Photos – Entering the House

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Hi all,

Five weeks to bring up some photos that I have already prepared is totally unacceptable. So I am telling myself off for you – just to be sure.
There have really not been too many changes. The builder has now completely finished. The electricity testing has been completed (The electrician forgot to turn back on the underfloor heating and the air conditioning units on the roof – so we had no heating at all). The heating specialist finally came back to replace the pressure limiting valve that was removed at the end of August when it started leaking.

The alarm guys replaced a sensor that was too sensitive (it went off when someone moved a few miles away!) and we now have a system that appears trustworthy – rather than one we assume is giving us a false alarm when it goes off. It only took six months!

The pond outside had fish in it – but the local cats appear to have really liked this feature – to extinction.

Now for something completely different – some more photos. Today I am going to do the left hand side of the garden including the main entrance to the house.

The photo below is of the stairs between the house and the back garden on the day that we bought the property.
Upper Stairs

If you remember that far back – we totally replaced the stairs in the picture above as they were neither straight nor even. This next photo shows the new stairs in the middle of their manufacture.
Upper Stairs during manufacture

This last photo of the stairs shows them fully completed but we had not yet changed the stone facing of the walls beside the stairs. You can see the finished effect on the photos of the front of the house which were printed in the last blog.
Almost finished stairs

Moving on to the porch. The two photos below shows how the porch originally looked (open with the door within the house) and as it looks today.
Initial Porch
Finished Porch with windows and a door

Moving swiftly on to the play area as you go up the stairs. This was designed to be a small basketball court for the kids. The photo below shows it with all the junk left by the previous owner.
Basketball court prior to starting work

The next photo shows the area after the gardener arrived and cleaned up the garden area.
Basketball court after cleaning the garden

We move on to the cemented area that we planned for the kids use – but not quite finished yet.
Basketball court

And finally to the finished article. This is one of the most used areas by both our kids as well as their friends and our guests’ children.
Finished Basketball court

Last but not least (for today), I am going to show you the photos of the space besides the house. This is also realistically for the kids to give them just a little more space. We do not plan on using it as an adult space.
Below are before, during and current photos of this space.
Initial state of the side of our house
In the middle of the work on the side of our house
What the side of our house looks like now

To be continued……

Adam & Joelle.

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The start of the photos – The front of the house

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Hi all,

I know that I haven’t written for a long time. It has taken a long time to go through all the photos.
There have not been too many changes. The builder and the carpenter have finished the fireplace with tiles and a wooden (very small) shelf. We also have 4 small coffee tables (2 pairs of nesting tables).
Yaniv & Tamar came and did a “final check over”. We found some more issues after this and Yaniv will be coming back to fix them soon.
Paintings have gone up.
We have also added the lighting and air bubbles in the aquarium.
The alarm guys have come to fine tune the system.
We had a leak in a water pressure valve about 2-3 months ago. They did a quick (bypass fix) but we are still waiting for the replacement.
The pond outside now has plants and fish in it – and looks really nice.

So lets start with the photos. Today I am going to do the front view – and the changes that we have had over the time frame.

Below is a photo of the house before it was ours. We had already signed the contract though.
House

This photo shows the creation of the new large front window space.
House

This photo is after the demolition work and window spaces had been created.
House

This photo is with the windows installed
House

This is how it looks now with railings, basketball hoop and kids mess! The black tarpaulin has been put in by the tenants to give them some privacy.
House

It took a lot of time – but you can see the large difference even in how the front of the house looks.

To be continued……

Adam & Joelle.

6 weeks further on

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And unsurprisingly not much has happened. Tamar has come and looked around and we have written up a list of last jobs that need to be done. Below is what has now been finished since the last post was written:

Heating/Hot Water: After 3 more visits the heating pump has finally been fixed but today we noticed a leak. It was coming from the pressure reducing valve on one of the hot water tanks. We currently have turned the water off and the installer is on his way and should be here by 9.30. He was always late!

Oven: The toe kick has been fitted but it is a slightly different colour. The hood has had an extension chimney added and so fits correctly in the kitchen – this looks a lot better.

Curtains: All curtains now installed (correct length) and the sticks for opening and closing have been changed so they are longer and more useable.

Pond: This seems to be ok. We have filled it and left it for about a week. We now need to connect the pump and add plants and fish.

