Brooks Reach Building adventure

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

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!

Advertisements
3 Comments »

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 »

Bathroom & laundry tiling

Last Saturday we did a quick drive by the lot  just to see if we could peer in a few windows and check out if anything had been done on the bathrooms. When we arrived we saw the front door was open!!! We called our Site Supervisor and left a message just to see what the dealio was. There was work going on at other Clarendon sites in the estate so we perhaps someone had left it open and was coming back; either way we wanted to follow it up with Shrimpy so he was aware.

We took the opportunity to pop inside and show one of my little sisters the place.

Things haven’t progressed as much as we thought they would. Tiling is underway, our stone bench tops were due to be installed today along with shelving for pantry etc, the tiler will then be back to install our metaline splashback. The painter is meant to be out some time this week too for the first coat of paint followed by gyprockers inspection and then final coat of paint. So SS said there should be someone onsite everyday, which is what we’ve been expecting since lock up anyway. Surely they are as keen to get things finished as we are?

Here is a shot of the main bathroom (tiles still need to be laid around bath area and next to the window)

Toilet floor tiled (wall tiles to be laid)
IMG_3427
Ensuite (mostly finished; mosaic still to be laid above vanity)


Laundry floor tiled (wall tiles still to be laid)

Most of the doors in the house have been installed too, including the wardrobe doors
IMG_3430
We got a call from Wynstan last week to confirm SS’s number so he could get onsite and do final measure up for our plantation shutters and get them ordered in. South Coast Floor Coverings were onsite last week to measure up for our carpets and tiles and today they sent through the invoice for around $10k. Our tiling job has been tentatively booked to be installed in the second week of August should we have the keys by then.
AHHHHH it’s so close now, hopefully on the homestretch. So ready for moving day!

4 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 »

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 »

Kitchen Spec

Our kitchen meeting was part of our first Clarendon Create appointment but I felt it needed it’s own post as it’s such an important part of our home.
The kitchen has always been my focus during the house hunting and now building process. Thankfully I have an incredible husband that has supported my kitchen-crush during this whole time. A promise of never ending brownies may have also helped!

Our kitchen will have 3m long stone benchtops with a breakfast bar extension making the island bench even wider. We will have a 900mm gas cooktop, canopy ducted rangehood and 600mm electric oven. We will eventually have a side-by-side fridge/freezer with a filtered water point. WE HAVE A HUGE WALK IN PANTRY! We haven’t picked out tiles yet as our builder is making us wait until construction is under way (who knows why!) but they’ll be a light colour like this:ZIRVE BEIGE (MARBLE) - Tile Sample from QQ

We describe the feel of our future kitchen as open and earthy with the green and brown tones. One of the best upgrades we made was our kitchen sink to be a double bowl sink. Best $15 upgrade I think! Of course we had to source specific models and ask for a price on all the items we wanted, but that wasn’t too much work. We also upgraded our oven to a newer model too for a small fee.
Branden’s Grandma & Poppop gave me some money towards my KitchenAid that I’ll purchase as a house warming gift to myself when we move in. I’m thinking green apple KitchenAid Green Apple Artisan or possibly Cobalt Blue (B’s fave colour is blue) Cobalt Blue KitchenAid. The hubby will probably spend his gift money on electronics or something for the theatre room. Boys and their toys!

The original quote for upgrades came to a total of $12,970!!!!!! *wide eyes*. We just couldn’t believe the cost for some of the items. We didn’t get a quote for the tepanyaki built in cooktop with wok, I think that would have been neat but very expensive. We would have loved to have SMEG appliances too but agreed we could upgrade to those later once we settle in and save for those kind of things.

Below are the items we had quoted (with approximate figures):

  • Craftwood bulkheads above cabinets (between ceiling and cabinets) $420 Did not get this upgrade (Essentially it’s a fake wall so you don’t have to dust above your cabinets. How silly)
  • Provide matching door colour above canopy rangehood $192 Did not get this upgrade
  • Matching door colour bottoms to matching side of wall cabinets either side of rangehood $190 Did not get this upgrade
  • 300mm depth extra overhang to breakfast bar $400
  • 20mm thick stone benchtop, pencil round edge $4000
  • Laminex crystal gloss melamine doors/panels (Espresso) $2100 Did not go with this upgrade
  • Brushed aluminium laminated kickboards $420 Did not get this upgrade
  • Lamanix metaline splashback (including behind rangehood), Champagne Perle $2600
  • 1 x bank of 2x pot drawers righthand side of underbench oven $220
  • Soft closing drawers – $820 Did not go with this upgrade
  • Soft closing door hinges – $384 Did not go with this upgrade

*Microwave provision removed
*Aware that our fridge door will not extend fully due to wall cavity.

Our total for upgrades/changes etc came to around $6000

This is our beautiful kitchen plan

Kitchen drawing

Splashback: Laminex Metaline Champagne Perle champagne_perle splashback You can’t tell from the picture but it is a soft green colour that hs a subtle gold fleck through it. So pretty.

Benchtop: Quantum Quartz New Diamond white New Diamond White stone benchtop

Kitchen cabinets: Wilsonart Chocolate O547 Morro Zephyr 4846

Cooktop: westinghouse ghr95s – 5 burners baby! GHR95S-14700
Oven: POR667S POR667S-14158

Sink: R175 MK II double bowl sink R175 MK II double bowl sink

rangehood: WRF900CS-6286 – Canopy Rangehood WRF900CS-6286 - Canopy Rangehood

The colours will end up looking something like the below design sample (The design is different though)

Envisage Kitchen design

Up next: Clarendon Create pt2 (internal colours, alarms, bathrooms and other not so exciting things)…

9 Comments »