Brooks Reach Building adventure

Come with us now on a tale of the mighty house building.

We have keys!!

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.
IMG_20130820_165832

Our hot water system is installed and good to go
20130820_163015
Here is a shot of our ensuite too; tiling still needs a wipe down
20130820_162537
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. B sheridan 20130820_162311
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!!

Advertisements
4 Comments »

A week to go …

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
Dishwasher 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.

3 Comments »

The Final Countdown …

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!
IMG_3616

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

manhole
ensuite

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
Final clean
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:
IMG_3605
IMG_3470
skirting

internal front door

kitchen & meals
hubs

laundry 31.07.13
IMG_3544

B&R 31.07.13

Ahhhh! So after all that we’re just praying that things continue efficiently and correctly. We want those keys in our hands!

3 Comments »

Nearing Practical Completion Inspection (final walk-through)

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.

garage

front door

21.07.13
B&R edit


And one for giggles: An accidental dramatic pose as I got in the way of hubby’s photo :p
rubes door

1 Comment »

4 weeks til Handover

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 😀

5 Comments »

The beginnings of our kitchen

Last week was terrible weather wise. I think we’d all forgotten how often it rains in Wollongong, but it was worse with this recent downpour as it rained all. week. long.

While progress haltered on most sites we know the carpenter was on our lot at least for a few days as we saw him there on Thursday when we had our check measure for our plantation shutters. We’re not sure if anyone was meant to be with him or not but when we arrived he was just sitting on a milk crate for the longest time … When we finally went inside and introduced ourselves and kinda said ‘this is our house’ he slowly moved around and cut a few pieces of wood for the architraves during the three hours we were there. When we were leaving hubby looked in the window and he had gone right back to sitting down on the milk crate!!! It’s so frustrating as we heard him telling the guy from Wynstan just how flat out they all are etc and there isn’t much more to be done for our build so I don’t understand why he was just so relaxed and seemingly lazy.

The purpose of our visit to the house was to measure up the blinds/flyscreens/shutters as I mentioned above but it was also a great excuse to actually get inside and see what has been done.
We were told on Friday 21st of June that last week we were meant to see cornices, skirting, architraves, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry installed with wet tiles being delivered and possibly installed on the Thursday/Friday. What we actually saw on Thursday was the cornices were installed, cabinetry had been completed for the kitchen and bathroom/ensuite and the carpenter only started the architraves while we were there onsite

But progress is progress. Here are some quick snaps we took of the kitchen

Kitchen
IMG_3350
IMG_3391
IMG_3353

IMG_3389
IMG_3356

Kitchen 27.06.13

Our bathroom and ensuite vanities are the same

IMG_3366

And just because
Ruby kitchen

IMG_3380

Hopefully we’ll get a call from Shrimpy tomorrow saying everything has been done and the house is good to go I can hope, right?

6 Comments »

Locked up, Lockin’ good!

What is up with this weather? Crazy storm the Illawarra is having. A timely reminder how thankful we are that our house has finally reached lock up stage Oh yeah! Rain can’t keep the builders away now!!!

Hubby and I did a quick trip out on Sunday to visit the lot and confirm that we had reached lock up stage. Happily (or is that sadly?) we couldn’t get inside but here is a lovely picture of our front door
Door (It will be painted Colorbond ‘Bushland’)

On Friday Shrimpy advised us that wet floor tiles are due to be delivered this week. Carpenter has been in wet areas and installed doors so that the tiles can be laid when delivered.

  • Second and final stage of waterproofing has been completed (this relates to nail penetration, angles across pipes etc)
  • Carpenter will install skirting and architraves sometime this week too. Today I confirmed a time with Wynstan to meet onsite this week for the check measure for our Plantation Shutters! Hubby will attempt to arrange a meet up with South Coast Floor Coverings for the same time so we can get it all done at once.
  • Other internal doors have been delivered and are currently in the master bedroom waiting to be installed this week.
  • Kitchen is being installed Monday/Tuesday (this is what I am most excited about)

Hopefully we’ll be able to snap some photos when we’re onsite.

2 Comments »

GypROCKed tour of our home

I have had another crazy busy weekend/week with a million things going on BUT now I finally have time to share with you all that we have gyprocking (dry walls) installed!

We did an early morning visit on Saturday 15th June and were greeted by this beauty
Garage

I can’t wait to see it when the garage door is on.  Oh and speaking of doors, our SS advised us last week that door deliveries by ‘Corinthian Doors’ only take place in Horsley on Tuesdays and Thursday and he estimated our doors would be delivered on Thursday. Clarendon’s carpenter is meant to be onsite on Friday(today) to install the doors.

Now, for a little tour of our place

The front entry way
Entryway

Our gorgeous Master Bedroom
Bed 1

Ensuite
Ensuite

Ensuite/WIR (spot the ruby!)
WIr ensuite

WIR
WIR

Home Theatre room (Media room/Games room THE BEST ROOM!)

