Thursday, May 31, 2007

What's up with the tradies??

OK .. so I'm about to have a bit of a rant and rave about tradies. if you are one, please don't take offence as in general, I love you all.

Quite a few times in the last week I have been amazed at the service that tradies don't give.

I give you example 1.

paling fence installed. looks great, however a billion little pieces of wood strewn across the backyard with quite a lot of rubbish (from the fence) on the block behind us. 7 days after it still hasn't been cleaned up, even after putting a call in to the fencing place asking them why they didn't clean up. Fortunately they stuffed up the gate (made it too small) so the guy they sent to fix it did the cleaning up (might I add, complaining about the previous guy while he did it).

Example 2.

Floor boards installed. Not a cheap exercise I can assure you. You will no doubt (hopefully) understand my fury when we checked his work and noted that he had indeed finished his work, however the floors were covered in dust, muddy foot prints and dust also all over our cleaned kitchen. Upon calling the installer I was mocked by the person on the other end, virtually asking why I would expect that they should have to clean up after they have installed it. Can you believe that??!!! I was most unhappy and fortunately the better half but a rocket up their backside, and made it very clear that we would not be happy (read: you will not be paid) until the floor was cleaned. Was it too much to ask to have a freshly cleaned floor after installation? Perhaps .. I don't really know as I've never built before but logic tells me that you present a quality product to ensure a happy customer who will pay your bill.

Example 3 (not really a tradie problem but an annoyance factor with PD).

I'm pretty positive PD would be making a sizeable profit on the building of our house. Again, while not being a builder or a person that owns a business, I still think that maybe it's the little things that keep a customer happy. Like providing light globes in the 5 rooms that have batten lights!! What's up with that??!!! We have a zillion downlights ... all of which have been provided with a globe so that we can see at night. The very few rooms that have battens (ready for something lovely to go in there) are not provided with globes. How much is a globe do you reckon .... $1 each? Blimey charley .... maybe I'm just expecting too much.

Anyway ... anyhoo ...or any bloody way you want .......will be glad to get home and have an ale or three. Not having a good day as you have probably figured out.

Monday, May 28, 2007

My painting arm is hurting

Last Friday and the weekend were spent painting the feature walls, digging the trench for the telstra cables and installing the letterbox.

We are really thrilled with how the feature wall colours have come out. Very bold .. some very very bright (Sarah's room) but we love all of the colours we went with.

Today's visit (or should I say tonight) found that over 50% of the timber floors had been laid. I'm a bit speechless because I am ecstatic with how it is all coming together. Can't wait to see the carpet go in and it gets cleaned up. It's almost a shame to put our old furniture in there!!

Only 4 days to go and it's moving in day.... bloody hell, better get off the net and finish the packing!!

P.S. The tile for the bath was finally replaced!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

It's ours!

Well it's official. The Australian dream is ours!!

At approximtely 12:00pm yesterday afternoon we met with one of the administrator's at the PD office (Megan, who we had been dealing with the whole time is currently in Kenya - PD built an orphanage in Kenya and apparently once a year 2 employees are chosen to fly over there for 2 weeks. Pretty awesome hey).

Anyway, met with Belinda (not quite as friendly as Megan) who asked us to sit down and straight away asked for the final cheque!! Sat for another 10 minutes or so while she disappeared and we had to complete a customer satisfaction form. Finally she came back (felt like she was gone for hours) and she had a whole load of paperwork with her, envelopes of keys and a little 'congratulations' pack of towels and bathroom ceramic stuff (toothbrush holder etc.)

The handover process took no more than 20 minutes and then we were off to the house!!

We spent the afternoon painting the undercoat on the feature walls and I will head back down there today to keep going. John had to go to work to earn some money!!

I feel like such a goof when I'm at the house .. I just walk around smiling, looking at everything, opening doors ... just so proud of our creation.

Don't know where the camera is right now so I'll update photos when I can find it. The current house looks like a bomb has hit it as we really get stuck into packing up.

Mood: Poor but happy :-))

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The fence is up

Well today was my last day at work. It was probably the alcohol but I felt a bit teary when I was leaving. It's been great working there and I will miss everybody.. but as they say .. onward and upward!!

