Tuesday, 4 August 2015


Almost there with landscaping. Outside edge landscapers have been brilliant. They've finished the driveway, paved front paths with bluestone, front fence looking good with railway sleepers and render to come soon, side paths and limestone pavers finished, also pool coping and paving done, deck, sandpit, pool equipment storage box done and garden beds prepared in most areas. Now for more soil, plants, grass, decks oiled and finish off the sprinkler system. Almost there. 

Landscaping continues & pool render tiling starts

Pool solar installed. 
Pool plumbing done. 
Landscapers - Starter bars injected into side of pool for coping. Concrete poured around pool. 
Pool emptied and render started. 
Today they are doing water line tiles and will do rest later. They discovered a few patches of concrete that needed treatment and repair once pool emptied. Some steel exposed and they also jack hammered some areas treated and filled with some material that's stronger than concrete. Complete the rest of render and tiling later in week. 

Landscapers done retaining wall to protect neighbours fence. 

Front fence looking great. Render to come soon. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Random Post handover things

Random things. 

Big gap in plaster never noticed and needs repair. 
Delivery guy gets the brown carpet service!
Kids enjoy watching driveway get laid. 

Deck covering up the gap in slab between dining room and alfresco. Huge deck!
Ducks visit the pool and kids spray painted dinosaurs keep watch. 
Everyone helping build front porch. 
A work in progress after storm water drains all fixed. 
Main water meter & pipe now not in driveway. 
Discovered window repair very bad, awaiting a replacement. 
Cheap metal flange on shower, should NOT be there let alone be so sharp and sticking out like that. Must be removed. 
Fireplace was a great addition to living area. 
The back door bottom sill bow was NOT correct despite been told by SS it was. Unfortunately it now is too hard to correct so has to stay as is. 
Top step of stairs not recessed as I was told by installer it has to be. Will request this corrected in 3 month report. 
Sharp edges in kids bathroom. 
Missing grout on kitchen window area

Monday, 13 July 2015

Handover done & 1st week home.

What a week it has been, so much to tell. 
Firstly always expect handover to be delayed and dates to be moved. Try to have loose arrangements for trades and landscapers rather than inflexible ones as date changes happen and often no malice involved. We did have to push for handover in the end although the front door hadn't arrived and I felt my SS wanted to finish touch ups. 
Most of our independent inspectors report things appeared to be fixed. Other things were planned in following week. 

Most importantly the sewage blockage was found and also a section of crushed pipe also repaired. Thank goodness they found it prior to handover or my new driveway would have had to be ripped up. Tip- flush 3 or 4 toilets within a minute or two of each other and go outside to sewage low point vent and see if it's leaking. SS picked it up. 

Since handover day my list of issues is constantly added to but also rapidly removed. PD have been incredible with responding to issues. My SS has trades instantly on the phone calling me arranging time to repair things and I feel has gone the extra mile to help ensure our dream home is perfect. 

A few hurdles we've had have also got a few more trades fired and contracts ended. The big one was when my landscapers found while digging front yard up for fence that the storm water pipes were stuffed with plastic and over a foot short and no where near connected to storm water main point! Needless to say PD have now cancelled that drainers contract and I witnessed the quality of repair to over 15m worth of piping. Very happy this was discovered within days and also before this weeks record breaking rains. 

The plumbers responded also within a few hours to a gas leak on loose piping on hot water service. That was picked up by a plumber I had who was moving my water meter for me and he could smell gas. 

Missing things have been delivered and installed by several trades over the past week. The service has been great but it highlights the need of contractors to constantly double check orders measurements and details. 

Fireplace installer tried to tell me the control he gave me didn't have the timer or temperature function but you don't need it anyway. So a trip to jetmaster head office they tell me I must have dropped it and want to charge me for new one. I walked out happy with a new one for free as expected. People try to bluff their way out of responsibility all the time in this industry and especially as a girl they try to fool you. The repairs of some things were well covered up but I've found them and PD once made aware and I have photos too are sending their people back out to do a proper job. 

Bowed doors and windows look ok at a glance but the bow (which I was told was fixed) suddenly so obvious once more when our level deck next to it or the wind howls in through the gap in the window. 

