Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Site Start Today!!

I sent an email to the builder to confirm site start & the response was a YES!
FINALLY! That's all I wanted to update for now till we drive past next & get more snaps!!

I was informed that we would estimate seeing a slab in the 3rd week of July and till then, it will be just a slab cut (scrap) and the laying of drains..

Hopefully all good.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wall Decor - on the wishlist

Love the serenity of this picture.... but not the price! Was window shopping and came across this, and thought it will be nice to put it in the powder room or the laundry somwhere.

The theme for the house will be more nature based and I thought this will fit really nicely with the colours of the house, and I even know where I will put them, the thing is, will it still be around in stores when I am ready?

OH, we collected the wooden panels after 7 months of layby!! Cool, that one is all good to go in the study area. ( featured in the begining of my blog) Cant' wait for site start, builder said most likely will happen tommorrow fingers crossed!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Over the paperwork!

One amendment after another and another and 3 sets of drafting later, the builder still got it wrong!!

The list started with 16 mistakes on the FINAL Drawings. That was take ONE. Most of them were then amended.  There was still some dispute with the staircase situation on the size of the void being bigger than the display home, thus reducing the size of the cloak room downstairs & the 2 bedrooms next to the stairs. We wanted that as per the display home but due to the drafting program, this could not be done, the cloakroom was cut by 40cm and only 20cm was returned. 

Since we indicated that we wanted the void to be smaller and this could not be done by increasing bedroom size, our builder decided to increase the size of the 2 pillars to make them bigger to fill the void!!!!! So,when we inspected the 2nd draft, we had to say NO and stated that if the bedrooms cannot be increased in size, there is no point amending the pillars to fit the size of the void we wanted. So, we would need to change the plans again!
In an attempt to hasten the process, I picked up the plans personally and Dave went through it that night. He spotted YET another error! The builder has amended the plans one one sheet and again dimensions differed from another!  YOU KNOW WHAT? We were really tired by picking up mistakes that should NEVER happen in the first place. I think its the drafter's job to make sure that all dimensions are right.

Not to mention that another dwarf wall that we had differed in size too; but it was explained to me, which at that point, I was too tired to bother much anymore.  All I wanted was for the plans to be good enough so the actual builders on site know what to do - and both items were about 2cm in difference, we don't want to be so picky, but what dimensions do they base the build on in this case?? If the paperwork stage still isnt satisfactory at 3 drafts and still had errors, I don't know what to expect when site start begins.

Anyway, the paperwork is finally out of our hands, one and a half week later from initial final drawings stage!! Fingers crossed, we will be informed if we will get site start on 30th June and we will only find out on Tues, 29th June!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fences Up... and a dunny( toilet) too.

David told me that he drove past last night and saw that the fences are up, so I thought I'll pass by this morning & here it is... with the temporary toilet too.

Here it is again, I can't believe how time flies and we are going to build soon!!

This picture will be our future garage & our driveway!!
More pictures when we sign the final papers and really start the action! Yipee!
*a bit worred too*

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tile Gallery Visit - Preliminary Look

We visited the Tile Gallery over the weekend on 12th June 10 & pretty much came back with some certainty & some uncertainty. We quickly worked out the colour of the tiles that we wanted for the living areas; just a matter of gloss of matt; I love gloss and Dave loves the matt.

Here are some pics; colour swabs against the rest of the items in the house- the laundry cabinets, (dark piece) and the kitchen cabinets (white piece) the carpet & the circle bit depicts wall colour.

I only took the photo against the gloss tile because I loved it; but in the end, after some logical reasoning from the man, I decided to go matt. We have dogs and kids in the house and it will be slippery to have gloss tiles. the dirt and prints show up more too.
This picture has an extra tile which will be the laundry splashback.

We also have heard stories and witness the changing colour of white grout over time which can be unsightly, so we decided on a grout of the same colour. This pic shows the matt & the gloss tile put together.

Now on to the ensuite, which looks like this (above) we had to head back to the display home to get the bearings right. I love the tiles on the display home but they dont offer that anymore; what a pity.

And more tiling for the ensuite bath area.

We came across this tile and was thinking maybe we can line it up vertically on the top & bottom of the mirror; but realised at the display home that our mirror goes to the ceiling. Dave likes this light tile agasint the feature tile.

And I actually prefer this darker tile against the feature tile. ( as I find it suits the ensuite cabinets too)

Like I said, in the end - we had to walk away as we didnt have prices for these upgrades yet so at least we know what to expect. I would have liked more choices but there wasnt much to pick from. Guess we will have to decide when it comes to our main tile appointment on 7th Aug 10.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Building Experience .. hoping that it will be a better one...

Following the earlier issues we have mentioned in regards to the final drawings, we decided to go back to the display home and request a copy of the standard plans for the Amberlea display home. When we had a chat to the sales person, we found 14 other errors!

1. Staircase Probem - We idenfired the problem as to why we were asked to upgrade the stairs with another cost:
a. The hand rail of the stair case is KD hardwood in the contract but not in the final drawings?
b. The base plate is shown as Vic Ash already but the email said we had it in pine?
c.. It shows 15mm wrought iron balusters in the drawing but the contract (19-1) shows 15mm stainless steel. Interesting. I wonder what will they build when it comes to that?

