End of week 28

28 weeks of construction done!

After our “email battle” last week we felt a little better about what was to be done at our home to finish it up by 13 May 2016.  Basically the following had to happen:

  • finish pre-paint prep (bit of plastering, sanding, gap filling etc) and address outstanding noted issues (bricks laying outside of tolerances, air con concerns, wonky bulkheads etc)
  • Brick clean
  • external paint
  • balcony rail installed
  • Garage door
  • internal paint (including clear coating of stairs and front door)
  • electrical fit off (installation of switches/lights etc)
  • plumbing fit off (taps etc)
  • installation of appliance
  • site and house clean
  • all relevant inspections

From the emails were thought we would see the pre-paint prep happen this week and maybe some of our issues be addressed.

What has happened – and there may have been more progress today – amounts to –

  • balcony railing installed (looks good too!)
  • Kitchen cabinetry fixed for the concealed range hood, missing cupboard door installed and handle-less laundry cabinet doors installed.
  • a little bit of pre-paint preparation – still needs a fair bit of plastering and sanding and maybe even some cornice to be done
  •  Also looks like they cut/removed some plasterboard to have a look at the air con ducting kinks to assess them.

I do like the balcony railing – neither of us can remember selecting the colour but are happy with it! (sorry about the dark picture)

pic of railing

So progress is happening, just not really the rapid movement that i was hoping for. Have my doubts that the painter will be there anytime soon. Though we do have the electrician coming on 6 April so i guess the painting will be done by then?

I’m looking forward to my weekly update to see what’s happening tomorrow and next week!

 

UPDATE

So yesterday Friday 18 March we had a bunch of tradies on site.

It looks like they fixed up some of the bricks and we now have a garage door. Also they moved our man hole into the correct place so it won’t impact on our wardrobe installation.

image

So good bit of progress this week and there is a tradie there today (Saturday) as well!!

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Handover date – Update

Our Area Construction Manager got back to us on a proposed handover date. At this stage we are working towards 13 May 2016.

That is nine weeks away. Should be enough time to:

  • resolve the outstanding issues
  • outstanding plastering and cornice
  • External Painting
  • Internal Painting
  • Brick Clean
  • Garage doors
  • Plumbing fitting of fixtures
  • Electrical fixtures

Happy to finally have a light at the end of the tunnel – Hopefully Clarendon can achieve this time frame.

Handover date

So on Tuesday Morning (8/3/16) I asked for a update on when we could expect handover so that we can start to book our driveway and pool companies.

Got the following reply from our Construction Area Manager this morning (Friday)

Hello All,

The domestic building industry as a whole is experiencing substantial Trade shortages at present and this looks to continue for some time.

This has been documented by the HIA and Master Builders .

Clarendon has put forward Premium Rates to all the sub contractors engaged in your home moving forward .

In regards to your home we have had a delay with the painting contractor however he has now confirmed his availability to progress.

Before receiving your email late on Wednesday I had sent SS an Email to follow up on some general issues.

To minimise any delays, SS has or is underway checking the following.

Trade availability .

Re Checking measure and install dates of mirrors and shower screens .

Re Checking Plumbing fixture orders to ensure suppliers have selections ready to go.

SS has also rescheduled the Plasterer for the prepaint so he can be present on site .

SS has engaged other carpenters to tidy up some of the skirtings and doors to ensure the painters has a smooth run.

SS has checked with the electrical goods supplier to ensure they also have their stock ready to go.

I have addressed with The tiling company regarding the outstanding issues with the tiling and he has confirmed his intention to be ready for whenever SS requires his company to return.

There is no advantage to Clarendon to be delaying your build in any way it is actually a great disadvantage to all parties.

No persons involved wish this project to go any longer than necessary.

All the points you have raised previously are well documented and will be addressed in due course.

By close of business today you will receive correspondence on all the issues relating to the email received Wednesday Night.

Not really what i was after. Just a lot of excuses and really no real news or updates on progress. So I sent them this response below. Its a little narky but honestly I’m just so frustrated with them. anyway here it is. I’ll update when i get a response.

Thanks for your email, but SO WHAT? Is there an update in there at all? All of these things should have been done already and you are saying that this is now “underway”???  Great progress….

Everyone has heard that there are trade shortages. But it is interesting that these shortages only come out once you have signed a contract with Clarendon. All through the sales process we were told “oh it will be a 5 month build”. Even our first Site supervisor said that he had been building houses the size of ours in 5-6 months.  We were told that the 280 day contract was “the worst case scenario”.  I do want you to understand that a lot of our frustration has rolled over from the prolonged admin stage – but we see the delays in the building stage as just a continuance of poor service.

In relation to the delay with the painter. This is interesting, especially since we were told over a month ago that the painter was booked in for 14 March.  What happened there?

Clarendon is a big volume builder and because of this there is a big online community of your customers. This unfortunately for Clarendon means that customers can compare their progress with others. I know for a fact that there are many current Clarendon homes that started after ours that are now ahead of where we are. So when you tell us there are trade shortages that are delaying our home it does sounds like a bit of a poor excuse to me.  

