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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Into the woods...with a few more hiccups!

I noticed the week before Christmas that the laundry door was not trans laminated glass as per our tender, but the balcony door on the upstairs front verandah was. My SS investigated and came back to say that the Carpenter switched the doors in error. The No Name Building company said they could do a direct swap of the glass or trans laminate the laundry door at no cost. From memory we didn't trans laminate the balcony door as we will be getting white plantation shutters on the door to break up the very dark brick. I need to let him know when they re-open for business in the new year. I could save myself some serious dollars and ask them to keep the trans laminate on the balcony and just buy a large white/ dune plantar box?

On Christmas Day I noticed that all external doors are incorrect. They should be painted dune, however stained doors have been installed. They will need to change this as we wanted Dune doors to match the garage doors. I will let them know of this issue when they re-open

There is another No-Name Building house under construction approx. 4 kms from where we live. They commenced 3 months after our construction and are at the same stage as us! We seem to have issue after issue!

Went up to the house for a peek through the windows and it appears all architraves have been completed. The gyprocker is returning tomorrow to do under the stairs.

Despite the issues that we have encountered, things have progressed well over this break. We have been lucky that the company has given us the resources
Upstairs door - should not be trans laminate or stained

Laundry door - should be trans-laminated and not stained.

In the woods....with stairs!

Last week the stairs were finally installed however they protrude into the corridor  . We spoke to our SS who agreed that something should be done about it in the New Year. I think the problem arose when we reduced the width of the house...Problem is the architect didn't reduce the bottom two stairs to accommodate this. Our SS says it shouldn't really hold things up too much, maybe a day or two.

I really like the look of them however I think the bottom stair will need to be resized to the second last stair

YOU can see how much corridor it takes up in this front entry pic


They are not the best style of stair for a two and three year old

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In the woods.....with NO Stairs

Stairs were not installed yesterday. I have a funny feeling this wont happen until the new year

Friday, December 16, 2011

In the woods...with cornice photos

Hey, Forgot to add some pics of the uprgraded cornices.

Add caption

In the woods.....with a pre-Xmas Update

Did the drive by about an hour ago and noticed the garage door had been installed. Its Dune in colour but sometimes looks, grey sometimes white, and sometimes cream depending on the light. Our bricks have the same illusion, sometimes black black, sometimes brown.......

Spoke to my SS who said the plan was to:
- Install stairs will happen next Monday
- The carpenters will return next Wednesday and work through the Xmas break
- Timpelle Kitchens booked tentatively for 17 January
- The Admin people at the No-Name Building company cant find my paperwork for Di-Lorenzo so this cant be booked in for January yet. Fingers crossed they find it today.

No Name Building company and our SS officially close for Xmas next Friday and re-open on the 9th January. We are so pleased that they have organised tradespeople to work through.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

In the woods.....with front doors

Today our front doors were installed and the internal gyrpocking/ cornices completed. I believe the architraves were started but havent been in to take a look.

Maybe the stair case or garage door will be installed tomorrow.....I'll keep you posted...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

In the woods.....with a plan

Hubby just spoke to our SS and here is what will happen before Christmas
-  cornices (hopefully finished today)
- garage door - next Tuesday
- internal doors installed
- Skirting boards installed (next Tuesday)
- internal stairs (next Friday - yay!)
- waterproofing of wet areas ready for tiling
I was told a few weeks ago that due to the rain  resources are being sent to houses that are due to be completed before Christmas. Damn it. At least my stairs will be in before the 6 weeks shut up over Christmas. It would have been nice to have the kitchen installed too. Oh well :(

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In the woods....with a comedy of errors

Breathe, one. two. three.
Breathe. one. two. three
Breathe. one. two. three
If I dont laugh, I will cry......

These words are what I have had to repeat to myself in order to stay sane through the DA and build process . It's been a steep learning curve so far...The last little house we owned in Balmain was purchased already built, so we had zilch knowledge or experience of the build process. Thank goodness we didnt go up the owner/ builder route this time!! I can only imagine the stress levels of owner builders!

I have decided to write a post dedicated to the comedy of errors we have experienced so far. I will add to it as each memory comes back to haunt me!

Construction Process

  •  Main street sewer line smashed to pieces by plumber contractors when trying to re-install sewer to house
  • Brick choice out of stock and we had to wait 13 days for bricks
  • Bristille Roof tiles installed and completed. I noticed discrepencies in colours and a pallet of tiles had to be removed from the roof and relaid.

In the woods.....with more headaches?

