Brooks Reach Building adventure

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

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 »

Pre plaster/ Lock up Inspection

As mentioned in our last post here, Howard Ryan was onsite on Monday 3rd June to do the first of the two Private Inspections Hubby and I are having during the build.

We received the report as promised on Thursday night and spent a good few hours pouring over it, looking at the photos that were a reference for each issue that was identified.

We forwarded the report onto our SS via email and he responded right away saying he would have his carpenter on site the following day to fix the few issues that were mentioned. He said that it was all stuff that would have been fixed up along the way anyway.

We’re happy our list was pretty small in comparison to some I have read over on Homeone and other building blogs. I’m not surprised though as our SS really seems to know what he is doing, but maybe the tradies were just taking a few shortcuts or something.

Our one disappointment was that the inspection was not scheduled at the most effective time for best value of our money. Hubby and I think it should have been pushed back a week or so, but oh well, it’s done now.

Below are some bits and pieces we have taken from the thorough report Howard provided to us.
——————————————————————————————————
An excerpt from the inspection report:

This is a visual inspection only: Limited to those areas and sections of the property fully accessible and visible to the Inspector on the date of the Inspection.

  • The inspection DID NOT include any breaking apart, removal of any insulation products, removing or moving objects including, but not limited to mouldings, eave linings, sidings, ceilings or any of the sites current stored goods and or building materials. The  Inspector CANNOT see between covered floors, inside skillion roofing, other areas that are concealed or obstructed and CANNOT climb onto pitched iron roofed dwellings.
  • The inspector DID NOT dig, force or perform any mortar testing or other invasive procedures at the time of this
  • inspection.

The items below were marked as ‘Incomplete Works: (works that are yet to be completed as was originally intended and lacking in part)’.

THE EXTERIOR FINDINGS TO THIS DWELLING:

1. Windows and sliding and or bi-fold doors will need the manufacturer’s service, general adjustment,
track clean and lubrication, prior to completion
2. Sliding and or bi-fold door units need their base sill tracks covered and protected during this
construction process to prevent construction damage which may hinder the sill and doors intended
operation
3. Some sections to the exterior were incomplete at the time of this frame inspection therefore these
incomplete external items will be re-inspected upon the completion handover inspection by H & K
Ryan at a later date as and when required
4. Roof tiling and eave linings were incomplete

The Site:

1. The site safety fencing must remain completely intact (and locked if intended) at all times and must be
maintained in a safe standard at all times. Gates should remain locked and under the builders control.
2. The site is to be left clean of building debris, site areas to be graded and levelled out appropriately on
completion, subject to the Builders contract Specifications.

The Interior:

The significant items that need remedial works are:
a. Truss sheer blocking is incomplete in areas above some of the internal braced walls near the
ensuite and the kitchen areas,
b. Speed brace tails must be wrapped and fixed to the underside of the top wall plate in areas
1. A recommendation was made that where all the galvanised wall frame braces pass over each other that they be
separated with an insulation material to prevent interior wall cavity knocking in the future.
2. Sheer blocking is incomplete to to a braced wall at the entry area (photograph was included in report)
3. Blocking incomplete for the wall linings support around the bath unit (photograph was included in report)
4. The truss speed bracing must be wrapped and fitted to the underside of the top wall plate as intended

GENERAL DUTY of CARE NOTES THAT SHOULD BE APPLIED:

1. Tops and bottoms of all external and all of the internal wet area doors should be sealed, once they
have been installed. This will be inspected by us at the final PCI completion inspection.
2. i/ WC Cistern’s wall blocking is yet to be fitted to some areas only, (these blocks are only required if
the WC suite specified is to be a wall mounted unit and not a pan mounted unit,)
ii/ dryer units wall mounting blocks are yet to be fitted at 2.1 to 2.3 centres, subject to the Builders
contract Specifications.
iii/ wall blocking for any future wall mounted Plasma/LCD TV unit, are not a requirement under a
building contract and if required would normally be a variation, but are essential to be installed at this
frame stage. (CASE NOTE: We have been advised of a past matter in the USA where a wall mounted
Plasma TV unit had fallen off a wall and killed a two year old child due to not being fitted
appropriately to adequate wall blocking.)
3. The garage slab floors need protecting during this construction process as they are intended to be a
future finished surface.
4. It is recommended only that all the Rehau water pipes be silicone sealed where they pass over each
other and where they pass through wall studs to prevent possible water hammer knocking within the
wall cavity areas in the future.

GARAGE:

Wall noggins incomplete in areas,

REAR HALLWAY:

Wall noggin loose in the rear linen press unit

BATHROOM:

Bath wall lining blocking incomplete,

LAUNDRY:

Wall mounted dryer blocks should be fitted at 2.1 to 2.3 centres, if required by the
homeowner, (a variation may apply if this blocking is required
——————————————————————————————————
Hubby and I definitely think it was worth the money to have the inspection done. It’s peace of mind for us and I think it’s also a little extra pressure on Clarendon to make sure they do the right thing knowing we’re having our own private inspector come through and check things out.

