Sunday, 1 February 2015

Moved in

Moving is such an exhausting process. My back hurts, I'm tired, we're all a bit cranky but we're finally in our new house. We first met with a Wisdom Homes sales person in early January 2013 and now two years later we're sitting in our new home. Would we do it again? Are we happy with it? It's way too early to answer those questions properly, but yes, we'd probably do it again. Happy? Mostly.

No pictures just yet as there is no phone connection and hence no Internet. Besides, there are boxes everywhere. Why no Internet? Telstra need to run a cable from one crusty old pit to a new pit outside our house and have stated it might be a few weeks. I wouldn't be surprised if it took months.

Things they don't tell you until the end:

  • If you do your own landscaping you can only get an interim occupancy certificate, it costs around $350. Wisdom will either pay this, or you pay it and they will cover the full certificate as long as you complete it within 12 months - the final certificate is around $600ish.
  • If you do your own landscaping the Termguard is only sprayed. The spray lasts about a year. It's up to you to have it filled later at a cost of nearly $400.

Anyway, I'll update with some pictures and more information as soon as possible. I plan on blogging our landscaping work too.

Friday, 16 January 2015

That moment when...

That moment when you close the front door of your house and instantly realise you locked your car keys inside. That moment is extremely embarrassing. Especially when you have no way of getting back inside to your nearly complete new house that you shouldn't have been in anyway.

Yesterday, mrskidsbuggingme and I went to check out our house after the plumbers had been there during the day. We always do this to make sure that the house is secure. I noticed a window had been left open so climbed in to close it and make sure the rest of the house was also secure. All other doors/windows were good. Great, job done.

As I closed the front door I remembered my keys were on the kitchen bench.... doh! I haven't sworn that much in a long time. I'm pretty sure my kids picked up a few new words over the following few minutes.

mrskidsbuggingme called our site supervisor to see if he could help, and amazingly, he drove around at 6:30pm to get my keys out. I felt sooooooo tiny at that point. Over the past few weeks I've worked out he's a genuinely nice guy - I'm very grateful that he went quite a long way out of his way to help us.

I'm not sure there's a moral to the story other than, be nice to people.... and always, always make sure you have your stuff before you lock the door.

We're definitely getting our keys on the 21st. Pics to come. Can't wait!

Friday, 9 January 2015


The driveway was completed today. The guys had to sweat it out in 35 degree heat and now we have the threat of a storm. Please, no heavy rain today!

Wednesday morning when the concreters turned up I had W***** Landscapes try and swindle me out of more money for a concrete pump. I gave a swift, stern "no effing way" reply so they knew I wasn't going to be screwed over. I informed them that if they misquoted me, that's their problem and they can wear the additional cost (by inform, I mean I yelled down the phone). We signed the landscape paperwork three times over the past year so they had every opportunity to have that in the cost of works if it was necessary. Actually, the initial quote was more than twelve months ago! In the end, they managed to do it the old fashioned way with wheelbarrows. The cost of the driveway was pretty expensive compared to organising it privately, so as far as I'm concerned they can sweat a little for my money. FYI, I'm actually considering complaining to the ACCC or the Dept of Fair Trading because that kind of last minute hidden cost deal is considered extortionate behaviour and is against the law.


Thursday, 8 January 2015


We had our PCI appointment today. Yay! Woohoo!

For those that don't know, PCI is a "Practical Completion Inspection" where you perform a walk-through of the house and point out any issues to be rectified. If you're lucky, it's mostly just few paint and gyprock fix-ups. During the inspection you stick blue tape around the house and the building supervisor records things to be fixed. Our paint and gyprock wasn't too bad, there were a lot of little blue bits of tape around by the end of the appointment but the fixes are mostly minor. Some areas need to be skim coated and repainted again - not a big deal. Paint is easy to fix, but we had a few other bigger items that concern me:

  • Scratched alfresco sliding door glass
  • Scratched windows in dining room and butler's pantry
  • Paint specs/smudges on the kitchen and laundry cabinets

We've been told these items will be looked at but may not be replaced before we move in. If they can't be fixed in the next week and a half then they'll need to be done during the 90 day maintenance window. The glazier will assess the windows next week, apparently it's easy/quick to get replacements. The kitchen cabinets will be a battle.

Our SS was really good today. He has taken everything on board and even found some small issues himself. I've pushed him to get us in the house and now he's pushing the other trades too. In a way, I feel bad for losing my shit with him before Christmas, but if I didn't, we would probably still be waiting another month for the house.

No pics today, but maybe more this weekend. The driveway is being poured tomorrow and showerscreens/mirrors probably being installed as well. Gas to be connected at some unknown point - we may find out on Monday. Besides the fixes, that's it until settlement.

The "big day" is tentatively scheduled for 21st Jan.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Progress pictures

Stupid house. This is taking way too long.

