Sunday, April 24, 2005

Materials to go!

The Materials for the Bathroom have arrived. We have decided to replace the two Baths with large shower enclosures.(80 x 120mm) The rooms each have good water pressure and with the capacity of the boiler invigorating hot showers should soon be possible.

The tiler is ready to start work as soon as the old bathroom suites are removed.

Shopping for materials is a strange experience in this country which still thrives on patronism if not nepotism. You the customer are not King here. You are not expected to show around for the required parts and materials. 'Installadors' and 'palettas' instead order on your behalf and collect the discounts they can negotiate with suppliers. 'Discuento' is still the first word learned by most Spaniards.

When you pay a visit to the large hardware suppliers your prospective purchase has three distinct elements.

First the 'Technico' will search his computer to ascertain if they can supply you with the correct part , he will print off a spec sheet and price the goods and add the IVA tax at 17%. He will then give you a discount of 10% if this is your first visit maybe 15% if it is a subsequent order.

Second the goods will be checked over by the counter assistant with your help.

Thirdly you now go to the office and pay a clerk for the goods and receive your validated invoice.

The process always seems like an exercise in job creation.