Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Letterbox Saga and PCI

Let's start with the bad news - this story is called The Letterbox Saga by The Milburns

So let's go back in time to when we were creating our landscape plan...we gave Wisdom Landscapes a copy of the Estate Guidelines with exact dimensions, letterbox light and mailbox size and colour that was required.

They get back to us and haven't drawn correct to spec, so we send it back

Finally they change the spec and are charging us in excess of $1,000 for it. Fine.

Fast forward 8 months to our site visit. We are further charged $100+ to have the render painted.
We are then told that "[they] are not electricians" and can't have the letterbox light powered, still charging same price.
We are then told that they will give us a silver box instead of the brass finish.
So we asked they install the light and we'll do the electricals later, and we sourced the brass mailbox for them and told them to get it.

Fast forward to now - we have a letterbox, and it's at almost a 45deg angle to the boundary/our house.

We've asked them to knock it down and do it again. It's so frustrating how much pain this letterbox has caused us. I mean, we gave them specifically what we wanted and what the guidelines required, yet still manage to stuff it up?

Let's get to the nicer stuff now...

These were installed last week, and we haven't had access inside the house until today. We love the carpet, so very happy

I should call this The Brick Saga!
We met our SS Phil on site today for PCI. It took over 2.5hrs because we spent a very long time meticulously marking out all the bad bricking and mortar joins that we've been trying to get looked at for so long. He absolutely understands our pain now, which was comforting, and was disappointed in the workmanship himself! So our house is covered in blue tape right now, and this will take over a week to rectify unfortunately.

Painting - External
Probably one of the worse things - they've done a pretty bad job on the downpipes. Looking behind them, they haven't even bothered painting it. Some of the joins are white and haven't been painted correctly. Most of the downpipes look like only one layer has applied and we can still see manufacturer information printed on the pipes!

Painting - Internal
The painting is quite nice inside, however there are definitely a lot of things we had to mark up to be fixed, and holes to be plastered, etc.

Lots of scratched and chipped windows - we are having 7 panels replaced, all downstairs. Of particular note - our kitchen feature window had a big crack in it and that will have to be replaced.

One of our cupboards is missing a shelf. One of our light switches needs replacing. They've reversed our kitchen tap so that the mixer is on the right hand side which is great. One of our waterfall panels on the island has a bit of a scratch on it.

Needs to be rebuilt.

Spout missing for main bath. All toilet seats need realignment (because all the tradies have already used our toilets which was not a nice looking surprise)

Needs to be re-cleaned and sealed.

Roof Tiles
Two cracked roof tiles need to be replaced - can be seen when looking out bedroom 2 window.

Gas pipe not connected yet. One down pipe has not been connected to anything!

What's next?

Who knows. We've sent through the progress payment claim to the bank today, and have requested a settlement date for next Friday. Nobody seems to be able to answer our Occupancy Certificate inspection queries. Phil says he will try to get everything done within 1.5 weeks, but he says there's a lot of work especially because he needs to get brickies and plasterers out. We also told him we weren't happy with the clean at all, and he's going to try to organise a third clean to happen next week. All inside the window sills and sliding door tracks is full of dirt, it's horrible. Even the floors were still powdery.

I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks. I want to settle and move in, we've been in the build phase for 7 months now and have had so many ups and downs that we're just tired of it all.

Once I get a settlement date, I think I'll be a happy camper. Kudos to our new SS Phil, though. He really took the time to go through all our chips and cracks and mortar, when our old SS wouldn't give us the time of day. So for that, I am so thankful and I know he'll do a great job to finish off our beautiful home.


No more construction fencing! Unfortunately the letterbox is not looking at the camera...

Welcome home!

Office - carpeted

Theatre - carpeted

Staircase - carpeted - we love it

Hallway upstairs carpeted

Main bedroom

Ensuite with towel rail repositioned - we wanted it away from the powerpoint though, even marked it up...oh well

Shower rail and niche

Visitors to collect the remaining site debris - we saw them raking around the house too, very thorough

Upper lounge carpeted

Inside the garage opened up

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Kitchen Fixed and Driveway Poured

Feeling a lot better after this week. Again, really happy with our new site supervisor Phil!

We are loving the driveway it looks really nice, and are really happy that everything is finally coming together. This has probably been the first time we actually feel like this whole process is coming to an end.

The following has been done this week:

  • Kitchen fixed
  • Theatre outlet for projector installed
  • Fireplace completed
  • Driveway poured
  • Waterproof redone for main shower leak
  • Gas connected
  • Spa motor installed and connected

Phil has let us know that currently the plan for the following week is this:

  • Monday/Tuesday - tiles being fixed in main area and main bathroom; final brick clean
  • Tuesday/Wednesday - carpets being installed; sealant to all wet areas
  • Thursday - final painting touchups
  • Friday - final house clean

We currently have a tentative PCI date booked in for Tuesday 29th which he said he will confirm with us on Monday morning - fingers crossed.


Fireplace fascia installed

Tiles in the kitchen to be relaid

Driveway/footpath before the pour

Spa motor installed (access through our wardrobe)

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Mixed feelings coming out of this week. 