Despite a list 1 1/2 pages long of things for my 3 month repairs report so far I think PD made a stunning house and am so impressed with the continued service from my SS and BC post handover. 

Post handover job list slowly been reduced. Driveway almost finished (Montrose exposed aggregate). Outside Edge Landscaping team are doing a brilliant job. In 5 days they've done our driveway. Front decking and back decking done and almost ready for staining. Im very happy less dirt is coming into the house now. Security, cabnetry, window tinting, blinds are done. Sharon's blinds have produced beautiful curtains and blinds for bedrooms. New fridge, couches, blinds, rugs and things to come once we've lived in the house awhile and budget not destroyed by any unforeseen costs. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Handover delays now over

I'm so pleased I gave us an extra 10days in our rental as handover was changed 5 times. The stress kept going up and down as I had to change trades and deliveries booked post handover. Gratefully only 3 times did I have to change Telstra, 40mins to change an appointment each time is ridiculous. Talking to one guy then another then another is frustrating; using Indian call centres maybe cheap but it's not efficient at all especially when I still get installer telling me I will be at your house in ten minutes on the wrong day each time. 
Landscapers really frustrated with constant changes to driveway excavation, pour and seal dates. They got to start marking out landscape this week. Pool company booking their team in for completion now too. 

Tomorrow is handover and many things have been fixed, other things have to be done afterwards. Plumbing happily now flows without blockage. One tradie tried to cover the broken pipe in driveway by ignoring it and continuing on when he knowingly crushed it with excavator during a conduit installation. There was also a partial brick in plumbing too. 

Other things to write but sleep beckons me. 
I installed the screening ready for occupancy certificate; loved getting the old power drills out to play with. 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Final week. Handover close.

Quick positive feedback re our SS who has had a tough run few a few months dealing with almost 20 houses. Despite this we had our PCI and almost all the things are being currently fixed. He's been fantastic at negotiating a win win situation on numerous occasions when PD standard build didn't meet my expectations. 
Cheap flanges around tap/shower outlets and tile repairs where they met the standard but not what I thought was a good quality. Knowing your contract is vital. Make sure you check it when inspecting house at various stages. The notes section in World of style colour report often gets ignored and all that's on it. So far PD contract trades have returned multiple times to fix things at my SS request. Check wiring is as expected, also check you can actually use the piping in laundry for washing machine. Flooring guys left me excess floor boards for under stairs storeroom which I couldnt get added at contract stage. Carpet team left all leftover carpet which will be great to have as temporary covering during moving. 
Keep up the great work PD. Hoping for near perfection for handover next week!

Lots of last minute calls and visits. 
Correct fireplace installed and looks great with hearth installed too. Didn't do that through PD as they were going to more than double the price so I called the stonemason who does them and works with jet master. He knew the Installer and had it installed at the same time for me. Lucky me. 
Electricians cant put smoke alarms on separate circuit so in discussion with electrical company we've installed them on to circuit A which won't be effected by our Shabbat timer. 4 light circuits all good. Glad they've all been so nice to work with and willing to help. 
Plumbers helped to make laundry workable from day 1 and I don't have to do anything after handover. They happily changed all things that's were wrong type of tap and plugs. 
Tiles got replaced where I thought they were badly done but within tolerance on kids bath edge, really sharp just where they were getting in and out. 
2 window corners were slightly our of shape and didn't seal properly when closed in my opinion and they are getting repaired at my request. SS didn't initially see it but he took a close look and agreed. 
Big white horrid Flanges around a wall wastepoint was because they over cut tile. It was added by SS but I hated it and said it wasn't acceptable and Reece shop staff agreed with me so he got tiles replaced and removed flange. Yet to see if other flanges removed in bathrooms on bath taps. Ugly and non standard in my opinion. 
Balustrade covers to be replaced due to dints. 
Door handles swapped to correct doors. 
Missing things to be done and lots of touch ups. 
So grateful our SS has been fantastic and he deserves a good pat on the back at the end of this build. 

Landscapers booked in and driveway starts next week. Telstra booked. Lots of deliveries now booked. Removalists booked. Happy roller coaster of stress coming to an end soon. 

Almost there.

