Sunday, 27 November 2011

PCI Tuesday

PCI has been booked for Tuesday. With what appeared to be a list of jobs a mile long to complete, we were holding little hope the inspection would even go ahead. Today I am feeling a little more optimistic.

A chat with the tiler has calmed my frustration about the continuous delays and confirmed that tiling will definitely be complete by tomorrow lunch time . The sun has been shining and we are also hoping to see the Moroka go on Tomorrow. The only outstanding issue that our SS admits may hold things up is the shower screen. Yes you heard correctly, a shower screen. After all the drama this house has given us, it will be a shower screen that stands between us and our keys!!! Frustration times a million at this point.

We are also having an issue with the fact that we have no gas connection. For all you builders out there a gas connection takes 40 days to come through. It would have been nice for our builder to tell us this. Without gas we can not cook, clean, shower or most importantly test our appliances. Another possible hold up.

We have snuck a look inside the house and we are really loving what we see. Especially now the tiles have gone down. There are a few things that we are already wishing we had done differently but for those we have only ourselves to blame and i guess we will live and learn.

For now we just have our fingers crossed that the bad weather holds off long enough to apply the Moroka and my phone call to AGL can bring a resolution to the gas issue.

Wish us luck in our countdown to handover because I think we need it.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

5 days from handover?????

We called past the site a couple of days ago to find the place swarming with tradies. After some initial excitement of seeing someone on site after a few days of absolutely nothing, it occoured to us that all the work that was being done, was resulting in no new progress.

The brick layers were there to pull down and re lay some dodgy bricks, the chippy was there to remove and re install the vanity, the plumbers were there to remove all the drain pipes and and the water tank so the Moroka can be done. While it is a good thing these tasks are being complete, the sight of things that we thought were finished being torn down was once again heartbreaking.

Not an Ideal place for a water tank
At present on site we are still awaiting the elusive tiler. 5 weeks since he began we have 2 partially complete bathrooms, one splash back needing grout, and not a single floor tile laid (they are waiting patiently in the garage) We are forever told that it will be happening and as the day continuously comes and goes we have the feeling that we are never going to get these keys.

Recess in the ensuite

600 x 600 tiled Kitchen splashback
It is not all doom and gloom there has been some exciting things happening. The garage door is now on, as are all the internal door handles. Vanity mirrors are in, the toilets and taps have all been installed, the main bathroom basin is in and looks great. Fans, lights and power points have all been installed. Internally the only significant job to be done is the tiling.

Taps all installed and looking good
Ensuite Vanity
Appliances on site and ready to be installed
Looking at the house Moroka is still to be started, there is a significant amount of lack of tiling, mess everywhere and no drain pipes or water tank, it has become very clear that November 29th was never going to happen. Our only thought is how much over will we actually go.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

An unexpected direction

It has been a eventful week on the housing front and some big decisions were made. It looks as though the house we started with at the beginning of this week, will hardly be recognisable by the end of the next. If you have not guessed it already, I am on about the bricks again.

A site meeting with our SS on Monday was my absolute melting point. We were at the point where a walk around the exterior of the house had become painful and it felt as though this company were just not listening to us. The bricks are in bad shape and we could see no way that they could all be fixed. After a mini meltdown at the SS, which I do feel a bit bad about, as the poor guy has only been with the company a few weeks, We walked through the house and pointed out both the bricks and a few minor issues. We left with the knowledge that the bricks would be addressed with the owner.

The following day we were called into the office to discuss our brick problem. They offered to have the house rendered, using a product called Moroka (bag and paint) at no additional cost. This is not what we wanted. We had always imagined building a brick home and we love the bricks we chose, we watched the house grow from the ground up and loved the way it looked from a distance.

Unfortunately the reality is, the bricks up close were terrible and it was at the point that we could not even look at the house without a few curse words coming to mind. So with that mind we made the decision to accept the offer and go ahead with the Moroka. There are still a few brick repairs to be done but they are relatively minor and should not take too long to rectify we are told. Moroka will hopefully begin on the weekend.

We are still wary of the work to be completed and really hope that they do it a higher standard than we received from the brickie, we are also nervous that our final bill will be excessive as a way to recoup the cost of the Moroka. I guess it is a risk that we just have to take.