The good:

Our SS has been great following up on things. This week saw:
- door furniture installed
- kitchen splashback installed
- shelving installed
- mirrored robe doors switched over
- ensuite shower door installed
- towel rails and toilet roll holders installed
- diamond grill sliding door to alfresco installed
- garage door [finally] installed yay!
- scaffolding removed
- termite reticulation installed

The bad [and the ugly]:

Crooked Kitchen
So...during the week I was looking down at the tiles behind the kitchen island. I proceeded to notice that the tiles weren't even/uniform...and soon realised that this was because my kitchen island has been installed on an angle! My kitchen is crooked. I took a laser measure and made sure the next day, and it is out by 25mm - an inch!

We told our SS and he had the kitchen installer come out on Friday to take a look. Apparently he was sick to his stomach when he saw it and they will be ripping up tiles and fixing it up next week. 

Although I'm not happy this happened, I'm glad our SS sorted it out straight away and that Timpelle Kitchens are sorting it out ASAP. I don't think our last SS would even have called the kitchen people to have a look!

This is setting us back another week now with the kitchen taking 3 days to fix and the rest of the week to redo the tiling. So no PCI this week. 

Gas Connection Delay
Supposedly we are having the driveway formed and poured next week, however our SS says that AGL have asked for 2 wk lead time for a new connection. So that means we can't have the driveway poured until the gas is connected, and it also means we won't be able to have PCI until the gas is connected. 

Apparently there's a leak from the ensuite shower that the waterproofer is looking at this week. 

We also noticed that under the kitchen sink water has pooled in the cupboard which is started to warp the bottom shelf. Hopefully they've seen this and fix it. I'm also hoping they change that cupboard now...

Missing Powerpoint in theatre
We are supposed to have a ceiling mounted powerpoint in the theatre for a projector and I realised they installed an air con vent where I had marked it to be. Our SS asked our electrician about it who said that it wasn't on our electrical plan. We've resent our clipsal plan where it is shown so they'll have to fix that.

Plan for the week:
- waterproofing
- kitchen fix
- re-tiling
- driveway outline


External finally complete! Scaffolding removed

Garage door installed - timbertone

Splashback installed

Splashback and caesarstone over sill to meet window

Kitchen leakage under sink

Cloak Room shelf and rail installed

Storeroom shelving

Pantry shelving installed

Pantry shelving perfectly level

Alfresco flyscreen doors installed
Linen wire shelving installed

Shower door installed, towel rail to be moved onto wall

Mirror smart robe doors moved to each end of WIR

The WIR behind feature wall - three sets of two doors...

Robe shelving installed in main

Termite reticulation system installed

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Painting Plus

Week 1 with the new SS is a success :)

Firstly, we saw a whole heap of mortar has been patched up around the house. The brick that was on the wrong way around has been replaced as well.

Visiting today we saw that all the painting, internal as well as external, has been completed. Finally we have eaves and downpipes painted! The sheeting at the back of the house blends really well now that it's painted too. 

Luckily the front door was left open so we could get inside. We had a couple of surprises! Our air conditioning vents are in - we are sooo glad we changed to the square ones! The mirrors have been installed in the powder room and bathrooms. We have showers now! They look really nice.

We are very happy with our paint colour inside - glad it turned out, it was a very confusing choice back in the colour consultation days!

Oh another surprise - our rangehood has been installed. Looks really sleek with the glass :)

One last small surprise, we stepped out into the balcony for the first time in daylight, and between some trees looking north...we can see a very tiny Centrepoint Tower hahaha crazy!

Enjoy the pics from this week. Looking forward to the rush of next week - we saw all the door handles, bathroom fit offs and door dampeners ready for next week. 


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Relief and an Update

First thing Monday morning, our new Site Supervisor contacted us to arrange an onsite meeting first thing Tuesday morning - thank goodness he did because we were on our wits end and ready to begin some angry emailing and calling to the Head Office!

We really like our new SS, he's new to Wisdom (which is kind of a relief) and he was very accommodating and went through the house and wrote down all our issues and promised to get back to us about them. He even went around with blue tape and marked chipped bricks, places where the mortar needed to be fixed, etc.

He also showed us the schedule for the rest of the build and we wrote down all the dates, so we know exactly what is happening every day until PCI - such clarity! He was even surprised there were no painters on Tuesday morning and followed that up - we had more paint done yesterday and the front door done.

He's also called us back today to respond to all our questions from Tuesday, and he has indeed followed up on our missing garage door, our landscaping, and other things we asked him to chase. I couldn't be happier right now.

So, here's what we are working toward:

  • This week - second/third coats of paint, all external painting to be completed
  • Monday 7.7 Internal locks, splash back and shelving installation
  • Tuesday 8.7 House clean
  • Wednesday 9.7  Site clean and Maintenance
  • Thursday 10.7 Termite reticulation
  • Friday 11.7 Garage door to be installed by end of the week
  • Monday 14.7 Carpets, door furniture, driveway formed
  • Tuesday 15.7 Reclean
  • Wednesday 16.7 PCI
  • Leave up to 1.5 weeks for handover
Next week sounds like a big week - there's a lot that is supposed to happen. Lets hope there are no delays and Wisdom can stick to the schedule.