Oops this didn't post the other week.  Plasterer been and fixed things up. Some of the upstairs carpet lifted up and leveled, unsure why? 
Wardrobe doors in and correct types, love them better than other ones. 
Silicone seals all done, mostly. 
Down pipes all fixed, mostly. 
Front door still rattling in wind. 
Windows have been removed from 2 north facing bedrooms due to roof issue and now nothing there. I'm praying no rain or major wind this weekend as don't fancy damage to new carpet and paint work. 
PCI date delayed. Lots still to fix. Maybe handover 3 weeks. 
Organising landscaping. Picked monarco driveway colour. Merbau decking front and back. Limestone pool paving. Changed pool tile colour, I think. 
Telstra cabling to be booked. Gas and electricity yet to do. 
Quotes for removalists, and various other things. Head spinning. So much to do and move date to be during school holidays, not helpful. 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Private PCI issues picked up so far

Had our private inspector review the house yesterday and he picked up lots of little things. Firstly, here is my list of issues for attention that I noticed while private inspector was reviewing the house. Overall the house looks fantastic, dont be fooled by my list. PD have done a great job so far & I just think the PCI was done too early and most of these things are already in progress of repairs and completion.

My Mini PCI - Things yet to be finished/fixed
·         Kitchen Sink on window side is scratched.
·         Kitchen tap window side should be a Teknobili Oz T7 300 & not 137 (as per island bench). P.20 of WOS document.
·         As per WOS notes all baths are meant to have push/pull plugs (Mizu 32/40 Overflow Push Plug) and not plastic plugs (also noted in PCV 1-1390). Baths yet to have these plugs installed.
·         Drain covers in shower yet to be installed
·         Silicone seals yet to be done around baths
·         Kitchen sink two drip trays need installing as per p.20 of colours document.
·         Missing downpipe on west side of dining room wall.
·         Bottom white pipes of downpipes still white, when will they be colour matched?
·         Baths not sealed in any rooms yet.
·         Laundry – need adapter/holes drilled through under counter dividers so washing machine hose can go into the drainpipe under counter/sink.
·         Yet to be installed -  towel rail 1 single in Bathroom, 1 double towel rail bathroom, 4 toilet roll holders, towel rings 5 (guest, powder, WC, master, bathroom), robe hook master & guest ensuites
·         Electrical – Please ask – Where did they run the figure 8 cables to?
·         Smoke alarms are connected to lights and it is specifically mentioned that they are to be on their OWN circuit – need reworking. It is noted on ## amendment on Clipsal document and electricians were reminded onsite during installation.
·          In study two of the joins/gaps in plaster where previous power points were need the wires to have correct junction boxes in the wall or install extra power point at that location (current wire junction not acceptable to be left as is in a wall).
·         Slimline points to kitchen bench NOT fat ones.
·         lights under kitchen overhead cupboards 2 don’t work
·         Flood light on external dining room wall not working.
·         Yet to Check heating and evap cooling working
·         Understairs meant to have a data patch switch & router as per network 8 pack with argus home network section.
·         Master bedroom a few LEDs not secure.
·         Powerpoints in recessed cabinets are not slimline, why?
·         Kids bath tile edge elevated and sharp
·         Various areas with no/insufficient grout.
·         Various chips and tile defects marked in tiled areas around house
·         Tiles have been overcut where tap/shower hoses have been installed and have now got horrid flanges on them, most are not flush with tiles and will be a nightmare to keep clean and need to be removed. All the tapware/shower hoses are per Reece don’t have flanges install nor need them if tiles cut correctly. Why installed on our bath and shower taps? Also in the upstairs WC the hideous white flange under the sink, why is that there, did they overcut tile?
·         See independents comments re this.
·         Render on alfresco wall weird flat marks in various places.
·         Stairs stain at the bottom still needs doing (I don’t think carpet waterfalls to base)
·         Wood not stained or painted on garage north door.
·         Spare paint tins for wallaby colour, calcium colour, render colour.
·         Kitchen – under the overhead cupboards aren’t yet painted and a few little holes.
·         Laundry – door needs 2nd coat of paint on outside and removal of all the paint brush hairs from paint work.
·         Top of some doors still not fully painted let alone 3 coats.
·         Lots of spots need touch up, lots of paint drops and things on paint, even paint brush hairs especially bad on laundry door, top of door frames some not painted fully even once.
·         Garage door needs adjusting as doesn’t close fully
·         Privacy Lock missing on master bedroom
·         Check deadbolt in laundry door Lockwood symmetry 7107 double cylinder Deadbolt (p.20 of WOS). Front door charged twice for Deadbolt paradigm 005 TR, 2nd should be on laundry door.
·         Door locks – privacy lock missing on master bedroom. Laundry door meant to have deadbolt like front door (charged for it).
·         Door drafts in laundry door to outside very drafty & seal damaged, paintwork really poor on outside and needs a second coat. 
·         Dining room sliding door damaged on lower tracks, probably needs replacing.
·         Sliding doors – no tracks and shudder when touched. Base of laundry sliding door there’s a hole below door in tile.
·         Front door – needs replacing as very vertically bowed. Needs weather entry seal. Door handle not installed yet. New hinges yet to be installed. Couldn’t unlock/open to check seals.
·         Garage internal door shakes and shudders, drafty.
·         All Windows not assessed for scratches as they are still covered in render and paint.
·         Flyscreens missing on master bedroom and Bedroom 3 (but tradie arrived as I left to install them)
·         Bedroom 3 & Bedroom 4 window right side very drafty and doesn’t seal properly on right.
·         Kitchen top right overhead cupboards can’t open without hitting bulkhead
·         MISSING - WIP shelves, adjustable. See page 10 of contract Cabinets section item 6.
·         Missing pot dividers in kitchen draws.
·         Slab needs shaving off at front door area that wont be covered up by graded driveway.
·         RHS of garage concrete needs removing from neighbours garden. (also did Michael get plants voucher he was promised)
·         Driveway crossover repair & council bond refund.
Confirm activation of gas on day of handover & electricity to be transferred into my name.
Termaguard – needs to surround house and continue around RHS garage.
 Carpet – stairs needs finishing. Master bedroom carpet stains and also need nailing down all areas/edges.
Awaiting installation of towel rings, robe hooks, toilet roll holders, towel rails, external venting of rangehood, all appliances, fireplace etc etc.