We are appreciative that One Three have finally listened to our complaints and have taken action to end this headache once and for all. We never expected that our house would be rendered, especially only weeks away from handover but such is life and now we can move on.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Excitment vs Apprehension

 After a much needed holiday, we returned to visit our house and found that the most work to have ever been done in an entire week had occurred. Surprisingly our SS informed us that we can expect to be finished by the end of contract, in 2 and a half weeks.

We were greeted with a site clean which both us and the neighbours are very pleased with. I forgot what our front yard actually looked like.

The pillar out the front now looks as we had always expected it too, We are very pleased that we were persistent with this as it now suits the house well.

Maple post, sandstone paver and no ugly plastic cap.
Finally happy with it. YAY!
The painter with his numerous helpers was on site and was well underway. He assured that all the work would be complete by Monday. The colour is lighter than it looks in the brochure but there is still another coat so we will wait and see how it comes up finished, although saying that we still think it looks great. Very pleased with the stain on the front door.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this door.
Worth every penny of the additional cost.

Still another coat to go - Taubmans Altair

Did not realise so much stuff was needed to paint a house.
Real proof some work is happening.
No one brings this much stuff for a couple of hours work

Tiling still did not get finished and this appears to continuing down the same path as the bricks. They are scheduled to be back next week to finish off the bathrooms and start the epic job of laying our floor tiles. Fingers crossed they can keep themselves on track for once.

Tilers with attitude
Bathroom still not quite there.Not sure why they tiled
behind where the mirror will sit

Bricks are still in need of repair and We are not even sure how they are going to achieve this, every time we take a look around the outside of the house we notice more poorly laid, crappy looking bricks. SS assures us that they will be fixed though, so it think this will just be a wait and see thing for now.

Expected happenings for next week. As mentioned, the tilers will hopefully show up and stay on task to get all tiling, including the floors finished off. The garage door is to be installed and the electrical fit out should happen (although I spoke to the electrician today and he has no idea where the build is up to). It will be very exciting if they can pull this off, saying goodbye to the concrete floors will be very pleasing.

With November 29th pencilled in as a handover date, we really want to be excited but as we have mentioned so many times before, we have been let down by time frames at every stage of this build and until the tilers are out of the way and the bricks are repaired we do not want to get our hopes up. Disappointment is a hard feeling to shake and we don't want to go there again. Pessimism has served us well through this build and will continue to do so over the coming weeks.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Making an effort

As expected Tiling has continued. Unfortunately not without problems. The vanity tops were installed and one of them only had a hole for a single basin not a double as required and only a skirting tile was installed into the bathroom area.
Ensuite is going to have a double basin not a single

Marble Mosaic Feature Tile - Mirror to go above then be tiled around

To the credit of our SS the issues were resolved quickly, a new vanity top has been ordered and they agreed to tile to the ceiling in the bathroom. This is what we have always hoped for - quick action. We never expected this build to be problem free but a quick response goes a long way to settling an irate customer.

 Area of the bathroom that will now have floor to ceiling tiling -
You can see where the skirting tiles have been pulled off

We got the chance to have a sneak peak inside and the tiling looks great. We are not very decorative people and really have no sense of style but for 2 novices it has come together really well. Best of all it appears to be of a decent quality.

 Bathroom tiling to the ceiling almost complete

Our SS advised that he has not forgotten about fixing the pillar out the front and will be getting to it soon. The tilers are expecting to be finished by Tuesday and the painter is scheduled to arrive sometime this coming week and hallelujah we have a site clean up scheduled for Monday. I hate that our house looks ugly because of the dump out the front and the neighbours are not pleased about it either. so good ridden to that mess.

Splash back tiles on the floor ready to go

It is great to see some action happening at the house and to see One Three really putting in an effort to satisfy their customer, although saying that they still have a long way to go before we could ever say that we are happy to have built with them.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Better late than never.

Peering through the windows today I noticed that our long awaited vanities have now arrived. One has been installed in the ensuite and the other has taken up residence in the lounge room. LOVE LOVE LOVE them, even though the Stone top has not been put on yet.

The tilers are actually there and underway. The bathroom is looking good so far, although I am extremely concerned about how much tiling they intend to do, as part of what we consider to be our bathroom and an area we were assured would have floor to ceiling tiling appears to only have a single layer edge. The laundry also appears to be experiencing some technical difficulties however this issue should be easily rectified when addressed.

Happy to see some progress but very wary of getting excited. I will wait until I get a closer look before I consider it finished. with only 27 days left in our contract we can not afford anymore delays.

Unfortunately no photos, as it was quick visit after work but we will make sure we have some to post next time.