Aquarium: We have a solution for taking the hood off the aquarium and fitting the light and so this will be done next week. We have had lots of hassle with an automatic feeder that kept getting affected by the condensation in the tank. We have ordered a piece of glass for this to solve the issue. We haven’t mentioned that we have about 6 baby electric yellow lab cichlids that have survived for about 6 weeks. Hopefully they will stay alive and not get eaten by the bigger fish.

That’s all for now – but we will start with photos in the next fortnight.

Adam & Joelle

Moving ever closer to the finishing line…

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So – another month has passed and what’s new with the house?
We are making progress slowly but surely.

Yaniv has been here once more to continue finishing jobs – there are still a few last things that need doing but he has told us that he has a big job on now and is not going to be available till October. He is still owed the last installment of money and he has not asked for it!

The LED lighting in the kitchen, dining room, lounge area and master bedroom have been installed, and looks great.

Metalwork – Lior came and fixed the movement in one of the points of the netting over the play room. There is now a big hole which needs to be filled in (hopefully before October). We are waiting for him to put a plate up to hold the interior keypad for the front gate.

The curtain company came to put up the curtains that weren’t done the first time. The blind on the door to the outside balcony is fine. The curtains by the window over the fitted drawers are too long – although we told the company that there would be cushions on these seats….so the curtains need to be shortened…the cushions were made from the same material as the sofas and look great.

The sofas have been cleaned (and made dirty again since by the kids) and are now the same height, which we are pleased about. It was relatively simple to fix in the end.

Piano has been stained, piano stool has been re-covered, both look great.
We have 2 French antique chairs in the lounge that have been stained and covered to match everything else, we know it is a crime to manipulate antiques, but they are really comfortable and look perfect. It also came out relatively cheap even with the staining and re-upholstering, compared to other equivalent options.
Chairs have been stained and re-upholstered – they look FANTASTIC!!!
We also bought a couple of beanbags and beanbag chairs for the loft play area, and both kids immediately took a beanbag for their room.

We had a leak in the small pond/water feature that has been fixed by the gardener. We need to fill it up and check it is ok and not leaking anymore.

Alarm is now basically fully up and running and we are linked to the call centre who if necessary can contact the local police.

Carpentry – Danny put the glass in the dining room unit, the mirror in our bedroom and we now have a few more shelves for the bookcase. He actually overcharged us accidentally but immediately accepted his error and very quickly paid us back the difference.

Doors – still no progress with Hermetix – what a surprise!

A/C – we now know how to used the timer. The balance seems to be a bit better.

The music/multimedia system is now fully up and running. We are looking to use a provider such as Netflix for streaming and downloading films, but are worried that the changes to TV settings will affect the stereo system. We have sent Kobi an email and are waiting to hear back from him.

Two areas where we have had issues have been the heating system and the aquarium…

There seems to be a problem with the motherboard of the heating air-pump (note this was brand new and not been used!!!) We were not impressed. The card is being replaced next week…and hopefully then the heating system will be fully working (not that we need it now, but in October we want to be able to use it)

Aquarium – we now have lots more fish and the tank is very active and looks good. One fish died but otherwise everything seems fine BUT…Uri came to install the lighting and found that the cover of the aquarium was made in such a way that he couldn’t get the light in. Danny is working on a solution which we hope will be straightforward. Also he couldn’t put the air pump in because there are electricity wires – but no sockets…we need to get the electrician to fix it so the pump and lights can be plugged in.

So that’s the update. Hopefully the curtains and heating will be fixed next week and we will make progress with the aquarium problem

Bye for now!

Three weeks later – part 3

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Two months on – and we still haven’t finished, but we are moving in the right direction (but only on Tuesdays when Adam works at home). One day the tortoise will overtake the hare and we will have completed everything. Then it will be time to paint again ….

Kablan – The Kablan actually returned to fix some small electrical preferences, clean up the rain damage (but not yet fix it) in the rental and to do some general finishing and cleaning. He has more to do – but he is getting there slowly.

Dining room light – On Shabbat we had moved the plastic tables (see later) from under the light and put them in the lounge as we needed some more space than was available in the dining area. Our very tall nephew who was staying with us accidentally knocked into the light whilst playing with the boys – and it fell. The light not the nephew! Luckily the wire connection was strong enough to stop the light becoming gravitationally introduced to the floor in a destructive manner. The electrician actually came by within 12 hours of me telling the Kablan what had happened and put it back in a position that is not quite correct – but we can get that fixed later. Crisis averted and saved by the wire.