Yet to Check heating in 2 separate zones (upstairs and downstairs) & evap cooling works.

Private Inspectors other things
Garage floor not checked due to rubbish
Windows not checked due to render and paint all over window
The stormwater PVC riser pipes have not been painted.
The aluminium window frame sill rubbers are sitting up from the rendered sill ends. I also noted a large amount of render excesses on these window sill rubbers.
The finished render surfaces around the dwelling are showing areas of damage and dirt markings as well as areas of patched looking render finish.
There is termite reticulation pipe left uncovered in numerous areas around the home This in effect nullifies the rest of the termite protection system as it has left a gateway for the termite’s entry into the home. Also incomplete on RHS garage.
RHS – The storm water pipe has been installed in a manner that has the top of the pipe at finish ground level or just below by less than the minimums mandated.
Alfresco – the aluminium sliding door frame sill section has a large amount of scratching to the black insert pieces.Meals – the aluminium sliding door frame bottom sill section has a large indentation in the black insert.
Alfresco – I noted an unsightly structural steel section protruding beside the pitching beam. The builder will need to rework this area to present with an acceptable level of finish.
Rear – there are render excesses on the fascia and gutter abutment to the rendered walls.
Rear – the aluminium window frame has a large indentation to the bottom sill section.  The builder will need to rework this damaged area in a manner that does not present  with a patched looking finish.
LHS – the rainwater tank pipes have not been painted.
LHS – the lower roof fascia and gutter abutments to the main dwelling are showing a large gap beneath the roof soaker flashing. The builder will need to install a cover section to stop possible vermin entry into the roof space.
LHS– the meter box door stay is damaged and will require replacement of the complete meter box door.
Front – there are grout excesses within the door frame sash area from installation of the facade tiling.
Entry – the entry timber door is showing a bow of about 5 mm over the height of the door.
Although this is technically within the allowable tolerance, the door will now not seal tight against the frame and is allowing their cold air into the dwelling.
Guest room – the wall and skirting return to the LHS of the ensuite opening is showing a bow in the wall and out of square at the skirting and plaster above. This skirting has been marked with masking tape.
I noted all bathroom shower outlets and bath tub outlets have been installed with an external type metal flange fitted beneath the plumbing connections The cover plates to the shower and bath water outlets is not part of my clients documented tap ware finish. The cover plates have been installed to cover over the overcutting of a tile. The defect itself must be rectified, not covered. The use of a cheap unsightly cover plate that is not high chromed, like my clients tap ware, and will tarnish very quickly is unacceptable and needs to be removed. The tiling needs to be reworked, and the openings installed to suit the tap ware selected.
Guest ensuite – the cavity sliding door frame reveal is showing out of square at the bottom by about 5 mm.
Guest ensuite – the vanity shelf has a large hole that is not covered by the plastic flange.
Laundry – the vanity cabinet rear carcass section has been overcut by the plumber and will require reworking.
Laundry – the external door frame aluminium sill section has a loose seal. The design of this doorframe is very difficult to replace the seal without complete removal of the frame.
Powder room – the cavity sliding door guides are broken and will require replacement.
Kitchen – There are a number of cabinet door margins that need to be reworked to ensure that all are aligned. This includes the draw fronts.
Kitchen – the sink vege sprayer tap has not been installed as per supplier instructions.
The weight has not been fitted at the mid-point of the feeder line and the shelf has no opening to allow the weight to pass through.
