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Friday, October 28, 2011

In the woods....with facade bricklaying

Ok, so it's not completely finished, they still need to brick above the garage, and some places on the balcony. But you will get the general idea.....

Today I took my 3 year old son up for some light entertainment. I should have packed morning tea because we sat on the footpath for a good half an hour just watching bricks travel up the conveyer, mortar mixing and brick laying. He loved it! I think the brickies thought I had rocks in my head.

I was extremely pleased to see that they had rectified the brick work....Here is a before and after shot.
Sorry guys, the blue looking pics were taken right on dusk. Hence the colour.

I dedicate this post to Paul, a dear friend who has been giving me a rough time for not  posting of late. Paul, I hope this gives you a fix

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In the woods.....with build update

Forgot to mention in my last post that the brickies returned on Tuesday......Looks like they are about to commence bricking 1st floor.......Will get some pics if they finish the facade today.

In the woods....with a letter to no name building company

Guess your wondering where I have been?.......

I've been here,  just taking a low profile as there has not been any progress . Well, there has been progress, just not onsite.

Last Friday we thought it prudent to communicate the quality control issues experienced  to date to a senior executive within the company.  Our concern being that we have picked up most of the problems. This makes us wonder about the quality control processes in place.

The Senior Executive we wrote to was also quick to meet with our SS and Construction Manager. He responded with answers within 72 business hours. I think he missed the point of the communication  which was to make him aware that customers are experiencing unnecessary delays due to quality control and workmanship.

I must preface this with our SS and Construction Manager have been extremely responsive in trying to resolve these issues. They generally have taken up to 24 hours to have a resolution. Thing is, we cant help but think some of these issues could have been prevented or picked up during the build process if the tradesman were on  the ball.

Now, I am note sure if its a fluke that we have had several incidents or if its normal. I'll let you decide. Here is a short summary

- Contractors pulled down a fence we had erected to keep them out of a landscaped area. They have promised to re-excavate the area
- Excavators crushed the main street sewer line that runs through the property resulting in Sydney Water attendance - delay 2 days
- No bricks available - this was only known the day they were supposed to be delivered - delay 2 weeks. Makes us wonder if they were actually ordered.
- incorrect mortar joint - 2 days delays as walls were pulled down and rebuilt
- Quality of bricklaying - 1 day delay whilst 3 areas were rebuilt
- Roof tiles different shades - roof tiles need to be pulled down then rebuilt with new ones. Potential delay 3-4 days
- frame overhang by 25mm in one place on the slab- this was fixed with epoxy. We are waiting for engineers report
- kitchen plumbing not in correct slab location- to be moved 2cm.
- Fridge cavity in to be moved 10cm under stair

So, what do you think....are these normal hiccups of building a new house?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

In the woods....wth roof tile update and plumbing update

Roof Tiles
Just met the Bristile Roof Tile rep and our SS onsite, and guess what there is a problem with the roof tiles. Apparently it is a Bristile production issues whereby the "gloss" sealer does not entirely coat the tile resulting in an overall matt finish. Looks like it was a whole pallet of tiles! When the bricklaying is completed next week, the tilers will return to pull up the tiles and relay new ones. This will cost us an additional 4 day build time. Bugger.

Kitchen Plumbing
The plumbing has to be moved 25mm which our SS assures me isnt a big deal.

Still dont know the outcome of the fridge cavity.....The SS was just checking it out.....Will keep you posted

A good lesson for all.....If you are building make sure you keep a close eye on the progress. We are very lucky to live one block away and are able to check on the progress daily.

Hi Paul!

In the woods....With the latest

Bricking News
Bricklayers returned yesterday. They will be laying bricks for another week or so. Had a chat to the brickie who asked if I was happy with their work? Hello, are you stupid, why on earth would I complain if I was happy? I shouldn't be so mean........

Kitchen News
Yesterday I received a call from Timpelle Kitchens advising they would need to reduce the draws and kitchen bench by 10cm because of the increased size of the fridge cavity. The issue lies with the No-Name Building company not taking the wall back under the stairs. Instead, they pulled the fridge cavity wall forward taking up valuable kitchen space! Timpelle picked this up when the went to the house to do a final measure. Spoke to Shane our SS about it yesterday. He is checking it out today.

Plumbing News
In addition to this, our SS also mentioned Timpelle Kitchens sent him an email saying the kitchen plumbing is in the incorrect place and needs to be moved! WTF??? How did that happen???? Again, our SS will check this out today. I wonder how they move it? I think they will need to dig up the slab.?

Fingers crossed I will get some answers to the Roof tiles, kitchen plumbing and Fridge cavity today.

All I can say is thank goodness Timpelle is on the ball

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In the woods.....with different shades of roof tiles?

Do you think the tiles are different shades? I do. From both side elevations it appears they are. I called the SS to tell him. Bristile Roofing are going to check it out.....I am certain it is not the light as I have gone past at various times of the day and it is still there......I'll keep you posted....

In the woods....with more delays

Well bricklaying was supposed to recommence on the 5 October, and today is the 12 October. When I called the SS yesterday to find out where the brickies are he told me today. Lets see..........

