Together Mutual Insurance and John Lewis giveaway

When I bought my first flat I was 25 years old and on a modest salary. I remember my dad and I went to visit the flat, which was right next to Borough Market, and we went for a drink afterwards and drew up a list of pros and cons. It was a brand new studio flat and the fact that it was a new build was very much on the pros list; I couldn’t afford any unforeseen maintenance issues or to do any work to the flat. Luckily for me in the three years that I lived there I never did experience any issues or unexpected costs.

Fast forward to buying my second flat, where I currently live, despite a larger salary I was still very much aware of the fact that I was single at the time and I was pouring my savings into buying the flat so I still couldn’t risk buying somewhere with hidden problems or a boiler that was going to internally combust within the year.

However, what I didn’t bank on was shoddy work by the developers of my new build flat that led to a couple of home disasters within our block. Firstly, our balcony that looks out to brilliant views of London six floors up has large glass panels. A couple of years after we moved in the glass panels started to shift, which we didn’t even notice at first. It wasn’t until the summer, once we started to sit out on the balcony, that we really noticed that something wasn’t quite right because all of the panels were at different heights but we could see that it wasn’t possible for them to slip down completely because the decking overlapped the panels. It was only when we heard a huge smash one day and saw one of the glass panels from our neighbour’s balcony had slipped out of its brackets entirely and fallen down onto the street (thankfully no one was down on the street at the time!) that we really understood the extent of the problem. Thank goodness our buildings insurance covered the work necessary to make our balcony completely safe, as well as unsuspecting passersby.

A Bermondsey balcony | Insurance and John Lewis giveaway | Apartment Apothecary

Our little Bermondsey balcony – walk under it at your own risk 😉

The second home disaster we experienced within the first year of moving into the flat was in our bathroom (the one you never see on here because it has no window so I can’t take pictures in there;)). There is a huge mirror on one wall in the bathroom that reaches up to the ceiling. I love having the mirror as it makes the room look bigger and it’s always useful to have a good mirror somewhere in your house. However, what we didn’t know was that the developers had used the wrong clips to hang the mirror. Thankfully, we weren’t in the room at the time as this enormous mirror fell off the wall and smashed into a million pieces. Luckily, this happened within the first year of living in the flat so it was covered by the builders’ guarantee and they came and repaired the damage – we will never be able to remove that mirror now after the amount of extra adhesive they used to ensure it never falls down again.

We are currently experiencing our third, and hopefully last, home disaster. Our flat roof, which allows for our amazing terrace, has started to leak – eeek! The leak first became apparent on the fifth floor of the building but water has now started flooding into our neighbours’ flat to the point that they gave us a key this weekend when they went away so that we could change the buckets if it rained. We are keeping our fingers and toes crossed that the water doesn’t work its way into our flat, especially as we have only just finished redecorating, but at least we are safe in the knowledge that we have both buildings and contents insurance.

A Bermondsey balcony | Insurance and John Lewis giveaway | Apartment Apothecary

Our roof terrace has amazing 360 degree views of London but it has sprung a leak. I am praying it does not make its way into our flat as it is currently pouring into our neighbours’ home.

Have you ever experienced any home disasters? To help us all the lovely folks over at Together Mutual Insurance would like to offer one reader a year’s worth of insurance and £200 of John Lewis vouchers. If you would like to enter all you have to do is complete the form below. Good luck!

Katy x

P.S. Keep your fingers crossed the leak doesn’t make its way into our flat or you may never see my kitchen and living room makeover!

P.P.S. This is Otto with his confused face on trying to work out how on earth I went from standing next to him on the balcony to waving at him from the bedroom window, which is where I took the pics from.

A Bermondsey balcony | Insurance and John Lewis giveaway | Apartment Apothecary

*I teamed up with Together Mutual Insurance (@TogetherIns) to tell the story of my home disasters and they are currently offering 40% off home insurance.



  1. 22nd March 2016 / 10:00 am

    I moved into a new build 6 months ago and even though the building is ok for now I need to get contents insurance straight away. I never owned furniture so didn’t really need it in the past but every day I live in fear something is going to happen to the flat and I’ll lose everything :/

    even before Christmas, a flat in the 18th floor got flooded and a flat below it got completely ruined 🙁

  2. 22nd March 2016 / 10:53 am

    Oh gosh, it must be so scary owing your own home, insurance definitely needed. Best of luck with the leak, I really hope it gets sorted and doesn’t make it to your lovely flat x

  3. 22nd March 2016 / 11:06 am

    Otto is so cute! What a disaster with the balcony glass and bathroom mirror. You’d think developers would get it right. And it just goes to show you can never be without insurance, no matter where you live.

  4. 22nd March 2016 / 12:01 pm

    Otto looks adorable on your balcony! The shifting sounds really scary, glad you got it sorted. We chickened out of buying a London flat (partly) because we were scared of the whole maintenance and leasehold business – especially with older properties. Not that living a house is much easier – we’ve had out share of leaks and unforeseen problems too! x

  5. 22nd March 2016 / 2:16 pm

    Good god, that doesn’t sound good and it’s quite shocking that issues like this occur in new buildings, after all, you’d think that builders/developers know what they’re doing…er…maybe not. I hope you’ll get the terrace issues sorted, good job you have insurance for all these things. Good luck xo

  6. 22nd March 2016 / 8:39 pm

    Oh no, poor you! I used to work for an insurance company and frankly it made me paranoid about making sure you are insured correctly. There’s nothing more important than your home and family after all.
    Btw, how cute is your lovely dog, so well behaved all the way up there on the balcony!

