Monday, 5 March 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away

With all the rain last week not as much work as were expecting got done. The eaves have been completed and some cladding is up.

The sun was out today for the first time in a while, but we were disappointed when we drove past and did not see anything happening on the house! With more rain predicted this week, our expectations a low for any real progress.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

We have a Roof

The roof to the main part of the dwelling was finished this week. Obviously we are bias, but the brick and roof colours work well together, although we must wait until the upper level cladding is installed and painted before we  know have successful we have been. I will post pictures when the externals are complete.

The garage and alfresco roof still need to done, but the scaffolding needs to come down before that can happen. This requires the eaves, cladding and upper level painting to happen first. Hopefully, by the end of this week all the scaffolding will be gone.

Works seems to be progress with little delay between trades at the moment, which is pleasing after a long pause without a lot happening.

Lets hope it continues!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Decisive Action

We got a really good response from the builder about our concerns about delays with getting the roof on. The owner got involved and sacked the original roof sub contractor and appointed a new one.

Due to lead time on delivering materials, this will not result in an immediate start on site, but it was decisive response, which is pleasing. Hopefully, gutters and flashing will start late this week. They are also upgrading the roof lining from sarking to an Anticon blanket at no extra cost. This was a pleasant surprise.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Roof Frame Complete

The roof frames were finished off this week. Unfortunately the roof sheeting that we were expecting did not happen. We were told as soon as the roof sheeting was finished on the house being built nearby he would be straight to our place. From what we could see, they finished the other house on Tuesday. Friday was a write off due to rain, but the balance of the week was ok weather wise, although there were a few showers around. So we are unsure why the roof did not go on.

The supervisor did not call to give us an update this week. Our builder has a ‘we will call you, do not call us policy’ which means we do not have the supervisor’s phone number. We must wait in anticipation for his call every Friday. It is a ridiculous arrangement, particularly when you missed the call. Anyway, I made contact with their office late Friday afternoon to have a whinge and try and find out what was going on. Whinge I did, but we must wait until Monday for a call back from the supervisor to get an update on progress. I will not hold my breath – the last two times I have left a message for the supervisor he did not bother to call back.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


Despite the rain on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday some progress was made on the house last week. The frame for the racked ceiling to bed 1 has started and appears to be almost complete. The balcony roof to bed 1 is also in progress. The wall and roof frames are meant to be T2 treated (timber with the green tinge) and generally are, except for this most recent work. Must question this!

Showers are forecast for everyday next week. Fingers crossed some work still is able to be done.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Site Meeting

I met with the Supervisor onsite this morning. The flooring has clearly been exposed to the weather for too long - all the joints have swollen and separated. Furthermore, the base of the upper floor frames has turned black due to continuing moisture exposure. Despite this, the builder believes the flooring and wall frames are structurally sound and will be providing a written statement from the supplier confirming this. They will also be sanding the floor to remove the bumps created at the joints from the swelling.

Provided the statement says what it should, then this is not a bad outcome. The alternative would be to rebuild the upper level and this would be time consuming and may not provide any different long term result. However, we are very annoyed our new house is water damaged and certainly not what we were expecting to pay for.

Another issue that needs further investigation is what appears to be mould growing on the wall frames. Mould in timber can be very difficult to get rid of and if not treated before the wall lining and insulation are installed we could be stuck with it forever. We will keep monitoring this one.

For some good news……

The elusive framer is starting back on Monday to complete the roof frames and he will be followed by the roofing sheeting contractor later that week or early the next. The supervisor has indicated that handover is roughly 8 – 10 weeks after the roof goes on. So fingers crossed we will be moving in sometime in April.

Monday, 23 January 2012

End of Christmas Shutdown

Today was the end of Christmas Shutdown period. Unfortunately, this did not mean a resumption of work on our house. The completion of roof framing (that was “definitely” going to be done before the break) did not happen nor did the roof sheeting. To rub salt into the wound, the cleaners were preparing the house across the road for handover (yes, the one that start the same time as ours).

We have meeting with the supervisor on Wednesday morning to discuss the floor. That should be interesting……..

Friday, 6 January 2012

Current Status

I know I said I would not complain about the builder's performance so far, but I must a little to set the scene about two issues that are looming for the new year. These are:
  1. Scaffolding - The sight of scaffolding being erected on 9th December filled us with great excitement. But unfortunately it has sat unused, except for the completion of a small amount of brickwork around the balconies. Our issue is that scaffolding is a provisional sum in contract, so it is just sitting there costing us money without giving us any benefit. Evenmore frustrating is that the builder is not back from their Christmas shutdown until the 23/1/12. They have told us the roof sheeting will be going on during the shutdown period, therefore the scaffolding is necessary, but they also said the roof framing "would definitely, subject to weather" be completed before the started of the Christmas shutdown. There was no rain, but the roof frames were not finished. We will wait an see what happens in the next couple of weeks, but we will be very annoyed if we are asked to pay for 6 weeks of scaffold hire with no progress on the house.
  2. Flooring - the particle board flooring between the two levels has been installed and exposed to the weather for 3 months now. Our research has indicated the protective coating on these boards is only designed to protect the material from moisture for 3 months. We urged the builder to put the roof on before Christmas to ensure the floor does not deteriorate, but were told the floor was in good condition. Maybe they are right, but I have asked for a site inspection when they return so it can be jointly reviewed. My fear is that if there is a problem it is not a simple fix and we will be facing further delays or we will end with a substandard product. We are very disappointed that the house is being exposed to such a risk.
The house looks 50 years old! The nails in the timbers are rusting and birds are nesting in framework. It is difficult to drive past our future house to see it in such poor condition.

Alhtough we are eager to get into the house, quality was more important than time. Now it appears were are not getting that either.


Hi, we are building a new home in Shellcove, NSW with local builder One Three Designer Homes. This is the second time we have built a house. The we did not have a great experience the first time, which was with a large project home builder, and because we had a specific ideas for our second house, we decided to go with a smaller builder, thinking we would get great service and attention to detail. Our experience, so far, has been very different and we a now remember why after our first house we said we would not build another house again!

We designed the house, including the facades, ourselves. It has four bedrooms + study, over two levels. We have put a lot of thought into the design so it meet our needs and incorporates goods design principles. We had to make some compromises, but overall we think we got a good outcome. By comparison to the standard two level home, our house will not be big. We have tried to spend our money on quality inclusions instead of space that we will not use. I recall a formal lounge room in our last house that did not get used. It was dubbed the 'Showroom' because it contained all the good furniture and was all was neat and tidy.

We decided on One Three after seeking tenders of a few local builders. Construction finally started in September 2011 and progress has been slow. The wall frames are up, so are most of the roof frames. The brick work is also complete, but it has no roof. In comparison, the house across the road, that started after ours, is at lock up stage and has been for a while. We could spend a lot of time complaining about the performance of the builder so far, but we are going to put that down to 'bad luck' and hope the new year brings about some new vigour!