Finally the front entrance to my house has been fixed, and I have replaced the stolen equipment (still waiting for my Tivo remote to arrive).
The company that was tasked with repairing the security gate and front door sent out a carpenter a week after the break-in. Not their fault for being slow – it was the insurance who took a long time to approve the quote.
Anyway, the guy fixes the splintered door frame, and puts in a new door with a new lock, and a new security lock, but he puts the old (severely bunged up) door handles on the door. I point this out and ask him where the new door handles are. It appears that nobody told him to put new door handles on the door, so he didn’t have any with him. Also, since he’s only a carpenter, he is not there to fix the lock on the security gate, or to install an anti-lift bracket on the driveway gate.
He then asks me for the excess money (I have to pay the insurance excess to this guy’s company), so I tell him that I will gladly pay them the excess money when the repair job is fully completed. “Ok” he says, and off he goes.
The next morning, the coordinator phones me and bitches about the fact that I had held back payment. The guy, sounding upset, tells me that according to the contract I signed (right… what contract fuck head? – I signed NOTHING), payment of the excess had to take place up front before they picked up any tools.
I said “Riiiiiiiight.” And I said nothing further. What did these guys think? If I paid them and they buggered off without completing the work to my satisfaction, what recourse would I have? The silence was deafening. After a few moments, he gulped and said that it didn’t matter, they would be there later to complete the work. He also added that they would need to collect the money at some stage. He sounded quite surprised when I told him that the cheque was waiting for him, and would be handed over as soon as they had finished.
By the time I got home that afternoon, they had completed their tasks and had left. They installed an anti-lift “bracket” (I use the term loosely) on the gate. It’s not a bracket per se, but it’s a nice wedge of metal that will prevent any mother fucker from trying to lift the gate off its track in future. It wasn’t ever possible at the front side of the gate, however it was still possible at the back end of the gate, which I had never realised, as the way the gate is made, it appears as if you can’t lift it from the track. Unfortunately the gap at the top was just enough to let the wheel come free from the track, and move the teeth of the drive rail off the motor’s gear, which allowed them to open the gate.
The only weak point left (in my opinion) is that it might still be possible to use a crowbar to bend the drive rail so it comes away from the motor’s gear. I think some steel mesh welded to the front of the gate should solve that weakness. My wife hates the idea as it would make the gate look ugly, however I don’t care as long as the mother fuckers can’t get in anymore.
The property should be fairly impregnable then. The only way in would be over the electric fence, and doing that should sound the alarm anyway – however I will probably have outdoor passive sensors installed in the front and back yards to sound the alarm should anybody attempt to approach the house.
It’s sad that we have to be prisoners in our own homes.