Tomorrow marks the anniversary of getting the keys to our beautiful home, so i thought it would be fun to do a short post on what it’s been like living in beautiful Brooks Reach.
As you can see, Brooks Reach is stunning; especially at sunset (or sunrise if you’re really keen!)
We’ve met a few more of our neighbours. The park is a great facilitator for this with well maintained grassy areas and bbqs perfect for a weekend get-together. A group of people from the estate all met together just before Christmas for nibbles and a further ‘getting to know you’. This was all arranged on our awesome forum thread on Homeone. Including all the lovely people we’ve met around Brooks reach there are also these regular inhabitants:
There’s ducks, possums, bats and even a few snakes in the woodland reserve area. Just be careful of that during the summer months out here in Horsley; snakes and redbacks. Yikes!
A few weeks after we moved in we had our landscaping and driveway completed by Glenn (let me know if you’d like his details).
And our fences were installed by Made to Measure Fencing (you can find them on facebook. Steve is a great man). The winds have been pretty strong and noisy particularly over the last two months. We’ve been using ‘white noise’ to try and help us sleep through the night.
Our beautiful lillypilly tree is also growing. I can’t wait for the one out the front to really take off and provide a bit more privacy to the place too.
We celebrated our first Christmas in the house. It was lovely to see so many people with wreaths and Christmas lights up around the estate 🙂 Such an awesome family-friendly place.
But I think the most exciting news so far is that this December we will be welcoming a beautiful new addition to our family!
Well It’s been nearly a month since we received the keys to our beautiful new home. We’ve done a lot in that time and yet have not accomplished anywhere near as much as we’d thought or hoped we would.
Moving is stressful!
Organising tradies is time consuming!
Cleaning and more cleaning and still cleaning is exhausting!
But overall we are LOVING being homeowners!! We’ve settled into our regular run to/from work, the construction noise early in the morning doesn’t bother us so much and our neighbourhood is just delightful!
Our SS has been amazing, even more so now we’ve had handover. His team are coming back next week to fix the pantry shelving height and do the paint touch-ups we need.
The major updates to the house since keys:
We have air conditioning
Our landscaping has started
NBN was installed
And we’ve slowly started putting together other rooms in the house
Still lots of bits and pieces to do, but we’re enjoying it!
Hope you liked the sneak peek at our lovely ‘Manor’.
Yesterday was the day.. we received our keys!!
SS was onsite from about 12.10pm to go through paperwork and sign over the keys to us. I even got to hold the ‘builders’ key and try it in all our locks to prove that they have changed them and only we now have access.
We weren’t able to do a full walkthrough as the tiler from South Coast flooring was doing his thing (remember how i said he was meant to be done Sunday, or monday at the very latest?! He mentioned he wasn’t planning to be done until Friday. But more on that can be found under the ‘issues’ tab on the right if you’re really interested) So we stood awkwardly around the kitchen bench and went through our ‘handover folder’ and discussed certificates, warranties and completed the HIA booklet. There were a few outstanding issues that were noted: two kitchen cabinet doors were still away being fixed, no lights/shades installed, appliances still to be delivered, door handle to WIL still needs to be replaced, Manhole cover replaced, various paint touchups. The one thing we forgot was that the WIR still doesn’t have a door handle or door plate thingi. Hubby will follow up with SS during the week.
We have around 90days now to note any other defects we want the Clarendon warranty team to fix/replace and after we lodge our form it will be reviewed and then someone will visit our house to assess the issues.
Appliances delivered in our garage today ready for install tomorrow or Thursday.
Our hot water system is installed and good to go
Here is a shot of our ensuite too; tiling still needs a wipe down
So forgetting about the stressful issues with the tiler and company; Handover went great. We received a lovely ‘Sheridan’ towel and fragrance package from Clarendon.
Our Site Supervisor has really been great the last few weeks which has really helped us manage the stress and disappointments we’ve faced.
Tomorrow is moving day! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT, finally!!
Keys Keys Keys Keys sung to tune of:
WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Our bank released the funds early Thursday and after several calls/emails to our CSC and Clarendon accounts department on Friday it was confirmed around 2pm that they had received our final payment! Our SS called hubs and booked in Handover for Monday. He had our keys with him but not the fancy handover leather book thing they give out. SS also has arranged for our appliances to be installed Monday morning before we get keys so that’s nice.
We went for a quick drive out to Brooks Reach yesterday afternoon to check in on the tiling. We really love the tile we chose and how it’s all blending well together (obviously the grout still needs to be done)
The tiler has done a great job so far considering it’s only him working on them. He told the SS he should be done by Sunday.. BUT he wasn’t onsite at all today so this makes us a bit worried.
