Sunday, 21 December 2014


Slab done. So glad we had our private inspector visit the site the night before the pour as he picked up lots of things that had to be corrected prior to concrete pour. All things were corrected and weather was good so now the site will settle for a few weeks and work should start again in a month, aka Xmas holidays. The slab looks good apart from the rain water tank platform a bit shitty, no water pooling except in alfresco area of slab just like it should for drainage. The height of slab shocked me a bit, I guess house stands higher than I thought but no dramas, will just add a bit of cost to landscaping as soil will need to be brought into the backyard now. 

Unsure what these drains/holes are for?

Water tank base a bit cracked and shitty looking 
Hope these cracks are normal?
Wow, it's up hill to drive which surprised me as we have flat land. 

Slab piers & plumbing started.

I remind myself we only settled on the land in July and here we are already watching the house be built. 
Slab process so far:
- scrape and levelling of the block, including cutting alfresco, porch and garage lower than floor of house. 
- lots of hollow metal poles in ground, the screw piers I think. I referenced them to engineering plans for slab and noticed a few not on there. A few calls to BC & SS, my answer eventually came from slab coordinator who returned from holiday and got the job of driving to our site to check them. Turns out more jobs done since I was there and he assures me they're all good. He actually said it was looking like a great flat site with good soil sand etc. 
- plumbing installed. Odd looking at location of down pipes, they look way too close to fence line. 
- now all the waffle slab stuff to get prepared before our concrete pour on thrs. I think they have a busy day planned Wednesday. 
- Got our private inspector booked to review slab Wednesday afternoon before concrete pour. 

Friday, 28 November 2014

Site start today. Scrape and porta loo

The day before site start Neighbour sends this pic along with a message saying concrete truck reversed over your mains and drove off water everywhere. 
Amazing Neighbour, he then reported to police the license plate number and slowed the water flow by bending remains of water pipe. South East water fixed the pipes within an hr of me calling them. No cost to us, just a quick bit of stress and all over. 

Yesterday's water gone, today site was scrapped and ready with a porta loo in situ. Wow this is getting real now. 

We still don't have final site costs yet and they've started already. 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Pool concrete shell complete

So happy I changed deep end to fence side. Concrete looks good and was poured on warm day and no rain for several days after so it well set. 
We can also see at 4.30pm this is the shade on the pool courtesy of neighbours massive tree. Unsure how long shade from tree will be there as house sold next door and they're building 2 townhouses we think so tree will probably be removed. 

This will be ledge for kids to play and sit on. Corner steps look small but hopefully they will be ok, have to trust pool guys that is what works. 

Kids decide mounds of dirt better play on than looking at than concrete shell. 

Exciting news is site start will be 28 November; I've called and pushed for earlier date so much but at least they're starting in November as contracted to do. Slab pour set for 11 dec. 
Front temporary fencing removed by demo team. Temporary fence around pool inanity now. Soil mounds gone. Bamboo forest starting in backyard thanks to neighbours bamboo - eek, time to get out the poison. 
We await slab costings still and insulation costing in post contract variation. Weird to start building before we even know site/slab final costings!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Pool - stage one the dig & framing

Marking out the pool dimensions and location on site was fun. A few hours with our pool BC was really helpful, so much so we changed the layout of the steps completely. He has 4 kids and thought the design was bad and unsafe, the sales guy and him need to team up I think. So instead of having a swim up ledge all the way along the pool we moved it to just one end and steps were to be triangles not squared as this will avoid cuts, injuries and things that i need want to think about. Great advice. 

Suddenly things just didn't seem right when I was thinking about the steps and location against the fence. I tossed and turned all night long on Thrs and on Friday when they started digging I suddenly needed to move the shallow end to the other end and deep end against the fence. It was an 11th hour change of mind and TOTALLY stressful. I called the BC and he talked me out of changing, but 5mins later I call him back and changed it. Ahhh the guy was digging it and managed just in time to alter the deep and shallow ends, it was mentally exhausting but so glad I followed my instincts and changed it. 

