Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time for another letter

You may be wondering why we aren't posting photos of our preliminary excavations etc. So are we.

Because we had to raise the house 600mm this meant that our garage wall on the North side of the block had to become 600mm taller.  This makes the "wall on boundary" too high for planning regulations.  The builders let us know this and said that dispensation was required from the council, unfortunately they left out the bit that it was us that had to organise dispensation until I asked how the request was going.

Therefore we had to jump into action, we downloaded the appropriate forms from council, wrote a covering letter and had our neighbours sign a copy of the plans stating that it was OK.  Within 6 business days we had received documentation back from council saying that it was approved.

Meanwhile I had been continuously requesting final documentation from the builder, unfortunately nothing seems to have happened.  Therefore we now require a new letter to try to get action.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wow, letters work

If you want a response to a query and emails and phone calls don't seem to work, write a letter.  I was getting a little exasperated trying to get some responses to a query so I thought lets try another tact, I'll try a letter.  Pretty much all I did was copy text straight out of an email asking questions such as "please explain delays" and "will we get colorbond?"  I sent the letter on Sunday arvo so the letter may have arrived at their offices as early as Monday, however I got a full answer, via email, this afternoon.  That's one of the best turn arounds I've had.

I think that this is the ultimate benefit of trying to get the contract sorted as soon as possible, now there is a legal requirement for them to action my queries.  According the contract if they do not respond they are in breach.  Whilst I would never really want to enforce breach if they do not respond appropriately, it is a good position to be in.  If they breach the contract you are entitled to seek an alternate builder to build the rest of the house and the current builder must cover costs.  This will result in extra time and most likely extra costs to you, however it would be a disaster for the builder.