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Reinaldo, Reinaldo, Reinaldo
Things didn't go exactly to plan...
You may recall a photo similar to the one below at the end of our last renovation post. As I write this on the morning of Tuesday 8, August…not a lot has changed. Damn you, Reinaldo!
So What Really Happened
After meeting with our builder again, we pushed our furniture delivery back. José João promised everyone would complete the interior work by 24 July and his cleaners would show up on the 25th. Giving him a few extra days, I rescheduled our furniture delivery for Friday, 28 July. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that things didn’t go exactly to plan. Armando (the electrician) did complete his work, but Reinaldo (heating, cooling and hot water) was mostly MIA. Of course I was on site every day. Of course, I sent texts and tried to reach José João and Reinaldo by phone. When I expressed my concerns they reassured me the furniture could be delivered and we would be sleeping in our home on the 28th.
At 7:30 on the 28th, I walked in to find the house looking like this.
Needless to say, I immediately started tooting buckets and cardboard out into the courtyard. As I had done so many times before, I started vacuuming and mopping the floors. Claudio, the singing painter, and Ricardo (his new found helper) showed up at about 7:45. The first words out of their mouths was, “Calma! Calma!”
White Oak Furniture
The furniture1 arrived at 9:30, just 30 minutes later than I had been promised. Given they had left Paços de Ferreira 6 hours earlier to drive their overstuffed van to our home I could not fault them for being “late”. They immediately started unloading the carefully wrapped pieces and installing them in the house.2 Remarkably there was not a single scratch or mar on any piece.
After a lunch break, they installed the room divider/bookcase/display cabinet which separates the entryway from the living room. There were a few moments when it seemed a little dicey. At one point they asked if they could drill into the floor. I explained we had underfloor heating and that we better consult Reinaldo3…who was actually on site.
Reinaldo, Reinaldo, Reinaldo
So you may be asking, why was Reinaldo on site the day your furniture was being delivered? Well he was there to install the hot water. Frankly, I didn’t know we didn’t have hot water…so it came as a bit of a shock to me, late in the day, when he asked me to check. But what came as a bigger shock, was the fact that we did not have air conditioning! In fact, the unit (for the rooftop) would not arrive until late Monday (31 July) afternoon and not be installed until Tuesday. This information was relayed to me rather matter of factly. No apologies … no consternation. José João, who I thought was the general contractor and ergo the project manager, simply pointed at Reinaldo. Reinaldo suggested it was José João’s fault because José João had three projects all end the same week and he couldn’t be at all three sites at the same time.4
If you are still reading along and are surprised by my next statement, you are not as bright as I thought.5 As of this morning, we still don’t have air conditioning. The unit that was to arrive on Monday did not. When I called Reinaldo he said he ordered it but was surprised to find it was not in stock. I asked when he ordered it and he responded, “This morning.” I asked him if he knew it was summer. He didn’t get my drift.
He suggested it would be in by Thursday. It was not. On Friday, we were shopping in Leroy-Merlin when Reinaldo called again. It would arrive on Monday…probably late in the afternoon. On Monday afternoon, yesterday, he called to say it would definitely arrive today. Again, late in the day. I asked him how long installation would take. He suggested we would likely have air conditioning sometime on Wednesday. Weather.com reports it will be 95 degrees fahrenheit on Thursday and 100 on Friday.
I’ll let you know, next week….
Até logo, 🤞
UPDATE: At 14:00 on 8 August the unit did arrive. Reinaldo worked until 18:00 that day and arrived by 9:00 the next morning. Around 14:00 on Wednesday, 9 August the a/c was operational and quickly cooled the house. Obrigada, Reinaldo.
SURVEY SAYS: Thanks to everyone that took the time to complete our reader survey! I will leave it open for one more week, just in case you want to respond. As promised, I will share a summary of the feedback received over the next few weeks. First up, “How did you find me?”
Please note we don’t have 500 friends. The 15.7% shown reflects only 233 survey respondents, a 7.8% response rate. Not a great response rate….but not that atypical.
The furniture you see in the original (20 March) post are 3-D renderings provided by the manufacturer to help us visualise the pieces in our future home. You will see lots of actual house photos in next week’s post.
António called me the day before to report he would be bringing the library furniture in a future trip. As I write this, that is planned for tomorrow (Wednesday).
Reinaldo explained that the pipes carrying the water that would heat our floors was about 7 cm below the surface of the floor. He approved the length of the screws they were going to use and went back to work.
But alas, as much as I really did want to sleep in our new home I was comforted by the fact that we had extended the lease on the apartment until the middle of August. Onix is very confused!
Please don’t take offence…I know all of my readers are very bright!