Thursday, December 23, 2010

72 DAYS???!!!!

I received an email from the Construction Coordinator in response to my letter.  The only response they could give was on the inclement weather days, 72 days.  The contract allowed for 10 inclement weather days.  That's an extra 2 months on top of an 11 month contract.  If they add that to the current finish line it will be May next year by the time the house is finished.

I immediately sent an email back asking to give me a break down of the days and what trades had been booked for those days.  I think if I get a chance on the break I will have a very detailed look back through this blog to see what was happening when and how 72 days could be added to the contract.  I did a quick look BOM and found that it rained 160 days since they started, 99 of which were over 1mm and 77 were over 2mm.  Why does the drought have to break when we are building a house.

On another note I think I will now have about a years supply of green mulch as per Fu Manchu on Homeone's Landscape and Garden Design Forum recommendations.  My parents had about 6 massive trees cut down at their house yesterday and my dad has a new awesome mulcher.  So with more mulch than he knows what to do with I will taking some for our current house and then when the new place is finally done I can get heaps for there too.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Letter Follow Up

I called the builders today to see if they had received my letter and what is being done.  Unfortunately our Site Supervisor is on leave already and they had no idea about progress.  It's always reassuring to hear that the office is on top of everything.

I did find an interesting clause in the contract though:

"43.1 The Builder is in substantial breach of this Contract if the Builder:
  • suspends the carrying out of the Building Works, otherwise than in accordance with Clause 35 [which is only if the owner doesn't pay a progress payment or is themselves in breach];
  • has the Builder's licence cancelled or suspended;
  • is otherwise in substantial breach of this Contract."
To me, that says that if the builder stops working on the house they are in substantial breach.  The next clause goes on to say:

"43.2 If the Builder is in substantial breach of this Contract the Owner may give the Builder a written notice to remedy the breach:
  • specifying the substantial breach;
  • requiring the substantial breach to be remedied within 10 Days after the notice is recieved by the Builder; and
  • stating that if the substantial breach is not remedied as required, the Owner intends to end this Contract." 
So if after the 19th of January (the day that the builders office reopens after the break) I have not heard anything satisfactory from the builder I will send them a letter as detailed in clause 43.2 to sort of force them into action.  If the contract is ended by the builder being in substantial breach, the owner can get another builder to finish the work at the builders expense.  Not a good outcome, however a good threat to get things finished.

Our next little project is to organise someone to come and put a fence in... I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 20, 2010

House Tour

Yesterday we took a group of friends for a tour through the house.  It is great to have other people look at things and offer their opinions.  One suggestion was to not fix the flat sill bricks in the alfresco area.
This was so that you can put furniture right up next to the walls and you also have an extra flat area to put your drinks down.  Whilst I think this is an excellent idea I just shudder at the thought of trying to make sure that this gets through to the builder so that the correct bricks are left not sloped.

Another thing that needs to be done once we are in is to move the huge pile of soil in the back yard around to level out areas.  I was planning on hiring a little digger and doing this myself, as I thought that it would be a lot of fun.  This probably won't happen now as it is quite hard to do with no practical experience or skill and given you can hire someone with their own digger for about the hire cost of the equipment I think I will go down that path.  Oh well one less toy to play with.

Also I have had a query as to what my issue is with the nailing of the flooring.  AS1684.2 Cl states "Nails shall be 10 mm from all edges and at 150 mm centres at ends and butt joints for square edge sheets." which is similar to plywood sheets as shown below:
The nails in our flooring seem to be at least 200 mm apart at the ends and butt joints.  It would be nice to have a house that meets the requirements of the code.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Nearmap Images and letter to Romeo

Nearmap was updated the other day.  As you can see in the photos below almost everything outside is done:
House from above, the only noticable change from previously is the verandah is now visible.  Also this image seems to have been taken from slightly North so you can see our Alfresco pillars.
Looking North
Looking East
Looking South
Looking West