This equates to a non-functional return of the tap and lead apparatus which was not the intent of the installation.
Kitchen – I noted the dishwasher provision space has services conduits within the area where the dishwasher is to be installed.
I noted the plaster wall below the cornice is showing a noticeable bow. This bow is causing visible fattening of the cornice adhesive at the junction to the cornice bottom edge.
Upstairs – I noted the carpet has areas of paint and rust marks.
Ensuite WC – the wall tiling is showing an unsightly mitre joint which is a result of lipping in the tiles.
There are paint touch ups and minor plaster defects throughout the dwelling and these are marked with blue masking tape
Ensuite – the wet areas wall tiling are showing unsightly abutments to the cornice above.
Upstairs powder room – the wall tiling below the vanity basin has not been caulked to the floor tiling.
Upstairs powder room – the plumber has installed an unsightly plastic cover over the wall tiling to hide a large gap beside the bottle waste.
When looking forward from the upstairs room I noted the garage roof has a large amount of dirt and builders refuse on finished clip lock roofing.
Roof Space - The insulation in the ceiling has the following defects.
 Large areas of ceiling batts have been left out around the ducts and exhaust fans. The batts will need to be installed snug to the ducts and just clear of the fan outlet.
 Other trades appear to have removed batts from their work areas with little regard for the information inserted below. Note that batts must be installed up to the 50 mm area around protected down lights.
Garage – the panel door top section requires adjustment to close with an even gap against the rendered returns. The current installation shows the top panel leaning away from the door head.

PCI preparation & check list

Final weeks are here and I've been keeping a tight eye on the house. A few quick visits keep me on top of the issues that are being dealt with and solutions.
Lucky I bumped into the Termaguard guy one day and notice he was installing an access point under where our deck will be, he moved that for me.
The cupboard guy was there one day and I pointed out lots of issues that needed a quick correction. This took him less than 5mins to do and saved us all lots of hassle if noticed later and then report to SS then to company then to this guy who had to come back. He also did me a favour and drilled a hole in one panel for a cord that will be put through a rear of a cupboard.
Picking up things like wrong shower screens installed saved us lots of time instead of seeing it at the PCI.

Here's my rough list for when I go though the house with our private inspector for pre completion inspection (PCI).

PCI – Pre Completion Inspection
(Take phone charge, pen, stickers, paper, mirror to look above doors)
Take dots to mark areas needing attention
Electrical wiring check PowerPoints work with charger, lights are 2 way or 3 way and work, all switches are actually present, all tight, all slimline
Lights – check lined up and if central are central
Paint – check 3 coats & above door frames painted
Door locks work easily and door jams aligned well so no drafts or lock hard to close.
Door privacy locks on sliders, clean tracks for easy opening.
Door seals at top and bottom, weather seal entry door.
Countertops – look for scratches, wipe it down and check at eye level for chips and scratches
Windows, open full distance and close evenly, same keys,
Bowed upper window frames (an issues with blind installation gaps)
Check all hardware installed – towel rings, toilet roll holders, towel rails, fans
Obtain all warranties, instruction manuals, serial numbers for all products installed
Kitchen shelves are adjustable & all present & push things work. External venting of rangehood.
Check heating in 2 zones
Check evap cooling works
Toilet/shower vents go externally
Plumbing – flush each toilet at least 3-4 times to check for blockages
Tiling – check for broken insufficient/too much grout.
Check for Gas leak
Check balustrades secure and no blemishes
Footpath and crossover repair
Seal tiles and grout.

