Monday, August 31, 2009

New Home Inspection.

Our new Home Inspection, or PCI, was last Thursday, and we are very happy with the outcome.

There were 66 items on the list, but most are tiny little paint imperfections that are easily rectified. Other items on the list included:

* 3 privacy locks needed adjusting (as in they didn't work!)
* a grout defect in the laundry (dirt in the grout)
* dining room heating vent on crooked
* window frame scratches
* screw end through the pantry shelving in a noticeable position
* patchy paint in living room (entire walls will be repainted)
* paint over spray on most kitchen handles
* few scratches on the stair balusters
* couple of proud floor screws in the TV area
* paint drops on the tiles around bath and on window sill
* scratched handle on toilet door
* missing render (exposed metal edging) on the RHS portico pillar
* repaint beading on exterior laundry door (the glass had already been replaced due to scratches)
* Mortar blow outs
* scratched downpipe brackets
* rubber seal issue on a window
* wonky roof tiles on back of garage above external door
* extra weather seal on garage door so it actually works!
* hole in slab edge of garage behind rear door.

Without a fine tooth comb, most of these things would really not have been picked up as the place really does look fabulous! We checked around all the vanities and basins and it's all neat and tidy (including the caulking). All the taps work, plumbing doesn't leak (although we must check again once the hot water is in as the heat can expand the seals and then leaks can show up), all the toilets flush and re fill correctly, all the wiring is correct (the three light globes we bought along came in handy!), all the power points work and the tiles in both showers are smooth and drain away...yes I took off my shoes and socks and dragged my feet along all the tiles!

In my last post, I mention the Tradies cars in the driveway, well I was very pleased to see the linea band under the gable on the portico had finally been rendered! Yes, my SS didn't realise it was supposed to be, but when the handover supervisor did his inspection he picked it up and organised the renderers straight away:

Most defects were little minor paint imperfection:

Powder room all finished, complete with mirror, basin, taps, toilet and accessories:

OK, had to be done, but this is the only one as the other 2 are exactly the same! At least the lid is down! ;-) :

Close up of the basin and taps (which I hate...):

Under the laundry trough. Nice neat concealed plumbing and a hole for the washing machine hoses to fit through to join the taps:

The dirt or 'something' grouted into the floor in the laundry:

The kitchen sink. I'm going to have to get used to washing the dishes around the 'wrong' way!!

Our lovely big ensuite double vanity, with plenty of space for my apothecary jars:

Ensuite shower and towel ladder:

Close up of the same basins and taps in the ensuite, and the shiny Caesarstone:

We are very happy with our 'better than display home quality' house! We are just looking forward to making it our home. I actually didn't take as many photos as I had expected, because I was too busy looking at every finer detail! The whole inspection took 3 hours anyway! Our Supervisor for the inspection was lovely and very patient, and even helped us put in the light globes! On the whole it was a very positive experience and we look forward to our re inspection this Friday 4th September to check all the items have been addressed.

There was every possibility that we could have had the keys this coming Friday, as the house will be ready, but the bank needs 10 working days to carry out their valuation so they can release the final payment. We have asked the bank to have our cheque ready to pick up on Thursday 10th, making our handover on Friday 11th!

That's 11 days away!!!

This is what I have booked so far:

* 14th Telstra trenching
* 15th - 18th timber and carpet install
* 21st - 22nd truck for clearing the storage unit

...and I'd like to book the appliances and heating install on the 24th or 25th, then we can move in properly!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Final invoice received.

Yesterday we received our final invoice and a letter detailing our New Home Inspection appointment and what will happen next! With any luck it will all run fairly smoothly and we will have the keys soon. A lot will depend on what we find 'wrong' or in need of fixing, and how soon they can get it all done before we re inspect for our handover appointment. So the next few weeks are an uncertainty and will prove to be busy yet again.

Roll on term 4 so I can collect my thoughts and unpack and decorate at ease without too much hanging over my head!

On my drive by this morning, there was yet another tradie's vehicle in the drive way. idea who it is or what they are doing, but the render is still missing from the linea band just below the gable on the portico! So maybe that will be done today!

