Saturday, 30 July 2011

Real Progress

We have been so happy with the build this week. It feels like it has been a long time coming but we are finally seeing some real work happening and there has been someone on site every day this week.

Monday started with the frame being complete, windows put in on Tuesday and bricks were positioned ready to go, bricking started Wednesday and continued right until Friday. We are happy with what they have completed so far. SS advised that it would take up to 2 weeks to complete but if this perfect weather we are having sticks around as predicted and they keep working at this pace, I imagine it will not take 2 weeks at all. The bricks look great however I have been questioning our decision to use off white mortar considering we are having a surfmist roof and pearl white windows. Too late to change our minds now but I just wish we had of considered it earlier.

Along with the brickwork continuing this week, we are also expecting to hear from the electrician. This is a really big deal for us as at this point in the build we are still unaware of what the additional cost of our electricals will be. We are still not even entirely sure about how it all works. My understanding is that One Three Designer Homes include a light fitting and power point to each room, 2 antenna outlets and 2 phone lines. Any thing we choose above that inclusion, is negotiated and paid directly to the electrician, in order to avoid the builders margin and keep costs down. We purchase the fittings and he charges us to install them. With potentially such a big cost that will be funded entirely out of our pocket, I am feeling a little nervous. Hopefully by the end of the week we will have some answers.

Progress of the last week:

                                         Roof finsihed. Bricks on site ready to go

                                         The progress they made in 2 days         

Close up

We are very hopeful that with this weather we will see the brick almost finished by the end of the week

Monday, 25 July 2011

Another Non event

We entered this past week with a busy schedule ahead. Roof trusses to be complete, windows in place and brick work to be started. We also approached the beginning of last week with very little enthusiasm, which it turns out was a good idea, as once again we only had one day of work on site. A large part of this was the fact that we had terrible weather however the 2 sunny days we had at the start of the week, were also very much a non event. The Carpenters were there first thing Monday, stayed for a couple of hours the went home sick as our SS informed us.

So here we stand today, still roofless and even more frustrated. A call from our SS on Friday advised me that the carpenters would be back first thing Monday to finish it off. I did not even ask about the brick work as at this point I don't even care.

On the bright side, they were there this afternoon and our roof appears to be well on it's way to completion. My pessimism is serving me well through this build so I continue to hold little hope that our piles of bricks will be on the move anytime soon

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The week that was

So this week, once again, has seen only one day of work at the house, as has every other week since the build began. Really starting to get annoyed now.

Roof trusses that were scheduled to go up  on Monday actually started on Tuesday, did not get finished and no one has been back on site since. Bricks also failed to show up yesterday due to the incredible amount of roof truss puzzle pieces laying all over the front of our site.

So the excuse from our SS this week. The carpenters were called away for an emergency job. What may I ask is a carpentry emergency??????????? When I questioned why no more than one day of work had happened each week since the start of the build, I was told the weather had been an issue. If the weather was such an issue why is the house behind us whose slab was laid 1 week after ours, got their roof on and half of their bricking complete. I am beginning to think that their is more than one person in this company that has no idea what they are doing!!

                                          Roof trusses on site ready to go

Getting started

and where they left it

and a few more

half a roof and a big mess of bits and pieces

The alleged plan for this week is to see the carpenters return on Monday to finish of the frame work. Windows will go in Tuesday and the carpenters will finish up Wednesday. Bricks are also meant to arrive on Monday, when i asked where exactly they will go SS assured me the carpenters would have our roof off the ground prior to delivery so there will be room. Brick layers will start on Wednesday and take 1 - 2 weeks to complete all the brick work.

Considering not one thing so far has happened as scheduled I am not optimistic that this burst of productivity will actually eventuate.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing - George Orwell

It was true in the 1930's and it is true today. Progress  never happens fast enough.

We were expecting framing to start on Tuesday this week, much to our delight it actually started on Monday. We took this as a good sign for the week to come. How naive are we! Monday was the first and last day any real work was done (Windows were delivered and have been sticky taped to the frame to prevent them blowing away and the lock was replaced after a week of being missing)

Spoke to the SS today who told me that due to the wind we have had over the last couple of days it was too dangerous to get the crane in to assemble the roof trusses and that by the time the wind had calmed there was no time to organise it. So we can expect the truck and the chippy there at 10am Monday morning to get the job started. If all goes well then we can expect the bricks on site by Friday.

During the week we paid a visit to out tile shop to confirm our choices for the flooring, vanities, basins and taps. We discovered the wrong taps were included and the ones they were supplying were hideous, so we have to wait and see if we can swap them back to our original choice that we made at Harvey Norman Commercial (the enormous trade store where we chose all of our appliances and fixtures). They did tell us that all of our other tiles were in store ready to go which was a little exciting.

It was nice to see the house taking shape and being able to have a walk through. We are hopeful that we will see the frame finished by the end of next week. Just need this crazy wind to ease off a little.

                                          Windows on site ready to go

                                                     1200mm Entry way

                                                        Lounge room

                                                  Dining, living area space

                                                  Looking inside from the alfresco

                                                                         Our kitchen

Saturday, 2 July 2011

There are no big problems, there are just a lot of little problems

As expected our external plumbing connection was done this week and the frame was delivered. Unfortunately it did not start going up on Friday as scheduled but it is booked in to start Tuesday so we are happy with that. The other houses around us a shooting up but we are well aware that a 26 week contract means we will move slower than most.

Although building is going well, this week has been a real eye opener about the negatives of building with a smaller company and as we have really only just started our blog i feel like a little back story is necessary.

The company we are building with One Three Designer Homes has only been around for i think about 2 years run by a husband and wife. Recently they informed us that she was having a baby and they had hired a new girl to do office duties. 3 weeks later we had no contact with the person we had been dealing with for months and now I am re signing AEV's (After Exchange Variations) that we did months ago, being told that construction will be stopped as we do not have a lending authority (We are self funding this part of the build and had in fact already paid them), getting hassled by the electrician for the NMI number we gave them weeks ago and a whole heap of annoying little issues that come when you hand the running of a company to a person with 3 weeks training. It all just feels completely out of control.
We chose One Three because they designed us a house that met what we wanted in lay out, price and quality of inclusion.They do things a little differently to most builders, in that anything we chose above their standard inclusion is not paid through them but directly to the tradie/ supplier completing the job, limiting the cost of our build as an extra 20% builders margin is not tacked on. Here lies our next issue.

Earlier this week I received a nearly $10 000 bill for what the builder told us was additional Tile choices. that would need to be paid directly to the supplier. The only thing we chose outside their included range was 600 x 600 rectified floor tiles. When I asked if we could have the flooring removed from the contract I was very quickly told no. When I brought to our trainees attention that I had been chasing this quote pre contract signing, the owner gave us the option to cancel the tiles. Turns out, in the end the builders portion of the flooring cost was included in our bill and they had added one of our tiled rooms, to our carpet allowance so the actual cost is less than half of the initial bill. Not happy that it took me a bunch of phone calls and a whole lot of stress just to find this out. There seems to be no communication between the builders and their suppliers. Having to deal with 2 different people that only know about half the job is almost impossible.

I know I am being picky and I am grateful that we have had no major issues but I do not have time to go chasing up all these little things that builders should so easily be able to organise. That is why I am paying you the big bucks and not owner building.