12/4/08 22:42, Blogger ChrisB said...

WT hey a little less of the old...good thinking on the motives but we actually don't get discount on fuel wish we did; however every pensioner household gets £200 a year towards heating bills. Over 80's get more. But here is the crunch~ to give you some idea we had half a tank of oil in Dec. which cost nearly £500 and a full tank last week £981 (oil is almost 50p a litre) and on top of this we have electricity bills around £700 a year. We do not even heat the whole house! Pensions are crap in this country and this is why Embee (at 70+) is still working ~ oh and to pay vet bills!!

At 12/4/08 22:46, Blogger Sam said...

You know - I remember that case but am not sure what is in it. I can't remember seeing it the last time I was up there. I am wondering if it has some toy - like movie toys maybe?

Is the whole of my past life about to be blogged I woder?

You know I have been hard at work tidying out the junk from our 'loft' too (mezzanine) so next time you stay it will be a lot tidier.

I can't do it this particular weekend because it is way too hot and all I can do is flake out.

At 12/4/08 22:54, Blogger ChrisB said...

sam I would say getting warm on a couple of the items~ hint on some of the other things~sport!

At 12/4/08 22:55, Blogger ChrisB said...

Sam if you really don't want me to publish a picture email me and I will sent you a private photo!

At 12/4/08 22:59, Blogger Sam said...

i dont mind

At 13/4/08 02:31, Blogger Sandy said...

Barbie dolls? Stuffed animals? or, judging from the last comments, Star Wars memorabilia?????

Have fun with all of the cleaning and reminiscing.

At 13/4/08 05:20, Blogger Alison said...

how wonderful to have it all cleaned out...even though it is a lot of work, you will feel great when it is done and insulated.

At 13/4/08 08:40, Blogger Steffi said...

I agree with Alison´s wonderful to have it all cleaned out!

What is in the suitcase? I guess my toys from your children?Because my parents have still some toys from me and my sister on their loft too.

At 13/4/08 09:47, Anonymous tiger lamb girl said...

We took advantage of that offer for free (or reduced because of a grant) insulation last Spring. We ended up getting it free while my husband was still looking for a job. When they did the work - it was over within an hour! I couldn't believe it!

Have fun clearing the loft;).

At 13/4/08 09:48, Anonymous tiger lamb girl said...

And hey - the discount amount has risen from 200 to 250 for this coming year's discount;). It was announced with all the tax hike changes recently.

At 13/4/08 16:12, Blogger kitten said...

Gosh! I need to go through and throw alot of my stuff out. Good luck!

At 13/4/08 16:53, Blogger Grand Life said...

Thank you for sharing pictures of your loft. I'll match my garage and two rooms in basement and a storage unit 3 miles away. Hubby has promised he won't leave me with this mess to get rid of (except there is some really good stuff there). Love your post. I'll be visiting again soon.

At 13/4/08 22:16, Blogger Pamela said...

smarmy. I love that word.
Did he have hair growing out of his nose and ears.
The last smarmy guy I had a conversation did. I had to keep looking away.

At 13/4/08 23:48, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

So you store things for the kidlets too, eh?

At 15/4/08 00:18, Blogger lisa marie said...

Is that a crib there? I hate having to clean storage areas but have fun. :)


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