Now our pool will look like the pic on the right instead of left, will probably put in 2 pool gates instead of just one and make left pool fence a bit further to left:

Depth of pool 1.2-1.8-1.4
Dimensions 4x7m

The Integrated Pool team worked over the weekend including Sunday to get all the steel framing done in time for the concrete pour/spray on Wednesday (today). The plumbers then came and installed the skimmer box and other pipes they needed to do. Later today I will visit the site and see our future pool complete.

A few pics

Unsure what copper pipes for, will have to ask later. 

Final construction drawings - signed off

So excited we are almost ready and paperwork issues almost finished. Signed off on final drawings now. Here are final images:

Final construction drawings - errors

An email asking when we sign off on final drawings as November was approaching got the ball rolling and bang I have the final drawings. The first set had multiple errors on it and lucky i was able to spot them all. Type of errors noted were:

p. 2 - Note re lattice screening to be full responsibility of owner "after" handover; this is not consistent with all other documents that state it must be complete "before" handover in order to get occupancy certificate.

p.5 - OVEN incorrect location; kitchen culture drawings are correct

p.7 - Note for front door incorrect; front door is PSLM201 translucent DG glass to sidelight (not PMAD104).
p.7 - the evaporative cooling unit is hovering in diagram, probably better to have it attached to roof!
p.7 - Vent for rangehood location not correct if you measure exact location of rangehood base on kitchen culture FINAL drawings.

p.11 - Section X-X must have 20degree roof pitch not 25degree pitch
p.12 - A construction drawing has been removed here for some reason. 'HEBEL' PANEL 470X470 PIERS scale 1:20
p.12 - Also a construction note has been removed
"-Top hat supports at 600CTS to manufacturers requirements"
"-Adjust nogging size to make assembly fit"
p.13 - for clarity drawing on right should be titled "GUEST" BEDROOM PROJECTION DETAIL - DETAIL 'A', not "Master".

p.14 - We have finalised all Kitchen Culture drawings and they are perfect as per designed in our Sales Meeting. The plans never reflected the exact Kitchen Culture drawings but we were always told to not worry as on our final plans they will be fixed once cabinetry confirmed. This is where I got worried when reviewing drawings today.  The rangehood and oven are incorrectly located. Our rangehood will not be centered against the window in final construction and this is due to bench requirements with oven not literally next to sink, there is to be a small bench between oven & sink. Here are correct measurements:
KITCHEN - A  drawing (sheet 14):
- along bottom are 5440 not 5430; this is reflected in p.5 also states 5540.
- along top are 1100 (correct), 2855 (not 2383), 950 (not 910), 1635 (not 2137), the top measurement is 2110 CL (not 2592CL).
This does mean the fidly drawings need to be altered, by doing this now come installation of cabinetry it will all fit and we wont suddenly have errors and lots of stress which no Site Supervisors wants.
p.15 - Missing half wall tiling to PDR - A & PDR D
p.15 - Missing Full wall tiling to BATH - A & B &C & D
p.15 - BATH - D drawing the mirror is a shaving cabinet the same as ENS - D on page16. The shaving cabinet is meant to be deep recessed BATH - A drawing, the same as ENS - C on page16.
p.15 - No birdseye view of WC toilet set up.
p.15 - WC - D missing location of towel ring next to mini basin
p.16 - ENS - D missing full wall tiling
p.16 - missing drawing of Ensuite toilet (Master bedroom), this toilet will have full wall tiles and also a toilet roll holder.
p.17 &18 - shower bases are tiled too.
Engineering drawings - does the slab to accommodate a concrete pad for hot water system or is this done post slab?