The brick cleaners came on Monday. They cleaned the bricks but in doing so, managed to soak the cornices which were stupidly stored in the garage (no garage door). Then it rained Monday, then Tuesday. I alerted the No-Name Building company of this issue first thing on Monday. No return calls.....Email sent in the afternoon.....No return calls or email.  I have noticed that the construction people don't put anything in writing! Each time we have met, called etc, I have been making a point of summarising our conversations via email.....Anyway, my immediate concern was that the cornices would become so wet that they were unusable. A call to the Consrtuction Manager who assured us that the SS (did I tell you we have a new one?) would inspect it prior to installation to ensure it was ok to use. We are still waiting to hear the outcome, but are assuming everything was AOK as the gyprockers were up there yesterday cutting it to size, then installing it upstairs today

The electricians look as if they have paid a visit. Most of the electricals have now been pulled through the gyprock downstairs.

All I want is the stairs to be installed so I can take a good look around upstairs. I can only imagine what issues I will find there!

What else mmm....

The No-Name Building company recommended we put a header at the entry point to the study in case we wanted to closed it off in the future. I reluctantly agreed. At the time I thought it was suspicious being  asked if we wanted something for free! I noticed yesterday that the header is a different size (height) to the other rooms with doors. A smaller door on that room will look quite odd when compared to the other upgraded doors downstairs. I have asked them to change this but are still waiting..........waiting....waiting........pass the popcorn......

Let me see if I have any photos to share........Oh,  the other big news is that there are noticeable irregularities to approximately 15 bricks on the left hand side of the facade, Again, we have alerted the No-Name Building Company and are waiting for their response. Tomorrow I am going to send them a comprehensive email detailing everything that has not been addressed to date. In addition, I will create a post detailing the issues we have experienced to date with the No Name Building Company. Photos of the facade is below......

Sunday, December 4, 2011

In the woods....with gyprocking

The internal gyprocking commenced on Friday and it appears to have been completed yesterday. (See photos below.

We sent an email last week to a senior executive detailing our concerns with the length of time it is taking to get the build done. Some weeks have gone by and only one small change has been done to the house. One other concern is the attitude we saw during the course of last week. The No-name Building company tried to use the quality inspection process as a means to hold us responsible for the build progressing. Despite providing a summary of issues noted by our building consultant on Monday , we were told the official report is required before gyprocking could commence (it was company policy!) . The official report was available later that day in any case. Again on Thursday, we were asked if it is ok to proceed to "gyprocking" and if it was, please send an email.  As novices we are not aware if it is ok to proceed to gyprocking. As experts,  the No Name Building Company is best to answer this. We do not know if the issues identified in the report have been fixed and have asked No Name Building Company to confirm. We do not know if there were issues with the PCA inspection nor do we know if it took place. We expect that No Name Building Company have its own only quality control processes in place and that reliance should not be placed on our building consultants report for this. Anyway, our concerns were voiced in email and on the phone. The assured us this was not the case.

We have also asked for a list of activities which are scheduled between now and Christmas. They have agreed to do this for us.

Let's wait and see.......

Hopefully the cornices and stairs will go in this week and I will be able to take a peak upstairs

Kitchen, dining, rumpus and lounge

Looking back from Rumpus room

My quiet "white room"

Front entry, stairs to go on left side

Downstairs powder room

Looking at front door


Kitchen with Butlers Pantry (far right door), large left hand cavity is for the fridge, and the smaller cavity is for draws and overhead cupboards. Window spashback to the right where oven will sit

Downstairs linen cupboard
Garage - taken before the gyprocking was completed

Media Room

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In the woods with....Insulation

A few pics of the insulation completed yesterday. I did two drive by's this morning, there are carpenters there doing something. I just dont know what. Maybe it is the stairs?

Monday, November 28, 2011

In the woods.....with more pics and schedule for this week

Today the insulation is being installed and tomorrow the gyprocking will commence. Should get a good idea of the room sizes when this is done.  In the meantime here are some pics of the upstairs areas.
Upstairs bed 1

Inside the parapet wall

Kids bathroom

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 3

Walk in room bedroom 2

Front verandah

View from upstairs. We are so glad we didnt get a vernadah upstairs as the nrighbours trees block our city view. You can just see Centrepoint/ AMP/ Westfield tower.

Master bedroom

Upstairs living

Looking from Master room, through walk in robes then through to bathroom

Ensuite bath where I will lay watching TV

Plasma blocks in Ensuite  bathroom

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In the woods....with a catch up

Sorry I have not posted for a while guys, we have been on a small holiday to Kingscliff. We stayed at a fantastic child friendly resort there.......only problem was kids and I got sick and we flew back early on Friday before their ears were affected . Every time we fly somewhere with the children they get sick.....My husband thinks it will be the last time we fly until they are a little older...... he wants to stay within a 2 hour drive radius from Sydney!!!

The house is progressing very slowly......

