Friday, 29 November 2013

More delays

I am now ranking this building process as being in the top 5 most distressing experiences I have been through in my life. Everytime we allow ourselves to feel a little bit relaxed or excited about our new house, some problem rears it's ugly head and those feelings get replaced with stress and anxiety. The thought of the house now just makes me cry and my husband doesn't want to discuss the house as he says he no longer cares about it.
Yesterday we found out we will have to wait approximately 2 months to get our old house demolished bringing us to January and a start date for the builders of at least February. It seems the rain has caused major backlogs for the demo company. Our builders were supposed to be organizing the demo and had told us the demolition would take place before Xmas. I rang the demo company and it was them who told me they couldn't do it for a while. The builder hadn't even spoken to them. Now the builder is telling us it might be quicker if we arrange our own demolition and if we can and they will credit us the cost. They should be trying to find another demo company, not me. Talk about leaving you high and dry.

The lease runs out on our rental in February and our new house probably won't have started. We found out after we signed the lease that our rental house is being demolished also so the owner probably won't renew the lease, despite the agent telling us before we signed that there would be no problem renewing. So looks like we will have to pack up and move again. We could have still been comfortably living in our old house all this time and saving thousands on rent.

Maybe I should have been happy with what I had instead of chasing the dream if bigger and better material possessions.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Final Documents and Construction Plans Received

On Friday we received our final documents after 8 working days, 2 days less than the expected 10 working days quoted to us by the builder. We were very surprised as we expected far more detailed drawings considering it takes Wisdom up to 10 days to prepare them, but they are the same drawings as those submitted with the DA, except they include any changes requested by council. Our only change was a privacy screen on a balcony. I guess it is because the process of initiating the final documents starts in the dreaded Estimating department, Wisdom's big black hole. I was really quite relieved they were the same drawings as it means less time is required to check them so we can get them back quickly. Now we are wondering if we get to see drawings that show the location of aircon ducts and vacuum system ducts, as we want to make sure we are happy with these. We have also requested extra noggins in some walls so we can mount tv's and want to check this also. I guess we will just have to check this all out during construction.

Our next big question is will we make our end of year tender expiry date. They should be on site approx 3 weeks from the day we sign and return the final documents. That would bring us into mid December and builders cease work for 1 month from the 20th December. It is possible, but leaves no room for any delays.  OMG the apprehension is killing me. I need to get busy with Christmas shopping to keep myself occupied.

And one more thing I need to vent about. Wisdom are still trying to charge us for an item that is unnecessary in the hydraulics design. Despite never laying eyes on my property, they keep telling me there is a gutter layback in the neighbour's gutter adjacent to our property that requires galvanised plumbing run behind it as part of the storm water system at a cost of $1200. We have told them over and over the layback doesn't exist but they continue to argue with me, so I have now taken a photo and will send it to them. The arrogance of the senior management in that company never ceases to amaze me. Thank god for our CSO who has been amazing otherwise we probably would have walked away ages ago.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Just when we thought our time in admin was nearly over.....

Got to stop having expectations about when things should be finalised. Then maybe the constant disappointments won't seem so bad.
This week we were expecting our final drawings for signing off, because we were advised by the builder  that we would have them 10 days after our DA approval. All we got was another list of charges that needed to be paid and advice that the construction certificate wasn't yet ready, after being told it would take a week. It wasn't ready because Wisdom's private certifier had a list of requirements that needed to be met before they would issue it. We did also get a list of final variations to sign off, and oddly enough the list included all the variations that we had already signed off, so not sure why we have to sign them twice. Of course there were mistakes, like a missing $4400 credit for tiled flooring that we weren't having.

These Certifier requirements included:

  2. AMENDED PLANS (final plans will take min. 10 days for Wisdom to draft and then they have to be mistake free so that we can sign off on them before they go to the certifier)

  • Vehicle crossing/driveway (Wisdom Homes responsibility, as Wisdom Landscapes will be producing the Driveway)
  • Security Deposit  ($1440.00) (Client responsibility). 
  • Infrastructure Fee ($166.50)  (Clients responsibility).
  • Enforcement Levy ($707.11) (Clients responsibility).
  •  Alignment Levels  (Wisdom Responsibility)
  •  Boundary Levels (Wisdom Responsibility) 
We were told we would have a slab down before Christmas. In fact we were told that we could have a slab 6 weeks after the DA was approved. It is now 3 weeks since DA approval and it will be another 2 weeks before final plans. Then they have to be checked and assuming there will be mistakes, will need to be amended (another 10 days???), than sent off to the certifier so he can complete construction certificate. Then our old house needs to be demolished. I think we will be lucky to have them on site before Christmas.

The time frames Wisdom give you are so unrealistic and that is where the frustration lies. If we were told the worst case scenario then it would come as a pleasant surprise when things were done sooner. We moved out of our old house which is being demolished and took a rental property based on their 6 week post DA time frame and it looks like we will end up wasting thousands of dollars in rent because we did not need to move out so soon.

We look back to the start of the building process and realise how naive we were, and constantly wonder if we have made the right decision in choosing Wisdom Homes, and also wonder how different our experience would have been if we had gone with our other chosen builder.  Wisdom dangled a carrot to get us to sign, which they later tried to take away, unsuccessfully I might add.