Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Paint returned!

The other exciting news is that the arsehole who stole our paint has returned it tonight - an hour ago to be exact. Gosh these cameras are great :wink: This is the best 'walk of shame' video ever. I've asked hubby to save the footage so we can show it at the housewarming party :lol: 

In house building related news we had the first layer of render applied today. No photos unfortunately as it was too dark when I went past after work. I'm looking forward to seeing the final coloured coat of render applied. 

The painter was also there today and worked right through to around 6:30pm! He seems very particular which is great. 

We are confident that the house will be completed shortly so we have booked our window coverings in for installation on the 8th August. I can't wait for these to be installed; the house will feel more homely. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Appliances are in and caught a thief!

Today we have seen more action on site than we have seen in months. We had the electricians, plumbers, carpenters and labourers on site. Plus the builder and site supervisor were also on site today.

Some pictures from today.

laminex crystalgloss kitchen laminate

Gas point on the upper balcony
Boral Barwon brick

Hot water unit

Lower deck steps. These still have to be dressed and finished off with more merbau.
merbau stairs

Yesterday we also busted someone stealing some items from our site. Here is a snap of him just before he moved our security camera ;)

At this stage it appears the house will reach completion early next week. I'm hoping the weather holds out as we need the render done to the front of the house.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Progress report

It has been one week since I posted the timeline provided to us by the builder, let's look at how we're going...

"18th July - shower screen replaced" - this was done 

"24th July - caulkers" - the caulking to the shower was fixed 

"24th & 25th July - painters" - they turned up at 7am this morning and left after 30mins. Not sure why! Apparently they are now coming tomorrow and Saturday. Can't see how this will work given that the floors are being sanded and polished in some areas which means they can't be walked on for 24 hours...

"25th July - all outside work will be finished by this date" - the only outside work performed this week was the pouring of the infill slab to the storeroom. They have a long way to go here so there is no way known this will be done by tomorrow. 

This is the slab that was poured in the storeroom. Looks like they did a great job. The builder used the same concreters that we used for our driveway (1300 Driveways - Chris).

We also paid the concreters to pour a concrete path out the front of the storeroom and around the side of the storeroom that leads to the external 'man cave lounge' door. We will build some stairs there. 

The concreters were scheduled to also pour the slab for the spa but with the cold weather there was a lot of moisture on the ground which meant the only way the boys could get the sand down the hill was by wheelbarrow. As you could imagine the shovelling of the sand downhill for the storeroom and paths took all day so they ran out of time. The concreters will have to schedule the spa slab for another day.

One more thing was achieved this week, the builder ground down the ridges on the mancave slab. They also took some rubbish off site. 

So, back to the builder's timeline.... 

The upcoming work scheduled (assuming nothing has changed):

*new painting dates* 25th & 26th July - painters (no way the painters will be able to finish by the 26th July as there is a lot of timber work still not completed ie. quad not fixed to the eaves, timber balustrades not completed, skirting boards not nailed down etc)

26th July - timber floors fixed on some areas

28th July - kitchen kick panels replaced and pantry shelving installed 

28th & 29th July - cleaning 

29th July - appliances installed by plumber and electrician

Hopefully I will have some exciting updates soon... 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The final countdown...

We have a timeline from the builder of the internal works to be completed. This timeline is realistic and achievable so let's hope they stick to it.

This is the timeline:

18th July - shower screen replaced
24th July - caulkers
24th & 25th July - painters
25th July - all outside work will be finished by this date
26th July - timber floors fixed on some areas
28th July - kitchen kick panels replaced and pantry shelving installed 
28th & 29th July - cleaning 
29th July - appliances installed by plumber and electrician

Of course, if they stick to this timeline that means that they will not achieve handover on 31st July as stated last week. It does mean they may achieve practical completion by the 31st July. 

Once all works are completed we have to schedule our practical completion inspection with the builder and inspector and then they have to rectify any defects that are detected at that inspection, if any. I'm  hoping there wont be any! 

The builder still has to pay damages until all defects are fixed. If they still think they can achieve handover on the 31st July then that means the practical completion inspection, bank inspection (as the bank need to do an inspection) and any rectification of defects detected at the inspection have to occur on the 30th July. Impossible for it all to happen in one day. 

Stay tuned ladies and gentlemen... 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Real estate agent shopping

Looking for a real estate agent to sell our current home is not something I wanted to do again. For the same house. Within a 6 month period. 