We are sending a letter to Romeo today outlining and asking the following:
  • Payment of lock up invoice (noting that this does not indicate acceptance of completion of the lock up stage)
  • Window sill bricks not sloped
  • Flooring not nailed appropriately
  • Overhang of frame
  • Asking for the number of inclement weather delays
  • Asking for when the house will be finished
  • Informing the builder that we will be getting a fencing contractor in to put fencing on the North side.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bricks and site clean

Why did it have to be over 30 on the only weekend that we had a chance to move bricks around the site.  I suppose I can't complain too much, at least it was dry.  We spent some of Saturday and a huge chunk of Sunday scavenging the remaining bricks around the site.  The brickies over their time on the site had managed to amass so many different piles of bricks that with only two rows on one clean pallet and one row on another (about 100 bricks) we managed to find over 700 bricks to stack in the backyard.  Even with the help of my parents and the kids piling bricks in areas to make it easier for me it was still very hard work.  Whilst pressed bricks are nice and solid they are also bloody heavy.  I think I sweated more moving bricks than I did riding around the bay.

Luckily we did do our brick scavenge on the weekend, because on Monday we were treated to our first site clean.  I haven't managed to get to site yet, however her indoors has had a good look and taken some photos, however I don't have anything to upload yet.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sill bricks and that door lining thing

I went round to the house today with the intent to move all of the left over bricks to the back so that I can save them for building a letter box or something.  Unfortunately the brickie hadn't quite finished and I would have had to move lots of his things around to get the bricks around and felt that this may have been a bit of an imposition.  He has done the sills on some of the windows.
As you can see the decking still hasn't been fixed onto our alfresco.  I don't think that the brickie has added a nice enough slope onto the sill bricks.  This may need to be mentioned and fixed up.  I might give the SS a call tomorrow.
I walked all through the house but it took me a trip through the whole thing before I noticed what the carpenter had been up to.  There is this extra bit of wood that they add that the door stops on, I have no idea what it is called however this is what was added today.
Also on the way out I found that the lining for the verandah ceiling had been done too.

On the weekend the boys in their usual rummage through the leftovers found some pieces of the firestreak floor boards.  So I took these pieces, nailed them together, sanded them and then put some linseed oil on them to see what they would look like when the floorboards get stained.

Front Sills almost done

The front window sills, under our bedroom and lounge room windows, are almost complete.  The front sills are with bullnose bricks and the back are with cut straight highlight bricks at an angle.  I hope that the reason the sills at the front are not finished is not because the poor brickie has run out of bricks again.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cabinetry almost finished

We popped by the other evening and found that the cabinet makers must have been back to bring back the cupboards with the right hand orientation and fix a few other things.  Now our kitchen almost looks done:
Here is another view
 This is the little cupboard at the left

This the view over the kitchen to our rumpus room

this is our pantry, it looks like they still need to get some shelves right here though.  The cavity on the left will be for an upright freezer (which we are yet to buy, hopefully it is still available)
Our ensuite doors are now back on with the handles in the right direction

this is our laundry
Here is where they are up to on our facade.
Not too much to go now.  The carpenter is finishing off the skirts and architraves.  The brickie is now doing the fiddly window sills etc.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The benchtop looks awesome

We had a look around this arvo and there has been some great progress. We love the look of the Caesar benchtop. Our sliding wardrobe doors are all in.

Stumps for the alfresco decking are in.

The brickie has done some window sills.

And it looks like the carpenter will take a big longer than before.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 19, 2010

Will this be the carpenters timetable?

Our carpenter and brickie have been at it for days on end now.  We even found the brickie there last Sunday.

