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.