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In the woods.....with colours (take two)

I saved a draft entry regarding colours and tiles on the 3 October, and just published it, but it reverts back to the 3rd October. Here is a link to it for those who missed it

Friday, October 7, 2011

In the woods.....with delays

Bricklaying was supposed to recommence on Wed 5 Oct, but with the brickies have been delayed at another house due to rain.....Lets hope they are back on Monday.

It is so hard seeing nothing take place on site especially when you live a block away and do the drive by about 3 times a day in the hope of seeing some action! Oh well........

Different angle from the usual side on shot. Bricks are still on the pavement after a week.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In the woods.....with more brick news!! (and it's good)

So the SS and the Construction Manager looked at the brick work today and have agreed that some of the laying could have been done differently/ better. They are going to pull down 3 areas and redo it. I am so glad we let them know we were disappointed in the work. Thank you no name building company for being so responsive!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In the woods..with brick news

The no-name building company Construction Manager and my Site Supervisor will be attending the site tomorrow to check the bricks before they proceed to the second floor brick laying. I contacted them today to voice my disappointment so are pleased they have responded so quickly

Yah! Happy days!

Monday, October 3, 2011

In the woods......with tile colours

Guess its about time I shared some of my internal colour choices.

We are having Osprey Ceasarstone in all bathrooms and White Polyutheryne in the Powder room and kids bathroom.


Can I first say that we visited Di Lorenzo Tiles, 3 or 4 times before we found Gisele. Everyone prior to Gisele lacked passion and were only slightly interested in assisting us. Gisele turned out to be our gorgeous consultant who had an amazing ability to inspire us to go with something other than white.  She was patient, knowledgeable and creative.

CHING CHING $$$$$$$$$
We were a little disappointed to find out there are charges for almost every tile above 200 x 200. The no name building company tender included an allowance of $25m2....Well, they shouldn't have bothered really. Most the $25m2 tiles are 200 x 200mm in size. Do people tile with this size anymore?

For those building make sure you ask if there are additional charges for
- different size tiles
- wet areas
- different tiles types eg: porcelian tiles attract a premium
- Grout joints (there are different rates if you want a 1.5mm joint as opposed to a 3mm joint.
- coloured grout
- underlay
- silicone
- ching ching, ching ching

Here are some examples of charges we experienced:
- Floor to ceiling - depends on what tile, we ended up doing all 3 bathrooms
- Outdoor leisure areas - labour to lay risers, underlay costs
- Labour to lay polished porcelain $36m2 (includes 1.5mm joint)
- Suppply conflex glue for porcelain tiles $38m2
- Wet areas - underlay $24m2 
- Silicone to ceiling height $100 flat rate
- different floor wastes $78 for 2

Powder room
This is the only bathroom/ shower downstairs so we figured an impact had to be made. It is one of the first rooms you see when entering the house. Our objective has always been to spend big in the bathroom downstairs/ hallway/ kitchen etc.

This bathroom whilst it is the smallest in the house is costing us the most. The main cost is a floor to ceiling wall of Italian mosaic tiles........The vanity is white poly with Osprey ceasarstone, shark edge cupboards

Italian Mosaics - when laid, I will refer to this wall of mosaics as the $2k wall!

On the wall we will be laying 600 x 200 Trio White - high gloss white tiles laid horizontal

On the floor 600 x 300  matt porcelain tiles.
600 x 300 matt porcelein tiles for the floor (not the best shot)


We wanted the ensuite to have a modern and sophisticated feel. Again we are going for more classic colours.
Ceasarstone - Osprey

Vanity - Nocturne Oak

Tiles - we are going with the below tiles excluding the mosaics. The larger lighter beige is for the walls, and the smaller triangle shaped one is for the floor. The large dark 600mm by 300mm mosaic looking tile is a feature tile around/ on top of the bath. This will tie in nicely with the Nocturne Oak and give some warmth to the area.

Main bathroom
For the kids bathroom we are going for large 600 by 300mm white tiles on the wall with a metallic grey tile on the floor and a striped feature tile around/ on the bath (another shocking picture taken by me). Ceasarstone will be Osprey and cabinets white Poly

Internal floors

We are going with a mushroom coloured polished full bodied porcelain tile 600 x 600. In the picture below it is the 2nd row, first tile.  These tiles will be laid in all rooms downstairs with the exception of the powder room, study and media room. The second tile in the first row is the matt porcelain we are using in the powder room (a less slippery version matt version)

 Back Alfresco area
These tiles will ensure the internal living area flows nicely into the Alfresco area. They are a very similar colour to the internal tile

Front Porch

Here are the front porch tiles, they are a 600 x 600 tile called Ecolight and have a combination of our external colours of Dune, Ironstone and black flecks.

So, there you go, see it was easy to spend an additional $17k on tiles wasnt it? 

What?You want to see the carpet too? Well, ok then here is another bad shot. The carpet was upgraded too and cost an additional $3k. I know, its a bad photo, sorry. The colour is a few shades darker than the tiles.