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

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2 more sleeps (and then keys will be ours. MUHAHAHAA!!)

Keys Keys Keys Keys sung to tune of:
WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Our bank released the funds early Thursday and after several calls/emails to our CSC and Clarendon accounts department on Friday it was confirmed around 2pm that they had received our final payment! Our SS called hubs and booked in Handover for Monday. He had our keys with him but not the fancy handover leather book thing they give out. SS also has arranged for our appliances to be installed Monday morning before we get keys so that’s nice.

We went for a quick drive out to Brooks Reach yesterday afternoon to check in on the tiling. We really love the tile we chose and how it’s all blending well together (obviously the grout still needs to be done)
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The tiler has done a great job so far considering it’s only him working on them. He told the SS he should be done by Sunday.. BUT he wasn’t onsite at all today so this makes us a bit worried.
Tiler needs to be done by Monday morning so Clarendon’s painter can pop in on Monday morning and finish the nib walls in the kitchen. SS is also having our appliances installed on Monday before handover too. 🙂 woo!! South Coast Floor Coverings were meant to be installing carpet on Monday, but last week they pushed it back to Tuesday and when we rang to confirm yesterday they’ve now told us Thursday is the earliest :S We’re getting a bit frustrated with them now as they just aren’t consistent in what they say. We’ve let them know that we’re actually moving in on Wednesday and won’t really be setting up furniture in the rooms for one day just to try and move it out the next for their carpet layer. Hopefully that gets sorted and they keep their original agreement with us.

We’ve organised for our gas/electricity to be switched over to AGL, organised our mail redirection, having the NBN connected on the 26th (WOOTWOOTWOOT) arranged a cancellation date for our services in this apartment .. we had a very productive afternoon yesterday haha.
Today we also went out and purchased some more furniture, a lovely Bosch dishwasher and a bunch of other random things for the house. It still doesn’t feel real though!

There are still minor issues with the home that we’ll take note of when we sign for the keys on Monday: *scratched sliding door *kitchen cabinet still away being repaired *back stop tiling still uneven *bathroom cabinet door not aligned *Lightbulbs/shades not installed yet.
These are just the few things we saw while we were onsite for 20mins 🙂 hopefully most of it will be fixed before we get keys.

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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!
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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:
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skirting

internal front door

kitchen & meals
hubs

laundry 31.07.13
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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!

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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)
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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
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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!

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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.

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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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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.
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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
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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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With a rooftop over our heads

That’s right, the roof is on!!!! The corner pieces are still to be laid but that won’t be til later in the build. There is some nice shiny stuff on the inside of the roof though.IMG_3165 (Large)

Downpipes have been installed (still to be painted though) along with gutters and fascia. Downpipes and roof
Hubby and I are still trying to decide if it was wise to go with Sandbank for our downpipes or if it would have been better going monument. What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below.

We have Howard Ryan (HnK Ryan) going through the house with our SS tomorrow for the first of two private inspections. This one is the lock up / Pre-plaster inspection and Howard will be onsite between 7am and 8am take photos, record any issues and send through the report to us later in the evening. We then have to forward this report onto our SS.

Weather is dreadful outside right now but forecast for the week is mostly sunny. Praying for a little more sunshine so the tradies can finish everything they need to before moving inside!

Bathy times

Branden in the bath… Stop looking, you pervs!

Chef Ruby in the future kitchen

Nearly done with the roof..Back entryFront entryrooftiles

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Pantry

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