I'm excited to be going back in the house tomorrow, but have not had much time to prepare at all. I've made a list of all the things on the exterior we can see we are not happy with, but no idea of the interior. Must not forget to pack the light globes!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Temp fence gone for good!

3 drive-bys today, first one without camera, so I had to go back. The next 2 times I had the camera but there were cars parked in the 'drive-way' so I didn't take any pics. Hopefully tomorrow!! Not sure who the cars belonged to, but they were still working on perhaps the touch-ups before our inspection on Thursday.

She does look lovely sitting there all on her own...although a little lonely! Great to not have to dodge the fence anymore, now I'll just be dodging the huge gum tree on the nature strip trying to take photos :-)

So close, but still so far...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We have a date!!

Our New Home Inspection is booked for Thursday 27th August!!!

Considering it will be the first time in 4 weeks I have been inside the house, I'll be armed with my camera, not to mention my list of external 'things to fix' and my eagle eyed vision to pick up every detail and anything that will need fixing!

I am also taking along a small electrical appliance (possibly a hairdryer) to check every powerpoint, a spirit level, a tape measure, a torch and a couple of 100 watt incandescent light globes. The house has compact fluoros in it at the moment, but since they are not staying, I want to look at the paintwork with the lighting we will be living with, not the fluoros which give me a headache!

Apart from going over absolutely everything with a fine tooth comb and making sure it all opens and shuts, if you can think of anything we should be looking out for, please let me know, particually if you have been through a PCI before!

Bring on Thursday!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Construction Complete!

Today marks the day that construction has been completed, and our file gets moved to the 'Handover Department'. This means our New Home Presentation Inspection (or PCI) is imminent, and could possibly happen within the next 2 weeks, followed by handover in another 2 weeks. As of the weekend just passed, our biggest 'outstanding item not completed' was the rendering of the portico. Thankfully, it was done yesterday!

I have a few photos to catch up on as I've been pretty busy.

Fly screens were installed and windows cleaned and scratches touched up last week:

The portico re-alignment happened last week too. Was a fairly easy fix, and now having been done, the renderers could finish their top coat. There is still a little 'fill' required where the eaves sheeting meets the bricks next to the fascia, but it's on my 'list' for PCI:

Another 'fix' on my list is the corner of one window. I'm not quite happy with the hole in the corner and the way the black weather strip for the window is sitting. Compare it with another window, and you'll see what I mean:

...compared with...

Even though the windows have been 'touched up' with spray paint to get rid of the scratches, I still managed to find about 3 others that were overlooked.(No pics, though!).

A pleasant surprise I did find was the white connecting PVC pipes from the downpipes to the storm water drains have been painted to ground level. I'm not sure if this is standard with Henley, as I have heard of people with other volume builders having to do it themselves after handover. So, thankyou Mr painter! Saves me buying a can of Paperbark spray paint from Bunnings!:

On my drive-by yesterday morning I saw 5 renderers setting up their ladders, ready to start the portico. I didn't have my camera at the time and had decided I was going to go and organise the collection of my chandelier, which has been hanging in the shop since it was purchased last October! I pick that up in about 3 weeks! 2 hours later when I returned with my camera, they had finished applying it, and were just cleaning up and giving it the last smooth over!:

This was one of my 'colour worries', having picked it in June over a year ago, and from a small sample. I just knew I wanted it to be darker than 'Paperbark', but the colour 'Earth Kiss', was never available as a take home sample chip from the shop. I had visions it was going to be really orange and look horrible, but it does compliment the bricks nicely:

Love my doors:

Here is the section of the portico that was adjusted. As far as I know, there was no grey base coat applied to the newly exposed bricks before the top colour coat (refer to previous portico fix photo in this post), so I just hope it sticks, and doesn't fall off:

If you look closely, you can see the bare metal edging just above the linea band...that's on my list 'to fix' too:

Another section that looks a little 'rough', and just happens to be above the front doors. It was still wet at the time, and it may have dried smoother, but I haven't had a chance to have a good close look at the render yet:

The site as of yesterday afternoon. Render done, rubbish cage and port-a-loo removed, and the site was cleaned! Soooo close, but needs a driveway, front fence and garden before it will look spectacular!

