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!