Kitchen – The food disposal unit was actually installed correctly – but a rubber washer was in the plug hole which was stopping the protective cover/key from engaging and starting the system working! It has now been “fixed” – for a fee of course. But the install guy was nice, fixed a few small things that should have been done slightly differently and has also given us a contact for someone that can fix it if we have issues in the future.

Doors – Hermetix still need to get back to us about their issues.

Blinds and Curtains – Most of the blinds and curtains have now been installed. One was made incorrectly and would not have allowed the external door (it covered) to open – this was taken back to be replaced. Our lounge is also missing two curtains – which was actually quite good as after the curtains were measured we had some fitted drawers/seats installed in niches that will affect two of the curtain lengths. We are waiting for them to come back and re-measure.

Carpentry – The toy storage and shelving in the attic has been finished – and is (very) slowly being filled (and emptied again by the kids). Our main bookshelves were installed. After we put in the books, we decided that we really needed some extra shelves and so Danny put in some more holes. We will get 3 or 4 more shelves in a week or so to accommodate these new holes.
The electricity box now looks like a cupboard which is a lot better than it was and a click on the Harmonica door to our wardrobe has been fixed by replacing the noisy hinge.
The aquarium/bar unit – This is almost a topic on its own. It has now been almost finished (it needs some tape to be removed tomorrow and some tiles to be added as a panel at the bottom). It looks really great – and not too complex on the outside, but Danny told us that this was a very complex piece of work – so much so that he was actually worried about it until it had been completely installed. He is very proud of it.

Aquarium – We now have 14 fish. 10 yellow ones that seem to like escaping through the water pipes to the outside tank plus 4 fairly rare strawberry albino cichlids. We desperately need a “cleaning” fish to get rid of the algae on the wall of the tank.

Air Conditioning – The issue with Natanel’s control panel was actually an electrical problem that has since been fixed. We have two other issues – one is balance in the main area where the lounge area is not as cool as the kitchen/dining area and the second is that we can’t get our heads around the timer function (for Shabbat). We will call the Air Conditioning guy soon to get some advice.

Music System – Kobi came back and did some cleaning up of the wires. He still has another visit to make.

Sofa and Table – These finally came today. The sofas had some dirt on it which the seller cleaned off but left a water (or soap) stain on it. He is going to get it professionally cleaned before we pay for it. This material is supposed to be easily cleanable – if you follow the instructions. The instructions in fact weren’t followed to the letter!

Table continued – We have tried to contact someone to create some custom pads. We are waiting for her to respond to our query. It is really nice not to be using plastic tables as our only eating option. The next project is re-upholstering and staining the chairs and the piano. The chairs are being collected in a week and most of the piano (all removable parts) will be taken either on the same day – or a week later. We had to wait this long as the material arrived with the furniture. Talking of material – we are now having some cushions made to sit on the drawer/bench units in the lounge that were built for us by Danny.

Windows – The doors now have key locks on them and Baruch from Andersen came to take photos for his website. He is also looking to see if he can arrange to bring over the smoker that I want from the States. I am awaiting this with baited breath whilst Joelle is hoping that he can’t to save us some money – although she never complains when eating the smoked ribs, brisket, chicken etc!

That’s it for now.

Adam and Joelle.

Three weeks later – part 2

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We haven’t written much because there is not much to write. Our Kablan has left and will return in about 2 months once we have found all the issues. he will then fix these issues and we will then pay the last 7% or so of his money.
We have just been busy with upgrades.
As almost always, I will start in the most important room of the house.

Kitchen – We had problems with the main cookbook bookshelf. It kept leaning forwards. It has been fixed (in different ways) twice now and Danny has finally appeared to have solved the issue. He didn’t complain at all – he just became more “aggressive” in the fixings and fixing points that he used. He reckons with the current fixings that the shelf could hold around 180kg. We are not going to try this!
The microwave shelf has now been fixed and the microwave is in its planned place.
The food disposal unit is hopefully going to be fixed this week.
The robotic vacuum cleaner (i-robot Roomba) is stored underneath the pantry cupboard and is doing a great job with cleaning dropped food from the kids. We were originally having trouble with getting the robot to enter the area by the breakfast bar – but have managed it by playing with the “virtual wall” which comes with the unit.

