I know it has been ages since I last posted, but there has been a lot going on. We are in the middle of trying to get our warranty items attended to. We have had several problems with the plumbing and I am starting to wonder if they will ever be resolved. We had our warranty inspection and it all went well (apart from the fact that some of the things I mentioned weren't written down and therefore not listed and attended too). A word of advice, have a detailed list with you and check it against the builder's list. If they pressure you to sign off that the jobs have been completed, then make sure you take your time and check that they have...
The faults with the paint and plaster were sorted out straight away and we are pleased with the results (it is a pity it needed doing in the first place, but the end result is all good).
Our spa is still faulty. It only works about 70- 80% of the time and we have basically stopped using it. Pretty disappointing as this was one of the main features of the house that we loved when were were deciding what to build. The plumber said the motor would have to be replaced. So who organises and pays for that?
Our powder room still stinks like a sewer about half the time, and not at all the other half. Unfortunately the day the plumber came it didn't smell, so the response I got today was "I believe the plumber has been to your home & done what they could."
I am really worried about the plumbing job throughout the house... there has been problem after problem and there is still water accumulating at the base of the downpipe out the back door. There was an external drain where they had just inserted 90mm pipe into a piece of 100mm pipe and just left it resting there.
Generally everything has been attended to and resolved without delay and I can't fault that... but I feel that these last few issues are going to cause us some grief.
My next post will be cheerier, I promise. I will put up some lovely photos!!
We have been busy shopping for lights, planning our landscaping and trying to organise someone to build our fence. The landscaping guy has taken ages to build his retaining walls (for the path and driveway) and blames a lack of materials... grrr
We have been getting our lighting and audio/visual stuff done for the last week or two and I will be VERY happy when that is finished! At the moment, it is driving me to the drink.
I'm getting frustrated with Carlisle now. I rang a week ago about the spa not working. We tried it again on the weekend, just in case it was working, and no bubbles! I emailed them early this week and have heard nothing. I just hope we don't have to wait until the end of our warranty period to get it fixed. That's not on! The gas cooker is playing up too. 3/4 of the time it lights fine, but the rest of the time I can't get any of the burners to light. I have to leave it for 5 mins and then when I try again it usually works. The plumber called me about this, I explained the problem, and haven't heard anything since.
Yesterday, when I had my shower I had the mixer turned completely to hot and my shower was just warm... not happy!
The guy doing our lights reckons the electrician who did the house did a lousy job. According to him it was done on the cheap and probably by apprentices.... Not really what I want to hear, and I just hope it's his extremely high standard of work that he is comparing it to... ha ha.... Even the people employed by Carlisle have told me that aspects of the job aren't done as well as they should be... GREAT!
Apparently they are coming to fix the bifolds today (they were put on around the wrong way). That will be great, it's been a pain having them around the wrong way.
Yes, I am annoyed... Yes, I am frustrated... Yes, I still love the house, it's great. I just want to get things fixed and working properly.
We have been in our house for almost 2 weeks now and I am so pleased with the way Carlisle have dealt with all of our issues (except the driveway, see below). I have heard so many stories from people about how once that final cheque is handed over, then you can't get them to do anything... but that couldn't be further from the truth with these people... they really have been wonderful.
Things are coming along. We have several quotes for the electrical work (ouch) and we have bought a... fitting lots of eco downlights and pendants, as well as the audio-visual stuff. The curtains have been ordered and will be here in 2-3 weeks hopefully. We are still fenceless, but hopefully that will be done in the next few weeks. They have excavated along the side for the path and retaining wall and have started on the driveway. The driveway has caused us a bit of stress because the builder, or builder's plumber have put a pipe right through where the driveway would obviously go, and very close to the surface. Our landscaper has crashed into it and its broken. It should not have been there in the first place. If the builder had been responsible for building the driveway, they would have put it somewhere else. Now we have to pay to have it moved and we aren't too happy about that.
