Saturday, May 30, 2009

Not a Happy Customer...

Feeling a bit frustrated with the progress at the moment, to say the least...

We just went up to the house and the progress since the inspection on Monday is minimal. We could hardly identify more than a few jobs done. So still a long list to be rectified or completed - supposedly in five working days until handover. Hence a lack of confidence in that happening.

Basically we are wanting some better communication about it all. We spent last week trying to get agreement to rectification of a couple of items on our independent inspector's report and that has been escalated to head office, where so far we have been met with unanswered calls and emails and fobbing off.... Based on what our supervisor said, we have assumed that the remainder of the items in the report will be added to the job list, however given the lack of work done this week we now see that we need confirmation of that in writing ASAP to ensure it is done.

The two items which Carlisle have so far refused to rectify are:
  1. Driveway/stormwater drain - stormwater connection near the porch potrudes into the driveway and above the future finished level of the concrete. Response so far is that the current state is the best it can be...
  2. Brickwork - the lintels over the windows should have three courses of bricks and only have two, per the building code. So far Carlisle's response was that they have built per our contract and the display home. However our contract requires compliance with the code.

So we need these issues resolved and all the work identified from our inspector and ourselves last week to be done pre handover. If handover is not going to happen as planned we need to know now. Advice a day or two before will not be good enough given we have scheduled a lot based on that date - timber flooring, carpet, removalists, Telstra, Foxtel, aircon/heating connection etc. The main concern is not being able to reschedule the timber flooring within a reasonable time frame.

Anyhow, we have left a message with our supervisor today to express concern on the work progress. We will be hassling Carlisle on Monday on the hour I would say, until we get the answers we need, whatever they are.

We have purposely not bagged Carlisle on this blog, as we really have had a pretty smooth build. We have mentioned when things have been done wrong, but always stating that it is being fixed. But the time has come to be a little pissed off!

Hopefully Monday will bring some clarity as to handover time and process.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Countdown is on!!

The 'New House Presentation' (pre completion inspection) went well this morning. Nothing major picked up and the majority of the work to be done is already scheduled. We had an independent inspector there too and shall get his report tomorrow. He seemed happy and main thing was some unevenness in the slab which can be fixed.

So we have handover confirmed for two weeks time - which given the public holiday that Monday will be Tuesday 9 June. Our supervisor said he will try for the previous Friday which we would prefer. Either way, not long to wait now. Also means that the schedule we have in place for timber flooring, carpet and moving can stay as is.

Plan is to move in on Wednesday 17 June. Yaaay!!

The appliances generally get installed the day after handover, but our timber guys want to install before the dishwasher is in, so we will delay the appliances until the 18 June - as we will be there and can be easily done. That means the gas is also connected that day and the ducted heating and cooling can be booked for connection the following day. So two nights in the house without heating!!! We will survive with a little portable heater and an electric blanket, I am sure.

Anyhow, a few photos taken today from inside.

Firstly the laundry - also showing the view from that door!

Our powder room. All finished with loo too - Dale tested that out!
The main bathroom. All done.

And of course a couple of shots of the kitchen, complete with splashback.

23 sleeps now until we move. Better do some more packing soon...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Splashback in!! - and other stuff

Our kitchen splashback is in. Very happy with the colour - a really rich bluey green. The colour is Winter Waves by Dulux.

The splashback doesn't wrap around the ends of the bench as we expected, but on checking the drawings it wasn't specified and we hadn't checked. We will live with it first and if we think it needs it to look right or for functional reasons, then we shall get it done. Our supervisor said he can give us the supplier details.

So here it is!

This is the main bathroom. Taps and shower heads are in. All taps except ensuite for some reason and apparently the toilets are also in - hence the removal of the portaloo!

The shower heads seem to be the square profile as we chose round. I like the look of the shower rails in this profile but I remember I chose round as wanted the round dumper shower in the ensuite. Shall look at them properly at our inspection on Monday and may end up keeping them.
And our bi-folds - finally revealed. The black tape has been removed and we can see the colour properly. Already they are showing the dust that is flying around.... I wonder who is going to keep all that silver colour and glass clean?! The first photo is taken from near the edge of our 'deck'.

That's it for now. We have the 'New House Presentation' on Monday morning. We have a list of some things to be fixed or changed - like the pantry door handles are wrong etc. Hopefully don't find anything too significant and all can be done within a couple of weeks.
Shall report in after Monday, and will photos from inside too.