Baseboards / Skirting board / “Panellim” – Most of these were put in by the Kablan. They will be finished once everything else as been completed. If I need to name this in a different language – please let me know 🙂

Hermetix Doors – We are still waiting on Hermetix to fix the problems that we have with these doors.

Carpentry – The Delkoub cupboard that we have has a back piece of wood (very thin) coming away from the actual cupboard. This is because we used the plug socket which is behind the cupboard. This part of the cupboard was poorly measured by Delkoub – they should have made this one drawer slightly shorter.
– Danny has been working hard on our other carpentry work. We now have a harmonica door to our walk-in wardrobe as well as a very narrow bedroom linen cupboard and matching bedside tables. We also have wooden shelves just to finish off the niche surfaces.
In the lounge, we have a couple of drawers in niches that have been designed to be topped with cushions and to be used as extra seating. We also have a wooden shelf in the niche over the piano.
The boys’ bathroom now has a harmonica door to separate the bathroom area from the laundry area. We also have a new cupboard and shelves in the laundry area.
The aquarium area still needs a few questions answered before it can be built. The attic units and bookcase on the stairs are now being built.

Boys bathroom – the towel rail has now been replaced and put up (by me). It is a little loose as the person that put in the holes damaged the tiles and fixed it with silicone sealant which moves. We have the same issue with the toilet roll holder. These will need to be fixed.

Playroom – The net has now been installed and can comfortably hold 5 adults. There were 6 kids playing on it today.
We enjoyed laying on it for a rest before Shabbat as well.

Music system. This was fully connected and was working, but has stopped again. We think it is because the video cameras are using the same IP address as one of the stereo pieces. This will be fixed soon, due to Omer and Aveilut we are not too worried about this at the moment.

The Electrician came a couple of weeks back and fixed things that weren’t working. Took the guest light off the Shabbat time-switch and fixed a few other small bits and pieces. He will need to come back – but this was known and planned.

Aquarium – The aquarium guy came but could not bring any fish with as there was a parasitic infection at the suppliers he went to. We are getting some fish towards the end of the week. When he came, he brought us a new pump for the outside pond (with UV filter) which really cleaned up the dirty water very quickly.

Water Damage – We got a call from the tenants after the heavy rainfall (Rainfall in an Israeli desert in the middle of April – G-d was obviously being nice to us and showing an issue while the Kablan was still around!). It ended up being caused by the heating engineer having removed (and not replaced) a part around the pipe entrance through the roof which was designed to stop any water entering. This has been fixed now and we are waiting for the water damage to dry before having it fixed (on the Kablan’s bill of course – not sure if he will charge this to the company that did the hot water installations).

Railings – The outside railings, gate and a few window security bars (for the renters – we are using an alarm instead) have now also been installed. The house is finally safer from vertical drops!

A/C – The panel that runs the unit in Natanel’s room keeps going blank when we try to set it using the time-switch…we will contact Kobi and hopefully get it sorted out quickly.

That’s it for now. We haven’t quite finished, but the house is definitely nice to live in now. We have had people staying with us and guests every single Shabbat since we moved in. It is great to feel happy enough with where we live to invite people again.

3 weeks later

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Very little has happened, but we have been learning lots about the house.
Due to Pesach things slowed down – but we are now picking up the pace again

We will start with the most important room in the house – namely the kitchen
Kitchen – all doors have been fitted, including dishwasher fronts. We have shelves now on which we have put all the cookery books that we use most often. We are adjusting the shelf where the microwave will go as it is not deep enough. The food disposal unit is still not working – we have to get it properly installed rather than using a plumber. we now have 4 counter stools for the breakfast bar (bar stools are taller than counter stools)

Doors (Hermetix) – all main doors are installed – most of the lock covers have rust on them so will need replacing. A couple of rubbers on the bottom of the doors need sorting out…and we still don’t have the mastered locks we want – so Hermetix have to come back. We do have the cell number of the guy who did the installation of the doors, and he seems to be helpful.

Carpentry – Delkoub finished the cupboards in Natanel’s room after the a/c unit was moved slightly and the front cover taken off.
– Natanel’s bed now has ladders on both sides, and has been put together.
– Danny has been hard at work. The following have been installed since the last blog was posted:

Dining room unit – not finished yet, needs the glass backs
– Guest room cupboards, desk and book shelves
– Upstairs hallways linen/storage closet
– Playroom cabinet
– Cover over a/c over piano – needs painting
– Garage unit
Danny has measured and is planning the unit round the aquarium which will include bar and storage for firewood.