We have been in the new house for nearly a week now and we are starting to feel a little settled. The house has a great feel to it... the layout is fantastic and it really works for us. We are grateful that they managed to get everything finished so that we could move in before our lease expired, but there are so many things that need fixing or things that have just been done poorly (paining mainly) and probably won't get fixed. It's been a week and we still don't have heating/cooling. For the most part, that doesn't matter, but when I'm up at 4am with the kids and it's freezing cold, it does matter. We were told late last week that we need to call them to arrange for them to come out and set it up for us, and then when I called they said they couldn't come for a week. It would have been nice to have been told this before we moved in so that we could arrange for it to be done when we moved in. The bifold doors are on the wrong way around. The single door part is mostly behind our bench, so luckily we are thin enough to fit through the tiny gap. We found this out a couple of days before handover. The guys working here at the time said it would be fixed. When the window person came out on Saturday to fit the fly screens he said he had heard nothing about it and he couldn't fix it. He said it was a major job. He also said that they'd done a poor job fitting the windows. 4 locks were broken already... I hope they fix the bifolds soon.
We aren't happy with the plumbing. It takes forever to get any hot water and I feel guilty whenever I turn on the hot tap. I am going to have to get buckets for all the sinks, showers etc. According to the guy doing our landscaping they have put a pipe in a really, really stupid place which stops us putting in a driveway... genius. Anyway, we have to pay to get that moved and we are annoyed to say the least!
I know I'm having a whinge, but its so disappointing to get to this point and have things not to the standard we would expect. When I came to the house for handover, I actually asked if it had been cleaned (it had apparently). It was absolutely disgusting, and that's putting it politely. I will be too embarrassed to have people come and visit until I can get things cleaned up a bit. The few family members that have been love the house, but can't get over the state it was in when we got it.... and then there's the apparent site clean.... again, how disappointing! I could tell you what the builders have been eating/drinking for the last few weeks and what brand of ciggies they smoke. There's wire, tiles mounds of concrete etc everywhere... needless to say, the kids won't be going out to play until it's cleaned up.
A few more things... the light in the powder room doesn't work. We bought a new globe, still doesn't work. There are no handles on the wardrobe in the guest room and the door on the powder room can't be unlocked from inside. They have dropped off a replacement, but it looks different to all the other door handles throughout the house! The painting is terrible. There's one bit where they have tried to cover up a mark on the wall and it looks worse! In our ensuite there are little holes all over the wall in the paint. Oh and I saw a spark from one of the powerpoints.
The CLE has been fantastic, calling to make sure everything is ok, and sounding willing to fix the things that aren't right. I know we should have picked up a lot of these things when we had our walk through appointment, but we never really had it, and that's partly our doing.
On a more positive note, a guy turned up this morning around 6.45 am to fix the missing silicone in the showers, so at least we can have a shower now without damaging the walls!! Well in 24 hours from now, because that's how long it will take to dry! He didn't fix the problem with the silicone above the splashback, because he couldn't tell if it was deliberately left that way or not... he did agree that it looked shocking though!
I think once a few of these problems get sorted out, I will be feeling a lot more positive about things and I will post some photos then. It really is a beautiful house and I just want it to be perfect!
We picked up our keys this morning and we're in!! I think we had the World's worst removalists and only have half our stuff here... hopefully we will get the rest tomorrow. House is fantastic, albeit it filthy inside and out... but WE ARE IN!!
So much for painting over the weekend. We have postponed our painters until Easter which is a pity. We are busy packing at the moment and awaiting the removalists tomorrow morning. I think things could be a bit messy if we get delayed again!!
We went past the house on Saturday arvo, and someone had left it unlocked! Luckily no one got in and trashed the place... unlikely I know, but not really a risk I want taken at this stage. Yesterday when we went past there was someone there painting.... the facade looks fantastic now (see below). We had a nice walk around the block and got a real feel for the place. Gee we have a lot of hard work ahead of us! If only we could find someone to do the fences, it would be a good start.