Earth Moving

Carlisle have allowed our landscaper to get started, which is great as it would normally have to wait until handover.

We got up there today just as they were packing up. A huge difference already with the whole front opened up - we can actually get to the front door! Finally I don't feel like we live in a ditch - thanks to the site cut. He has also graded the driveway, levelled the block more on each side, and built up dirt off the alfresco for where the decking will eventually be.So dust everywhere, but looking really good and the land is so much more usable already.

Some photos now...

Firstly, a before shot. You can the bank in front of the door and windows.

And from today, taken from close to boundary. The land up to the house is opened up heaps now. Driveway is straight down - from a new crossover. Note also the downpipes have been changed to what they should be - no longer a feature! Oh, and the garage door was put on this week too.

This photo shows the front of the house better. Very happy about how this is now. The retaining wall at the corner of the house is part of the build. We will add a retaining wall all the way across.

A view down the left hand side of the house. We will put pull up clothes lines on the outside of the garage. So the area near there has been flattened and will be concreted. He still has more to do on this side.

View of the right hand side of the house. This has been evened out a bit and more to happen. One day we will have lots of fruit trees on this side - well that is the plan at the moment.

That's it for the outside. Apparently the plumber was there today connecting something and our water tank is in the garage! It is being connected up on Monday.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Getting close now...

Lots happening now in the lead up to our 'New House Presentation' on Monday 25 May.

This week the shower screens have been put in and not too sure what else they got to! Although today we went up and the men were there doing the retaining walls, plus the cleaner was there - and let us in. Yaaay!

We had been told the kitchen splashback and mirrors would go in this week. But apparently they came with the splashback and it wasn't quite right, so was taken away for adjustments.

This coming week, we have been promised
- garage roller door
- splashback and mirrors
- downpipes to be changed and all finished
- toilets, taps, showers, baths connected (incl swapping spa over to correct one)
- painters back to do touch ups (all marked up)
- carpenters in to do final fit off (door handles etc)
- can't remember what else...

So walkthrough on Monday week, at which time pick up what needs fixing (we already have some things to put on the list!), and from there should be two weeks or less until handover.

We are hoping for handover on Friday 5 June and based on that we spoke to our timber floor suppliers today and have booked in the earliest date after then, which is Thursday 11 June. We will book the carpet for the following Monday and removalists for Wednesday 17 June - just 32 days away!! Of course, if anything significant picked up next week, this will be altered. Hopefully not.

So some photos from today. Firstly, the start of a retaining wall. Not really very exciting!

Main bathroom shower. It seems they haven't yet finished off the tiling - as all corners have gaps and haven't been grouted. Not sure what the story is, but can't possibly be how it is meant to be. You can even see the gaps in this photo. Next photo is also main bathroom.

Our ensuite, showing shower. We asked for a downlight in the shower - as it is so big and in the corner, but were told they couldn't do it. We are hoping an electrician will do it for us after we move, as it is a little dim in there. We are building quite a list of things for the electrician to do...

Shower tiling, showing the feature tile. Quite happy with this as was a little worried. Also, wall tile is different to remainder of the bathroom.

Ensuite spa and floor tiles - very dirty! Spa is lovely and large - even if the wrong one! Should be sorted out next week.

Our laundry. We decided to leave the tiles in this layout, rather than the brickbond we had requested - saved hassle and we like this anyhow. Looks good now grouted. A great laundry - Dale will love it in there! (yes, he really does all the washing normally)

And finally an update on the kitchen. The end panel to the bench is now in place and the overhead cupboard door is on - although the perspex looks like a colour that I wouldn't have chosen... shall have to check that out. Still a little work to do in here - obviously the splashback which will definitely make an impact. It won't really come together until flooring in and things on the shelves to break up the white.

That's about it. Will try and find a countdown to moving timer to add to this site now!

Saturday, May 9, 2009


This weekend and last has seen some progress on the shopping front!

Last weekend we managed to buy FIVE light fittings. We went to Chapel Street Bazaar in Prahran to look at some older originals which seem to have so much more character than the bland offerings at some of the new lighting stores. So, perhaps I should call our lights 'vintage' - the trendy word for second hand!

Firstly - art deco lights for the three minor bedrooms. Photo courtesy of eBay, but ours are the same. One blue, one green and one yellow. Very happy with them, and at $50 each you can't go wrong. Will be an interesting feature in each room.