Bathroom – all accessories except for 1 towel rail have been put up. We have to replace the one towel rail which came damaged. As an aside, we did not like the towel rail which came in the range so we used a straight toilet roll holder which works fine.

Windows – These have been finished and the windows and Andersen doors have been painted. We now have to put up all the mezuzot.

Curtains – have been ordered after going to the shop to finalise which materials we are using for the various curtains and blinds. There will be a delay for the duettes as the old catalogue materials are not available and the new catalogue had not yet arrived

Aquarium – has been installed and is now filled with water. we have to decide if we are putting in fish before or after Danny finishes the unit around it. We will probably wait as it should only take a few weeks. We think that the pump may be slightly too strong as the water is coming in faster than it is going out. We will talk to Uri. After he finished last week the plumber came to put the tap in that was needed outside.

Outdoor pond in garden – this had already become a breeding ground for mosquitoes…so we have turned on the pump to keep the water moving, added some fish and a couple of small frogs. Most of the mosquito larvae have already been eaten. The other issue is that a lot of sand ended up in the pond due to the recent rain and so we are changing the pump to a filter which should help to clean the water.

Alarm – this has basically been installed and finished. We need to make a few small adjustments, including a fixed IP address for the house so we can see the feed for the camera.

Music system and network – basically finished but will need tidying up once necessary sockets are in place. These could only been done after the cupboard was finished so this is a job for the electrician…

Electrician – we need to write a list of all the outstanding jobs for the electrician and pass this on to the Kablan – will hope to get this done tomorrow.

Telephone – when bezeq came to connect our tenant’s line we were told to change the cable as it was very old – this was duly done but in the process all the lines were messed up. We ended up with our tenant’s internet line and no telephone, while they had nothing. This has since been fixed by bezeq.

That’s it for now – update coming soon

Adam and Joelle

Home sweet home…

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So – this blog is being written while sitting on our new duvet covers on our new bed after having a shower in our new bathroom in the new house which we moved into 2 days ago…

We are pretty tired after a very busy few days but thought we should write a quick update…it is in no particular order

Kitchen – finished except for moldings and dishwasher fronts. Kitchen tap has been moved, we will install a soap dispenser.

Doors  – getting there but still not completed – final interior door is hopefully being installed tomorrow. Hermetix also need to finish the door frames and give us properly mastered locks.

Bedroom cupboards – installed – although Natanel’s needs finishing and ours needs some adjustments and changes – hopefully tomorrow. Ya’akov is really enjoying his cupboard doors that he can draw on with whiteboard markers (the doors are white glass basically making a very large whiteboard)

Gas – our canisters arrived – oven installed and working well. Hob is great.

Old electricity box – removed – bin put in correct place.

Dishwashers, fridge and freezer, washing machine and dryer  – installed.

Air con – finished but we need a lesson on how to use it.

Bathrooms basically finished – accessories and some light fittings need installing. Cables for heaters which we didn’t want have been removed.

Entry coat closet and cupboard in upstairs hall – installed. Other carpentry work is continuing.

Sofabed – delivered.

Outside railings – have been measured.

Hammock – not ready for another 3 weeks – not what we planned but we will deal with it

Natanel’s bed – ladder was put on wrong side – waiting for replacement. He is currently sleeping on a mattress in the spare room.

Our bed and headboard – installed, looks lovely but not 100% correct – needs to be fixed.

Curtains and blinds – materials chosen and windows spaces measured

Hot water – connected but getting some yellow water once in every tap. If this continues we will look into it. The contractor is already aware that this may be a problem – and he agrees. The system works really well. The copper makes the water very hot extremely quickly even on these cool spring days. We also get instant hot water rather than having a 10 second wait as is normal in Israel.

Internet and telephone – connected but we were advised to change the telephone cable as it was old and now our phone isn’t accepting calls and the renters have no internet.

Outside – basically finished

so we have:

Windows, doors, kitchen, bathrooms, electricity, lights, internet (house telephone not working at the moment) water, gas, beds, cupboards…what more do we need?

So far, the most commented on part of the house has been the windows. This could be as they are visible from outside but we are having 10+ people a week (including strangers) saying how nice they are. We have even been asked for Andersen’s contact details.

Kablan will be sorting out all the finishing touches but main workers finished today.
Finally we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel…

Bye for now – it is late and the clocks are moving forward here tonight.