Anyway .... onto the house.

This afternoon dropped by to see that the fence was up!! Bloody unbelievable. I'm told that I shouldn't have been surprised that it was done in 2 days but I reckon that putting all of those bits of wood together would have taken me an eternity! well, maybe not an eternity but certainly longer than 2 days.

The backyard seems a lot bigger than I expected it to be. Yes it's quite small comparing it to other back yards but pleased that it is a bit bigger thanI imagined it.

There are a few gaps under the fence that we will need to deal with otherwise the escapee hounds will be running amok on the estate.

Key collection is tomorrow (time TBD) ....

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

2 days to go

I can't believe that at this time in 48 hours we will have the keys to our brand new home (and most probably already be a little bit drunk!!).

We had the pre-hand over inspection yesterday which went pretty well. Main disappointment was some wanker (or wankers) had broken in, punched a hole in the plaster and cut the plumbing pipes. It's beyond me why people have to do this. It was pointless getting upset about it or getting angry because the damage had been done so me getting worked up would only cause me grief, nobody else.

Anyway, Peter was great about it all and got straight onto the relevant people that needed to fix it all up and while he was disappointed as well, he wasn't overly worried about it. Apparently worst things have happened and he is no longer surprised at what people do on building sites. He just can't figure people out either!! Recently he has had somebody try to take out a whole kitchen ... yes ... a kitchen ..... and he fixed it up and they came back for a second shot!!!!

Other than that, we were really happy with it all. A few paint touch ups here and there and some brick work to be fixed but nothing major. It certainly won't effect picking up the keys on Thursday!!!

The fencing guy was there also yesterday and had started to dig the holes for the posts. The rain clouds must have scared him away because he left the site and didn't return!! Hopefully he's back there today.

So apart from the issue of the knob-heads, we are still unbelievably excited about our house. Can't wait to move in and start enjoying it and having friends and loved ones over to show of our little creation.

Photos will be posted after hand over on Thursday!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Too much time on my hands

This is what happens when you resign and have to wait out 4 weeks of your notice period. The mind wanders and the google search engine is in full swing!!

I have spent the morning playing around with landscaping ideas for the front garden.

You may or may not notice but the portico colour is changed.. Woo hoo .... unfortunately not in real life, but as this is an 'artist's impression' only, I figured I may as well use what somebody had done for me in the way of colour for the front.

I'll keep this very bad impression up here until we really do the front garden .... will be good to see how completely unlike the planning it will be!!!!

Bad news on the inspection front ... John just rang to say that inspection date has been moved from Thursday to next Monday. Apparently there are some plaster issues that he wants to sort out before we go through. Although I am disappointed, I'd rather him be fussy about this stuff and get it fixed. Allegedly hand over date hasn't changed!! We'll see!

Monday, May 14, 2007

It's so close .. but so much to do

Saturday morning visit to the house showed that an inspection had been done (by somebody??!!) and there were little post it notes around the place indicating where things needed to be fixed.

As you can see our front toilet and temporary fencing has been removed, and the site has been cleared. They have done a great job and the back yard is virtually flat now. Still a little bit of a rise where the patio area is but that won't be a huge problem we don't think. They even gave us some little 'temporary steps' made of broken bricks and mud!! Love those builders.

Inside where the inspector had been we noted that some were things that we already knew about ... others we hadn't even picked up on so we were pretty pleased that the mystery inspector had done a good job. Although there was a couple of things we noticed that he/she hadn't picked up on but we'll make sure they are pointed out on Thursday.

Most things look like they are easily fixed with a clean (the house is still revoltingly dirty) but others are a little trickier like the bit in the ensuite (pictured above) and we did also notice that there is a tiny chip in the ensuite shower door.

They mystery of the missing tile in the bath is yet to be solved. The tiler has finished all grouting etc. but for some reason hasn't put one tile in the side of the bath... perhaps his idea of a feature however we would like it fixed at some stage! We just have to assume that it will be done prior to 10:00am on Thursday!!

The house will still look a little bare when we take possession on the 24th as the appliances and water tank will not be installed until the day we move in. I'm also assuming that the fly screens are installed when we move in as well.