I note from your email that you checking on a number of things. Please add to your list:

  • The location of the manhole – it isn’t as per the plan and will make wardrobe fitout problematic.
  • As per our email last night, that the insulation for the rear wall of bedroom 2 and 3 is acoustic insulation not just thermal. Also as Csc advised when we were organising this through a variation, that the insulation product used is better than the stuff from Bunnings – isn’t Knuaf Earthwool the stuff you get from Bunnings? Please stop mucking this up.

I really cannot stress enough that I will not appreciate any stuff ups with the fixtures. We spent a lot of time documenting all this stuff on Clarendon documents so it absolutely blows my mind when it isn’t right. So take some time and check that what is ordered is as per the contract/variations/selections and get it right.

I look forward to receiving correspondence today on the issues from the email on Wednesday night and I am also looking forward to receiving a proposed/tentative handover date as requested on Tuesday morning.

Updated Friday evening

So its been a busy day on the email. SD our area construction Manager has been plowing through all our emails and responding to us. Today we have received the update above and also a number of updates on our existing air con concerns and an update that clarendon will be utilising another bricklayer to remedy any brick faults. We also received a proposed handover date! 13 May 2016 so nine (9) weeks potentially.

We appreciate the efforts by Clarendon to get our build back on track and to get the issues addressed in a timely manner. Hopefully we can get it all done by May 13!

Also when we peered in this afternoon we could see that the kitchen cabinets had been fixed to be for a concealed rangehood, the broom closet door was installed and the laundry cabinets had been replaced with the handleless cupboard doors.

So all in all, despite all our whinging and noise this week, it probably ended up being a good week and we did get a useful progress update. Thanks Clarendon

 

 

Week 27 complete

Another week down! This week we met up with our Site supervisor again on Tuesday to see how things were progressing. Its a bit of a funny situation in that the Area Manager has said that the SS cannot really give us updates in terms of future planning, but that said we were really just going through the list of issues.

Clarendon want us to sign off on the issues/defects we have previously raised before they continue the build. So we went through the list. We did sign off on a number of the outstanding items so there has been some progress.  Unfortunately not all issues were addressed or at least not addressed to our satisfaction. Still some work to go.

We are still struggling to resolve the architrave for our theater windows. Currently we have three sides of architrave with no top piece as the bulkhead is to close to the window. My wife says it looks like a bucket. I think it looks crap. Not sure how we will end up resolving this, but i don’t think three sides of architrave is the answer. Besides, i will have to charge Clarendon $1000 for the variation plus the 19 cents worth of architrave that they didn’t use. ha

We are also awaiting some action on the brick work that is outside of the QBCC tolerances. Only the same brick problem that we raised back in December.

Did get a bit of an update in that the pre paint preparation should be happening this week – I think that is the last of the plastering, little bits of cornice that were missed. I guess the painter must be next week.

We are really looking forward to the house progressing. We haven’t really got much to finish really – painting inside and out, roller doors, taps etc and electrical and we would be all but done. I asked for an update on when we can roughly expect handover and should hear back on that tomorrow.

 

 

 

Tile photos

In all our excitement about tiles being laid we forgot to post some photos. They aren’t clean, but am happy with how they look.

Only a few lippy tiles to be replaced.
Family room:   

Butler’s pantry:

 
Laundry:   

Downstairs powder:

 
Main bathroom:   

 
Ensuite:   

Balcony:

 

Completion of week 26

So we are now 26 completed weeks deep into our build.

Our last meeting with our SS on 26 February was interesting as we have provided clarendon with a list of ‘issues’ we wanted addressed/advice on.

My understanding is that our AM has said that our house won’t be progressing any further until we have ‘signed off’ on all these issues. Which sounds fair enough, if they are going to address the issues in a timely manner.

What happened this week? Well it looks like a couple of bricks have been replaced and maybe a door jamb in the ensuite. Oh and they put three sides of architrave around our two theatre windows leaving the top off as its to small between the bulkhead and the window. so it looks like we have two “buckets” around our windows. It certainly doesn’t look like anything we expected and nothing like what is on display.

So that’s all that has happened since the tiler finished up two weeks ago.  Pretty disappointing really.

No idea when our internal painting will occur – ha they still have to finish painting outside as they painted about 80 per cent of it but in the wrong colour! Perhaps they are hoping that the colour grows on us and we decide to keep it. wishful thinking on their part if that is the case.

when we met our SS on  26 Feb he mentioned the possibility of the painter coming on the 7th of March (tomorrow) – I think that is just a fantasy now! There is still plastering to be done!

No idea when the electrician is coming back, probably after the painter (ha no idea when the painter is starting either!).

No idea when we can expect handover – the AM said a god rule of thumb was 8 weeks after kitchen cabinets were installed. So based on cabinet installation being completed about the 15th of Feb we are potentially looking at 11 April.  This would be amazing if it happens!

However, since our ‘rule of thumb’ conversation we haven’t been able to get even an estimated date out of them.

Well we have another meeting with our SS this week to see how things are travelling and what the plan is, so hopefully we can get a bit of news.

 

 

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!