Adam and Joelle

And Again

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Yes, Hermetix. Need I say more?

Let’s leave our least favorite company for now and just say that overall the house is really coming together. It looks absolutely fantastic and should look even better towards the end of the week.

Electricity box – The new box has been installed by the electricity company. The old one needs to be removed to make space for the bin. The change to 63x3Amps has been done up to the box – but has not been done into the house yet. This should be done within the next month.

Concrete – the concrete company came today and started cutting up the concrete. We had no idea they were doing this at all – so when we asked why they explained that they did this to stop it from cracking due to heat expansion plus ground movement. The have put in several fine cuts making large rectangles which look ok as they kept the width of the cuts very small. They also put a lacquer over the concrete to protect it. This took 3 hours to dry – and was done in the garage just before our renters came to the house. Their normal route into the house would be over this concrete. Instead we told them to go through our house and into their area. As you can tell there is a route between our house and the rental basement. This has been done on purpose as when we sell the house (not the plan for a very long time) there has to be the ability to get to all parts of the house otherwise the government purchase/selling tax is done as two properties which is much more expensive.

Basement – The tenants moved their things in on the day that they wished – and have been slowly cleaning their stuff up before moving in. This was mainly because the bathroom vanity was only installed on Sunday or Monday. It all looks really good and they seem happy.

On to the main house:

Doors – Some of the interior doors were installed but 3 or 4 of them were damaged during transit. Although, we were told that they were painted in an incorrect colour. We have been told that they will be installed in three weeks but our interior designer has been told they will almost definitely be installed this Thursday – Sunday at worst. We will see.

Windows – These were finished now except for painting the wooden doors. The painting is to be done in about a month as the painter is really busy prior to Pesach. A warning to the English buyers here. Israeli law is different to the UK. Here (and in the States) it is illegal to have key locks on the inside of doors and windows. We did not know this and it has caused us some trouble (understatement of the year) but we will hopefully be able to sort out our security issues to our satisfaction and for the safety of our kids.

Alarm – A lot more of the alarm and the video cameras have been installed. We have been getting lots of phone calls asking if we want specific extras (remote to turn off certain sensors when the gardener arrives, sms card to send us messages if the alarm goes off, etc). The alarm people installed their boxes where we are putting a cloak cupboard. This was the plan. They just placed them so high that the carpenter will not be able to install the cupboard. They will be dropped.

Smoke Alarms – These have been installed. We hope that the smoke alarm in the rental apartment does not go off when we are not around as they will set off our alarm system (the smoke alarms are connected to our house alarm to make sure that we really hear it!)

Stair Railings – These have been secured now and cleaned up a bit. They still need finishing and to have the wooden rail put on top.

Electricity / Lights – Most of the lights have now been installed both inside and out. One of the outside lights was damaged. I am not sure if we will be able to get this one replaced or not. They may blame it on us. We do not think it was our fault – but cannot prove it either way.

Light switches – We noticed that the light switches in the upstairs hall have been done in a strange way which we hope can be fixed easily.

Hot Water – The collectors have been installed and everything is now up and running with the exception of the electricity connections. They were not ready when the plumber came.

Gas – All interior pipes were installed and the renters have their gas canisters. We will get our gas canisters next week after a formal test once our oven has been installed.

Air con – This is almost finished. We have a Toshiba system that is actually sold here by Tadiran. Tadiran are coming tomorrow to start the system and check that everything is installed and working correctly so that they can give a proper warranty. This is not normal on small systems – but we installed a “small office” system as it is much better and the prices had recently dropped enough to make it a viable option.

Kitchen – Where to start. Let’s start with the bad. The phrase “In the middle of the two sinks” is different in English and American. To me it means between the sinks. In American it means the central point from the two extreme sides. This caused the tap to be put in a place that I would not have chosen. In fact the tap does not even reach one on the sinks now (There is a large and a small sink together – not two the same size). I dislike this enough that we are going to move the tap – but we will be left with a hole in the counter top. The only cost-effective solution is to add a soap dispenser. I do not want this either – but I have no other choice if I wish to use the sink. On top of this, the plumber has used normal waste connections (including the trap) for the small sink – but we bought a waste disposal unit for here – so this needs to be changed. The last kitchen comment is that all the electrical kitchen goods are being delivered tomorrow and that the carpenter is coming to finish the kitchen on Thursday.