Sunny family room

Meal (dining) room
Meals

KITCHEN 😀 BEAUTIFUL KITCHEN
Kitchen

Laundry
Laundry

Bed 3
Bedroom3

Bed 4
Bedroom 4

Main bathroom
bathroom

Bed 2
Bed 2

Hopefully not too much longer til we’re moving in and setting up home 😀 We expect a call from our SS today to let us know how things have progressed this week and we’ll try and make a trip out to Brooks Reach on Sunday.

6 Comments »

Splendid Insulation… It’s electrifying!!!

We made a quick trip out to Books Reach on Saturday and did a walk-through to see that the gyprock had been delivered (yay)! Gyprock

The sparkie had also been through and installed a bunch of wiring (and data cables, yay!) Wires Hubs and I were a bit sad as we thought the SS was going to call us and let us know when the sparkie was onsite so we could install a few extra powerpoints, but that didn’t happen 😦 I know we can always add them later but we probably won’t. I think looking at it now we wish we’d put in another data cable, but oh well – the house will still function as it is yay

Waterproofing in the wet areas had also been done too. Waterproofing
Roofing is complete and it looks like all the sarking is on and no more gaps between it and the roof battens/tiles. We think the roof looks lovely and has a really defined look.Our house

SS also moved the four pallets of bricks to the back of our lot along with 10 roof tiles he is leaving behind for us in case of future breakages etc. We’re really happy he did that as we had no idea how we’d manage on our own! Sadly he took all the pallets i was hoping to use for craft 😦

While checking out our lovely backyard we also noticed this monstrosity DWV
Would you believe it?! Another ugly, out-of-place, not on the plan sewer drain-waste-vent!! Our issue is not that we have one, we know how essential they are, it’s just why does it need to be right there in our back yard and not off to the side of the house that is hidden? Crybaby We’re hoping it’s at least going to be painted to match the roof tile and our downpipes. That spot is originally where we were planning on having a small clothesline *sigh* The plumber for our lot is awful! While we are on the sewer topic, our SS advised that the plumber would be on site over the next few weeks to move the sewer pit over a few metres in the front yard and the back sewer vent would be moved right out to the corner of our lot in the backyard.

After our little expedition we then decided to head to Warrawong and with the help of Floor Planner we sized up some new furniture for our home!! It’s really exciting to pick out furnishings! We ended up putting a deposit on an entry (hall) table, tv lowline, two book/dvd cases for the media room, a coffee table, lamp table, dining room suite, double bookcase and coffee table for the family room and Freedom’s sale is on until July 17th so we’ll head back there in a week or two to order a 2.5 seater and two armchairs (if we get over the bad customer service we’ve experienced from them in the past week.)

Dining

LowlineHall Table

Site Inspection 11.06.13

We met our SS on site yesterday just after 2pm for an inspection as per Clarendon’s requirements. The tradies had obviously been onsite earlier and started installing our roof and wall batts (Fletcher Insulation Pink Batts). It’s slowly coming together now. In our excitement we forgot to confirm that the walls between the main bathroom/toilet and bed 2/3 were lined with Acoustic Batts as we paid extra for those – we have emailed our SS and are waiting for him to confirm.
Batty

Gyprocking was due to start today with the plan for lock up to be completed by next Monday. If the front/laundry and garage doors aren’t delivered on Monday though it will be Thursday. We checked all the wiring, powerpoints and light switches were all roughly were we had placed them during our electrical meeting. Everything is looking good so far!

SS advised we’re still on track for August handover, whether that is early or late August we don’t know – We’ll just be happy when we have the keys in our hands!! Bring on moving dayhappy
Cuties

7 Comments »

Gutters, and fascia, and roof! Oh, my!

We headed out to our lot yesterday after a beautiful weekend away with our Bible Study group in Killcare (Central Coast region). It was a beautiful 20 degrees (only a week until winter hits too.)

Sad to say there was no roof up yet, BUT there were roof tiles and battens ready to be installed. Our bricks have also had a beautiful spray clean 😀

Roof Tiles

roof riles

Battens

Obligatory happy pose

Hot hubby doing his thing
We are loving the gutters and fascia and can’t wait to see it all together when the eaves, downpipes and roof are installed.

So we were originally meant to move the bricks today after work but the SS called on Friday and said not to bother as there were several delays on the house due to wet and windy weather last week. There was still scaffolding and the roof tiles in the way so SS said we could move the bricks once they head inside to work in a few weeks. It all worked out in the end as Hubby and I came down with terrible colds so we would not have been very productive anyway.

SS advised Lock up should be less than 3weeks away now 🙂 Lovely Nat over on Homeone mentioned on the forum today that they were busy working away on the roof with a cute little conveyor belt delivering the tiles onto the roof!Cheer

Gutters and Fascia

Measuring

Gutters and Fascia

3 Comments »