Weekly update – Thursday 26/11/15

So we received an update (email and phone call) from our CSC. Not that special I hear you say! but what if I told you we didn’t even have to send an email or make a phone call to prompt this weekly update!

The surprise of getting this ‘spontaneous’ update almost outweighed the disappointing news it brought….

No bricks or brickies for another week! Apparently the brickies we were supposed to get have been delayed and are still working on their currently place and won’t be available until next week.

That was the bad news.

The good news is that our SS has arranged for ‘Nigel’ to do our bricks starting next Thursday 3 December 2015. Our CSC then told us that Nigel is the best brickie they have on their books. Not sure if this is what they say when they finally lock in any brick layer or if true…

As i was on the phone, I didn’t know whether I should blow up about the fact that it will be over 4 weeks since the house was blue wrapped before the bricks start  or whether I should be grateful that I now had a confirmed brick start date with Nigel the super brickie!

Anyway, i just thanked our CSC profusely for arranging the bricks for next week – somehow they had convinced me they had done me a favour and not the job I am paying them to do.

So with the ‘super brickie’ lined up for our place, Clarendon have once again raised my expectation that we will have a hassle free, faultless bricking job done on our place. Here’s hoping!I can guarantee that Clarendon will be hearing about it if it isn’t spot on!

While i had the CSC on the phone i asked about our outstanding issues of the

  • air con duct and was told that Drew the air con guy had been in the office and would be sorting it out early next week; and
  • the broken front window frame – which our SS has notified the window company and is ‘all in hand’ to be fixed.

Now that I’ve typed this its just come to me that the update really was that:

  • nothing is happening this week and that the bricks we were supposed to have started two weeks ago will probably start late next week.

Ha and for some reason I was happy when I got off the phone from the CSC.

So in terms of progress for the entire month of November we had:

  • a site inspection with our building inspector that picked out a number of problems with walls not being straight/square or level.
  • the lower half of the house wrapped (Monday 2/11/15)
  • the remainder of the tiles put on the lower rood (3/11/15 but started tiling on 8/10/15)
  • and a guy come out to fix the problems with the frames (10/11/15)

Funny to think that in early October we were so amazed at the progress we thought there was a chance we might have a house to move into in February. At this stage we will be lucky to have the house bricked up by Christmas.

On the bright side of things, this means we won’t be putting our house on the market in December and that means I can put the christmas lights up outside!

Progress (or lack of)

So its been three weeks today since we had a meeting on site with our site supervisor (SS) and had our own frame inspection done.  The day of the frame inspections/site meeting was good. We had a good ‘chat’ with the site supervisor and got a bit of confidence that things were going to continue to happen on our site.

In fact on that day (Monday 2 November 2015), our site supervisor told us that the lower half of the house would be wrapped, the rest of the tiles (lower roof) would be done, the mistakes (air con drop was run through a bed room resulting in a strange boxed out ‘addition’ to the room, rather than where it should have gone) and the points identified in the frame inspection would be addressed that week and the brickies would be starting at the end of the next week.

So what’s happened in three weeks? Well Clarendon have wrapped the house (that happened Monday 2/11/15) after our inspection. The tilers came back and have ‘loosely’ tiled the lower roof on Tuesday 3/11/15. Apparently the site supervisor, the air con guy and a plumber have met to discuss how to fix the air con problem and have agreed to fix it. And on Tuesday 10/11/15 one guy came and straightened some of the walls.

To date the air con drop/tubing and surrounding box frame is still in the bedroom and hasn’t been touched.

So in three weeks we have probably had 2 days of work done on the house. disappointing to say the least and super frustrating given that we live across the road and can see the lack of progress every morning when we go to work and every afternoon when we return. So we emailed our customer support consultant to get our weekly update report on Thursday 19/11/15.

On Friday 20/11/15 we received an email from our customer support consultant (CSC) advising us:

“the area manager has re schedule a team of bricklayer to start your project next week.

They have currently just started doing to lower brickwork on another project of ours. As soon as they are completed the lower brickwork on that project, They will move off that project on to your project to do the lower brickwork stage.

Once the lower brickwork is done we then have to get scaffolded constructed to enable the bricklayers to do the top level brickwork so this bricklaying team will be working between your project and the other project to complete the brickwork.

I do not have an exact day the bricklayers will be starting but as soon as the lower level is completed on the house they are on now they will be going to your project.”

 

What I got from the email was that there may be brickies starting at our place sometime in the future when they finish working somewhere else.

I guess I shouldn’t hold my breath…and be thankful they aren’t responsible for scheduling trains!

Anyway, we have been reassured that our house is still ahead of schedule. And i will say that when they do come onsite, the Clarendon sub-contractors do smash through a lot of work. That’s probably why we get so frustrated with it. We know they can do so much so quickly, so when it sits there with nothing happening its just painful!

 

 

Communication

Well today i’m just posting cause i’m pretty pissed with clarendon and their terrible communication skills through out the whole organisation!

Last week, we finally had our frame inspection. Nothing major was wrong though were were a few walls that weren’t straight/plumb and a number of frames that weren’t level. All fixable apparently.

One thing our building inspector picked up was that some of the frames were bowed, but rather than crimping them back to straighten them, they simple planed off the bowed part. This makes the bow level, but then they didn’t pack out the other side to make it level.

Anyway communication! so meeting with the SS on site and he tells us (Monday 2/11/15) that bricks will start next week. Great!

Next week rolls round and on Thursday 12/11/15 we get an email from our CSC that a date for the bricks hasn’t been locked in, but rest assured progress has happened on our build with eaves and cladding apparently being installed.

Well first of, not happy that the bricks aren’t locked in. not only have they not started, but it is anyones guess when they might actually start.

As for the eaves and cladding! the scaffolding came down more than two weeks ago! so even if they had been delivered, they certainly wouldn’t be getting put up! and from a look at the building journey, eaves don’t happen for ages!

I honestly think she didn’t know which property she was giving the update on! Which again raises a concern!

Anyway, I’ve emailed Clarendon. I’ve asked if they could give us accurate updates on our build. I would rather they told us that nothing was going to happen on our site for a few of weeks because of XXX, than be told, for example, ‘that bricks will be starting in two weeks’ only to wait two weeks and then be told that there isn’t an exact date for the bricks to start yet.  There isn’t much worse than expecting something, and then not have it happen.

I’m sure dealing with all builders has its drawbacks but honestly, if someone asked me if i would recommend Clarendon to build a home, I would tell them to look else where.