There's very little work to do left:

  • Driveway (must have cracked stormwater pipe fixed first)
  • Shower screens
  • Air conditioning grills (and cut out of the two they missed in the master bedroom)
  • Shelving
  • Carpet on a few stairs
  • Gas to be hooked up (apparently they're busy for a few weeks, WTF!!! We can't wait any longer, nor should we have to!)

We might have PCI this week, but maybe not, who knows... certainly not the builder.

There are many small cosmetic things to fix which we'll have the opportunity to point out at PCI e.g., scratched windows, paint splatter/damage on kitchen cabinets, paint touch ups, spa bath not being straight... ugggghhhhh.

Just about every tradie has done 90% of the job and then either messed something up or left something not finished.

Anyway, we can see that when things are finally fixed up the house will look great. Here's some pics:

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Lost in space

Lost in space. I started this post weeks ago describing our non-existent tilers who were lost in space at the time. There was a week where they only turned up for about 4 hours of work... that's all. Nothing else happened that week. You'd think that if they were actually trying to finish our house on time they would organise to have tradies on site.

Now, fast forward to today, our house is nearly complete but we're still a long way off handover/settlement. I'm absolutely pissed off about it and have lost the will to produce a positive spin about the build.

We have a new building supervisor. I've been asking him questions and he has been very cagey with delivery dates. We can't get a straight answer as to when our house will be ready. He hasn't been contacting me as I have requested, so I ended up ringing their office to get some answers. As usual, their admin person was defensive from the start of the phone conversation and started pulling out rain delays, and delays caused by us, but couldn't elaborate on what our delays were.... I can tell you why, because it's rubbish. We haven't delayed anything.

There were also not the number of rain delay days they are claiming as I have photographic evidence of them working during these days. How can you claim an "industry wide rain day" if you're onsite working? I'm pretty certain that won't hold up in court and am seeking legal advice. How can they have started other builds after ours and have them already delivered? Why weren't those homes affected by rain delays?

I was informed that at the beginning of December they decided not to finish our house, but we're only just finding out now that others have been given priority - this is despite being advised otherwise by our previous supervisor who was promising dates before Christmas. The new supervisor is either incompetent or not wanting to give a straight answer to avoid conflict.

We have gone from them promising our build before Christmas to around the 12th of Feb now. There is only carpet, driveway, and some painting to go. Probably about 7 to 8 days of actual work, if that. Other excuses include a building industry shutdown of 5 weeks, however, they're only off work for 2 weeks and return on the 5th of January - our supervisor will be back at work then as well. So, I don't accept a 5 week shutdown, there isn't one.

Our experience has been one of delays right from day one (signed tender in March 2013, signed contract in Oct 2013, build started in May 2014).

I'm currently waiting on the construction manager to call me to discuss what can be done. To be honest, I believe they'll just throw more excuses out and there is nothing we can do about it, but I'm not going to make it easy for them.

So, how does the house look? We're happy with the design/colour choices we've made. The house looks really good but I'm not going to post any pictures at the moment as it's putting a positive spin on a company that I'm absolutely furious with. Slick marketing, awful delivery. That about sums it up.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Benchtops and painting

What a long, exhausting, emotional week it has been since the last post. It's nothing to do with the build, that's going OK, it's just that "real life" sometimes can be hard to deal with. I went to a funeral on Monday that really put things into perspective - life is short, make the most of it, be happy.

Enough of the life lessons, I know you're here for the bricks and mortar.

Our current home is finally on the market. We're reasonably confident that we'll be in the new house either just before Christmas or some time in January so it's probably the right time to sell. I can't believe how much junk we've accumulated living here over the past 14 years! The small fix up jobs like painting, cleaning, gardening, packing etc have been equally exhausting. If we could sell on the first open home, that would be great! LOL.

Back to the new build, the bathroom tile situation was resolved quickly and easily. Di Lorenzo admitted an error with the sizing/paperwork of the wall tiles not matching the size of the floor tiles and have agreed to upgrade the wall tiles (beyond the range we paid for) at no cost to us, to get the correct sizes. I must say, I'm quite happy with their service and willingness to fix the issue.

The following bits and pieces have been taking place on the house:
  • Kitchen and bathroom vanity benchtops installed
  • Laundry floor tiled
  • Powder room floor tiled
  • First coat of internal paint mostly done (still needs cutting in)
  • Balcony railing installed
  • Carpentry work almost done
  • Random holes and bumps in the gyprock (not too happy about it because it'll result in delays towards the end)
The paint colour we selected for the walls is Taubmans Cloudburst. It's a light grey that doesn't seem to throw any blue or pink undertones. It looks very neutral - great, because this is how it was explained to us. mrskidsbuggingme and I are very happy with the colour.

Kitchen benchtops:

Bathroom vanity:

Balcony railing: