Monday, 21 April 2014

Framework Finished

Our frame was finished on the 11th April and our bricking has started but the mistakes continue. If we didn't check regularly god knows what shoddy building work would be covered up by the bricks and gyprock. When my husband was building the retaining wall along the boundary with the neighbours, he noticed that a steel support post which is holding up the floor above had been placed over part of the slab that was damaged during excavation work for the waste water plumbing. So there is barely anything but crumbling concrete under a major structural post. In fact we can fit our fist under the post which is only secured with one bolt because there was nothing underneath to attach the other bolts to. The contractor that installed the post would have seen this but obviously chose to ignore it. Had my husband not seen it, it would have been covered by the bricks and not discovered until our floor started to drop. Don't expect any professional duty of care from these people. As one contractor said to my husband they don't see a home when they work, they just see a building site. They don't really care about the big picture or the long term consequences if they make a mistake, because it is the home owner that is left to deal with the problems afterwards.
There have been other steel supporting posts cut too short, a buckled window installed, slab not very level in our living area which will affect our floorboards if not fixed, upstairs waste plumbing installed incorrectly, which if left means we will have some bulkheads that were not on the plans. We are also pretty sure that a lot of dirt has gotten into our rainwater system due to poor capping of the pipes, which according to our neighbour who built with Allcastle and has the same problem, is very difficult and expensive to remove.
I still love the layout  and look of the house but am very concerned at the level of care taken by the sub-contractors used by Wisdom. Our SS has 20 builds to supervise and said to my husband that he is so busy that he only spends a couple of minutes at a site to check the work has been done. He is doing his best to rectify the problems but at the same time is getting very impatient with my husband for constantly raising issues. However we will not be made to feel like a nuisance and will continue to raise issues as we find them, and if that means we have to regularly meet him on site, so be it.
I also had to chase Wisdom this week because the Demo company they used to pull down our old house, removed our electricity meter and did not return it to Ausgrid, as they were supposed to. I have over a $1000 in estimated electricity bills for a house that doesn't exist, because my Utilities company haven't received a final meter reading from Ausgrid because Ausgrid don't have the meter to read. Wisdom assured me that the meter was returned last week but I am yet to see my power bills cancelled.
Oh the dramas and incompetence. Will it ever end?

Our Pot of Gold?

Pooling on the slab 15mm at deepest point which means slab is not within tolerated levels.

Steel support post in alfresco doesn't reach the slab. A piece has been welded on to the bottom now so it meets the slab.

Framed in fridge space. This has been fixed now.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Tools, Trucks and Tradies

Things are moving so quickly now. We've only had  a few days with no one on site and that was while the slab was curing.

Site cut was on 12th March, form work and piers went in on the 19th March, slab was poured on the 26th March, plumbing on the 31 March and frame commenced on 3rd April. The pace is really moving along much quicker than we expected. The only downside is we have made our first progress payment which means we have to start paying interest on our construction loan.

The pain of the admin process seems to be almost a distant memory, although it has come back to haunt us recently. Due to errors made in our drawings we have had a few mistakes made during construction that, because we can visit our site daily, have been noticed immediately and communicated to our site supervisor.  The first one was an incorrect placement of the pier under the rough in for the air conditioning unit. Somehow Wisdom had reverted to some old drawings which had it in a different place and these were provided to the concretor. It was fixed quickly by placing a new pier in the correct place before slab pour. The plumber cracked a drain pipe badly by driving over it with his own machinery and left it that way. we have been told it will be replaced when they connect all the pipes up. After the first floor frame went up we found they have framed in our fridge space and parts of the frame cover some of the drain pipes because the plumber placed them in the wrong spot. We still have to tell the site supervisor about these mistakes. The fridge space should be easy to fix but not so sure about relocating pipes that are set in concrete.

We also have to install a retaining wall urgently on the boundary with one neighbour as after the plumber excavated they started having subsidence issues along the fence line. My husband had to rig up a temporary structure until we can get the materials delivered to build a permanent one. The site supervisor has given him permission to go on site on the weekend of 12/13th March which clashes with his monthly golf day. Wonder what he'll pick.

First Swim

Pool covered until after construction is finished

Site Cut

Formwork and Piers


First Floor Frame