When we explored in the house I found this on a wall:
Will they stick to this.  This is the first time we have seen a reasonable estimate of what will be done.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gables Installed

Our lovely carpenter has installed our cables over the garage and over the lounge room.  Depending on how hot he gets today he may be installing the last one over the bedroom.
Our brickie now only has a bit of brickwork to go at the back and then he needs to finish the side, luckily some more bricks arrived last night so I think they came just in time, although there was only two pallets.  I hope that this is enough to blend the bricks nicely.   The pillars for our alfresco have been finished so there is nothing more that the carpenter needs to wait on.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cabinet Tour

I got to have a good look at the cabinets this evening.  There were a few issues that have been picked up that are being rectified.  If you look at the previous post some of the doors in the bathrooms had the handles going vertically.  We distinctly remember asking for these to go horizontally.  Just an aesthetic thing, however they realised this error and had to take the doors back to the shop.  Also one of the doors was damaged whilst they were carrying it inside.
As you can see in the above photo they didn't quite get the cupboards above the fridge the right width, so this had to be taken back to made to the right size.  Also they measured the walk in pantry slightly off so they need to adjust one of the shelves that also.
This is our ensuite.
Here's the kitchen bench. The cut out isn't too big, we were a little worried about this. The second set of draws from the right is our bin drawer with our recycling above.

Above is our video of the new bins.
Here's the main wall for the kitchen.  We will get two cupboards covering where the range hood goes.
These are the light boxes that we have in the cupboards above the benches.  We will get someone to install led down lots here in the future when we feel that we really need them.
This is our new sink.  It was still in a box and it looks like it has come with all of the accessories.
Here's the full kitchen. Next we need the caesarstone bench tops and the glass splashback.
Here's another dilemma.  See that bit of mdf on the laundry bench above.  This is the bulkhead for the cupboards up high.  Now we don't have to put this in place if we don't want to.  My preference was to not put it there and use the space above as a shelf.  Also it may help getting things in and out of the manhole.
We've had another leak in the laundry which will hopefully be rectified soon.
Here's the boys bathroom.
Unfortunately it looks like there is a scratch on one of the drawers.  I think we'll save this for the fit off inspection.

Now if you've made it this far through the post you can try to guess what the following is.  I don't know yet but a price will go to the neatest and most correctly spelled answer.....
There were two of these sitting outside..

Cabinets are going in today

Got an excited call from her indoors today.  All the cabinets have arrived and they will be finished installation by the end of the day.
Boys bathroom cabinet
Boys bathroom sink
Ensuite sinks
Ensuite Cabinet
Ensuite cabinets again
Laundry Sink
Laundry cabinet
Kitchen cabinets (unfortunately this is all I have at the moment).  Expect another post tonight with them all in place.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gables / Verandah / Timeframe

Popped by the house on Monday afternoon and found that some more materials have been delivered inside
At least now the carpenter won't need to wait for anything, we just need to wait for the carpenter.

Also the brickie appears to have realized his mistake.
He's taken the capping layer off and has added two courses of bricks to the wall and the posts.  Whilst this is still better I think it may need another one or two courses to actually give the little wall any useful height above the future slab in the verandah.

To respond to Anonymous (my volunteer construction advisors) comment I think that given the drawings indicate dashed lines for the vents I assume that these are for behind the verandah wall and are for the wall beneath the lounge room.  Also there would not be too much point having a vent in a wall above finished floor level (as indicated in the drawing) as no real ventilation will occur.  The brickie has done the right thing on the wall under the lounge room and has placed the vents at the perfect height.  We will therefore ensure that when we add a concrete slab into the verandah area we don't fill in these vents to prevent the ventilation in this area.  Ideally the floor will be aligned with the base of these vents, which will give about two 150mm steps down from our front door, so we may need to add one small step at the front door.

To respond to Janine, who is also building a Jamieson with Romeo homes, our contract timeframe is 11 months from April this year.  That gives us a contractual finishing time of early March next year.  Her indoors caught up with our plasterer a few weeks back and he gave us a good dose of reality.  He thinks we would be dreaming to think that we would be in before Christmas, which is becoming more obvious now.  The main reason is that we are building in an established suburb well away from the other developments.  In the new estates the builders have the luxury of multiple jobs in close proximity so that they can easily get from one job to the next.  However where we are no one could easily just pop by to finish off something.  Whilst this is a little frustrating and the timeline is almost double what were told by our sales person we have now accepted the fact and look forward to packing over the christmas break.