Carpentry – The carpenter has been jumping in and out of the house taking measurements. He will be installing our next main requirements on the 23rd March the day before we move in. This includes the cloak cabinet and some of the other living area units (We think).

Sofa Bed – The sofa bed has been built unbelievably quickly and will be delivered on Sunday. Two weeks instead of four with Pesach just round the corner. This is amazing as we now have enough beds and mattresses to put up our 6 Pesach guests. If we do have more than 6 people we will have to use blow up beds or borrow mattresses to put on the floor.

Cleaning – This was started today and will be finished tomorrow. The place already looked much better this afternoon.

Moving date – This has changed. We were planning on moving in on Thursday – but this has now been brought forward to Tuesday as it was easier for the moving company. We just have an extra two days of keeping the house clean for Pesach. Not the end of the world as we know it. Time for lots of felafel and pizza in the local parks!

Although we are moving in on the 24th there will be lots more “finishing” tasks to do which will take up to a month (especially with both Pesach and the carpentry).

That’s all for now – update next week.

Adam & Joelle

And they messed up again

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Who else could I be speaking about – except for Hermetix. They promised installation and failed and failed again. I am starting with the area where this affected me the most – the basement.

Tenants – The tenants were supposed to be moving in today. They were told a couple of months ago that it would be very tight. A week ago we told them it would be an extra couple of days. I do not currently know how long until they move in as I am waiting for two main areas as will be explained below. The tenants’ main issue was that they had to leave their current property and therefore they needed to store everything. They are using the apartment for that without issues and they are currently staying with family. It says something about how difficult it is to get a good apartment that they are willing to “live” with the delayed real start date.

Basement Front door – We had the kablan (contractor) arrange for new facias and lock to be installed onto the existing front door. This has been done (white on the inside and I guess grey on the outside – the guess is because I saw it at night without any lights). It did look good though.

Basement Tiling – The kitchen splashback was completed and all grouting has now been done.

Basement Electricity – All lights have been installed, all sockets and switches have been completed. The only electrics that need doing is “covering” of the heater cables in the bathroom as I do not want these and the labeling of each circuit fuse switch in the electricity box for clarity. The electrician specifically came to the house on Friday (weekend here) to complete this part of the installation.

Basement Windows – The basement windows and patio door have now been completed.

Air conditioning – The 4 air conditioning units and base unit have been installed.

Cleaning – The kablan did basic cleaning of the basement. It wasn’t amazing but it was acceptable.

Protective bars – We are now onto the areas left to do. The protective bars around the basement windows/patio door needs to be returned/replaced. This hasn’t been done yet. It is cheaper to add the bars than to install an alarm.

Vanity Unit – Everybody has been nagging for the vanity unit to be installed in the bathroom for the last 2 weeks. We have been told today that it will be installed on Wednesday.

Plumbing – The hot water (pumps/hot water tank and solar heat collectors) are being installed tomorrow. The final plumbing connections in the kitchen haven’t been completed either. I may offer to do them myself tomorrow to speed things up!

Gas Points (inside and out) – These are being installed on Thursday by Amisragas. They are supposed to be giving ballonim (gas canisters) as well – just not sure if that is at the same time or on the following Sunday (normal delivery day).

Interior doors – These were supposed to be installed on Sunday but Hermetix did it again….they failed to deliver what they had promised. The kablan was waiting for the doors so that he could do the last finishing touches, but the Hermetix installer was sick yesterday and today so the doors haven’t gone in. I am not sure that the installer is sick – I have a feeling that the doors just aren’t ready. I have been told that the company feels very bad and that this is the first time that anyone has heard them apologise for anything (although they didn’t bother calling us to apologise – nor offer any compensation however small). We still do not know when we are getting the doors as the company wishes to use the “best” installer that they have. It doesn’t make us feel any better. We feel really guilty that the tenants are being messed around so much.

That’s enough for the basement, on to the rest of the house, starting outside and moving in and up.

Garden – The water feature, stepping stones and watering system have been installed. Most of the fence netting has been installed except for where the neighbour was complaining. We are going to wait until we have cameras looking at that part of the garden in case what we do doesn’t gain her approval.

Front door – Hermetix did actually manage to get one thing installed on time – the front door. It is due to the front door and windows being installed that so much has been done in the last week.

