Thought we would add a word of warning to anyone who proposes to buy a house in NZ with a view to renovating it, using local tradesmen.

Some of you will recall the problem we had getting double-glazed windows;well we found a supplier, but had to get a builder to install them. This went extremely well and having given the builder plenty of warning of when the windows were being delivered, he turned up the following day and fitted them and they look great.

That is the good news, now for the warning. Some weeks ago we had a plumbing firm out to look at fitting a new bathroom suite, a new wc in the second bathroom and fitting a new washing tub in the laundry. On the plumbers advice we ordered everything we needed from a bathroom supplier in Hamilton and we where told when it would be delivered.

We informed the plumber, who asked us when was the builder going to remove the existing bath !!?? We said we thought he would do that, but his response was that he only connected the pipework to the fittings. Anyway he pencilled in this week to do the work. On Saturday, yes Saturday, the builder turned up, took the bath out and opened up the wall to take the water pipes for the "over the bath shower" we want fitted.

Yesterday (Monday) we phoned the plumbers to say the bath was out and when were they coming this week to fit the kitchen. THe man we spoke to had no record of the job, but later phoned to say they would be here today (Tuesday). We jumped for joy and opened a bottle of wine !!

Well today the plumbers turned up, fitted the pipework for the bath, shower and vanity unit and fitted the wc in the bathroom. They had nothing on the work ticket for the other wc or the washing tub. After the pipe work was fitted we were told our builder would have to come and fit the bath and vanity unit and then they would come back and connect the water supply !!

Of course we phoned the builder to tell him he was required to do his next bit, but he stated he could make it this week and it would be sometime next week. He couldn't confirm exactly when and until he does we can't tell the plumber we need him back and what is the betting they won't be available for several days after that!!

Thankfully we have a second wc, washbasin and shower, but how would we have coped if we hadn't. We know "when in Rome...", but you would think a plumber could take out and put in a bath and change a wash basin for a vanity unit.

We have a new kitchen coming on 7th September and we need to have an electrician and plumber on site. The kitchen should only take a day. We will believe it when we see it.

Pam & Dave