Way back in February we signed up with a vendor's advocate because, well, we couldn't be bothered dealing with real estate agents. The idea was to move to the new house then make our current house look more like a home rather than a storage yard. Then we would list it for sale. Due to the build dragging on we never actually were able to list our house for sale. I think we are the only clients of the vendor advocate whose 3 month contract expired before the house could actually be listed for sale. I feel somewhat privileged that he will forever remember us, even if it is for the wrong reasons. I did refer a work colleague to him who achieved an excellent result at her recent auction so I think he forgives me. 

Now we are thinking we may as well go direct through a real estate agent because it would be just as painful whether we have to deal with an estate agent or a vendor advocate. We have an estate agent coming through tomorrow night to view our house and provide a market assessment. I think what is more likely to happen is a load of butt kissing, sales speak and a few percentages thrown around. 

I hope we haven't jumped the gun and approached estate agents too soon. Today we had one small timber handrail replaced at the new house. With next to nothing happening today I'm expecting to see things rocket along the rest of this week...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fixes and progress

Nawkaw were on site today fixing the mortar colour in a few places around the house. Here is a picture I took a while ago of the lower deck.  You can see that the mortar on the wall to the left of the photo is quite discoloured in some areas.
merbau deck

This is the same wall after being fixed by Nawkaw. I think it looks much better.
merbau deck

No one has gone around to fix the mortar holes yet so I hope that when they do this they're careful to ensure the mortar colour matches. I would have thought it would have been more logical to patch the mortar holes around the place before Nawkaw fixed the mortar colour, but I suppose I will just have to hope it now matches. 

The front door frame was also straightened today. It looks much better. I can't wait to see the porch rendered and the door painted. The render will be Dulux Champignon and the doors will be painted in Monument gloss.
merbau deck  Corinthian Madison PMAD 106 door

More of the cracked bricks have been removed from the porch pillar. This will be rebricked before being rendered.

The steps between the rear garage door and the laundry have now been completed. The steps from the deck down to the ground are still to be done. 

I also noticed that one of the kitchen drawers were missing. The drawer needed to be shortened slightly so I assume this has been taken to the cabinetmaker to shorten. The drawers were not made incorrectly, they just needed to be shortened as the gas line for the cooktop runs directly behind it. 

In relation to he timber floors... We decided to keep the high gloss finish. It's nowhere near as shiny as we thought it would be. The only problem is the entrance hall needs to be fixed as there are quite a few bubbles/blisters in the finish. There are also some runs on the risers of the staircase. The gaps between the skirting boards and floors are accentuated with the high gloss finish so the builder has assured us these gaps will be filled. A missed spot near bedroom 3 will need to be fixed. We have also requested a litre or two of the polyurethane and hardener so we can perform touch ups if needed.

Kresta phoned me today trying to organise an installation date for our curtains and blinds. I advised the lady I would phone her next week to arrange a time. I need to find out when the cleaners will be going through the house as I'd prefer to install the blinds after the cleaners have been.

FocusOn Furniture also phoned today asking us (again!) when they can deliver the couch. I had to advise them that we are still not in the house and I will phone them next week with an update. 

Harvey Norman have been hounding my husband about the delivery of our dining table. They have had this in the warehouse since October!! I think they're loosing patience with us...

We are both glad to have seen some progress these past two days. We hope this continues and that they are able to stick to their handover date of 31st July. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Decisions, decisions...

Today was the first day hubby and I could venture into the house to look at the newly lacquered timber floors. We had a good look around today whilst trying to decide whether to leave the floors as they are or whether to contact the builder to ask them to redo them as per the project specifications ie. semi-gloss.

I also inspected around the bottom of the kitchen cabinetry for any further damage from the floor sander. So far so good, I didn't notice any further damage to the kitchen.

tasmanian oak floor boards

tasmanian oak floor

tasmanian oak floor

tasmanian oak floor dulux royal beige half

tasmanian oak floor

Hubby and I have made our minds up in relation to the finish on the floors. He phoned the builder earlier to speak to him about it but it went through to voicemail. Hubby left a message so hopefully the builder calls back ASAP. 

HANDOVER - in other exciting news we have been told that handover should occur in 3 weeks, that's the 31st July. This date will put us 20 weeks past contract. To be honest I doubt it will be at handover stage by 31st July but I'm very happy for them to prove me wrong. There is still a lot of work to do both inside and outside but if we have trades on site everyday (instead of every now and then) I can't see why that date isn't achievable. 

I noticed we had some fly screens delivered. I assume this is only part of the order as I couldn't see any tall & narrow screens for the theatre room and study windows. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sometimes you have to Do It Yourself

After seeing the weather forecast for the next few days we decided to go and buy some temporary downpipe to connect the rain head collector (which we are still waiting for them to move to the side of the parapet since we flagged it in February) to the stormwater pipe. 

