We've had problems with our terrace door's fancy mechanism (German windows/doors like this one open at the top, on the side, and lock all with the turning of the knob lever) ever since moving in to this apartment. It just continued to deteriorate, until we finally got our landlord to take notice last November. He sent someone over to take a look at it. The guy looked at it and said it was so old that he would have to order special parts. He said it would be a couple of weeks. We never heard from him again. We gave him a lot of time to show up, then started bugging the landlord again. Early last month, the landlord came by to check out the door. Yup, still broken! He said he'd find someone else.
We took advantage of this opportunity (his wife was here too, and she's a bit more free-spending) to remind them we still had concerns about the oven and stove. Only one burner on the stove worked well. The others would eventually heat up over about 20 minutes or so. But the worst was that the oven didn't seal closed all the way around, so heat came pouring out of the oven. It just seemed like a fire hazard to me. (I should note here that we are lucky to be in an apartment which came with a landlord-owned kitchen. Many, or even most, apartments come with nothing, not even the kitchen sink.) And, miracle of miracles, they agreed to replace it this time!
Less than a week later, some guys from MediaMarkt wheeled a new stove top and oven into our apartment, only to immediately note that the hole in the counter was way too big for the stove top. Apparently they don't make them that big anymore, so the landlord had no choice but to buy a smaller one and hope it could somehow perch in there anyway, I guess. So, they left the new oven in our living room and left the old one still installed in the kitchen. We had to put the landlord directly on the phone with the installer to convince him that we were not lying and just making it up - there was going to have to be a new counter installed. He argued with the installer about just putting a piece of metal or something on the counter to cover the hole. The installer was not impressed. He was also disturbed at the heat damage he saw on everything around the oven.
So, things are getting worse for our landlord, who must be Schwaebisch or something, because he is extremely, uh, frugal. Now he has to buy a new counter too. He came by with his wife to look at the new stove and the counter and measure a few things and confirm for himself that a new counter was, indeed, necessary.
Over the next two weeks, he had trouble getting a new counter cut. The first place he went kept coming up with reasons that they hadn't gotten it done yet. Then he showed up here with his son, to have another look at it and again prove to himself that the new counter top was going to be the only solution to the problem. I guess he decided it was. He then tried somewhere else to cut it. A week and a half later, he finally showed up with some new counter pieces and a grumpy, grizzled friend to help him out. (Not the same friend as last time, but equally as cheerless about his Freundschaftsdienst.)
First things first: the new countertop is horrifyingly ugly in my view, and doesn't make any sense in our yellow-and-puke-brown kitchen: it's white fake marble. Ew!! But, beggars can't be choosers. It's not like we cared for the fine fake wood counter that was there before. Just install the damn proper oven before it burns the place down.
It took them the entire day. Sawdust was flying everywhere. Many Scheisses emanated from the kitchen. There were trips to the Bauhaus to buy, at least, a new faucet, and who knows what else. By 7pm, they couldn't stand it anymore and called it a day - even though there was no hot water coming out of the tap, and it was flooding under the sink. He said that the oven installer would fix it when he came to put in the oven - in 3 days' time. Until then, our stove top was sitting above the hole in the counter. He wired it back up and said we could use it. Um, no. Not going to use the stove that is sitting right on the counter top! Do you want the kitchen to burn down, buddy!? Am I being a crazy safety-obsessed American here again?
So, Damon and I celebrated Convenience Foods Week while we waited to get a stove. We don't even have a microwave. It was take-out and frozen pizza and cold sandwiches every night. We didn't want to dirty too many dishes either, what with the lack of hot water in the kitchen and the bathroom sink not being a really great option.
When the oven installer came, he was appalled at the horrible job that had been done cutting the counters. Not only was the whole thing cut crooked (resulting in part of the wall we hadn't painted now being visible, as everything was pushed back to accommodate the new fucked-up counter), the hole for the stove was crooked too. The hole for the faucet is too big, so right by the sink there's a hole where water can drip down under the counter. (Did they think we wouldn't notice?) And the reason for the leak down below was just some moronic thing they did wrong. He tightened a few things and we had hot water again. But, there's still a small cold water leak because we apparently need to replace some pipe down there where a gasket is all worn out. (The gasket is attached to the pipe, so no replacing just the gasket.)
Despite the fact that we can't generally afford crap for this apartment that we don't even own, we'll be trying to replace that part and put it in ourselves. We are just not up for another comedy of errors with the landlord again at the moment!!
The new stove is great. It's so nice to have four working burners. We're so used to just having one that we don't even really know what to do with ourselves! We keep forgetting!
As for the terrace door, it was repaired only two days after someone came to look at it. He was horrified at how bad it had gotten and told us to stop using the door until it was fixed. They spent the whole morning putting in a new mechanism and it works like a charm now. The landlord made sure to tell us that the repair cost him 700 EUR.
Photos: Old stove & oven with fine fake wood counter. New stove & oven with fine fake marble counter.
Unrelated Note: It seems my silly Quietscheentchenlied post was the 300th one on this blog! And I didn't even notice until just now.