The view from the back corner:
From the street:
I have been trying to organise quotes for the curtains. Someone from Kresta came out about a week and a half ago, and I still don't have a quote from them.. on the other hand, someone from Vista came out on Thursday came out and we got a quote the next day..... it's a no brainer really. Kresta are obviously too busy and don't need our business. I'm not sold on Vista though, they really don't have much of a range. So, it will be sheets up for a while for us while we investigate a few more options.
Having received the bad news phone call last Thursday, I had started to make arrangements for the next few weeks... begging our real estate for an extension of our lease, possible kenneling for the animals, storage for our stuff etc.... but then yesterday, out of the blue I received a phone call that would change everything! "So you are going to settle on Friday?' or words to that effect. To which I replied *laugh* "ha ha, I wish, no we're meeting for our formal walk through appointment on Friday". Then she said " oh well your site supervisor is around there today and he thinks that everything will be done by Friday, you can go and meet him there at 12 if you like" I did everything I could to not get too excited in case there was a mistake. When we got to the house there were cars and people everywhere. Stuff had been done, stuff was being done! Sure enough, with a couple of people working flat out for a week or so, every thing has been finished off and we will be settling on Friday! I'm still trying to get my head around things, and I am so pleased that they managed to get all of their workers on site for a very busy week to get everything finished off for us so we don't have to be homeless!! I know they have a lot of other homes that are very nearly finished too, so its awesome that we got to get ours finished straight away. When our site supervisor said he'd do everything he could to get us in before the long weekend, he certainly meant it and we are most thankful. So hopefully, if everything goes to plan, we will sign the papers and pick up the keys on Friday. Mum arrives on Saturday to help with the move. We have arranged family to come up to paint the feature walls over the long weekend, and removalists on Tuesday. This time next week, we should be waking up after the first night in our wonderful new home!
I haven't written for a while, because to be honest, not a lot has been happening. Two weeks ago we came up with a list of items, that would supposedly take a week or so to fix and make things much faster come out walk through appointment. So tomorrow is supposed to be our walk through appointment. Even though not a lot has been happening, I have given them the benefit of the doubt, because in theory they have until the appointment to get the house ready to present to us. Anyway, I just had a phone call saying that it will be another week before our walk-through presentation (and up to two weeks after that before we move in)....
I was told that this appointment was originally booked for 11th Feb, so adding two weeks onto that for touch-ups etc takes us to about now... I added on another week for things going wrong/ delays etc and stupidly assumed we'd be moving around the Labor Day weekend. Mum's taken a week off work to help with the move. I've booked her flights. Got furniture on order to be delivered (no sorry, we can't store it here.....) and plus removalists, cleaners etc.
That's the least of our worries really... our lease is up in 2 weeks time. So now I am considering packing up, putting things in storage and staying in a hotel for a week, or possibly with family on the other side of the state. Right now that seems to be the best option because I am so upset about it that i don't even want to see the house... I don't want to drive past every day as I have been and see that there is nobody there.
Of course they are very apologetic and the site supervisor said that I have no idea how bad he feels about it. Well I am sorry if I have made him feel bad, but we are the paying clients that are waiting for a job that keeps dragging on and on. It's his job to manage the project and deal with the shit when things go wrong. It's great that they care so much about quality control, but I'd like to see people there doing something about it, rather than just talking about it.
I haven't been sleeping because I have been so worried and now I just feel sick thinking about the house. Up to this point everything has been wonderful. It's turning into a nightmare.
I guess what happens in the next 2-3 weeks and how this situation is handled will determine whether or not I recommend Carlisle to my friends who are looking at building.
I went past yesterday and saw what I had been waiting for... the liquid copper doors! They didn't look all that metallic, but it was nearly dark. I can imagine in the daylight they'd be stunning!
They have also started boarding up some of the facade for render. The facade is taking sooooo long, but I think they are doing a very thorough job. The tiles for the large pillar have arrived, but I think this is another 'last minute' job because they don't want them to get damaged.
They also painted the meter box and the al-fresco beam. It looks totally revolting. I hope and trust there will be another coat.... I am sure there will be. It's true the colour matches one of our main render colours on the facade, but they looked so much better with just the timber stain. Then we could have matched our decking timber to that colour and it would have looked lovely. I am fairly sure that there was no option in our colour selection to say how we wanted them and we over looked it and they went with their standard idea. Oh well.
