Tiles!

We met with the tiler yesterday and were pretty impressed that he took the time to double check where all the different tiles were going just to make sure he had it right. This took half an hour but as he said it’s much better than putting them in wrong!

anyway he has already made heaps of progress. Pictures below are of the hallways through the laundry and the kitchen/dining. Unfortunately we were locked out so the pictures are through the windows but I think the tiles look great!

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Completion of week 23 / enclosed invoice

Friday the 12 saw the enclosed invoice arrive. We were kind of expecting it as they have been pretty much at lock up for awhile now. That said, we still need a window replaced, the outside is supposed to be painted but it’s only half painted and in the wrong colour still and a number of brick defects are still to be rectified. Actually I’m not sure how it works with brick defects – are the bricks considered completed even if the bricks still need to be fixed?

I figure it’s worth asking if they will fix the defects, install the window and finish the painting (in the right colour) before we pay this invoice.  I sent Clarendon an email asking this, not holding my breath on their response.

In more exciting news, our kitchen and bathroom cabinets have been installed! Looks great and we are pretty happy with our colour choices.

Unfortunately, like every there has still been an element of what I am now calling the ‘Clarendon factor’.

And yes I will once again state that I know things don’t always run like clockwork when building but I can’t honestly think of one stage or element of this entire building and admin process that didn’t have  a hiccup that we had to identify and notify Clarendon about. Actually wait, the Clarendon invoicing process seems to be pretty efficient!

Anyway, the issue this time is that the upper kitchen cabinets have been built to accommodate a slide out rangehood, which isn’t a great fit for the concealed rangehood we specifically had included in our plans.

We asked the guy installing and he said that they just build the cabinets based on whatever Clarendon send them. Our plans have the cabinets with a concealed rangehood so I’ve no idea what Clarendon sent to the cabinet maker.

I don’t think it’s that hard for Clarendon to provide their suppliers with the right plans. . Actually I probably expect to much given they gave our site supervisor the wrong plans too.

 

Im getting our current place ready for sale and I’m honestly wishing I had of never gone with Clarendon. I know our house will be great when it’s finished but the whole process building with them is just poor. I don’t think I could possibly recommend them to anyone despite their good plans.

Ha and I may as well continue my  whinging – so after our fox out and incorrect building update from our csc, the area manager sent us an email stating that all future updates will be coming from him. That sounded promising in terms of getting an update that was at least accurate.

So this week our update came from our site supervisor and not the area manager. I will say that we don’t mind getting the updates from our SS but this is just another example of what Clarendon say and what they do being different.

we have our tiler coming this week. We are supposed to be having a site meeting with him before he starts. He starts tomorrow but we are yet to hear from him. I guess he will probably do the screeding etc tomorrow before laying the tiles. Maybe he will call us tomorrow’s of arrange the meeting.

Again though, this is something I would have thought Clarendon would arrange just so that they know it has happened and that everyone knows what was agreed.

And my last observation for the day is the amazing review Clarendon is currently getting on the product review website! All the recent ones are giving them 5stars! I really wish we could have had their csc, SS and area manager!  I don’t know how you could give Clarendon five stars. Even if the house they finally hand over is absolutely amazing, their process, communication and general trustworthiness would have to get them marked down. Well it will in our review at any rate

 

Ok there’s my Sunday whinge done. Time to do some mulching and gardening.

 

 

Pre paint inspection

 

 

We had our private inspector do an pre-paint inspection last week

The inspection picked up a number of items. Mostly that a few walls/bulkheads weren’t straight and a few issues with the brick work (we had previously notified Clarendon about this).

What did take us back is that we have a ‘sag’ in our kitchen splashback window. This is going to be the main feature in our kitchen and for it to be sagging is crap. it will only be made more obvious when kitchen benches and cupboards are installed.  Anyway, The area manager has been made aware of it and  he will address it.

In addition we noted a number of windows where the brick work wasn’t really nice and flush. It kinda looked like there needed to be a layer of render on the bricks to make it look properly finished. But crap when we aren’t rendering our place. There might be some additional finishing to be done yet. I certainly won’t cop it if that’s how they leave it!

Also  the report noted a number of walls weren’t straight. There were more that weren’t great that Our building inspector didn’t put in the report as they were arguably within tolerances. What annoys me is that we sent Clarendon a copy of the last inspection report that identified all the walls that weren’t straight/level and then checked with and received from Clarendon assurances that they had all been addressed.  Pretty disappointing really I don’t think having straight walls is too much to expect.

