Problems, problems, problems!
This story starts back when the extension of the house was built. The only place to install the water tank was on a flat roof. This wasn’t a problem as my father built a rather neat casing around the tank to keep it dry and because there was a large gap in the roof under the tank to take all the pipes so being water tight was sort of important.
Everything was fine for many years. However, about fifteen years ago the casing began to develop problems as my father had used chipboard for the structure and that got damp and began to degrade. Water started getting into the casing and ultimately into the bathroom below.
I did some temporary repairs and all was grand. For a while.
At one point I mentioned this little problem to a friend. She said her partner [a builder] would have a look. He duly arrived and spent three or four days up on the roof in the middle of a heatwave. He built a fine new casing and felted it and it looked great. Even better he only charged for the materials.
But then I realised he had incorporated a design flaw. It meant that under certain conditions [heavy rain combined with a southerly gale] water could get in. And get in it did. The leak was back. And the casing started to fail again. I didn’t have the guts to mention this to the friend or her partner as they were both proud of the work.
Then last year, the partner who did the work died of a heart attack.
I have decided that the time has come for a new builder to take a look. He reckons the job is right up his street and is calling later in the week to look the job over. But the friend said she’d call later in the week. So what happens if he’s up on the roof rebuilding the casing while she’s downstairs? Have I the heart to tell her her dead partner’s work was faulty? If the two are here at the same time she’s bound to be curious.
Do I tell the builder to stay away when the friend is here? Do I tell the friend not to call when the builder is here? Do I tell the friend I am undoing all her dead partner’s work?
Problems, problems, problems.
Why not tell her the truth? That no-one could have foreseen that the combination of heavy rain and southerly gales would lead to a problem?
The problem is that she idolised him and looks on his works [he did a couple of major jobs here] as a kind of memorial.
My problem is that I’m too soft.
I wish more people had your problem 😉
She can still idolise him – he wasn’t a god though, so had no power over southerly gales and rain. That doesn’t mean he didn’t do a good job – it only means there are things humans have no power, neither to foresee nor to influence.
Apart from that: You can simply tell one of the two that the timing has to be changed, no?
Knowing this country, the bloke who said he’d fix my tank probably won’t turn up anyway!
I agree with Claudia, everything fails sooner or later, and in some projects, there is rarely a foolproof design when weather is involved.
Tell her that builder No 2 has a customer with a similar problem, so he’s on your roof getting tips on how to do the job properly for his other customer.
Hah! Crafty. It wouldn’t explain all the building noises though?
It was so well-built that he’s having to dismantle it just to discover how the work of genius was assembled.
He is building a protective shelter over the old one in order to preserve it for posterity. Get his co-operation with this ruse.
A few years ago I watched, beside the railway line that I travelled every weekday,
an old whisky bond made of wood being encased in a slightly bigger one made of modern materials. The original bond was huge. Obviously they did this so that the precious contents, which must have been worth millions, would not have to be moved or, worse, exposed to the view of thirsty Scotch aficianados. It is marvellous what you can do with a wee auger. I do not know if they dismantled the old structure once it was enclosed. Maybe it is still in there.
A Sarcophagus as in Chernobyl? I like that idea, but I doubt the roof could support all that concrete.
While being far from expert in building matters I must say that I have never yet experienced a flat roof that did not eventually fail and leak. Put a pitched roof on, that could be described as a ‘protective shelter’ and perhaps you could incorporate an extra or extension – like a covered log store area, walkway or a porch – to explain the new work.
Jayzus do you think I’m made of money? The flat roof is fine as it’s a single sheet of some rubbery stuff that is incredibly hard wearing. The only problems lie where it is perforated – for example, under the water tank where the pipes run through.
Just say the tank is leaking. Not his bit and that someone is fixing that which involves dismantling some of Michelangelo’s work. Oh and mention how upset you are at this work of art being damaged in the process.
Tell her it’s a government initiative to stop smoking, that people must sit outside in an elevated position and that he is fitting out the roof so you and Herself can sit there.
Then we’d all have to go up on the roof for a smoke while she’s here? I don’t think you thought that one through?
When faced with moral dilemmas like these, I find it helpful to imagine I’m watching it being played out as a plot on a soap opera or film, as a person on the outside. What would I be shouting at the television? What can the characters not see that the viewers can, looking in from the outside?
I prefer the ripping the plaster off approach. If she mentions it, just say, ‘Sorry mate, but the casing he built was a dicky as his ticker. Fancy a brew?’