Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New thoughts on building a home.

Our house is being inspected on Thursday for the pre-plaster stage.  After looking though the house on the weekend, I have a couple things that PD and anyone building should consider.

Firstly, I think that PD is crazy not allowing the owners to made changes during the construction process, I understand that this would effect the delivery date, but the benefits to both the owners and to PD (from variations) would make the home a much better and comfortable home.

If you look through the house after framing is completed, the owners will most likely re-examine the position of all the power points, number of, and where they are positioned.  When we were doing the electrical appointment at Hopetoun we decided on where to place switches/lights/power points. When you walk through the house after the electrical cabling has been completed, there are so many changes you would make based on visual layout, something you are not able to do before framing is completed.

The first major change we would of done:

1) Master switch in each room.  Here is my logic, by having one/two master switches for each room you could turn all power off in one go.  How much more efficient would your house be by doing this.  The two switch master switch would allow you to turn off all power to the room except one power point.  This would all you to have a alarm clock, timer lamp, etc that would still be powered.  The second master switch would turn this power point off.

PD has just completed the insulation, here is my problem, unless you know where all the waste pipes are located during the contact signing you have no way of determining if you should sound proof around these pipes.  I had previously read about the waste from the first floor near the rumpus room being loud, but didn't think about the waste from the en-suite, this runs down the wall between the lounge and laundry rooms. We had sound proofing put around the waste in the family/dining room, but I have been told there is an alternative the plumbers use to sound proof the pipes (called Quiet Wrap). We were not even given this as an option.

You are not able to add additional insulation/sound proofing after contract signing.

2) PD should provide an optional variation to insulation/sound proofing.  This should be spoken about during the tender appointment and additionally discussed at contact signing and made available anytime before pre-plaster stage is completed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Issues - To summarize

Since the start of the house the following are items that have been identified as problems that have not been resolved.

I will exclude the outstanding issues from the about NHI which still need to be addressed. We don't know what items are outstanding until we have a re-inspection.  NHI suggested that since we are so near the pre-plaster inspection we should wait and have them together.

The crossover was damaged by one of the delivery trucks, PD will fix this done the track. 

When the frame was completed, we noticed the shower waste was missing.

One of the tradies removed the plastic cover for the storm water to remove the small duck pond that was forming in the driveway.

Since then crushed rock and bricks have been placed over the storm water point. I have spoken to SS about all the stuff (rocks, mud, etc) that has gone down the drain. I am not sure that the drain will be found and cleaned.

The brick window ledges are not long enough, water is running under the window seals and onto the back of the bricks and sisolation.

Guttering, dints and damage, resulting from other tradies working around the house.

Side windows on front door should of been double glazed windows, but according to PD, their supplier does not do double glazing so therefore these windows are excluded from the the double glazing of all windows as stated in the contract.  The issue I have is the contact does not have an exclusion listed.

Still debating if I will take with issue to VCAT.

Electrical finished, Brick Cleaning, Insulation arrives

Electricians have came and gone.  All electrical has been finished - so they believe. We have a set of lights that will be changed to downlights after handover, they lights effectively form a runway down the corridor. These need to be repositioned to be evenly spaced.  Position of lights in the family room are wrong, the light position in the kitchen is also wrong, but the difference is that the electrical documents have this in the right position. The family room position is slightly out, should be centred in the room. I think having the owner go through the house as often as possible allows things to be fixed sooner which reducing the costs to the builder.

The power point  in the laundry is above the laundry trough, not a good position for a power point. I can't really blame anyone, the plans the electrician had were not quite right. We have three different documents for electrical and there are differences in each.  Light switch, power point, even the direction of the door opens are different and this all adds up to mistakes.

Missing outside power point  for future rain water toilet flushing

The insulation has arrived and this afternoon was being installed.  This is despite the SS deciding not in install the insulation on the ground floor until the roof of rumpus room being finished.

 Acid wash of the bricks, the cleaners said they needed to clean the bricks twice given how dirty they were. The colour of the bricks is so much nicer.  They looked good before, but they look great now.  When the scaffolding is removed they will complete the wash on the rest of the brickwork.

Electrical is preparation of the garage being completed.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Electrical and Air-conditioner

The electricians are currently wiring the house, Will take some photos once they are finished.  I am going to take photos of all wiring for future reference.

The cooling specialists are currently installing the air-conditioner.

Over the weekend, it appears that someone has attempted to steal the glass stacker door some time between Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.  It was held in place by wedged timber from inside the house, there is no way the wind knocked the door down. If we had not had tradesmen working this week I believe it would be gone.

This is about the tenth item to go missing.  We had floor trusts, lentils, timber, roof tiles and our water meter go missing since the house was started.

More of the house completed

 Porter Davis has completed the back of the house.  Not what I expected, was expecting the back of house to be flush with the brick work. The cement sheeting is set back approximately half brick.  I thought that there was going to be foam (filling) between the frame and the cement sheeting. This would be made it flush with the brick work.

Went and had a look at the display house, and its the same.  As you can see from the photo, set about half a brick inside of brick work.  If we had known (or previously seen) we would of changed this to make it flush at contact signing. It doesn't matter how much you study the plans and contract you are bound to miss things. :-)

The internal lockout (this is where the carpenters) complete things like the bath,  eaves and preparing the frame for plaster is being done.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brickwork around house completed

Brick work is completed around the house, waiting for a replacement lentel (stolen) before the garage can be finished.

Walked around the scaffolding and looked for problems and issues that might need addressing.
  The local birds have been having fun eating the rubber seals on the windows.

Found some issues with the guttering. 

Tiles have been lifted and are out of place.  Not a big issue, roof is not completed. The rumpus room tiles have not been finished. 
I don't really like the way the guttering is done where the eaves stop (facade) and rest of house gutting.  If I had my way again, I would have eaves all around the house.

Looks like a brick is missing from the end of guttering.

I really the brick work, the brick layers have done a great job.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Plumbing, Vacuum and Solar Prewire has been completed

Went past the house and even though the brick work has not been completed, the plumbers have completed the plumbing for upstairs, they have installed the pipe for the ducted Vacuum and done the pre-wiring for solar.

Ducted Vacuum point.

Kitchen kickboard sweep point.  This has a flap the you can lift and it engages the vacuum.  It is mounted at floor level so you can sweep into it. 

The hole in the brick work is for the vacuum, power cables next to it are part of the solar pre-wire.  You can't see it in the picture, but to the right of that cable is another hole for the safety switches, they are moved into the garage as part of the solar pre-wiring. That is the scaffold covering it, brick layers are back to complete the first floor. 

Cable in the roof for when we get solar installed (after hand over).  Argus Technology was to expensive to have them do solar.

Plumbing for the first floor 

We are going to arrange for our inspector to re-inspect the frame, given there were a few concerns.  The site supervisor is happy about them being fixed and has asked to be on-site for the re-inspection.  Should be interesting.  Need to contact NHI.