Monday, March 7, 2011

Issues much more is there to manage? Will I manage to manage it?

Ok so I have, or I should say had, calmed down from last weeks situation, but a new one has arisen and I am back to stressed out brain to me.
I'll back track to last week's issues first and let you know the out come.
I received the call from our CSC, K, she was so calm and helped me to feel a lot calmer just by talking to her. 
In my plans, I have two copies of them. The first set, the contract drawings, which were the original ones we signed off on and agreed too had the facade fully rendered. Leaving us with pretty much no argument, because we signed off on them. Also appearing on those is the moulding. In the second set, post contract variation drawings, the moulding disappears. When I asked why, K went back to her emails from the developer and discovered that the mouldings were not approved by them and she concluded that the guys who do the drawings had just taken them off. There was no notification to us that this was happening, it just happened. 
So by the end of our phone conversation we each had a task. I was to write to the developer and ask about why the moulding was not approved and removed and if we could have a different type of moulding on the house if any. K's task was to speak to our SS and see if there was any way at all possible to not have the second story rendered. 
I got to writing and drafted an email to the Design people at our estate. They called me back within a couple of days and I asked them to forward on their thoughts to K via email and cc me in also.
This is their response:

Hello K

Re: Lot 85 C Dve - Front Facade

We received a request from your client Amy to add a moulding to the Front Façade between the Ground and First Floor rendered sections, per the image attached. The DAP approves this moulding on condition that it has a simple, rectangular profile.

We would also accept (encourage) one section of face brick and one of render per the image, to better reduce the dominance of a single material (render) to the façade.

I have CC’d Amy (at her request) and K D on this email.
(all names have been removed for privacy)

And there you have it. We can have it!  I was told that the design guys from the developers HAD told PD that we COULD most definitely have the moulding, provided it was a rectangular shape (otherwise it makes the house look like a "period" home) or they could just remove it, so without consultation PD just removed it. We drove around the estate that night, because we had sworn we had seen other houses with the moulding on them, we were right. We found two houses with moulding on them, one of which looked like a "period" home. How interesting?

After finally getting hold of K, who had been in training sessions all week, she let me know that there was no way we could not render the second story. That the brickwork had been done for render and there was no way to change it, but they were putting the moulding back on and it was in drawings as we spoke being fixed. Joy! I also asked if we would have to pay for this moulding, she could not answer as she was not sure, but I plan to hold fast on the fact that I have already paid for that and will not be paying for it a second time.
Since all this has come to light, Derek and I have decided to change the colour of the render and moulding, PD are letting us do so which is great (as they should really).  So this weekend we trudged back down to Bunnings to re-look at Dulux colour selections again. We decided on a similar colour for the render, but decided to go a lighter colour on the moulding than we had originally chosen. Also, with the render we decided to just stay with the one colour all over.
So we are OK with it all now. Phew, thankfully that is pretty much sorted and dealt with.

Onto the issue of this week!

Whilst down at the house yesterday we discovered our kitchen cabinetry has been delivered! Yay I was so so so excited, so was Derek, but I am pretty sure I was way more excited than him!
So we get in to have a closer look at them. 
I am opening and closing drawers and cupboards, then realise that they aren't exactly what we thought they would be. They did not have the soft closing mechanism on them. WTF?
I could not believe it! We had specifically asked for this! We had had issues about it way back when, when we had had that little snot face colour chick telling us we had to do them at tender and she was not able to help us with it (which was complete BS according to our CSC).
This morning I get in bright and early to work to check through my contracts and variation on contract docs. Whaddya know? Its not bloody in there!!! WTF?
So I go through my emails back and forward with K and find that we had discussed it before our contract meeting and it was supposed to be put in our contract, it wasn't. Although, we are fairly sure that at our contract meeting we discussed it again, because I had printed off that email and we had gone through it at the appointment. 
Somewhere along the way it has fallen off the list and we all have missed it.
So this morning poor K has copped another call from me. Lets hope this one can be fixed and have a happy ending like the last one.
Again with the fingers crossed peeps...

On a brighter note, our stairs have been installed and so has some of the skirting boards and architrave's. The doors have also started to be hung, although  Dels aren't as well his theatre room that is! (Ha ha I could not help myself!) They have a great big gap in the middle, hopefully this will be fixed up. 

Anyway, I am off to try and not eat some chocolate and try not to think too much till I hear more..
House with scaff removed

From the front

Skirting and Architrave's


Del at the top of the stairs

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

and with the good, comes the bad

So I figure our build has been pretty awesome.. yeah it has.....that is until today.
It is not something completely bad, but it is something I am most definitely disappointed in.

Firstly though, lets go through the good things that have been happening and leave the bad things till last.