We plan on heading out over the long weekend to check on this weeks progress as Daz and Nat over on Homeone have said they have seen people onsite every day this week. Woot!!!
IMG_3172 (Large)

IMG_3173 (Large)

Leave a comment »

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 »

We’ve been framed!!!!

It feels like a lot has happened over the past week, we’re thanking God for such beautiful weather!!!

Shrimpy (our Site Supervisor) called late Tuesday to say that the plumber had been onsite with him and they reviewed the hydraulic plans. They decided they will relocate the stormwater pit so it is not in the way of the driveway. WOOT WOOT!!!! Winning!!He didn’t say when they would do it, just that they would. We are so happy. So very happy. The roof trusses were estimated to go up on the 24th then we were told they will move onto roofing before the bricking commences so the progress on the house isn’t at a standstill. We’re not sure if that means that there had been a delay in the bricks or that the builders are just busy with the other Clarendon builds going on at Brooks Reach at the moment.

Frame update – That’s right; we’ve been framed!!

The carpenter didn’t arrive on site to start the frames until Tuesday, and by then our windows and sliding doors had also been delivered  Head against a brick wall! Seems that the builders have made quick work of it though and when we visited our lot on ANZAC day we were amazed at how much it really has started looking like a home. The SS called today and seemed a little confused; we have a meeting with him on site next Thursday and he thought it was today for some reason. No update on the site was really provided other than to say bricking should start on Tuesday 30th April – I don’t know if this means the bricks have been delivered yet or if they’ll turn up on Monday. Lots of things we’re just not sure about, but we know they’ll happen eventually. So is the roofing still going to go on first or did the SS just mean the roof trusses were going to go up? We’ll have to wait and see what next week holds… Hopefully more good weather and other progress to celebrate.

Frames were estimated to be finished today, but we didn’t receive the invoice so we assume they still have a few final things to do. Building

Garage meals&kitchen Home Theatre room Back of house

Ensuite Window B & R framed

We had an amazing morning out at Brooks Reach and it was lovely to spend time with Nat, Vass and Jes. Brooks Reach really feels like a community that cares for each other, even in these early stages! If you want to read more about what’s going on at Brooks Reach and what the other neighbours are up to, check out this thread i created on building website Homeone 

 

6 Comments »

The beginnings of our home .. Land purchased!

Darling Husband (DH) and I had been looking and purchasing a home for some time before we decided we wanted to build. There were a few suburbs in the area we liked but the homes were either too much work to do up or way to expensive for us as first home buyers.

We decided we’d engage a few builders in the area, email them what we wanted in a house and what our budget was. We had already spoken with our broker and calculated ourselves what we could afford in repayments.

A few responded, though most didn’t. One company called us and told us to buy land first and then go and see them at their display homes in Shell Cove (even though they have an office in Wollongong close to where we work). We really liked the look of Wisdom Homes but unfortunately no one ever got back to us. Wisdom didn’t have any display homes near us and if they couldn’t respond to an enquiry we didn’t want to drive an hour or more to their show homes and then spend the building process chasing them.

Clarendon Homes responded quickly with some nice ideas and addressed most of our questions. DH’s boss had also built with Clarendon in the past which also gave us some peace of mind. We decided to set up a meeting with the consultant at Clarendon’s display homes in Haywards Bay. She was lovely, answered a lot of our questions and showed us some beautiful home designs. We were strict on our budget from the start, giving her the maximum we could spend on house + land. Not once did she try and push us for something that was above our means. She listened to everything we had to say and what we wanted in a house and by the end of the meeting we walked out with three possible floor plans to look over and an idea of how big our block of land should be if we wanted to build with Clarendon.

We had a lot of trouble finding affordable land in the suburbs we were wanting to build. If we found some potential land we liked, we would scope out the site, take some pictures and email them through to Deb and she’d let us know if it was suitable. Everything we found seemed to be too steep a gradient to build a one story house on. Deb suggested we have a ‘smaller’ footprint and build a two-story place. As much as we liked the two-story homes they were more expensive so the trade-off wasn’t really worth it. We became disheartened and continued to go to open homes across the weekends. We were lucky to have my ‘mum’ Nat along on some of the showings which helped with our confidence and knew an extra pair of eyes is always appreciated.

One weekend in November we contacted Deb about a new estate in Horsley that had just released several blocks for sale. She wrote back and invited us back to Clarendons display homes to discuss potential lots that might fit our need. We went over the price/size of the lots and picked out a couple to check out. Later that afternoon we went over to Brooks Reach estate and met with one of Stocklands sales people, James. We discussed our needs and the particular lot we had decided on. James put on his boots right then and there and walked with us to the lot. We loved it. There was still a lot of levelling to be done and at this point there were no roads or anything in place but standing there with Branden, looking out at the mountains I knew this could be the place to build our home. We walked back to the office with James and told him we’d take it. He laughed and commented on what an easy sale that would be! He didn’t want us to sign/pay right away, so instead he sent us home with some brochures to read through and sleep on it. He was holding the lot for us for two weeks but on Monday 7.11.11 at 12.12pm B called through to James and had him process our $1000 deposit on the land.

We were so excited we wanted to sort out our house plan right away! Deb arranged to meet with us at Haywards Bay after work that same day.. (to be continued)

1 Comment »