It’s 99% complete…6 months on !

Last November after months of trying I placed an order for this very expensive stove for my TV snug…well actually not an expensive stove but the whole package was.                                            I’d contacted dozens of manufacturers & fitters & received just 3 replies …such is life in France.

The company I chose had all the info needed on their website & even the prices clearly displayed.Later removed.                                                                                                                     Whilst they were the most expensive of the 3 companies , their ‘devis’ had more details, the salesman ,although he got my name & address wrong & could not find the house,he seemed efficient……. I should have known this was an omen, but I signed away €4,200

I waited the obligatory 2 months for the big day to arrive but my excitement soon faded.

The men duly arrived [an hour late] & no sooner were they inside my gate than they were shaking their heads saying, ‘ NON , ce pas possible’ !   They informed me that, they could not work from my roof as no one told them it was thatched.                                          On my pointing out there was no need as the lane alongside gave them direct access to the chimney sitting right on the gable wall. Next they maintained they could not work from a ladder……cue many phone calls, a long wait & by late morning the arrival of a cherry picker hoist…

This dear reader is how 6 months continued, what should have been 1 day’s work turned into 6 additional visits,3 stove fittings /corrections,3 spring cleans of the house after 3 men pathering in & out on wet days, weeks of waiting for them to order new parts, months of stress, many emails & as I write, still 1 correction to be made plus a magnetic thermostat to be delivered ….. as per the quote.

I won’t bore you with every detail,just a brief outline.                                                                The company having done no research found that after struggling to ram down the flue, conceded defeat & that the round flue tubing they brought was the wrong size for my chimney………

I spent all those windy the cold days of winter looking at this, a 6 week [2 weeks they said ] delay for new Oval tubing to be delivered.

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Once this new flue arrived,it was fitted from inside the house, no ladder or hoist required.

The company had given no thought to the hearth levels which I’d pointed out from day 1. Their answer to this on the day, was simple [ in their eyes] & without any consultation with me they decided to cut the back legs off the stove.

They went off to lunch, I came in from the garden & saw this.

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I could not believe my eyes…….I could have wept…..

Later I noticed they’d damaged the door step wheeling in the heavy cast iron stove & the junior knocked a painting off the hall wall, smashing the glass.

On his visit to bully me into accepting a 2 legged stove, the boss said they’d just solder the legs back on then ! On me pointing out that was not possible with cast iron, things became hostile.He threatened to take the stove & was shocked when I said ‘ Take it’.

He & his mate struggled to get the stove in the boot of their car, I quietly smiled.

A new stove was ordered.

I spent another 4 weeks [2 weeks they said ]  looking at this with a log stuffed into the pipe….this is an open chimney pipe facing the east gable & open to those easterly gales, plus, they’d drilled a socking great hole to the outside for an air vent.

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In the meantime still no solutions from the company , I offered & personally altered the hearth levels in preparation, to this….

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Now of course the height of the pipe was wrong for the stove to sit with all 4 feet at the same level & so the saga continued with more alterations,yet another team of fitters……the protrusion from the chimney was ugly & had to be amended, it was not at all like the birdcage type normally sees.

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I’m cutting out the following couple of months as it was more of the same, a company stumbling from one disaster to another.

I’m now showing you what I have today.I doubt I shall ever get final closure, the company at present seem to be ignoring me, but due to my own work & perseverance, I think it does look nice……

I still want to decorate the back plate but ……. to have got this far seems like a minor miracle ! DSCF8495