House log - Epopeea Electrica
December 2019 -Surprise!
DaVinci told us we need an electrician. The electricity distributor also told us they don't install the counter etc., jus bless the installation made by an electrician. вот это сюрприз!
Now we entered panic mode and we asked DaVinci to tell us which electricians they have contracted, so we use the same people.
Electricien Belgium were Electricien Belgium.
January 2020 - initial meetings
We met several times to set up the place where they would install the cable and the counter for the building site. They were very helpful in coming up with the hardware and the required temporary trench in a couple of days (still panic mode!). All was in place for the Fluvius guys to come in and day NO because there were exposed wires.
On 28/01, we met with Electricien Belgium and DaVinci. Electricien Belgium came with everybody. I wondered why, but then I remembered I have people in my team and I pay them for they work. If I come with all the team, they will bill me for their presence. So... 5 people x 1 hour on site will be 5 hours billed.
February 2020 - Fluvius
The guys were nice. They came on 10 and on 11 for the final meeting with Fluvius. They brought a socket and added it to the box with the counter. They planted the grounding wires too. All in all, they did good work.
16/02/2020 - black-box bill
I received a bill for 900-ish Euro from them. I've asked them to detail the work.
18/02/2020 - black-box bill, v2
I've asked them again to detail it and I've got a bit of resistance. I got a bill for 14 hours (2 people x 7 hours each) on 28/01, with a justification for cable installation etc.
When I replied that the cables were installed prior to that date, I got a call from their boss telling me that they worked 48 hours and billed me for 30. Quite aggressive really and disappointing.
March 2020 - April 2020 - el COVID
COVID-19! All is great when is quiet, but no progress is made
21/05/2020 - some negotiations
Met with the site engineer and Electricien Belgium. The constructor was not happy because the initial payment seemed to high. Electricien Belgium said they will clarify.
27/05/2020 - Time to clarify
Met with Electricien Belgium and clarified their misunderstanding (someone told them they should install smart house stuff). I only wanted preparation.
28/05/2020 - meet, not meet
I was supposed to meet with the site engineer and electricians. When I got on site I was told that Electricien Belgium deemed all to be clear so no need for a meeting was necessary. As a result, the site manager deemed OK for him not to attend the meeting... and not to inform me about it.
Electricians finished the power cables and the KNX cables. They didn't place power cables by the switches, so the house will need KNX to run.
14-15/07/2020 - only the contract, please
Asked Electricien Belgium to send me quotes before work. Asked the constructor to make sure electricians work only on stuff covered by their contract.
20-23/07/2020 - more money
Electricians demanded 50% more while awaiting the second part of the first payment. Constructor did not pay. Electricians picked up all materials they bought and were not fixed in the house.
30/07/2020 - payment
We have forwarded the difference to DaVinci to pay the second part of the first bill.
05/08/2020 - hysterical twat
Electricians came in war mode. The main person started a shouting match, menacing to quit and speaking like a twat with everybody. This new 'face' of theirs puts the original conflict between them and the constructor's translator in a different light.
They called me a hypocrite because I tried to mediate between them and the constructor. I guess they speak from their vast experience in the matter.
At the end, we floated the idea to get rid of them. We'll see.
23 and 28/09/2020 - a brief visit
Electricien Belgium passed by. In the words of the plumber: They came in for five minutes, looked around and left.
15/09/2020 - electricians' break
Electricians didn't do almost anything in the house. Put the panel up and cut all cables in the cellar to fit behind the panel, awaiting the fuses etc.
23/09/2020 - argument
We had an argument with Electricien Belgium on network cable. I said they didn't pull the cables, they said they did. I had to go to the house and take pictures to show them they were wrong.
02/10/2020 - a deadline
The constructor gave them a deadline. Electricians were not happy.
07/10/2020 - meeting with deadline
The constructor met with Electricien Belgium. They got another deadline to finish cabling so the screed can be placed by 14/10/2020 COB. We translated English - French - English.
13/10/2020 - minimal progress
I went to the house. Some flush mounts were placed in the walls in the ground floor for sockets. The wires for switches are still dangling. Wires for HiFi are missing.
15/10/2020 - stop work
The plumbers were preparing to install the floor heating. They had to be stopped because wires were missing.
16/10/2020 - end of pain
Electricien Belgium got fired (finally).
Electricien Belgium entered the house to tick the checkbox that they "installed" the network cables. They did a bad job and it'll likely have to be redone.
Be very careful whom you work with, even if it's not 'your business'.
As for the grand scheme of things, I guess there's enough blame to go for everyone involved:
- The constructor that picked up the electrical company after googling 'Electricien Belgium' (.. guess which was the first result) and for the hiatus during the summer
- Electricien Belgium because after the summer it looked they were both incompetent (as they did not progress significantly anymore) and gold diggers (as they employed a classic stalling tactic)
- Us, because even though Electricien Belgium was not directly contracted by us, we tried to help the situation and mediate it around
All in all, it was a shitty situation which costed us a delay of about 4 months and ended up with another electrician stepping in (after a couple of agonizing months).