Tiler needs to be done by Monday morning so Clarendon’s painter can pop in on Monday morning and finish the nib walls in the kitchen. SS is also having our appliances installed on Monday before handover too. 🙂 woo!! South Coast Floor Coverings were meant to be installing carpet on Monday, but last week they pushed it back to Tuesday and when we rang to confirm yesterday they’ve now told us Thursday is the earliest :S We’re getting a bit frustrated with them now as they just aren’t consistent in what they say. We’ve let them know that we’re actually moving in on Wednesday and won’t really be setting up furniture in the rooms for one day just to try and move it out the next for their carpet layer. Hopefully that gets sorted and they keep their original agreement with us.
We’ve organised for our gas/electricity to be switched over to AGL, organised our mail redirection, having the NBN connected on the 26th (WOOTWOOTWOOT) arranged a cancellation date for our services in this apartment .. we had a very productive afternoon yesterday haha.
Today we also went out and purchased some more furniture, a lovely Bosch dishwasher and a bunch of other random things for the house. It still doesn’t feel real though!
There are still minor issues with the home that we’ll take note of when we sign for the keys on Monday: *scratched sliding door *kitchen cabinet still away being repaired *back stop tiling still uneven *bathroom cabinet door not aligned *Lightbulbs/shades not installed yet.
These are just the few things we saw while we were onsite for 20mins 🙂 hopefully most of it will be fixed before we get keys.
Ok time for a quick sit down and a few deep breaths… We think we’re a week out from actually being able to move in. The bank has done their valuation and we’re now just waiting on the report. Payment is then sent from our bank to Clarendon via EFT and 24hours later we can have handover!!!
Here is a snapshot of our glass splashback installed last week (nib walls weren’t painted at the time; we didn’t pay to upgrade to have the splashback wrap around the sides)
Our current timeline looks like this:
15th Tiler starts (expected to finish 19th at the latest) Our SS has been really accommodating in letting us start before we have keys; a big shout out to Shrimpy. Thank you!
16th Potentially have handover if final invoice has cleared in Clarendon’s bank account
17th August Go to Warrawong and pay off furniture at the wood factory outlet.
Go to Harvey Norman and purchase our dishwasher to then be delivered on Thursday 22nd
Purchase queen mattress and arrange for delivery on Thursday 22nd
Go to Bunnings and buy letterbox
19th/20th Carpets installed. Mop tiled areas/wipe down kitchen cupboards
20th Appliances installed (hot water system, cooktop, rangehood and oven)
21st MOVING DAY. A big truck comes and takes all our lovely things to the new house
22nd Air con installed in the new place
End of Lease cleaning in the apartment
Wood furniture delivered
23rd Air con finished being installed
Wynstan Blinds install flyscreens, fly screen doors and panel glide blinds
26th Keys back to rental agent (if not beforehand)
Still waiting on a call about our Shutters but they will probably go in next week too. Once we have official date of keys we will arrange NBN hookup and change our gas/electricity back to AGL. We’re still awaiting the quote from our landscaper for various items that need completing; retaining wall, driveway and fencing the most urgent.
Then it’s all the little things like mail redirection, changing addresses for the cards/services we have.
I have our meal plan sorted too for the next week so one less thing to think about amongst it all. We still actually have to BOOK a removalist and cleaner, but we’re trusting God to provide us with great quotes and service people.
I feel like I am having a ‘Home Alone’ moment like we’ve forgotten something majorly important.. But don’t worry, we don’t have kids that we’ve left in another country or anything like that haha.
Doot Do Doo Doot Do Doo .. Hopefully we’ll have the keys to our brand new home this time next week.
On Wednesday 31st July we had our Practical Completion Inspection (PCI). It was quite breathtaking to see the house without the site fence; it is starting to look like a real home!
There was a hive of activity onsite as cleaners were onsite wiping down the laundry and kitchen, a few guys were outside clearing away the majority of big rocks from the site. We wonder if they had planned to have tradies around so it looked like they were busy working on our house.
We were onsite for around 2 hours and 20 minutes. Nothing too major to report on really. Howard Ryan, our private certifier, did his inspection yesterday and we received his report soon after.