With the brickwork issues – a few wonky bricks and some mortar lines that were way to thick – I was surprised with the process that will be taken to fix them. Rather than getting the brickies that laid them poorly to fix it up (they were still onsite on Friday) the area construction manger said he would get another brickie to fix them. Seems strange that Clarendon would pay another brickie to fix up mistakes that should have been rectified by the brickie that laid them. Anyway that’s for Clarendon to sort out. I’m just hoping it’s not a token statement from the area manager and no one fixes it – I can see this not getting fixed for a long time which is a shame since we first advised Clarendon of this brick problem before Christmas before they bricked the upper level of the house.

Anyway I’ve sent the report off to Clarendon to address.  Actually I should mention that we also asked about he possibility of having the windows in our theatre finished with a square set finish instead of the normal architrave as the bulkhead comes almost down to the window jambs and we would probably only end up with three sides of architrave and then some sort of strip across the top. Anyway we asked the area manager and he said he would have to check with ‘bob’. Fair enough.

So when I sent the report off to Clarendon I sent it to all the Clarendon contacts we have (to ensure everyone knows what’s happening) and we happened to have one ‘bob’ contact from Clarendon. Well it ends up that the ‘bob’ I emailed was the GM of Clarendon in Queensland. Ha don’t think it’s the bob the area manager was talking about! Ha. But we did then get a call from our SS late on a Friday arvo and an email from the area manager on the Sunday acknowledging the report. So maybe it was a good thing! Ha nar I don’t think I will include GM Bob will be on our  regular emails!!

And lastly I should talk up the good things too!

The  brickies added the extra row of bricks to our balcony which looks a million  times better than it did before.

and now (a few days have pasted since I started drafting this) we have our front door in place. All the down stairs skirts and architraves were done, the down stairs internal doors had been hung and the house is really starting to look like it all may come together!!!

hopefully the upstairs was done today!

Our kitchen was supposed to go in this week but the kitchen guy rang and told us that the cava lini we selected was on back order so wouldn’t be there this week.  At least he let us know – not sure if Clarendon know though.

I’m sure our weekly update will bring us back up to speed on how it is all progressing and when the issues will be addressed or if they are with tolerance levels. Anyway our tiler is supposed to start in the middle of February. It will really look like a home when the tiles and cabinets are in.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I wonder when the electrician is coming back? Better sort out the last payment for all our light fittings!!

 

 

 

Clarendon progress updates

This morning we received a weekly update from our Customer Service Consultant (CSC). In the past these updates have been hit and miss. Some weeks we get them, more weeks we don’t. Sometimes they delivering fantastic news on the progress made and the plan for the weeks ahead. However the updates usually don’t say much or, like in today’s case, are just wrong and misleading.

Below is a copy of the email sent today (names have been removed)

“I have been advised by SS that the bricklaying as been completed now.

Fox out will start today.

Stairs will follow after to being installed.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Kind Regards

CSC”

Apart from the grammar (and trust me I’m not one to judge!) it looks like a pretty good update. But the problem with it is that it is wrong. Just so wrong.

To start – the bricks aren’t completed!  They still need to brick the side of the garage, the alfresco pillars, the balcony bricks need another row, window sills still to be done and the defective bricks/bricking previously raised still needs to be rectified. So no bricks aren’t complete.

And then – what is fox out? Did the CSC mean Box out or fit out? Or do we have a rabbit problem at our house and Clarendon need to let the fox out to get rid of the rabbits? Hopefully it’s fit out.

As for “Stairs to follow after to be installed”, well the stairs were installed on Tuesday. Our SS even text through a picture of them.

And in terms of an update, what about an update on our outstanding queries that we haven’t heard anything on?

I know I’m being a bit picky but honestly this has been the kind of updates we have gotten through out the whole build. It certainly doesn’t fill me with confidence that they know what is happening on our build. It also really makes me wonder if all the things they said they have done have actually happen e.g wall insulation etc.

Anyway- deep breath- the build is continuing. The brickies are there today and hopefully will finish this week.

I have emailed a response to the CSC regarding the points above and have asked our csc to check with our ss that this was actually for our house as we have received someone else’ update previously.

One day i will have to do a post about the good things from this build!