Things yet to be finished/fixed
·         Kitchen tap window side should be a Teknobili Oz T7 300 & not 137 (as per island bench)
·         As per WOS notes all baths and sinks are meant to have push/pull plugs (Mizu 32/40 Overflow Push Plug) and not plastic plugs (also noted in PCV 1-1390)
·         Pipe moved out of manhole opening (manhole opening closed & light off)
·         Drain covers in shower
·         Silicone seals all done in all sinks, showers, basins, baths etc
·         Kitchen sink drip trays – 2 as per p.20 of colours document.
·         Master ensuite single panel of glass not showerscreen
·         Location of all towel rail 1 single Bathroom, 1 double towel rail bathroom, 4 toilet roll holders, towel rings 5 guest, powder, WC, master, bathroom), robe hook master & guest ensuites
·         Slimline points to kitchen bench NOT fat ones.
·         Confirm smoke detectors on own circuit
·         Damaged powerpoint left of fireplace
·         Guestroom dimmer switch installed yet?
·         Guestroom bathroom switches in bathroom or outside bathroom.
·         Check lights under kitchen cupboards ALL work (only 2/4 work)
·         Flood light on external dining room wall not working.
·         Lounge one light not working
·         What does SS point on electrical plan in linen cupboard upstairs mean.
·         Study socket not moved
·         Check heating and evap cooling working
·         Understairs meant to be a data patch switch & router as per network 8 pack with argus home network section.
·         Kids bath tile edge elevated and sharp
·         Check grouting
·         Lounge entry out of square
·         Render on alfresco wall weird flat marks
·         Stairs stained.
·         Wood not stained or painted on garage north door.
·         Spare paint tins for wallaby colour, calcium colour, render colour.
·         Front door shake, noise, weather seal, correct hinges
·         Check garage door adjusted
·         Back door to alfresco very hard to lock.
·         Back door to alfresco sag at the bottom 10mm  top 6mm, Check if sag gone.
·         Kitchen top right cupboard opens without hitting bulkhead
·         Privacy Locks 6 (Bathroom, guest bedroom, guest toilet, master bedroom, master ensuite toilet, WC)
·         Check deadbolt in laundry door Lockwood symmetry 7107 double cylinder Deadbolt (p.20 of WOS). Front door charged twice for Deadbolt paradigm 005 TR, 2nd should be on laundry door.
·         Laundry door stuck and draft.
·         Check openings and even
·         Mirror in guest room.
·         Flyscreens installed on all windows.
·         Kitchen right cupboard opens without being stuck at top.
·         MISSING - WIP shelves, adjustable.
·         Can Tim drill a hole in laundry cupboard so our dryer cord and pipe can run through.
·         Check corners of slab
·         RHS of garage hebel overhang, was it filled in with render or concrete.
·         Removal of excess concrete on Michaels side (also did he get plants voucher he was promised)
·         Driveway crossover repair & council bond refund.
Confirm activation of gas on day of handover & electricity to be transferred into my name.

Termaguard, check dates to redo. 

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Timber look Floor finished. Mini steps closer.

Sunday the TermGuard guy was on site finishing the TermGuard pipes and access points. Luckiy for us I mention the deck will be over one guard and he moved it on the spot or we would have had to make a hole in deck for it!

Has to be topped up at 1yr, 3yrs and repeating years after that. I wonder if that's included in build cost. 

Laminate floor is finished, looks great through the windows. 

Driveway colour choice now causing me dramas, seriously never knew there were so many options let alone a need to pick, a driveway is a driveway. 

Bought outdoor lights for junction boxes outside, didn't get trapped into sales pitch for top marine grade steel light. 

Yet to confirm colours for blinds, tomorrow... 

Need ideas now for security cameras and alarms, anyone got recommendations?