Also at the same place we got a light for the entrance way and also one for the smaller lounge. I haven't taken photos of these yet. May wait until they are in place.

Then more excitement! On Thursday night we went to IKEA. Best time to go as not a lot of people. We bought a few things, but unexpectedly found a light for above the kitchen island bench. Photo below - diameter is 50cm, so it is pretty substantial. We also bought some cushions, plastic lining stuff for the pot drawers to stop things sliding, a chopping board, some mugs, a colander. I think that is all.

My long search for stylish decent length towel rails has ended! Yaaay!

After finding on the internet, today we went to Rogerseller in Richmond - a great bathroom store that I wish we had found earlier. Anyhow - we have bought a double towel rail (920mm) for the main bathroom, 2 single towel rails (920mm) for the ensuite, a hand towel rail for the powder room, and 2 toilet roll holders. Just checked my original budget for these items - clearly is was totally unrealistic, given we spent more than double today... !!

Toilet roll holder below. Hand towel holder is basically a longer version of this.

Also today we checked out some stools at The Chair Man in Richmond. The two hot favourites are below. They are happy for us to borrow for a weekend once we have moved to see how they look and work with our kitchen. So that is great. There is another store I want to visit for stools, so shall check them out in the next couple of weeks.

The first one has a pretty wide base, so we would only be able to fit two. They are a moulded plastic seat and really comfy. The second one is padded and also comfy! We didn't measure the width, but would probably be able to fit three of these.

So possibly enough shopping for this weekend....
We still need some more light fittings - just hallways, bathroom etc. Other than that, not a lot else needed for now.

Not much progress

Well I was hoping to see something new aside from grout today - but no, the grouting seems to be about it in terms of progress this week. Oh, plus the electricians had been back and finished off some odds and ends like the light in the garage and the tv and phone points.

Hopefully next week we shall see exciting things like kitchen splashback and maybe even the correct spa!

I only took two photos today through the windows, and not really worth posting as same as last week with grout!

Anyhow, they have two weeks until the 'New House Presentation', as it is called, so we would expect for the house to be finished at that point and the meeting is to pick up any work to be done. Our letter from Carlisle says we will be advised of handover on the presentation day once the work remaining is known.

Really, really, really wanting to move house now. Won't be long...

Best get into some sorting out and packing tomorrow, else it will never happen.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Few Stuff Ups!

Well firstly the good news!

We have been given a date for the pre-completion inspection - Monday 25 May. At that time we walk through with our supervisor and our independent inspector to identify anything that needs completion or fixing up. We are not exactly sure what happens then in terms of timing, but will clarify next week. Hopefully handover will be within a couple of weeks of that.

Today we visited the house, just on the outside as all the doors locked as they should be!

This week
- all the tiling done , although still to be grouted
- bath and spa delivered and in place
- downpipes in
- heating and cooling ducts done
- laundry now in place in correct configuration
- ensuite vanity seems to be new and taller (hard to tell from outside)

And what is wrong!
- tiles above bench in laundry should be in brickbond pattern, and are not
- spa delivered does not have the floor air jets installed (a significant $ upgrade!)
- downpipes are the wrong colour. Should be ironstone to match in with the bricks
- plus the pier on the porch with the concealed downpipe has been wet for the last couple of weeks. They seem to have now put a hole in the bricks to end the downpipe, so hopefully that fixes it.

So some photos...

Firstly the front of the house - showing the wet pier and the one of the downpipes in the wrong colour - they shouldn't be a feature! Especially this one at the front of the house that we desperately tried to have in a different location but couldn't.

The ensuite showing floor and wall tiles. I was worried the floor tiles wouldn't be dark enough, but am happy with them. Grout will be much the same colour.

The laundry - looking good, although tiles laid incorrectly. Very happy with the green colour we chose.

The main bathroom. The bath looks so small compared to our spa! Couldn't get either bath in photos through the windows unfortunately. Glad that I deleted the feature tiles here as shower is looking good quite plain.

So what is left? As far as we can tell...
- firstly fixing some mistakes!
- grouting of tiles / fixing in baths
- taps and toilets (although they could be in) / assorted plumbing
- splashback in kitchen
- finishing off kitchen island bench
- door knobs
- doors on master wardrobes
- ducted vacuum
- water tank
- garage door
- painting finishing touches

Almost there!