Since my last post quite a bit has been happening. 
Thursday-week ago Derek and I went down to look through the house again. It still looked pretty much the same as it had in my last post, but we had received the bill for the "lock-up" stage and we wanted to make any notes to talk to our SS about before we paid the bill. We had a look around and decided we would call our SS and arrange a walk through. Sweet.
Saturday lunchtime we were in the area so we decided to drive by again. To our surprise the house was a hive of activity! There were at least six guys going "hell for leather" putting up our plaster! 
We were shocked and amazed at the same time. The speed with which this was happening was a-maze-ing! In the 42 hours since our previous visit they had plastered the WHOLE house! Upstairs and downstairs! All 28 squares of it!
We were excited about it, but also a little disappointed that we had not had time to go on our walk through with the SS before the plastering was up.
The rooms are now definable and it looks BIG! We moved on from the disappointment of the plaster being up and just got plain old excited. The walls were in. The same walls that would now hold our memories, hear our whispers and see our joys and sadness's. That surely was something to to be pleased about.
Over the past week we have received our bi-fold doors to our alfresco area and the cornices have been installed, making each room look cleaner and more finished.

All in all happiness was all around us till yesterday, but more so this morning.
Yesterday, I received a call from the Construction Manager (our SS's boss). He left a message on my voicemail. I am thinking "Uh-Oh whats wrong"? As it turned out though it was not too scary-a phone call, our house was not going to fall down or anything to that effect. Mr. CM, we'll call him, was calling to let us know that our SS was leaving us and moving onto a new job in a higher role. Great for him! Not so great for us. We really liked him, as his boss called him, he was abit of a "gun" at his job. He has been a great guy and kept things really moving along with our build. He was not the greatest at calling and checking in, but whenever I called him he was open and honest and good at helping us to understand what the process was. So yes, we are sad about losing his hard working "gun" attitude, but we also wish him all the best in his next venture. So now for us, we are being looked after by Mr. CM. Being that he is the boss and sounds like a stand up guy on the phone, I have confidence that we will keep moving in the direction we have been going.
Now onto the disappointment of the day.
This morning we met with our SS, for the last time, to have a walk through and a chat about what is happening over the next while.
It was peachy keen for most of the visit. We asked questions and he answered them. 
We found that the stair builders are due in this week to put in our stair case, the scaffolding outside will be removed today or tomorrow, the front yard will be cleaned up and all the trash removed, the kitchen is being delivered over the next week or so and the guy who hangs all the doors will also be in. Our painter and tiler have both been booked, which is great because they are the guys our SS uses all the time and he tells us he has never had any issues with their work, very pleasing to hear that these are all pre-booked and come highly recommended.
We were talking about the brick cleaning on the second story and SS was telling us that had been done. So I asked the question, "how come the bricks around our bedroom window don't look like they have been cleaned?" "because they are due to be rendered" "ah, no I don't think so, only the portico and the lower story area around the study windows should be rendered"
"oh, well that is not what it says in your plans..."
Ok people, who wants to guess what is happening in my head right now???
A massive amount of swear words is what! 
So we get out our plans from his Ute, and he is right, according to the plans both sections are rendered! 
Way to dampen what was going so, so well. 
We discuss it for awhile with him. We tell him that we had to pick a colour for the moulding, which he tells us we do not have, although in the colour sheet it says there is moulding. We show him the picture of the facade we have chosen and paid for. I ask, can we just not render it? He says no we can't because the bricking is done differently under render. Boo. The end of the conversation is that we have to chase it up with our CSC and talk to her then let him know and he will make sure it will get fixed as much as he can before he finishes up on Thursday. So, I now need to find out; 
- have we paid for the moulding? If yes, lets get it put on. 
- Then can we change the colour of the second story render? If yes, great, but back to the colour wheel. If no, CRAP! I do not know what we are going to do. I don't think we want the whole front covered in "Congo Capture".
We paid for the "Ashmont" facade so you would imagine it would look like the picture you have picked it from, yes? I mean otherwise we would have chosen to render it all, right?
To make sense of what I am talking about see pic below:

As you can see, it will totally change the look of the house. Massive sad face. 
I am now waiting on a call from our CSC, so that we can discuss how to move forward from this and what will happen next.

On a brighter note, below are some photos of what the house looks like inside now. The part that we are currently happy with!
Looking from the Front Door through the house to the Theatre Room
The Kitchen area
Derek with Oscar and the view looking back towards the front door
The lounge
Our bi-fold doors, still yet to be stained

The bi-folds and you will notice the cornices are in
On this note I am going to sign off and sulk at my desk until our CSC calls me back and we can come up with a way to keep everyone, (somewhat) happy, fingers crossed.