2. The cloak room in the display home shows a slightly larger closet with a 720 door instead. We asked the sales person and the larger cloak room and 720 door are standard features for a home built based on the display home. This appears to have been made smaller in order to make way for more stairway space down the bottom.

3. The stair case in 3 sets of drawings show 15 steps. The stair case in one of the drawings shows 16 steps. Because we raised our ceiling height, the sales person said we should have 16 steps.

4. An extra wall has been added next to the front entrance. This is not in the Tarneit display home or in the plans for the Tarneit display home, and we signed the sales advise as per the display home template.

5. A rather significant issue for us and one that was difficult to pick up was that the void is actually incorrect in most of the drawings. Sheets 2, 2A show the distance between the pillars as 1670. Sheet 6 shows the distance between the pillars as 1450. More contradictions??

6. The bulkhead on sheet 2 between the garage and the store, we only just picked up, is not as per the display home. It should extend to outside the powder room and laundry. We questioned the sales person and determined that it is not an upgrade and should be part of any standard plans based on the Tarneit display home.

7. Linen cupboard in the laundry has been reduced from the base template for the display home. It should be 2010 in width. It looks like the door / wall to the laundry has been moved slightly to the right and therefore made the linen smaller.

8. There is no note on the drawing for the return air vent in the plan for the ground floor. This should be amended.

9. This is a really significant one and we are very lucky to have picked it up. The feature downstairs needs to be able to attach to the flu location upstairs. Looking at the location in the drawing, there doesn’t look to be any way in which the flu could connect with the flu location upstairs. Please have the location of the feature moved to the same location as in the display home.

10. We are sure if this is the way we are interpreting the drawing, but the wall between the ensuite shower and toilet depicted on sheet 5A appears to not go to the roof. If this is the case, then please amend to make sure it goes to the roof. This is as per the display home base template.

11. The contract specifies ceramic tiled splashback around the mirror in the ensuite vanity but its not reflected in the drawings.

12. The dimensions for the “cut out” window between the master bedroom and the ensuite are not correct. This was requested “as per display home”.

13. We requested the ensuite vanity as per display home. This included a wall on one side of the vanity. We noticed that the wall dimension is not as per the display home. It should be double size wall (180 and not 90).

14. The display home has a slight extension of the wall between the dining and family rooms as well as a bulkhead. The wall extension brings the wall in line with the edge of the “fireplace” feature and is essential for the house to look right. We questioned the sales person and this is not an upgrade for a home built on the display home and so should be included as standard.

I got a response from the builder to say that they will amend the plans in goodwill but stated that they are in their rights to not change anything as the plans we've signed at sales and at contract signing are the exact same as the final drawings. So rightfully they have not done anything wrong. It is a quite disappoting to get this kind of response when it will be impossible for them to build a house with different pages reflecting different outcomes anyway, I sure hope that after this paperwork mess, all would go well.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Final Drawings... not final?

I got excited and a little unsure when I got a pack of documents from Simonds 2 days ago. They were the FINAL drawings and we were supposed to sign them as these will be the plans that they will use to build.

We went through them and found out these issues:

1. Site costs were $5k more than the provsional; we later found out that it was because there are easements bordering our property that the engineers found and due to this, we had to have piers built in and they cost more!

2. A little disappointed that we could not shift the TV point and add more double powerpoints to the house.

3. A few fine details were missed out on parts of the final drawings! ( I am not a detailed person by nature; and if I can spot these, I am a little worried.

4. This is pretty disappointing; our stairs were mis-quoted - see below:
Also our ordering estimator has brought to my attention that the internal stair case posts and stringers are currently pine. In the colour document you have chosen to have a clear finish to these pine posts and stringers. The estimator has advised that the posts and stringers are primed before delivery and due to this can’t be clear coated. He has advised that you will have to either have these painted in the colour of your choice or you can upgrade the timber posts and stringers to “Vic Ash” which is installed unprimed and can be clear coated. The cost for the “Vic Ash” stringers and posts is an additional $889. Please confirm what you would like to do.

We are just thinking, when will the hidden costs that keep on popping up end? We were shown a picture and we said ok - lets go with it. and now, we can't? I am waiting for a very valid response.

sigh... only when we rectify these, then we can send back the paperwork and start the process - looks like the 15th June site start is out the window now!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Status..... not really moving...

Now, we are waiting for site start which will commence on 15th of June. *fingers crossed*

I've just checked our status updates on our builder website & our permits have not been approved yet, just queried on that & was told that we are waiting on the permit number from the plumbing dept and as soon as this goes through, City West Water will send a rep on site and there will be water! Thats about it; tile selections have also been booked for 7th August ( abit far out but there are no more free Saturdays and we both cannot take leave off work. Before site start is what the builder advised so hopefully, no delays even if we have to order them later.

Gives us plenty of time to fight over the tile selection, I guess!!