Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bricks are Quick

We passed by our site before going home and found quite a lot of bricks up already!  I like the bricks we chose.  We wondered whether the Termimesh had been put in, though.  It didn't look like it.

The frames of the lounge room aren't protruding it all, as our site supervisor said - well, not anymore, anyway!  Someone has obviously added to the original concrete base to make the concrete flush with the frames...hmmm.  The frames at the entry are still hanging over a little but because they have now removed the supporting beam across the entry floor, then it's not as obvious.  I wonder what it would be like when the door frames and doors are there, though. 

We also noticed that with the frames upstairs up, the rooms downstairs don't seem as small as they felt before.  Von's decision to ditch the $7.5k facade for 9 foot ceilings has paid off!  Well done, darling!

It made it easier to imagine what it would be like to have our deck in the back with the sliding stacker doors opening from the meals area and the home theatre.  Soooo exciting!!!

We also met the children of our back neighbours.  A girl aged 8 and a boy aged 5.  We're surrounded by children in this neighbourhood and by some coincidence, they're all about our boys' ages.  Well, with three boys aged 7, 5 and 1, there's bound to be some child around their age, but not this much.  So, it's been such a blessing!  

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Brickies are Starting Today!

Away on a week long holiday and haven't seen the house for a whole week!  Excited to hear from our site supervisor this morning when he rang Von up to say that the bricklayers were due to start today.  Can't wait to go home tomorrow!

Site supervisor also said the overhang of the frames was within the standards (1.5cms).  It looked more than that, but we'll see.  Here's a reminder:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Groundfloor Frames All Done

Couldn't wait to come home from our holiday to see what else has happened.  Got there and found that the groundfloor frames were finished.  The two James were in the ute and the older one said they expect to be finished by next week.  I didn't bother asking about them not showing up for 2 days.  The lounge room frames are still hanging over the concrete but I've left a message for our site supervisor earlier this week so I'll wait and see.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Carpenters are No-Shows for a Few Days

Contacted my mum while away to see if it has been raining in Sydney so I can report it under rain days.  Mum said it had only rained from 5pm but she hasn't seen the carpenters for a couple of days.  Actually, we passed by the  site at around 12.30pm on Monday enroute to our little trip and no one was on site, no work has been done that morning.  Maybe the carpenters had other jobs and because I had told them we were going away (oops!), they decided to do the other jobs first...or maybe they just had to take a day off for whatever reason :(

Friday, January 16, 2009

Building Inspector & More Frames are Up

We have managed to contact my husband's work colleague's father about Building Inspections.  Spoke with him and found out there are two recommended inspections: (1) After brick and roof stage, just before internal wall linings; (2) Just before handover.  Each inspection is $495 which includes a detailed, photographic report.  Howard (from H&K Ryan), anticipates that the first inspection would be in about 6 weeks.  

I phoned the site supervisor to give him notice that we have hired an independent building inspector and I asked if he would let them know when the roof is finished.  He said he didn't have anything to do with that.  So, the right protocol is for me to find out when the roof is to be finished, ring Howard and he will organise with our site supervisor when to carry out the inspection - got it.  Checked out the H&K Ryan website and they seem to be pretty credible.  Howard has even appeared on channel 9, imparting his knowledge about inspections.  Feels like we're in good hands.       
More frames have gone up.  Got the carpenter's number as we're going away for most of the week next week and I may not see them again.  Things are looking great, schedule wise!  

We did notice that there is quite a bit of overhang at the front elevation where the lounge is, and also just under the entry door frames.  On the left had corner, the concrete looks like it's been chipped so the actual corner timber frame is not supported entirely.  Must contact our site supervisor about these.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Termimesh Update & Inspections

Managed to ring them first thing in the morning and found out that they did install the mesh around the pipes pre-concrete pouring.  That was a relief.  Contacting our site supervisor wouldn't have done any good as if he had said yes, I'm sure Von would have wanted some sort of evidence for it.  It's a little sad but after all the bad experiences we've heard and we've encountered online, we feel we need to be a bit more vigilant to protect ourselves.

Another thing we may be organising are regular inspections after the stages as this is something a friend did and the inspector found something wrong with the frames which would have been covered up by the brickwork but which was rectified as a result of the independent inspection.  We opted out of this because of cost and because Clarendon said they have independent inspectors as well.  However, how reliable are those reports, really?  Would you bite the hand that feeds you???

True to Their Word

I was most excited to find a vehicle in front of our site at 9.30 this morning!  Saw two men doing measurements on the slab, but I don't think they saw me past the piles of wood right in front.

What made it more impressive is that today was meant to be a scorcher, with forecasts of temps reaching 40 in the west.  Well, it was actually over 42 in Penrith today!  So, I decided to thank them for turning up at all by picking up bottles of water, watermelon (which I cut up), and Red Bulls (I saw a couple of V in their vehicle), freezing them and dropping them off just before noon.

I braved the heat with the three boys which wasn't easy as my 20 month old has been running 40 degree temps since last night.  We met the two gentlemen, coincidentally, both named James, like our oldest son.  They were sitting under a tree and they said they will stay until it gets too hot.  I said I couldn't blame them.  Nice folks.  Found out they did intend to work through the holidays but since all the other contractors they used, shut down (like cranes), they couldn't do much.  They're still technically on holidays but they were on our site.  So, I was very appreciative.  They, too, appreciated the little loot I brought them.  As I see it, these people are building our house and having been in customer service and sales for so long, I know that I like to go the extra mile for nice customers.  I hope they do, too.   

I also asked if they do timber decks and they said they did.  So, I'll speak to them about this later.

After dinner, we drove to the site and found some of the frames laid on the slab, ready to be put up, I guess.  Can't wait until tomorrow!  The older James said frames should be up within 7-8 days.  Woohoo!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Frames Scheduled to Go Up Tomorrow or Friday

I rang our site supervisor this afternoon as I've not heard from him yesterday. He actually answered the phone (for the first time!) It was specified in our letter from Clarendon that he preferred to be contacted between 1.30pm-4pm.

Well, I tried to build a little bit of a rapport asking how his break was and he seemed to respond favourably to my warmth. After all, I have to be on his good side as he's responsible for the building of our dream.

He said, he had just spoken with the contractor who plans to put the frames up tomorrow or Friday and once he starts there, he will pretty much be there continuously except for some small jobs he is needed for like eaves or repairs, etc. That sounds promising! Can't wait to go there tomorrow.

Von raised a very important point tonight, though. He asked how we know that our Termimesh has been put in around the pipes before concrete was poured. We tried to zoom in on photos of concrete pouring but we can't tell. I've emailed Termimesh and will follow-up tomorrow. I can't believe I missed this step :C

I'm glad we've paid for the extra to get Termimesh in. It's extra peace of mind especially since termite damage isn't covered by insurance. The fact that it's chemical free and won't require top ups or inspections for the 10 year life of the warranty is a BIG bonus!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Frames for First Floor Arrived Today

I've been visiting the site nearly everyday hoping that the carpenter has started. Each time I go past the bend at which point I could see our fence, my heart sinks as I see no cars parked out at the front.

Today, the same thing happened when I went there around 9am, but when I passed by again in the afternoon, more frames have arrived! Hurrah! The land is so small that the frames are almost bursting out of the fence...hahaha!!!

Von has told me that he suspects the carpenter wasn't really planning on working through the Christmas holidays but Clarendon just didn't want to store the frames as that's more expenses for them. Sounds true, now that the frame for the first floor have only arrived today. I just hope the contractor goes back to work soon.