Sunday, October 25, 2009

Contracts Signed Today

We now have a worst case finish date.  Things are looking good.  The contract states that the builders have 35 days to organise a building permit and then they must start within 21 day of receipt of the permit.  Then the contract has a build time of 330 days.  Therefore at worst by mid November next year we will either be receiving the huge sum of $300 a week or we will be in our new house.

Next step, colour selection.  To make things easier for us to visualise I have been playing with Google Sketchup.  We are settled on everything for the facade as per the display except because we want colorbond roof and we don't like the red we are torn between colours.  I'll put together some images of these later.  Here's how my model looks at the moment though.

I even spent some time puting some furniture together for inside so that we can match some of our current colour schemes to ones that we choose.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trees are back but it's a good thing

Received the final contract and plans today. All of the agreed changes appear to have been included on a quick first pass.

The funny thing though is the imaginary "tall tree" in the front yard of our neighbours has disappeared from our plans. This is excellent and to top it of the draftee (whom I've had no complaints with throughout the whole process) has even copied my tree locations, tree heights and the radius of influence according to AS2870 onto the plans.

This is great because the builder needs to sign these plans and by doing so they are fully agreeing to my assessment of the trees.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Contract done demo oh oh....

I got the contract amendments off this morning. Got a phone call that they were all ok in the arvo. I should have asked for more. Apparently the contract will now be amended and sent to the sales man and then we will get it via courier. Possibly signing this weekend.

Alright, now seems like a good time to organize demolition....

I called the company that gave us the best quote and got. "There is no way we could get it done before Christmas....." My heart dropped and I suddenly thought that al of this mucking around getting this right was in vaine because we'd neglected our demolition.

I quickly organized two more quotes and rang the second best priced people. I can now breath again we may still be able to get it done in three to five weeks. Whoohoo.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Contract negotiations

Well, my ear is about to fall off and my blood pressure will return to normal next week, but we appear to be moving forward. The sticking point was still liquidated damages (LDs) and the build time but most other items can be sorted.

PDs went up to $300 but build time is still 330 days. All of the items can be sorted with amendments and we can move on from there. Unfortanately all of this had to be done through multiple phone calls and complete refusal to speak directly to the person who makes the final decision.

The extra $11k was another big issue that arrised from the 30 metre tree that doesn't exist. This can hopefully be sorted with some more srict contract terms which I will now have to go home and write. We'd better do one last review of everything as this is probably our last chance.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Contracts.... But.

We finally got the contract on Friday. Only three months after we were expecting them. Unfortunately the contract contains a few areas that make me a little uncomfortable.
- liquidated damages less than HIA standard at $200 per week rather than $250. Which is already very low.
- construction period of 330 days combined with liquidated damages so low there is no incentive for the builder at all.
- and then the big one. $11300 of extra site costs. We have receved 5 previous versions of this pricing all with mistakes and items missing. Never has this cost appeared untilthe last one. Me thinks something sneaky. They have been nice and added a clause about site cost being subject to a review but why only le us know now.....

We'll letyou know how we go.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Contracts tomorrow?

I got a call from our salesman today. Final contracts are in the mail and wecan meet on Friday to sign and pay 5% deposit. Unfortunately the amount for the deposit does not tally with 5% of what I though was the final price.

Apparently the poor person who was finalizing everything for us is in hospital and they had to piece things together. "It is all right though, we've been through it in detail." So we are now looking forward to a long Friday night to make sure everything is right.

Here comes th RED pen.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Where to put the water tank?

I had a call from the sales guy yesterday regarding where to put the water tank. Apparently the draftee was concerned about having the tank too close to the foundations. This got me thinking.

Ideally as the block slopes down toward the back and to the north I would prefer to have the tank at the lowest point. Unfortunately there is an easement at the back and I didn't want to be too close to that. I did a quick google to see I anyone else had had a similar experience with an underground tank but had no luck.

I the called the engineering department at the local council and was put through to the easement expert. Unfortunately he didn't know too much but he did end up getting back to me andsaid that there was really no guidance for excavating into the easement. He even called me back again to say that the only litation I have is that I should try stay at least 1.5m away from the back fence.

Now the easement is 8 feet (2.4m it was set up in 1950) wide so to be safe I will put the tank 2.5m from the back fence and 1.5m from the side fence.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhones

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blogging on the run

This is a test of blogging from my iPhone. I thought that I would see if this works OK and then I may not need to steel the laptop off her indoors.

I had a call from the sales guy today and supposedly we'll have the contract this afternoon. I will believe it when I see it.

We've spent the last few days trying to organize service abolishment before demolition and sorting out things for the water tank. I've even been playing with sketchup a little more to help with colour selections I'll post some images and models when I get a chance. I may need to borrow the laptop for that.

Called Tru energy which was the supplier for our gas and power stated on the section 32. They were very helpful and immediately emailed the forms to arrange for abolishment of gas and electricity.

I wasn't sure if I had to organize removal of telstra and Optus cables becAuse these weren't mentioned on any of the demolition quotes that we had received. I thought that it was better to be safe than sorry so I called Optus as I had a vague recollection of an optus box and a cable coming into the old house. After about 5 minutes on the phone I was told that a contractor will be out next Thursday. Very handy and convenient. Then I tried Telstra....

This was an entirely different story. After being put on hold several times I was given the number of a contractor to call. I then went through a convoluted menu system that seemed constantly tell me to call other numbers. I finally got to a person who guess what... Told me to call another number. Finally after a similar "phone someone else" menu system I spoke to someone who asked every question you could think of. I was getting a little concerned however because all the way through this third degree I was never asked the address of the place requiring the service removal. Finally after about 20 minutes I was given a receipt number and told to give this number when things don't happen. An interesting experience.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pestering might pay off...

They are now calling me.  I have received probably 5 phone calls from the builder in the last two days,  all to make sure everything was being corrected entered.  I think the talking to about my disappointment with their time frames is actually working.

We have now received a corrected spec and are just waiting for the drawings and the pricing to be finished.  This should be happening in the next couple of days.  We may be getting close to contracts??

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Only 33 lines wrong out of 700

We received our spec, not our contract yet, and only 33 line items were wrong.  Some were as minor as spelling mistakes, however some items were just not specified, others were the wrong item.  To the right is a screen capture of the changes we have made, the yellow rows are rows where we have changed the info.

Unfortunately every time we ask for say 3 changes, two of them get done and the third is ignored.

Hopefully with a sit down with the salesman this arvo we can get a better outcome?