DFG Door Widening – Day 1


DFG Door Widening - Day 1

I have been waiting since last year for my bedroom door to be widened, my nurse had suggested we contact the fire safety officer as she was concerned I could not get out of my room quickly in an emergency, I spend most of in my time in bed which is too wide to fit through my bedroom doorway (which leads outside).

We had a nice chat with the fire safety officer, he fitted smoke detectors, told us all my DVD’s should be in cabinets and not on shelves (fumes emitted from DVD’S and CD’s are highly toxic and will kill you before any fire does), told us my electric door needed to be fixed so I could open it to let emergency services in ,and said I needed to take down my blinds and curtains as that would cause access to be difficult.

After this we contacted my OT Mrs.K who arranged for the person in charge of the council’s Disabled Facilities Grant‘s to visit, we went over all our concerns and she agreed to supplying a DFG to widen my door, check and replace the electrics in my room, put in a new electric door and pave a way from my bedroom to the footpath.

This all seemed to be going rather smoothly and I was even told the work would definitely be done by Christmas (last year), of course these things never go according to plan do they?  It took some time to get Care and Repair’s architect to draw up plans, I found several issues with these when I did get them and the council also said they wouldn’t fund everything that had been drawn up.  Back to the drawing board, literally.

I decided to draw up my own plans which were simpler and show them to the architect, Google Sketchup is a great tool for this.  We had another meeting with the council and the architect, during this meeting we were told funds were currently tight and we may have to wait until April, but on the plus side everyone liked my plans and thought they would work.

Again we had to wait, first for the architect to draw up new plans, then for the housing association and council to pass them.  Then another problem, all Care and Repair departments in Gloucestershire were brought under the umbrella of Mears, this wasn’t supposed to cause any difficulties, but of course it caused more delays.  As everything had taken so long our finances had to be checked again to make sure we were still eligible for a DFG.

Then finally at the beginning of this month we received a letter informing us that the contract had been awarded to Groves building services, I immediately asked my Mother to phone Mears to get the start date and time the job would take, the reply was they weren’t sure, maybe September and it would possibly take two weeks.  I wasn’t happy with this reply so emailed Mears to get more specific information, my tone wasn’t particularly friendly as I was rather frustrated that things had taken so long, being slightly stroppy obviously worked though as Mears got in touch again and said the work would start the following Monday.

The builders arrived at around ten, but didn’t really seem to have looked at the works specification very well, they hadn’t even ordered the doors or contacted the security firm who would need to work on them.  They decided to have a look outside and then had a lunch break at about half ten, after their lunch break was over they actually got into action, clearing bushes from the garden.

The man from Mears arrived at about twelve to check on things, we were told the previous architect had retired so he was taking over, it was obvious he wasn’t overly happy with the lack of detail in the work specification, but he seemed very competent and answered all our questions, it turns out the job is actually supposed to take five weeks according to the the contract, it would have been nice if the lady from Mears had looked at those documents and not told us two weeks.

After this the builders carried on working until about three then went home, to be fair they had cleared out the garden, although they did leave some mess.

Not an awful first day, but it could have been better with some preparation.

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