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.