The key issues we found
- Missing 50mm mosaic tiling strip above ensuite vanity
- Wrong shelving installed in pantry (wire shelving installed, is meant to be melamine)
- Stormwater pit, sewer vent still to be moved
- Sides of external laundry door frame are yet to be adequately sealed
- Gap between brickwork and gyprock wall on right side of front garage brick wall needs to be filled
- Underside of window architraves are yet to be sealed to the wall and painted, excessive filler has been used
Other minor issues
- Lots of paint chips, dirt/scuff marks on walls. Every room has paint cracks along the skirting joins
- Inside edge of front entry door is yet to be painted
- Slab surface requires cleaning
- Front door is tight in operation and requires adjustment
- Locking mechanism to Bed 1 door does not operate as intended
- Striker plate and handle is yet to be installed to robe door in WIR
- Tops of tile within shower recess area are yet to be completely sealed/grouted in ensuite
- Re install light fitting against ceiling
- Manhole cover missing (had been stolen)
- WIR door missing (had been stolen)
- Incorrect hand dummy handle has been installed to linen closet to rear hallway
- Inconsistent heights of shelving to walk-in-linen closet near garage entry
- Shower frames still not delivered or installed
- Scratches and marks on most window frames
- Bent sliding door frame
- Chipped/scratched front door near locking plate
- Kitchen cupboards and drawers require adjustment in areas
- Scratches and imperfections on kitchen cupboards in areas
- Striker plate is yet to be installed to external door jamb
- Grouting to be improved around tap to laundry tub and taps and waste to underside of laundry tub
- Bathroom bottom of door is yet to be sealed/painted
- One of the windows was not sealed/closing properly
- Holes in bathroom where towel rail was incorrectly installed
- Towel rail is loose
- Bathroom locking mechanism to door does not operate as intended
- Silicone seal is incomplete to rear left corner of bath tub
- Tops of shower tiles are yet to be completely sealed/grouted
- Handles to BIRs are loose and doors not aligned
Things still to be done
Rainwater tank to be installed
Oven, rangehood, cooktop, instantaneous hot water (ss is pushing for after handover)
Splashback (Was measured up on Saturday with BBS glass. We chose the Dulux colour ‘Native Scene’)
Window service (clean and grease all windows)
Lightglobes and shades to still be fitted
Correct pantry shelving installed
Sewer vent & stormwater pit moved
Site scrape down
SS advised painter will be back after splashback installed to paint the nib (side) walls.
SS seemed to be understanding of our frustration at the time and said we should go ahead and book our carpets, tiles and AC for this week; if we didn’t have the keys he wouldn’t mind them onsite doing the essential jobs so we’re not delayed moving in… Well that all changed when no work was completed onsite since our walkthrough last week. We’re devastated to say the least.. Our tiles were due to be delivered tomorrow but the SS called on Tuesday afternoon to say we had to push it back a week as he has finally got hold of the painter to be onsite and finish all touch ups etc. It just so happens he has to be there on Friday so it means no tiling or carpets for us this week. SS has now said he is hoping for handover next week sometime, but we’re still waiting for Clarendon to send us the final account balance so our bank can get onsite and do their inspection before paying the last instalment. It’s really hard to trust what we’re being told as things have changed so often. There seems an awful lot of work to be done in such a short amount of time..
SO… Our current plan is to have tiles delivered Wednesday 14th and installed Thursday, Friday, Saturday with carpets being installed on Monday. We’ll then have the movers out on Tuesday 20th. We’ll then do a mad clean of the apartment and hand the keys back on either Friday 23rd or Monday 26th. There has been no talk of when appliances, hot water system and splashback will be installed; but we’re pushing for those things to be done right away.
Ok so some pictures of the place:
Ahhhh! So after all that we’re just praying that things continue efficiently and correctly. We want those keys in our hands!
Sadly I haven’t had much to report on with regards to the build . Progress has slowed right down with someone onsite roughly 1-2 days a week (if at all). Once the build is complete I will be posting my full review along with the issues we’ve faced along the way.
Since my last post not much has happened. One of the things we’re struggling with is lack of communication from our Site Supervisor and the inconsistencies in the information we’re being provided.
So, what has been completed since my last post?
- Garage door has been installed and painted
- Front/back door has been painted
- Painter has completed second (final) coat of paint
- Most of the light battens were installed
- Most powerpoints were installed
- Most light switches installed
- External taps installed with markings for rainwater
- Shelving looks complete
- Data and phone points have been installed
- Smoke alarms installed
Outstanding issues/ things to be completed
- No site fence or right side of house
- Some lightswitches
- Outdoor lights installed
- Some powerpoints (including external)
- Not all doors have been put back on
- Sewer vent and stormwater pit still not moved <—- STILL!!! AGH!!!!!!!
