Project Bathroom Successfully Finished

Work in Progress

Project Bathroom was finished last Friday. It’s amazing what can be achieved in a week: The bath is no more and a modern glazed walk-in shower cabinet with a rainfall-style shower head has replaced it. I find myself going into the room several times a day just to admire the new facility. Well, it was a long time coming.

I gave the whole cabinet (and bathroom—which I suppose we should now call a shower room) a thorough cleaning on Saturday, to remove any lingering muck resulting from the building work, and those irritating sticky marks left after the removal of labels. In future, I’ll be doing battle with the limescale residue from our very hard water; this may be why the new guest-room shower hasn’t yet been christened; (we do have two more shower rooms).

Over the years we’ve lived here and had work done to the house, we’ve always supported companies based in our local town, Manacor. This time we struggled to find a nearby business that was interested in doing the job, so we turned to British company, Handy Hands, based in the southwest of Mallorca. We were delighted with our decision, as the two men worked well, were pleasant to have around, and cleaned up after themselves. The latter is not always the case here.

A Woman’s Work?

Not long after we moved to rural Mallorca, in 2004, a mallorquín carpenter came to install new interior doors. He was a grumpy individual—perhaps because we didn’t have any working electricity sockets in the house and he had to use our mini-generator, which ran out of juice on a frequent basis and had to be topped up.

Spotting that he hadn’t brought a brush to sweep up all the curls of wood-shavings falling to the floor, I fetched our broom and leant it on the wall nearby—thinking I was being helpful. Ooh, the look he gave me! He wagged his forefinger from side to side, shook his head, and told me that sweeping was trabajo de mujer—a woman’s work. He downed tools and said he was going for lunch. Some two hours later, he returned, with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. Whatever he’d been doing during his long lunch break (which might not have been eating) had totally changed his mood—but he still didn’t sweep up his mess.

We’re Having a Heatwave … Tomorrow

Soon I’ll have plenty of time to admire the new shower, as I’ll be in the room painting the walls. It’s not decorating weather: the temperature is set to soar towards 40 degrees Celsius tomorrow. Apparently we’re going to have a heatwave. As it’s been in the low- to mid-30s for a good few days now, I’d assumed we were already having one. Silly me.

The long dry hot summer is upon us and standing under that new rainfall shower will be the closest thing to a bit of decent precipitation we’ll experience for a while. Just off now to Google environmentally-friendly cleaning tips for glass shower-panels . . .

NOTE

If you have a property in Mallorca and need some reliable and experienced British builders, I am happy to recommend Handy Hands, who work anywhere on the island. See their Facebook page for more information and photos of some of their work.

 

Jan Edwards ©2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Bathroom is Go in our Rural Mallorcan Home

A soon-to-be-redundant sign?

When did I last have a bath? Let me think. Yes, probably about 15 years back. That, by the way, is at home (where we are shower people). When staying for one of our occasional nights away in a hotel on Mallorca, I have been known to wallow in a sea of fragrant bubbles, if there’s a bath available. Bathtubs are not such a common hotel feature these days, although some of the more luxurious 5-star hotels on the island have suites with them.

Our home has two guest bedrooms: one double, the other single. Both are en suite but the double room’s en suite has the only bathtub in the house. Water is a precious resource on our island and we’ve always taken showers at home instead of bathing, to reduce our water usage. Oh, and there’s also the fact that the water heater doesn’t heat enough water in one go to cover even one’s nether regions.

The bathtub has an overhead shower, which entails climbing into the tub itself. This isn’t too much of a problem, but I do worry particularly about my father, who usually visits for a holiday twice a year. Dad’s well into the senior-citizen category but is pretty limber and sprightly for his age, but were he to slip in the tub, the consequences could be serious.

A Possible Project

A year or two back, we began talking about having the bath removed and replaced with a shower cubicle. We even obtained a couple of estimates for the job. The quotes we received suggested that these local builders weren’t interested in doing what was a relatively small job, so they priced accordingly. Our eyes popped with shock and we shelved that project.

Until we had A Serious Leak. A pipe located within the wall itself (behind the wall tiles, natch) had developed a tiny fracture—which caused a big damp problem. Our friendly plumber Sito—who is more-or-less retired now—came to see what could be done. He fixed the leak, but had to break into the wall tiles with a jackhammer to do so; this was the catalyst for reactivating our plan for the bath-replacement project. This time we found an acceptable quote, for labour only, on the basis that we bought all the materials ourselves.

Covid Stopped Work

We took measurements, spent long sessions discussing options in DIY superstores in Palma de Mallorca, and did our sums (well, The Boss did those). In the end, we bought the space-hogging materials and collected them in our trailer two days before the Covid-19 lockdown came into force. There was a project on hold for a few more months!

Work finally began on Friday. The builders removed the bath and attempted to remove the old wall tiles—which proved impossible. So they’ve scoured the old walls to ensure the new ones will stick (we hope!).

As I write, the chaps have just arrived to continue the work. It’ll be a noisy Monday but, we hope, not quite as dusty as it was on Friday, when the bath was removed.

The irony of all this is that we are unlikely to have any visitors anyway this year to enjoy the new facility. But you never know …

 

Jan Edwards ©2020