Windows – All windows and doors have been installed now. Andersen are hoping to complete the “finishing” tomorrow with the single exception of the painting of the wooden doors. They have a specific worker who specialises in this part of the project. Andersen are planning on walking through the whole project with me tomorrow afternoon. The painting will be organised in the next couple of days.

Concrete – The concrete was installed both in the garage and for the play area. The garage looks great, but the play area has white streaks on it – I am not sure if this is related to dirt or some other issue.

Electrics – The electrician continued with finishing off our electrics. He has not yet done the lights.

Alarm – The alarm is being partially installed tomorrow.

Smoke Alarms – after a confused discussion with the electrician we found out that we had approved for our smoke alarms to be wired into the alarm system (rather than separate battery operated units). This will also be done as part of the alarm installation.

Network – We have a quote for the installation of the hard and wifi network. We also need to arrange for an internet provider to give us connection at the house.

Gas Points – This is the same as the basement. Our points will be installed on Thursday, the only difference is that we do not yet have an oven as they need a point to install it. Therefore we will not be given our ballonim and will have to call the gas company back the following week (more money!)

Hot water – as in the basement, our hot water is being installed tomorrow. Our underfloor heating air pump will be installed at the same time.

Counter Tops – Our kitchen counter tops and sinks were installed.

Under sink waste disposal – We ordered an “insinkerator” from a US exporter that specialises in 240V appliances. It arrived last week and was collected yesterday after VAT was charged on the item plus shipping costs.

Fish tank – moving sideways (or forwards depending on perspective) we get to the fish tank. The wooden base has been installed and the glass tank is being made at the moment. When installed the carpenter can then create the unit around it.

Glass – The glass railing, mirrors and shower/bath doors were installed. The railing still needs a wooden top that the carpenter is not yet aware of!

Cleaning – this is booked for the 17th and 18th March. After this there will be very little “dirty” work to do. Mainly carpentry and “finishing” off.

Wardrobes – The wardrobes were booked for the 18th which is not possible due to the cleaning. The company has promised to do their best to get the wardrobes in on the 19th. It has not yet been confirmed though.

Study Paint – the kablan is including Magnetic paint for the area behind the desk in the study so that we can use it to hold company magnets and “post-it” notes.

Carpentry – we found out that the carpenter was working on the units for our garage. These are probably the lowest on our “order of importance”. We created a new list for him that included cupboards and public areas before the bits that are just for our personal storage!

Sofa bed – this has been ordered. Normally it takes 30 days plus – but as we need it for use on the 28th the company is trying to push it through quickly. I think they are trying to impress our designer as she hasn’t used them for about 6 months!

Deliveries – I wanted to arrange all deliveries for Tuesday 24th – but that would be too tight for us moving in. Instead I decided to do everything on the 19th but being in Israel this didn’t work. We now have our fridge, freezer and oven being delivered on the Wednesday (have arranged that kitchen cleaning is done first). Natanel’s bed is being installed on the 19th as is ideal (closets as well hopefully). The other beds are coming in on the twentieth. We also ordered today a new dishwasher and TV for the Wii – we do not yet know what day this will be delivered. The fun was arranging the delivery of the fridge freezer. We are getting a more European style and it comes in two units (separate fridge and freezer). The delivery company have it documented in their warehouse as two fridges rather than a fridge and freezer. The shop has promised me that the delivery company has it wrong and if there is an issue to call him. For those who need to buy large electrical items in Israel for the first time – be aware that once the item turns up you cannot even unpack it. You need to call a installation service – paid for by the manufacturer/shop – who install it for you. This confirms your warranty. If you unpack a fridge and plug it in yourself you have no warranty at all – even if it doesn’t work out of the box.

Moving – We have arranged for a removal company to move us on either the 24th or 26th March. We want the 26th but it is easier for them on either the 24th or 25th. They are only moving the large items as we will be moving the rest ourselves as we have overlapped the move and our rental by a whole month. We will not be moving our everyday kitchen until after pesach (We are moving into a brand new/clean pesachdik kitchen – and house – a really lucky side benefit of the timing).

Pesach presents – Israeli companies often give “bonus” presents for Rosh Hashana and Pesach. I was offered a set of choices and I decided to be nice to the boys (actually – it may be nicer to Joelle!) and I selected the fancy Karaoke machine which connects to the TV and will provide minutes of embarrassing fun.

That’s all for the week (except that which I forgot or am not aware of due to the protection of both designer and Kablan),

Adam & Joelle.