- No water tank
- No hot water system
- No rangehood or oven
- No toilets, shower frames, taps
- Bath not installed (8 roof tiles sitting in the bath cavity)
- No mirrors
- Tiling still incorrect in ensuite
- One pot drawer in kitchen was just sitting on our benchtop
- Cabinetry in bathroom has been taken apart and left off it’s hinges
- There was a small bag of cement open and spilled on the floor in the meals area; someone had dumped it or got it wet as there is cement sprayed all over one of the meals walls
- Sandbank paint on one of the glass sidelights
- Side downpipe still needs to be completely painted
- Further damage to slab at front left corner of the house and ensuite extension area
- So much rubbish and debris all over the front of the yard (even though it’s meant to be confined to the bin in the back)
- Rocks still have not been moved off our neighbour’s site
- Still awaiting call from splashback installer to arrange measure up and install
SS didn’t contact us again this week so Hubs called him yesterday. We don’t think our SS has been on site for a while as the first thing he said was that everything was pretty much done. (See what I mean about inconsistencies?!)
We were assured that the cleaner will still be onsite on Monday. Apparently they are waiting for sinks (? not sure about this as they looked done to us) and mirrors. SS said that the plumber had been out.
He’ll check the calendar tomorrow and give us a call to lock in the date for our PCI (Practical Completion Inspection) – we said that the original dates of Wed & Thurs are still best for us.
We also mentioned the issue with the missing mosaic tiling in the ensuite. Shrimpy said this will be things we go over during the PCI walkthrough. We thought we’d bring it up in case it could be resolved sooner rather than later.
The subject then came around to money; we were asked if we’d received our final invoice yet. Hubby very politely advised our SS that we had tried getting details regarding our provisional allowance (we asked to see invoices so we could prove they had used what they are billing us for) as we wanted to know if we would be credited anything back. We were told by our new CSC that our SS has to start that process and tell the office to issue the final invoice. SS said he will sort that out and we should expect the final invoice within 11-12days.
So, taking into account defects that will need to be fixed at PCI and time for the bank to inspect the house and release payment we could be looking at the third week of August now, if not later. Blerrrrrrrrrrrrgh
So will we get to do our walk-through this week? We’re not sure anymore as there are so many outstanding issues that are yet to be rectified. We’re hoping that our SS will visit our site on Monday and assess all that needs to be done.
We have just about finished packing up our little apartment, bar the essentials. We are so ready for this move.
Here are some photos we’ve taken over the past two weeks; we’re loving our colour choices and how they have all blended so well together in the end.
And one for giggles: An accidental dramatic pose as I got in the way of hubby’s photo :p
After several attempts to get through to our site supervisor, darling hubby made contact on Monday and got the following brief updates:
- Plumber has been overseas so the stormwater pit and sewer vent will be moved next week upon his return
- Taps in vanities, showers, sink have all been installed
- Electrical mark up has been done
- Shelving has been installed in robes and pantry
- Painter is meant to be back sometime late this week/early next week to complete the second and final coat of paint
- Toilets to be installed later this week/next week
- PCI (Practical Completion Inspection) Walkthrough will be 2/3weeks then a week following to allow for any touch ups etc and we should get keys first week of August if everything goes to plan. We’re aiming for the second or third week in August though just in case, don’t want to be getting our hopes up to high at this point.
- Not sure when water tank/gas hot water system will be done – I assume sometime over the next two weeks!
I received a call on Monday to say there was an issue with our splashback. We originally chose to upgrade a ceramic tile splashback in the kitchen to a Metaline panel spanning the entire bench length (around 3m). It was one of our most expensive upgrades and not an easy one to make. Last week that splashback was meant to be installed, but apparently issues have arisen over the past few months with bubbling and YHK (Forstan kitchen company that Clarendon Homes uses) no longer endorse the product. A lady from YHK offered a free upgrade to a glass splashback for us which we have accepted. We now have to wait for a call from their supplier to arrange a measure up onsite and they can try and match a colour for the glass to a paint swatch. We’ll be sticking as closely as we can to a metallic green with gold flecks (like our original splashback). The lady said it can be installed after handover but I adamantly stated we wanted it done beforehand. Hopefully we’ll get a call soon arranging the site visit so we can get it behind us.
Freedom furniture are delivering our new couch/armchairs on Friday so we have to store them in our tiny apartment til the move.
<—This is what we’re getting for the family room. It’s called the ‘Harry’ and it made me love it even more; I’m a huge Harry Potter fan!
Rather than getting another couch we chose two accent chairs. Chevron is amazing!
This has been my favourite purchase for the house so far other than my gorgeous Green Apple Kitchenaid stand mixer (thanks Grandma Judy!)
I have heard that getting the keys can be a huge anti-climax but we’re trying to stay positive and excited about it all. Hopefully only a few short posts away from the grand tour 😀