We did ask the builder several weeks ago to do this to prevent further water running into the subfloor area. As it has been several weeks since the request, and especially given the track record of things not being rectified in a timely manner, we decided we may as well just do it ourselves. 

The last few times we have had rain there has been significantly more moisture in the ground in the vicinity of where the rainhead collector is and the batter is starting to break down and expose the footings for the brick piers under the house. 

Anyway, for under $15 we have hopefully fixed this problem with this temporary downpipe. It's a sad day when we have to fix something that should have been done a long time ago.

We were lucky enough to finish just as the rain started. 

There were no trades on site again today, despite there being plenty of work to do outside. Given there is now rain forecast for the rest of the week my guess is that not much else will be happening. Again. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Can anything go right!?!

Monday we finally had someone on site after over 1 week of no one there. The carpenters were there fixing & straightening the rear stacker sliding door. It is much better but unfortunately it's still not good enough. I'm hoping that all it needs now is an adjustment to the wheels.

On Monday I also noticed that the external lock sets that were delivered were the wrong ones. Again! This is the third time the builder has ordered the wrong handles. The first two times they ordered knobs instead of levers. This time try ordered the correct levers but in the wrong colour. I emailed the builder straight away who has advised they have now ordered the correct ones. Fourth time lucky, hey!

The front door frame also needs straightening. That wasn't done Monday and so begins the other problem...

The flooring company were there today performing the final sand and polish to the timber floors. This concerns me as there is still quite a bit of work to be done inside which means trades walking dirt through and scratching the floors. For this reason usually the floors are the very last thing to be done. 

Back to the front door frame... The timber frame for the front doors needs to be removed and straightened. I imagine that it is highly likely that the timber floors in the entrance hallway will be damaged during the process of fixing the front door frame - hence why it should have been done before the floors.

If there is one thing that is abundantly obvious it is that jobs are scheduled out of order. The saying "one step forwards, two steps backwards" springs to mind. 

Now, back to the timber floors. Let's see if you can guess what the problem is here. This is a photo I took today of an empty polythane tin on site. This is the polythane used on the timber floors today. Our selections and project specifications show we selected a semi-gloss finish. Seriously, can anything go right!?!
polythane high gloss

If you need extra help working out what the problem is I will give you one more picture clue. 

polythane high gloss

We are further stressed by the front porch pier. The cracks have continued down the pier which means that the pier may have to come down and be rebuilt. I wonder how long it will take them to get around to doing that!?! Either way, it will be fixed and fixed properly prior to handover. 

Hubby and I, although we are keen to move in, are more than happy to keep waiting if it means the job gets done properly. The builder is accruing damages payable to us so it is in their best interest to get everything fixed and finished ASAP. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Small steps and more damage

The last few weeks have been fairly slow, but then again, can we expect anything else!?

We finished the install of the split system heads in the bedrooms and downstairs as well as finished the install of the ducted reverse cycle system to the living areas and front study/spare room.

We provided these units ourselves and used our own aircon guy to finish the install and hook them up to the external units. 

This is the head in one of the bedrooms. Bad iPhone photo! For some reason the colour is off too :-/

This is the control panel for the ducted reverse cycle system. We did test out the heating and it kicks in quite quickly. The area heated up within a few minutes which is great. 
hitachi airconditioner

Caulking was finally done so the corners of the tiles look a lot neater now. 

Except this bit on the base of the ensuite shower where the caulker didn't smooth the silicone...

The front porch deck is finally finished so we can now get from the driveway to the front door. This is a terrible photo which makes the steps look like they're on an angle - they're not, it's just a really poor photo!
porch deck merbau

The deck off the laundry is almost finished. They still have to finish the steps from the garage down to the deck and the stairs from the deck down to the ground. You will notice that the steps overlap the window slightly. This is because there is a 200mm variance in the finished floor level of the garage and the house which meant that we had two options - have REALLY steep steps or have them overlapping the window slightly. I chose the later as 1. I don't want to fall head first down the stairs, and 2. The washing machine will (hopefully) the disguise the fact the stairs overlap the window.

We have also had our rangehood installed. The white protective film is still on it.

Not impressed that the tiles I had to import from Italy were scratched/marked during the install :'( If I want this tile replaced (they're over $200 per tile!!) I have to import it and wait 3 months :( I've tried various cleaners without luck. 

We also noticed that a chunk was knocked out of our retaining wall :( not happy! It appears that it was knocked by an excavator. We did flag this with the builder and asked that he fill the hole up as we intend on rendering that retaining wall. 

There is still a long list of things for the builder to complete and fix prior to handover. I hope my next post will show much more progress - and less damage!