Brooks Reach Building adventure

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

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

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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

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Clarendon Create appointment pt 2 (internals/electrical)

Following our Clarendon Create appointment on the 6th of January we had a ‘Part 2’ on the 16th of February 2012 which included:
Clarendon Internal colours – Here we choose door furniture, drain type & finishes, bathroom/laundry layout & finishes, internal paint colour of walls and ceilings
Accent Flooring – Carpet & timber flooring
Ark Finishing Touches – window treatments (not curtains), blinds, plantation shutters, flyscreens, security doors, letterboxes
Sentinel Alarms – for security needs, ducted vacuum, TV & Telephone points and Smart wire requirements if needed

Clarendon Internal Colours
Ceiling: Taubmans Crisp white
Walls: Taubmans Pacific Pearl
Skirting/architraves: Taubmans Pacific Pearl gloss
Bathroom cabinets: Wilsonart Designer White D354
2x1200mm width mirrors to bathrooms above vanities
Bath: maxton 1500 bath
Bathroom sink: Monaco bowl bathroom vanity

We had our tile appointment with Dons Tiles at Narellan on the 14th March 2013. They had a great range and our sales consultant, Holly, was nice and knowledgeable. She didn’t push us to upgrade anything and thankfully the tiles we loved were in our included price range. We ended up spending about $2000 in upgrades at our appointment to bring the tiles in the bathroom, ensuite, separate W.C and laundry to 1.2m half (half way up wall). We also had the mosaic tiles put above our sink in the ensuite and a strip across the face of the bath.

Bathroom tile

Bathroom tile

Bathroom tile and mosaic

Bathroom tile and mosaic

Laundry tile (not having the mosaic in the laundry room though)

Laundry tile (not having the mosaic in the laundry room though)

Threshold tile

Threshold tile

Accent flooring
We had already obtained some external quotes from companies around Wollongong so we had an idea as to what we wanted (and a good price range to know if we were being ripped off). Oh my.. the carpets.. SO TERRIBLE!! Our ‘standard’ range included colours like blue with orange flecks or just solid burnt brown; colours that you wouldn’t even let your grandma keep in her old home. And boy was it itchy! And the underlay was so basic that you’re forced to upgrade. We were up front and told the sales person from Accent and informed her we had sourced a more affordable quote with a much better product (and premium underlay.) Of course if Clarendon/Accent were able to offer a better product and a nicer range of carpets we wouldn’t mind paying a little to upgrade; it would be great to have the carpet done at the same time as the rest of house so there would be one less thing we have to do after hand over! In the end she gave us this quote just for our reference:

Daylesford 7300/- Stonewash 100% Polypropylene loop pile carpet
Or Ballino 575/- Jarrah 100% Nylon plush pile carpet
QUOTED PRICE: $3,150

Ark finishing touches
How beautiful are plantation shutters!!! If this wasn’t our first home (and/or we were loaded) we’d definitely get plantation shutters everywhere! (If we miraculously make it under budget we might JUST be able to get a few shutters installed.. One can hope!) The salesperson tried to sell us vertical blinds but I told her strongly how much I hate them. We did ask about the price of getting vertical blinds but in a solid pvc/wood as the care and upkeep of them would be a lot easier and hubby was used to these types of blinds as they are quite prominent in the states. Though they are easier to make the cost is a lot more expensive as they aren’t blinds that are mass produced like the hideous fabric vertical blinds. Our developer guidelines don’t allow us to have a patterned front screen door so we didn’t have to worry too much about that. We would like to have a screen door installed after handover, though it will be expensive as it needs to be steel mesh to be compliant with BAL 12.5 bush fire rating.

Prices from Ark:
$800 For 12 flyscreens w/ aluminium mesh to meet BAL 12.5 rating
$400 Sliding Flyscreen Door in Black to meals sliding door with aluminium mesh to comply with BAL 12.5
$700 63mm “New York” Polystyrene Imitation Timber Venetian Blinds in “White” to ensuite & bathroom. 2 windows in total.
$900 Provide 127mm Vertical Blinds in “Spirit” 100% block out fabric to family, meals door & meals window. 3 blinds in total
$6500 (+ GST) 90mm Basswood Timber Plantation Shutters in colour: “White” in frame with rear metal wand control to front door sidelites (x2), bed 1, living/home theatre, bed 3, bed 4 & bed 2. 7 windows in total

Sentinel Alarms [and electrical appointment with YHC]
We had 2 TV points and 2 Phone points included in our plan and added 2 Cat 6 cables for $125 each. Sentinel tried to sell us the Hills Hub for the NBN for $500 (plus GST) until we told her that hubby works in the software/IT industry and we would not be going with the hub. I can’t remember the quote for ducted vacuuming points but it was too expensive for us.
We also discussed alarms and zoning with the quote being about $1400.

As we had signed our tender so long ago when it was time for our final electrical appointment, Clarendon had changed electrical providers to Your Home Consulting.

Our final electrical appoint was on the 7th March at Oak flats (yay, we didn’t have to go to Sydney!). We met with Kiah from YHC and she was lovely. Our appointment went for about 1.5hours and we discussed power points, lighting and wiring (we had to go over everything we had signed off on with Sentinel). Though it was a bit frustrating having to redo a lot of things, we ended up saving a bit of money as YHC charge for providing phone and tv points as well as the Cat 6 cables being considerably more expensive with them. Below is our electrical layout for our power points and hot water control pad.

Electrical Plans 18.03.13.pdf

Price list below for individual YHC items:

  • Baton Light Point $53.00
  • External Wall Light Point $70.00
  • Extra Light Circuit and Safety Switch $240.00
  • 2 Way Switch $50.00
  • Supply & Install Motion Sensor (Outdoor) $125.00
  • Single Power Point $58.00
  • Double Power Point $68.00
  • Extra Power Circuit and Safety Switch $250.00
  • Weatherproof Single Power Point $115.00
  • Weatherproof Double Power Point $125.00
  • Upgrade Meter Box to 3 Phase $480.00 $480.00
  • Door Chime Wiring (240v) $130.00
  • Wire, Supply & Install 2 Lamp Fan Light Heater (Includes Extra Circuit & Extra Safety Switch) Non ducted $440.00
  • Wire, Supply & Install 4 Lamp Fan Light Heater (Includes Extra Circuit & Extra Safety Switch) Non ducted $520.00
  • Wire, Supply & Install Side Vented 2 Lamp Fan Light Heater (Includes Extra Circuit & Extra Safety Switch) $590.00
  • Wire, Supply & Install Side Vented 4 Lamp Fan Light Heater (Includes Extra Circuit & Extra Safety Switch) $660.00

We ended up spending about $3000 at our YHC appointment with lights, outdoor motion sensors, outdoor junction box for porch light and extra power points.

Next blog post will about actual progress on the land 🙂 If you have any questions about upgrades, our selection etc just comment below 🙂

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