We met 4 No-Name building company  representatives including the Construction Manager who is lovely , our current SS,  our new SS and a quality control guys who is responsible for getting the little things right before PCA. In this meeting, it was our opportunity to talk about the parapet wall and anything else of concern pre-building inspection and PCA

I have detailed the issues discussed below as they maybe a handy reference for those who are also just about to commence internal linings

1.parapet wall
- capping on wall is dented and will be fixed
- acid burn on brick wall will be cleaned/ neutralized

2. Metal above external window and door frames frames will be painted to match brick colour

3. Birds nests
- the ones in the garage will be removed by cutting out the wood in areas affected
- the 1st floor birds nests were removed at our meeting

4. Nails between bricks and frame
- these will be connected to frame prior to PCA

5. Window gaps
- these will be covered with an aluminum angle that blends in with the existing frame

6. Alfresco roof tiling is incomplete

7. Plasma blocks will be placed in media /lounge room, dining and rumpus areas

 8. We advised the No-name Building company that the skip bin delivery cracked the newly replaced council footpath (located opposite end of driveway)

9. Downstairs doorways all need to be raised to accommodate the upgraded door size

10. Header to be placed at entry point to guest/ home office

11. Engineers report will directly comment on the slab in particular 1) the epoxy fix on wall of the dining/ media room.

12.Hallway near fridge to be square set at 2340 high

13. The tv point in the ensuite is to be moved 1 stud over

14.The aircon ducts were moved from one side of the linen to the left side of the linen cupboard. Therefore the frame needs to be reversed so it doesn't have any impact on size and functionality of linen cupboard

15.Butlers pantry - Melamine shelving only to be placed on the left side as you walk in

16.The slab under the rumpus still has a large hole underneath and will be fixed with cement infill. This will have no affect on the structural integrity of the building

17. The top part of the fridge cavity framework will need to be cut out so that the staircase can be installed. This has no affect in the structural integrity of the frame when rebuilt and / or the staircase

18. We are to send an email addressing demolition date as building commencement date.

What else is news? Well, we had two opinions on the parapet wall- one says it was fine and within standards. Our usual consultant, who is also a forensic consultant, and expert witness and arbirtrator says the problem is with the length of the wall. The brickies did a great job with an unfortunate situation. It could have been done a little differently to make it less obvious like blending the half bricks through in different areas. His comments of "what is reasonable" made us realise if it went before the Dept. of Fair Trading hearing then the outcome would probably be that Wisdom had done a "reasonable" job. To us it stands out like a sore thumb as we are aware of it.

Our Building Consultant did his inspection on Thursday and picked up minimal problems that the builder / or us had already identified pre-inspection and PCA.

Tradesman came and measured stair areas and gyprocking is  due to commence on Tuesday. The front doors and garage door still have not been installed.

The front of the house has been cleared of building materials so I will try and get some pics of it and internals now aircon has been laid.

The No-name building company told us that we will be in by Easter next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really hope it is earlier.......

Friday, November 18, 2011

In the woods....with parapeet roof, Alfresco roof tiling and electricals

Busy day up at the house today.

Electricians are there installing power points....I had asked the SS to call me when they were going to be on site so I could talk about power point positions. He didn't. I ended up going on site with my 2 and 3 year old in tow...Had a quick chat about hanging a plasma/ LCD on the wall, he reckons it wont hold it! He also mentioned that it is easy for my brother in law (an electrician) to add in another power point should it be required. I was so peeved after the site new Birkenstocks got covered in wet concrete damn it!

The roof tilers were also up laying the tiles on the Alfresco area. They have another days work ahead of them.

We have had one Building Consultant's opinion on the parapeet wall brick laying we were not happy with. In addition to this, we have engaged the services of an additional building consultant regarding the wall and are waiting for his response. At least by seeking two opinions we will know for certain if it can(not) be fixed.

I dont have any photos to share today.....I will get some over the weekend...



Monday, November 14, 2011

IN the woods....with what the....another brick issue?

I have attached some pics of the brickwork above the garage.......Do you think the bricks vary in size? Look closer.....Have you spotted it yet?

I knew I wasnt imagining things.......

I took a photo, and zoomed in on the computer, then measured the percentage variances. I estimate the variances are between 25 - 30%

I thought, ok, it may have been done deliberately as alot of them are around the centre.  So, I went and looked at 3 other similar houses in my area, just in case it is done for structural reasons. And guess what the bricks were the same size in the houses I looked at.

I have asked my SS to review the pics and confirm these differences are not within the allowed variances. I will let you know the outcome

In addition to this, there is yellow staining in the mortar on the top few rows...I have to do some research, but I think it is because the mortar is oxidising. Can anyone help with a explanation please?

Friday, November 11, 2011

In the woods....with painted eaves, downpipes and front scaffolding removal

Yesterday the painters came in the rain and painted the eaves and downpipes. Admittedly it was sprinkling when I noticed them there, but I thought it worthwhile putting a call into my SS. He said that it will be fine! I hope it is.........

Today they removed the facade scaffolding. I have posted some pics below

Roof Tiles have all been replaced.

Our SS is apparently snowed under and as a result we are getting a new one when the internal linings commence. This will be our third SS

For those of you who have asked our Building Consultant is John Worthington