Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pillars are down

We went by on Sunday and this is what we saw.

Yes the alfresco columns are down. They'd also borrowed my barrow (which I had left in my back yard from my brick moving experience) to sort some bricks into the garage in preparation for bricking.
They have also done some earth works down the side.

They may have finished the bricking yesterday, however we couldn't confirm this.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lots to update but we still aren't in

Sorry about the lack of updates but things have been a little hectic.  I've hardly been in Melbourne and our new Site Supervisor has been keeping us busy.
We thought that we may have been in the house on Friday 27th May.  We spent Friday 20th May walking through with our independent inspector.  Yes, given that we had so many issues from our previous site supervisor we thought that we had better have a new set of eyes have a look.  On Monday we also got our final invoice which we needed to send to the bank to get them started on processing our final payment.  With the invoice we also needed to send the bank the certificate of occupancy....

Oh yeah the certificate of occupancy......(more on that in a bit)

Our indendent inspector had found a few things that we hadn't noticed, but mostly his extremely good and extensive list included what we already knew.  Here's just a quick snapshot:
  • underfloor access door should be painted

  • drainage around the house needs to be fixed (something I have been mentioning for far too long)
  • insulation not finished

  • some down lights too close to timber in the ceiling
Then there were a few minor things that were good to have noticed:
  • doors rubbing on carpet
  • seals required on doors to garagae
  • scratches on benchtops
  • tiles out of alignment.

Then there were three reasonably big things:
  • Not enough gap under the master bedroom windows
  • Tiles in master ensuite shower did not have an appropriate step to stop water coming out of the shower
  • And here's the interesting one.  The brick perpends (the vertical bit of mortar between the bricks) are too wide on the alfresco pillars. Including the one that was rebuilt
So we spent the Tuesday morning (within 24 hours of getting the report from the inspector) walking through with the Site Supervisor.  He was really good, everything was to be fixed, painted or repaired, except for a few things.
  • Apparently the electrician had already put baffles on the top of the lights and these mean that they can be closer to timber.  He will get the electrician to supply this information to me.
  • He wasn't too worried about the lack of the gap on the master bedroom window as there was about a 5mm gap when a 10mm gap is required.  If anything is to go wrong it will present itself as cracks in the master bedroom plaster.  So we may need to revisit this after the 3 months maintenance period.
  • The shower was actually our fault.  This is the arrrangement that we wanted so we were going to stick with this.  We didn't want the whole bathroom re-tiled.
  • The brick perpends on the alfresco pillars was something that we didn't mind too much about as they matched well to each other and were now quite neat.
Then came the certificate of occupancy.

On the afternoon of our walkthrough with the site supervisor the builders inspector came around to supply the certifcate of occupancy.  We were a bit worried about the following things:
  • There were no steps coming out of our laundry door
  • Our alfresco decking was over 1m high off the ground and there was no balustrading.
Apparently these can be got around by ensuring that the owner does something about them.  Unfortunately he found two things that we weren't really ready for.
  • The first was the front steps that the builder had put in needed a landing.
  • The second was the perpends on the alfresco brick pillars.  They needed to be fixed.
To fix the front steps they could build up soil to make the number of steps less.  For the brick perpends Romeo tried to get an engineer to sign off on them (unlikely given that they are outside the limits of the code).  So the engineer offered two solutions.  Rebuild or render (cover up the problem so that no one know?).
So on Saturday down came the pillars, one for the second time.

Oh well more to come.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What needs to be finished?

I was getting a little frustrated with the lack of progress yesterday so I thought I would let the builders know what needed to done. Here are some extracts from emails I sent yesterday. I am posting this from my iPhone so the format won't be great, however I may come back and fix it up if I get a chance.

Dear builder, thank you for the brief update on what is to be done following our phone call. As discussed I have put into writing all that I am aware of that requires work at Room4aCubbies place. Could you please provide responses for the items marked with an asterisk (*).

Items required to be completed / fixed. (this is not an exhaustive list - we expect that The Builder would have a greater understanding of what needs to be done)

Window aluminium infills. Following the re-bricking it is understood that the lintels in some locations have been installed higher than the top of the windows, resulting in a gap. Apparently this was necessary due to the large mortar gaps created by the previous brickie. Could you please provide details as to what will be done about these items and when these will be repaired.*
Privacy Locks. It is understood that the privacy locks will be installed this week.
Hole above master bedroom. When viewing the house from the rear it is evident that there is a hole that is yet to be filled at the back end of the master bedroom gable. When will this be rectified. *
Sub floor insulation. Understood to be going in on Thursday.
Repair of corroded steelwork on lintels. It is noted that some of the steelwork used for the lintels has developed spot corrosion. How is this to be repaired and by when. *
Eaves around alfresco require repair. Due to the brick repair there is some work required on the eaves and timberwork around the alfresco. This will need to be replaced and repainted.
Front verandah eaves require repair. Due to the brick repair the ceiling of the verandah will require repair.
Warped steelwork above front verandah. The colourbond flashing above the front verandah contains a crease. When will this be repaired? *
Timber beading near master bedroom and other locations due to brick repair requires replacement.
Bracket in Garage. There is a bracket in the front left corner of the garage as you enter which will need to be removed.
Sliding door beading. Currently there is no beading hiding the sliding door mechanism. This will need to be installed and painted appropriately.
Mortar Colour. I understand that the mortar will need to be recoloured. We agreed with your director that this could be done following hand over, however we require evidence that this has been ordered and paid for by The Builder.
Damp Proof Course. Due to the brick repairs there has been damage done to the Damp Proof Course membrane. A solution discussed with your Director was to apply an epoxy to seal this mortar. We require details of this solution and when it will be done. Similarly to the Mortar Colour this can be done following hand over, however we require evidence that it has been ordered and paid for by The Builder.
Scratch on Drawer. There is a scratch on a drawer in the Bathroom Vanity.
Sealing WIP. There is a gap to the left of the bench in the walk in pantry. When will this be sealed? *
Sealing Brickwork. The expansion joints in the brickwork require sealing. When will this be done? *
Stain Glass windows. The stain glass windows in the bedroom need to be swapped with those in the lounge.
Termite Protection. When will this be done? *