So, with 'actual' site start happening on the 4th February 2009, construction officially ending today and taking away the 3 week delay waiting for the brickies (when nothing else could happen at all), it brings the total to 26 weeks construction time. That's actually pretty standard for a double storey 44 square home, and is 4 months earlier than the 'contract' time.

Still no offical date for our inspection or handover...but finally, it is imminent!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One step closer...

No photos today as it was raining and I was wearing heels! I drove past twice today, no one there each time, but on the second visit, I had noticed the left hand side of the portico gable had been fixed. If you can remember, the 2 sides did not match, and all that was needed was for the fascia and guttering to be trimmed to match the other side. The only thing is, there is now a section of exposed brickwork that doesn't have the undercoat of render on it. With any luck, that can be applied ASAP, and then the final colour top coat soon after. Fingers crossed for the house to be completed by the 18th, but that may depend a lot on the weather. For once, it's raining again in Melbourne!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Proper pot drawers are in!

Had a lovely walk around the site yesterday and noticed the correct pot drawers are in! I also spotted the mirrors in the ensuite through a window, and the reflection of the shower screen. I still haven't been able to see the toilets, but I know they are there. Also on Friday, the termite reticulated system was installed, and the cleaners were there!

The weather seals are on the external doors:

Compare these 2 photos of the kitchen, and you'll see the pot drawers have been replaced to 1 skinny and 2 deeper ones instead of 3 all the same size, splashback protective film has gone as well as the protection for the Caesarstone benches:

Close up of pot drawers:

I have been able to read 'the list' on the cupboard, and no real surprises, except we missed a section of tiles on the laundry wall where the bench meets up against it. Thankfully, our SS is on the ball and it has now been fixed accordingly. Caulking still to be done:

The dining through the lounge. You might be able to see that the light fitting is not centered with the windows. We specifically asked that it be centered in the room from the edge of the stairs, and thus being centered over where the dining table will be. This is where my chandelier is going:

A pic of the stairs again, this time through cleaner windows:

We now have a gas meter too:

Termite reticulated system is in as well:

I've noticed a couple more things to be fixed too, but the mortar blowouts are written on the list, so I'll wait until our PCI to see if they have been fixed:

The screws on the downpipes were not on the list (that I could read!). easy fix, though:

The only outstanding things that need to be done are all the flyscreens, the gable patch-up in the portico and the rendering. There are all the items on 'the list' but they are all easy fixes and cosmetic touch ups. There will probably be more after we have had our inspection too! So, with the 18th of August only 8 working days away, it looks as though it might be a hive of activity again this week. I'm not sure if the weather will be suitable for rendering, and the portico patch-up has to be done before that. Fingers crossed!

Friday, August 7, 2009

...and the progress continues!

It's been a busy week at the house this week! Finally I was able to have a look around (through dirty windows) at all the progress in between showers of rain. At this stage, it looks as though it's pretty much complete! I am unsure if the mirrors or the shower screens are in as I am unable to see them, but I'm pretty sure the rest of the fittings have been done.

These were taken on Wednesday.

Front doors with 2 red spots on them indicating to be painted again (notice proper door handle!):

All the downpipes have been connected to the stormwater, and we have some extra drains to help with the 'moat'. These will be cut when we do our landscaping:

One of two outdoor taps:

Outdoor power points, and TV and HDMI cable in the alfresco:

Quad fix on the gap in the alfresco above the stacker door. There is also one on the other side. Both will need painting. It looks as though the paint roller ran over my bricks, so hopefully it will be cleaned off before handover:

The rangehood spotted for painting:

6 halogen downlights in the alfresco. The middle will have a fan and 2 ceiling speakers either side:

Newly installed kitchen rangehood, tap and lights:

I tried so hard to read the list of 'things to fix' stuck on the overhead cupboard next to the luck, though!!

Those fluoros have got to go!

Door furniture all on, and locks as well:

Laundry trough and mixer in:

The only way I know we have toilets! I can't see them, but there are 3 empty boxes in the rubbish cage:

I drove past twice on Thursday, but I didn't see any action, and today on my morning drive-by, the termite system was being installed, and it looked as though the cleaners were there!!!

Now it's the weekend, I'll get a chance to have a look around and see what else has been done, and take some more pics. Just waiting on the portico fix and the render to be done. Won't be long now....