We had our first walk-through with our site supervisor on Friday and I am so pleased to say that hardly anything needs fixing! They really have done a sensational job. A few doors need resetting, paint needs touching up, they need to add a row of tiles to the bathroom and ensuite, fix the render and add a couple of powerpoints that were missed. Most of these things won't take long at all. The facade also needs to be finished (which is taking a very long time, but it is a lot of work) and the last minute things (roller door, cooker etc) need to so in/ on.
We went shopping yesterday as this will probably be the last free weekend we have without packing, moving etc. We bought all of our bathroom, ensuite and powder room accessories. We also got a heated towel rail for our bathroom and the lights for above the bench in the kitchen.
While all of this is very exciting, I now have a very, very long list of things that we still really need to get fairly soon. Paint for feature walls, door mats, all the other light fittings, curtains etc... then there's the big things like the driveway, garden paths, water tanks, garden irrigation, lawn and the fences.
We have our walk through appointment tomorrow, but I couldn't resist going past today and having a look! Hopefully tomorrow we will have a completion date. We are hoping for 2 weeks. We have been getting quotes for the driveway and paths and will get some for the fencing in the next few days. We need to organise insurance, removalists etc... the start packing!
The carpets went down today. I'm a bit disappointed with them. They are a bit lighter than we though and they were supposed to have reddish tinge to them, but don't seem to. They look a bit cheap and nasty too, but its our fault because we chose not to upgrade and went with the basic ones.... at the time it seemed sensible given we have very young children and pets. We will look at replacing them in 10 years or so....
The mirrored doors have gone onto the wardrobes in our room. They look great. The shower fittings have been added, as have the mirrors in the 3 bathrooms.
The kitchen is looking pretty fab. The splashback went in today too. I like the silver colour, but I wish it were a slightly darker, and more bold. It goes well with the cupboard handles though. They have put the downlights into the cupboards. I think it will look stunning in the evenings.
We went shopping today and bought our dining table and chairs and matching coffee table. This is a picture from the website. Ours is a bit different. For starters its a bit bigger 2.4 x 1.2m and comes with 8 chairs (you can seat 12 if you squish in... bring on the dinner parties!). We have an orange and gold thread through the fabric and will look stunning with the copper cupboards in the kitchen. I got a great prices on the dining/ coffee combo... saved about $1500... weeeee!!
We ordered our sofa a few weeks back and will also look for some large copper coloured cushions to go on it. It is soooooo comfy!
The coffee table matches the dinner table and has a drawer where we can store remotes etc.
We returned from holidays yesterday to see that they have started on the facade and also cleaned up the site considerably. It looks so different! We are still waiting for the coloured render under the bedroom windows and also to finish the al-fresco area off. I have a feeling that the render colour they have used in there is incorrect and it still needs to wrap around the corner on one side. I am not sure how they managed to leave that out when they did the first coat! The door handles have also been placed, as have the shower screens. The windows have been cleaned and the marks on the walls have been highlighted with stickers ready for re-painting. There are still a lot of little things to do, which apparently have to wait until the last minute. I think we are getting close to the last minute, so they should be done in the next week or so. We have our walk-through appointment towards the end of next week, I believe.
Over the long weekend, our very dear family came out to stay and they built our retaining walls. They look amazing!! We are so pleased and grateful to them for all their help and hard work (in very hot, dusty conditions too!).
We will probably add another row of sleepers... silly me didn't order enough. I ordered them from a sawmill in Epping (which I found on ebay). They only cost $16 each for 2.4m x 75mm thick ones, a pretty good price, methinks!
I can't wait to lay the drainage and fill them with dirt, lay the irrigation and put in lots of beautiful plants... it will be stunning!