New toilets. It is understood that the new toilets will be installed on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. Just to clarify, these toilets are to be BTW toilets Reece code 9501855 Porcher Cygnet BTW Standard Close Coupled.
Plumbing of new toilets. It is assumed that the plumbing of these new toilets will be also performed on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Sealing of new toilets. It is assumed that the sealing of these new toilets will be also performed on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Longer tap in bath. The current outlet for the bath in the bathroom is too short and is very close to the edge of the bath. Please provide details of the proposed new tap and when this will be installed.*
Repair of Downpipes. It is understood that the downpipes will be repaired on Tuesday or Wednesday. It should be noted that some of the stormwater drainage pipes at the base of the downpipes has been damaged during the brick repair and these will require repair.

ELECTRICAL (provide timeframe for electrical work*)
Dimmers There do not appear to be any dimmers installed as per our selections
Power points in Vanities. The ensuite and bathroom vanities were to have power points inside them. This does not appear to have happened.
Microwave Power Point. There is no power point for the microwave in the walk in pantry
Stove GPO. Currently there are only two points for the ovens, there does not appear to be a powerpoint for the stove (we require 3 in total.)
Undercabinet light provision . It is not clear whether provision for undercabinet lighting has been provided.
Security System Power Point. There should be a power point for the security system in the walk in robe in the master bedroom.
Network hub. There does not appear to be a network connection in bed 4. There should be 7 network points.
There needs to be a double GPO at the rear of the house.
There needs to be a double GPO in the alfresco.
The external electrical work still need to be completed.

Repair of plaster for new toilets. Following removal of the new toilets it is understood that there may be some damage to the plaster. Please provide details as to when this repair will be done. *
Alfresco Ceiling. The cornices in the alfresco require replacement. When will this occur. *
Cornice in Laundry. There is still a noticeable gap in the cornice in the laundry. This will require repair.
Electrical Repair. Following the work performed by the electrician there is likely to be work required to repair plaster.

Repainting of lintels. Following the repair of the lintels from corrosion they will need to be repainted. When will this occur.*
Repainting of eaves around alfresco
Painting of external paintwork that has been repaired. There will need to be multiple coats applied to all of the timber and cladding used to repair areas following the rebricking. When will this occur? *
Painting of render coat. The rough cast render on the master bedroom gable needs to be painted.
Fix all painting throughout the house. The following items will need attention and need more coats:
repair of plaster from toilets / electrical / other
  • Picture rail is not painted on the top
  • Top and bottom of doors
  • Between the Walk in Wardrobe and the Master Ensuite the wall appears to only have one coat.
  • The Alfresco ceiling only appears to have one coat.
  • Other general areas will require attention.

Inclement weather. As we have heard no further information relating to inclement weather from The Builder regarding our estimate for inclement weather it is understood that The Builders have accepted our calculation of inclement weather of 14 days. Therefore the contractual finish date is 6/3/2011 based on your notice of commencement and the 10 days included for inclement weather within the contract.
Agreed Damages. Following from the above inclement weather we have calculated an agreed damages as per the contract as $2,442.85 as of today and a further $42.86 per calendar day from now on until all work meets the required specifications.
Final Invoice. Until all items identified above, all items identified in our final inspection and any item identified by our independent inspection is fully rectified we will not be paying the final invoice. We also expect that this final invoice will include a deduction for the damages as detailed above.
Documentation required. Further to contractually required documentation could you also provide the truss design documentation that you would have received from the truss suppliers.
Independent Inspector. Due to the poor workmanship that has been found in some areas we have opted to engage an independent inspector. Could you please let us know when the best time to have them review the house is. *

If you require any clarification relating to the above please do not hesitate to contact me.

After I sent the above info I realized I'd still managed to leave some items out. So I sent a second email.

Further to the previous email the following items also need to be attended to:
  • Garage Doors
  • Ducted Heating
  • Ducted Vacuuming
  • Hot water booster for solar hot water
  • Staining of Alfresco Decking
  • Covers for ceiling entry manholes
  • Levelling of site, particularly around alfresco pillars and rear of house where water is pooling under North West corner.
  • Appliance Fit Off including fitting of three lights to front of house. Please provide us with an expected time that you require delivery.
  • The paintwork on the front door appears to include lots of little white dots.
  • Installation of temporary stairs
  • Softclosing hinges for kitchen and bathroom cupboards.

This list is still not exhaustive and there may be other items requiring attention.

I am sure that my only response will be a yes we are looking into it, but I suppose they have now been told.....