- part of front facade tiled as per national tiles contract, should this be mentioned on page 7 & page 8

- final slab/site costs now
- insulation variation form
- confirmation of new rangehood as Meile promotion rangehood no longer available
- confirmation of site start...
- pool should be finished soon.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Final Argus & Clipsec (Electrical, entertainment & Data) drawings

This is husbands domain and I chose to not pay attention here. 
Although I did correct a few errors last minute like:
- Power points at each end of Island, not 2 at one end
- 3 way switch was accidentally left as 2 way
- smoke alarms to be on own circuit & upstairs we changed 1 of the 3 alarms so we have mix of ionisation and photoelectric smoke alarms. Ie both smoke, flames and smouldering will now be picked up. 
- pre wired intercom monitor locations corrected
- data points all confirmed
- oh a big one- when final post contract variations all done old BC never sent a argus quote, only Clipsec. Well I asked to confirm it was still what we signed on contract day and NO it was $7k higher!!! A quick check confirmed that when asking how much Honeywell security system was they assumed we wanted it despite saying no way it's too expensive. So tip - double check all your paperwork even if they don't show you it all. 
- Yes we added LOTS compared to standard PD home but still didn't get solar electricity; perhaps in years to come we will add some next to the solar hot water panels and solar pool panels if we have room!

Final drawings for cabinets by kitchen culture design team

So this week PD seem to be getting their paperwork organised. Kitchen Culture department do all the cabinets for kitchen laundry and all bathrooms. At first glance they looked fine but closer look showed a few issues:
- the range hood has moved position and so has stove & oven. I like the new position as it gives a bigger draw set next to sink but now not centred in kitchen. I'm fine with this. 
- the biggest issue was the overhead cupboards were all different widths. It was done to match below but looked ridiculous. Our island bench is there and no one will notice if upper don't align with lower cupboards but will notice if 5 cupboards all vary in size. 
Check out pics. 

Corrected kitchen drawings are:

- love the island setup

- in the walk in pantry they have made void areas. I'm not paying for wasted space; every bit if space must be usable in my opinion so they are opening void areas. See before and after pics

- main bathroom and master ensuite both have mirrored shaving cabinets instead of plain mirrors, the profile pics didn't note the deep recess we are paying for. So this was corrected. 

- Other pics for powder room and guest ensuite

- Laundry looking good. Washer & dryer under full length stone bench just like I needed. Will install hanging rod under cupboard to hand shirts after ironing them (if I iron them). 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Woo hoo council approved setback & garage

So happy council just approved 8m setback instead of 9m and the garage flush against fence line. Now we have extra 1m grass area for kids in backyard, woo hoo. 
Last week our builder coordinator quit and so we waited anxiously to see who would replace him. The new BC seems lovely and I think as she's a young mum we have an instant easy rapport with each other; she's already showed she's great at multitasking, efficient and follows through on her word & it's only been a day with her. Good job PD. 
November start date I'm still unsure about because PD still got lots of admin to do, tick tick getting close. 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Reestablishment survey & pool dig

Ok I lost it the other day, the poor pool builder had to listen to me being pissed off. The pool was to be dug Wednesdsy last week so on tue at 4.35pm they call to ask if I have had boundaries marked, datum levels & PD pegged/marked out the building. Are you serious? The night before you plan to dig you request this which could have been asked for months before or at least weeks before to get them organised. I had no idea what they were so suddenly I'm calling PD BC who is impossible to get onto and trying to get magic done in 25mins before 5pm, grrrrrrrr. 
Why can't they did our house is 11m from back boundary fence so not near pool? A quick lesson from pool BC. They need to check datum levels which essentially means if your house sits high or low on ground you want pool to match it or risk having steps up to pool or have pool so much lower all rain run off goes into pool. Lucky we have flat block but still I understand it now. Also if house close to pool you want them aligned so pool not on angle to house a problem if you are paving or decking areas. We have at least 5m of grass between house and pool so not such an issue. 

Two days later my BC has requested reestablishment survey for new levels, boundary markings etc. we wait for "early next week" so that means Mon/tue.  The pool dig re planned for Wednesday. Today. 
I quickly visited site today and hooray they have marked boundaries but no pool diggers. So a few calls later I have PD chasing datum level survey report & soil/slab report. Pool builders happy to almost start but need levels still. 

Had no idea I'd be so excited over some marks!

Looks like neighbours fence crosses boundary...