  7. 22nd March 2016 / 9:48 pm

    I love that last picture of Otto!! He’s such a cutie. We live in a new build, too, and it definitely doesn’t come without its problems. We had to move out while our floor was taken up because it hadn’t been laid properly and started making really worrying cracking noises! It scared the living daylights out of me. Hope you get your terrace fixed soon!! x

  8. 23rd March 2016 / 10:22 am

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your flat stays leak-free – hope it gets sorted soon! Our worst home moment came when we were trying to sell our previous home. A potential buyer was looking around during a torrential rain shower, and I remember standing by the kitchen window with him saying ‘It’s a pity you can’t go out into the garden, but at least you know our roof doesn’t leak.’ At that exact moment there was a strange gushing noise, and we turned round to see water pouring through the ceiling and down the wall behind us! Needless to say he didn’t put in an offer… x

  9. 23rd March 2016 / 1:26 pm

    Oh my gosh…we’ve had some real issues with our new build too (roof leaks though luckily in the communal stairwell, doors that didn’t have any ventilation that they have to come and re-drill, sockets that had no wiring behind them!)…but yours sound way more dramatic! Eeek! Fingers crossed for no more issues and that your ceiling doesn’t leak too! Lx

  10. Karen Pemberton
    28th March 2016 / 11:36 am

    Can you tell me the name of the duvet cover shown in your picture above? I cannot find it on the John Lewis website and it is sooooooo lovely! Thanks

    • Katy
      28th March 2016 / 11:47 am

      Hi Karen, I’m so sorry, I’m not sure as I didn’t create the visual. If I find out I’ll let you know xx

  11. Suzanne Howell
    11th April 2016 / 1:23 pm

    I came home from work one Christmas Eve to find that my fridge-freezer had broken down and water was slowly dripping out. The water had seeped under the kitchen floor tiles and then into the living room and soaked the carpet. It was stashed full of all the yummy food I’d bought for the Christmas break. The shops were closed by now and so I couldn’t go out and replace it. We had to just eat what we could – and quickly – and my mother-in-law found room for some of the frozen food in her freezer, but some had to be thrown and I had to go and replace the fridge-freezer (and the food) as soon as the shops were open. It was just really bad timing for something like this to happen 🙁

  12. Michelle Bruce
    13th April 2016 / 1:59 pm

    My daughter had ‘a few friends’ to stay whilst my husband and I were away for a couple of nights. One of them fell over in the bathroom knocking the toilet out of lace and resulting in filthy water seeping all over the floor and leaking downstairs. Hooray for insurance!

  13. Judy Beba-Brown
    13th April 2016 / 2:02 pm

    I came home one day to hear my husband calling desperately from upstairs for me to turn off the stopcock, and at that moment a mini waterfall started coming down the stairs! Then water started coming through the hall ceiling – I ran to the kitchen and turned off the stopcock, but the carpets were soaked, and the hall ceiling needed attention. Thank goodness for insurance – my poor husband had accidentally put a nail right through a water pipe…..

  14. Fiona jk42
    13th April 2016 / 2:38 pm

    We had a contractor install a new shower cubicle, complete with new tiles. The next day, we woke up to water pouring from the bathroom floor all down the stairs and walls downstairs. We could not reach the contractor, so called an emergency plumber who smashed through the new tiles to get at the new piping which had not been connected properly. We had no more tiles left and found they had been discontinued. It took ages to track down replacement tiles, during which time we had to shower with a plastic curtain taped over the hole in the shower wall. Next time we will be sure a) to run the water before the access to pipes is blocked, and b) order more tiles than we think we will need, so we have some spare.

  15. michael carter
    13th April 2016 / 3:50 pm

    great prize

    13th April 2016 / 9:20 pm

    I had a Home Emergency Accident but luckily I had Insurance, but I managed to claim on the Plumber guys insurance. He wouldnt admit liability but the Company he was contracted to claimed on theirs after coming out to check the damage and completed work. The guy didnt plumb my brand new washing machine in correctly, so the pipe wasnt affixed. Result: overnight wash flooded the apartment, and caused over £18 1/2Ks worth of damage. All my integrated appliances fused and were ruined, and I was left without electric for 8 days as I needed a brand new rewire but the flat had to dry out first. All the flooring and kitchen units were swollen with water and warped, so had to be replaced. Stomping about in 3 feet of water wasnt fun, although seeing the Firemen who came to help out was a highlight (admittedly, no make up, unbrushed bed hair and a nightle and wellies wasnt the most alluring get up I would have chosen to be wearing, but….!).

  17. John Jewett
    13th April 2016 / 9:57 pm

    Leaking roof, ended up with the ceiling coming down

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