Monday, March 26, 2007

A little plumbing job

When we moved into this house, last July, the front bedroom of the guest apartment downstairs had been used as a hairdressing salon. We had to knock a hole through to the living room and have a door fitted, and we hoped to have a plumber come and sort out some pipes which were still poking through the floor - as described in full in this post.

We didn't get the room ready for our first guests, a few weeks after we had moved in, so they slept in the other bedroom. For the rest of the summer, the front bedroom continued to look roughly like this (the plumbing pipes are near the lower left-hand corner of the picture):

When some friends asked if they could come and stay in October, we quickly tidied and organised the room, painted the walls, made and put up curtains, and turned it into a double bedroom. The only problem was those pipes, still waving around - in a similar place on this photo:

And there they remained, for the rest of the Autumn, and the winter, and were still there when our first guests of 2007 came in February. But we were determined to get them removed before our next visitors, due to arrive just before Easter.

Unfortunately, the plumber who said he might be able to do it never reappeared.

But then Richard decided it wasn't too hard a job, so he might as well do it himself.

Then we heard that some more people - who stayed here for ten days or so during November - want to come back for a few days this week. They'll leave a couple of days before our next visitors, but we thought it might be a good idea to sort out the pipes this last weekend.

So Richard dug up the tiles, exposed the pipework, and said that the plumbing job was indeed very simple. It was the tile-digging that took the time and effort. And when he'd got as far as he could on Saturday, it actually looked considerably worse than it had with the waving pipes:

Thankfully the previous owners left behind some unused tiles and after sorting through the various shapes and patterns we finally found the right shape and size to fit the hole. This morning Richard managed to buy the bit of pipe he needed, and also some small bags of ready-mixed cement to hold them in place. The only problem was getting one of the tiles cut, since the hole was actually one-and-a-half tiles in size. We have a tile cutter, but it's not big enough for 45cm tiles. He went to EOL, our local small DIY store, and they didn't have a big enough tile-cutter either. But they did know a place in Aradippou about ten minutes' drive away who could do it... and who, it turns out, didn't charge to do just one tile either. As is typical in Cyprus.

So it wasn't a quick job, but was finally finished shortly before lunch today:

Well, almost finished. We still need to put a little grouting at the edge of the tiles. But that's not urgent.


Kila said...

Looks good! You must be thrilled to have it done.

tony mactaggart said...

hey guys. my name is tony im a plumber in london and i'm looking to move to larnaka next year.
im a bit worried about finding work. is their a shortage in plumbers their then?

Sue said...

Hi Tony,

No, there's not exactly a shortage of plumbers, it's just that most of them speak Greek only (little or no English) and it's hard to find one, unless you know someone who knows one.

you might find work amongst ex-pats, just note that plumbers are paid almost nothing here... for instance we had one come to our old house to fix a problem with a tap ... he had to go off and get a new part, and was at the house for about an hour in all. I thought it would cost a fortune... he had a little English, but hadn't given me a quote or anything.

In the end, he charged me something like £6, apologising that it was so expensive, and explaining that the part had cost £3...