It's funny... sometimes I think there is nothing much happening with the house. I drive past and there is no one there. It's a bit frustrating given the fact that we get evicted in just under two months! However, yesterday I spoke to our supervisor and I felt good again! He said that we are getting very close to the end. He even gave me a date for our walk-through with them... 11th Feb!! I couldn't believe it... to me there still seems so much to do. So, I went to have a look tonight, and this is what I saw:
OK, this makes me cross. The controls for the heating/ cooling are in the most ridiculous spot. Here is a nice niche in the wall for our book case, and they go and put the controls right in the middle. In the display home they are over the air vent in the hall near the bathroom... much more sensible and far less unsightly. There is nothing on our electrical plan saying where the controls go, so I am not sure if we have grounds to complain... but if you look at the display home, which is supposed to be the same unless stated otherwise......
So I will ask tomorrow if it can be moved. If it can, then good on Carlisle, great customer service... if it can't, I will be very disappointed, but accepting.
They have taken down the top row of cupboards so they wouldn't be damaged when the forgotten bulkhead went in (thanks again for pointing that out Andrew). The afterthought bulkhead went in a day or two ago... big improvement! Beneath the cupboards you can see where the downlights above the bench will go... and if you look down further you will see....
THE CAESARSTONE BENCHTOPS!!
Aren't they bewdiful??
Our en-suite is pretty much finished too... I can't wait for the bath to go in, but that's won't be 'til the end. It doesn't look as big as I remember it though.
And today they started finishing off the facade. You can see the start of the pergola here. I can't wait until they get the liquid copper paint on the front doors!!
Anyway, that's it for today. It's been a bitch of a day, and I don't feel like writing at all.
Hopefully there will be more to post after the weekend. We're having a bit of a working bee in the backyard, so that should be productive!
Today the feature tiles went into our shower (laid the correct way!). It's hard to see them here, but they are a really nice tile, browny colour with light grey pattern in them. I must remember to take a close up photo.
They have also added the grout to the floor tiles. I can't wait until they are cleaned so we can see what they are like! This is standing in the hall looking back at the kitchen. It's about 8pm, so there is a lot of evening sun coming in.
It took me a little while to notice everything that had been done today, but look what I found!! How exciting! For someone like me who is unable to tolerate the cold, this was a welcomed surprise!
The little problems mentioned in the last post have been rectified already... impressive!
This is how the tiles in the guest bathroom shower should look. They have also tiled the surround for the bath and relaid the tile above the vanity the correct way (horizontally):
They're finally back at work after the Christmas break. It really dragged for us because we are so keen to get into our new house. Adding to the anxiety, the house we are renting sold last week. After being assured that we'd get 90 days, we got a letter yesterday saying it was only 60. Honestly, after what we've been through, I'd never get Stockdale and Leggo to sell my house!
Anyway, back to far more exciting things!!
The tilers have been very busy. The floor tiles are down now. We decided that we would leave the tiles in the hall way, as that area would get a lot of foot traffic and it would show wear in no time. They have also started tiling the laundry (below and bathrooms).
The tilers have made a big mistake here. The feature tile, you may agree, looks ridiculous! It was supposed to be laid vertically. From what the site supervisor said they seems to find horizontal and vertical a bit confusing! Anyway, I am sure it has been fixed by now! They also laid the feature tile about the vanity vertically... and wait for it, they cut them in half so they would be the right height!! How funny! That will be fixed too.
The following pics are tiny, but they show the awesome work our excavating guy did over the break. You may remember from previous posts that we had a pretty revolting site cut... well not any more folks!! The redgum sleepers for the retaining wall will go in over the Australia Day long weekend. It is going to look amazing!!
A flat part of the backyard. Now we just have to chose an appropriate laws seed and get it all nice and lush for the kids to play on... easier said than done, I'm sure!!
So, it looks like things are well underway again. I hope we will be in sometime in Feb. They have to fix the kitchen where the plasterer has omitted the bulkhead above the cupboards for some reason. Thanks for pointing that out Andrew!! Sometimes I wonder if they read the plans at all!!
The baths have arrived. The carpet goes in just after Australia Day and then its just the appliances to go in, some electrical and plumbing work. I think that's it, but it's probably not!!