Last night after I dropped Sarah home, I did a quick scan of the house again and as I was getting ready to leave some of our neighbours from around the corner walked past. Stopped and talked to them for about half hour. Lovely people with 3 little boys (who look like they would be a handful) but they were very cute. Typical little boys wanting to explore the building sites. They aren't technically neighbours but we can see their house so I'm happy to call them neighbours :-)). We also met the owner of the house 2 doors up from us (building with Metricon). Young guy building with his girlfriend. John asked about his car and of course I tuned out until I heard 'turbo' and 'hotted up'. I really did show my age when I said to John after "I hope him and his friends don't hoon around the streets at all hours of the night!!!". God I'm getting old.

So all in all (other than portico colour) we love our little house. There is so much cleaning to be done prior to Thursday that I'm not sure how they will get it done, but as we have found out throughout this whole building process, things happen that we just shouldn't question.

Next post: Thursday

P.S. Oh - I found some very reasonably priced taps on Saturday while John was sailing so I figure that I'll just start putting a bit of money aside each week and will be able to buy them over the next couple of months. What John doesn't know won't hurt him ... oh .... hello dear, didn't see you there :-)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

How am I supposed to clean that?

Mid week trip to the house revealed the following work has been completed:

- mirrors in bathrooms
- garage door installed

The tiler has also been back and looks as if he has almost finished. Still needs to fit in the tile that is missing from the bath and put the silicone (or whatever it is) around the vanity and down the edges of the shower.

The mirror in the ensuite is huge! I know we are big people but that is just ridiculous. It goes all the way to the ceiling so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to clean it. Guess I'd better invest in one of those extended poles like the window cleaning people have.

Peeking in next door neighbour's window I also noticed that they have had their carpet and floors done. It's amazing how different a place looks when the floors are in and you don't have to look at grey concrete. It looks really great and they should be pleased with the result.

Told you I could ramble on before the 17th ....

Monday, May 07, 2007

"Dad the builder" la la la la la la la la

Can he check it ... YES HE CAN .......

Sunday morning we met the elderly's (aka Dad & Liz) for breakfast then took a drive to the house. Liz hadn't seen it at all and the last time Dad saw it was before the plaster went up.

Dad was a builder for about 30 years and he's one of those 'old school' builders that has to have everything perfect. He quite often rants and raves about these 'young blokes' that cut corners on building sites and don't do things properly.

Anyway - we were very keen to get him down to have a look before the walk through on the 17th. That way we would know just what we could and couldn't complain about.

It appears that our love for Peter & his band of merry men has not been without reason. HUGE sigh of relief. Dad went through and checked that all the cornices were straight .. inspected paint work and the brickwork. A huge thumbs up from Dad - you have no idea how pleased John and I are. From our point of view we always thought they were doing a good job, but it's nice to hear it from somebody that actually knows what they are talking about.

We even got a big tick from Liz (ex interior designer with a touch of snobbiness) on the bathroom and the kitchen. It kills her that the location is so 'bogan' but too bad. Most of our neighbours seem great and I'm positive we are going to love living there.

Still a bit disappointed with the tiler who hasn't been back to finish off but I guess he's got another 10 days before we need to panic.

Start my new job on 28 May (after a weekend of painting) and move the following weekend. Talk about bad timing!!

I can't imagine there will be much to update until the 17th May when we do the walk through but I'm sure I could waffle on about something.

Catch ya' soon :-)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Not a well thought through plan!

OK ... so my plan re taps hasn't really paid off!

Let me take you back to the tender process (almost a year ago now!). Meeting with Hopetoun Interiors going smoothly. All of our pre-work had paid off and we knew pretty much what we wanted on most things.

The question of taps is raised .... the range is hideous. Even the upgrades were ugly. So in my wisdom (word used very loosely) I went for the cheap taps, knowing that I would upgrade them when we moved in.

Have you ever priced a tap? It's insane. Absolutely insane. Almost have to get an extension on the mortgage just to get some good looking taps.

So my plan to have ugly taps for only a short period of time has not really paid off and it appears that I will have to put up with them for quite a while yet.

* Heavy sigh *