Brooks Reach Building adventure

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

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.

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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!!!
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Brick it!

Two weeks have zoomed on by! Following the last post on our frames, on April 29th we received the largest invoice EVER, indicating that our frames were done and windows had been installed 🙂 Hubby and I quickly stopped by to check everything was as it should before fore we paid that kinda cash!

backyard brick Bricks

 

 

 

 

 

 

As can see, our bricks were also delivered 🙂 Our brick choice is ‘Engage’ By Austral Bricks and it’s part of the ‘Everyday Life’ range. We were really pleased with the brick colour when we chose it back in early 2012 so it was nice to see we still liked them as they sat there waiting to be laid.

Site Supervisor meeting May 2nd 2013

SS was 10minutes late onsite but he eventually turned up and we chatted as we walked around the lot for about 45minutes. He was nice, answered all our questions and said he’d follow up on our issues which is great. The key points from the meet up are outlined below:

  • Our first layer of bricks is done! Pest control and granite guard have been applied. Waterproofing still to be done by SS at a later date
  • SS said we will lose a week of work now as the brickies are tied up with other jobs; he is sure he can make that week back later down the track though
  • We were told that roofing was going to be done first, but SS decided to get bricks done before roof tiling in the end
  • We advised SS we wanted to keep leftover bricks and roof tiles. He said that’s fine we will just need to move them to the back of the lot before clean up happens on site, but he’ll let us know when that is
  • Estimated date of handover.. wait for it.. 3 MONTHS!!! WHAT!?!! That would mean a total build time of 4 months (as opposed to the allocated 5 months) But we know a lot can happen between now and then so we’re not holding our breath – We are hoping ot be in by September at this stage
  • SS said that if there were extra powerpoints we wanted (on parallel walls) he could arrange some cash jobs with sparky
  • SS is happy to have out carpet/tile and blinds company come through and do a check measure once we reach lock up stage
  • Our bank has contacted SS to arrange an inspection before bank releases funds for frame invoice
  • Howard Ryan has made contact with SS to arrange for the first of 2 private inspections we are having. HnK Ryan will come through when gyprocking starts in a few weeks
  • The cowl for the ducted rangehood won’t be installed on tiles for; a pipe will direct it out to the eaves so it’s not visible. The SS thinks cowls are a bit of an eyesore and don’t really match your roof tiles
  • The stormwater pit issue was discussed and  SS showed us the copy of the hydraulics report. He said we should have received a copy of it but Clarendon had never sent it to us. We followed it up with our Customer Service Consultant and she sent us out the report.  The stormwater pit is actually meant to be further across, almost in line with our bedroom window. The SS thinks the plumber was lazy and has put it where it is so he didn’t have to dig in under ground to have it flow through to the main drain. This will eventually be moved.
  • The final issue we wanted cleared up on the day was this small silver thing we had seen on our lot… Turns out it is a SEWER VENT!!!! It is right outside our sliding door and huge ‘family room’ window.  What the heck was the plumber thinking when he put that there?!! We told the SS that that is where our future decking is going to be, and we don’t have much of a yard so we need to use every bit we can. I had also noticed the sewer vent wasn’t on the hydraulics report when he had it out earlier. The SS said he will follow up with the plumber and have it moved to the back door area near the laundry

Home sewer vent

So after all that Hubby and I felt much better about the issues we have and it’s comforting to know we have a SS that seems to know what he’s doing. We actually feel like someone is looking after us now.

May 3rd

We received a bill from Sydney Water for our water connection. Nothing major but Clarendon had provided them with the wrong address (as they do with all our services!) I contacted Sydney water and updated our postal address. I have also submitted an online request to have our meter address updated as it’s not the primary address for our lot (corner lots have alternate addresses). Sydney Water advised we’d get another bill once we’re connected to the sewer.

May 10th 

We had our weekly call form the SS on Friday and he said he expects the bricking to be complete by middle of this week (possibly Friday at the latest as they aren’t finished yet!!). According to our ‘Clarendon Homes Construction Journey‘ we’ll then have another (huge) invoice and followed by the roof tiles going up and then they’ll head inside and get things moving. SS said that in around 2 weeks time the gyprock will be delivered. We asked about when the stormwater drain and sewer vent will be moved and he said he’ll get to it after lock up.

Hopefully I’ll have some more good news to share with you all next week 🙂 Each day that goes by brings us one step closer to our beautiful new home!

Partial Bricks Back Bricks

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Slab kebab!

That’s right, we have a slab! wahooooooooooooooo!!!! *party*
But wait!” I hear you all cry; how did all this happen?!

Rewind to November 2011: We paid deposits on land and building tender.
Fast forward to 24th March 2013 and on a random visit to our lot we see it has been cut/filled

Cut/fill

Cut/fill Fun :D

 

 

 

Then we received a call on the 25th March to say ‘Hey, we’re starting your piering today. Feel free to come check it out around lunch time.” And sure enough lunch time rolled around, we zoomed away on our lunch break to find:
Waffle pod
Look at that lovely peiring. (We assume it’s lovely!)

Then as we were celebrating Easter and thanking God for all His blessing and provision we decided to visit the lot again, just because we could.. And what a lovely thing we found:
Waffle pod
Our waffle pod!! What is a waffle pod you ask? The Waffle Pod Slab Systems allows a more accurate specification of concrete quantities, reduces waste and provides a substantial boost to building site efficiency.
It has minimal impact on the environment – there is less soil disturbance, and no excavated rubble from trenches to dispose of. (if only the polystyrene was bio-degradable!) The pods allow air pockets in the slab to form an insulating layer between the structure and the ground.

What great progess they had been making, and so quickly too!!! We went back to work (grumpily) on Tuesday only to receive an invoice in the late afternoon for our slab. Now this is the first big progress payment for us (other than all the $$$$$ we had paid up to this point) and there was no way were going to pay 20% of our total house cost without checking out that slab. Our Site Supervisor (SS) had called hubby on the previous Thursday to tell him the slab would be done on Friday the 5th of April so we weren’t expecting this invoice so soon. To our great delight we found this upon our late night arrival after work:

Slab

Cuties

 

So we’re just enjoying the quick progress while we can. Now we’ve paid Clarendon a bunch of monies I wouldn’t be surprised if things slow down a little bit. Well, that and the fact is has rained both days after the slab was poured and is forecast to rain for the next week and a half! Oh well, it just gives the slab time to cure.

Hopefully I’ll be able to share pictures of the framing and bricks as they go up over the next month or so. At this point we’re estimating we’ll be in around November (worst case) with a possibility of being in late August/early September if everything goes perfectly and promptly!

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