Monday, 23 June 2014

Private Progress Inspection

On Monday 16th June we had a pre-internal linings progress inspection. Only minor things were found but we still feel the inspection was worthwhile as they are things that could have caused some annoying problems later if they were not fixed. Our inspector also checked that all previous problems from his first inspection were fixed. Below is a list if issues found.

  • Minor additional noggins are required to the timber framework.
  • Minor cleaning out is required of the base of the cavities, mainly to the front wall.
  • Minor general moving away from the brickwork is required of the cavity flashings mainly to part of the first floor level as the existing can allow water to flow down the backside of the flashing.
Since my last post the lower bricks have been cleaned, electrical rough in installed, ducted vacuum rough in installed, cladding installed and painted and insulation installed.

The insulation installation was a bit haphazard and my husband and I fixed a few areas they had missed in the walls downstairs . In the roof space they install it in the eaves area before the gyprock is installed and then they come back later and finish it in the rest of the roof space by climbing through the manhole. They leave the bags of batts in the roof space ready for when they come back to complete the job. We found loads of areas where there were no batts installed in the eaves, and there will be no way they will be able to access those areas once the gyprock is on. So we let our SS know and have taken many photos as evidence in case it is never installed.

Gyprocking was supposed to commence today but didn’t. Our SS said they have a 10 day timeframe in which to complete the job, even though it usually only takes them a couple of days.

Lower eaves should be done on the 24th June, stairs installed on the 3rd July and lockup on the 4th July.

We visited the HIA Homeshow over the weekend looking for inspiration. Didn’t find too much there as most of the companies on display we have already found on the internet so nothing new. We did get to see the Sanden heat pump hot water system that we plan to install after handover on display and were very impressed with how quiet it runs and the low running costs in comparison to alternative hot water systems. 

Cladding installed and painted

Insulation in walls

An example of missing insulation in eaves

Monday, 9 June 2014

Lower Roof and Aircon Ducting Complete

So this week our aircon ducting was installed. We had arranged to meet the contractors on site on Tuesday to discuss where we wanted the outlet vents. When we got there they told us they couldn't use some of the service risers, that were on our plans and built as part of the framing, to run the ducting to the downstairs ceiling because they were in unsuitable locations, such as on the wrong side of a joist. So instead of a quick walk through to point out vent locations, we instead spent 2 hours trying to figure out how to run the ducting downstairs so we could still have all the zones downstairs that we had paid for. Apparently when you change the floor plans of the house, they don't send Ultra Air a copy of the adjusted frame plan so they can advise the best location for the service risers for the aircon. Why would they? That would just be too much common sense. Should have charged Wisdom an hourly rate for our consulting services. Anyway we figured it out and decided to remove a vent from downstairs and move a service riser from the upstairs linen to a corner in the master bedroom. That means my upstairs linen cupboard is now bigger and my son's WIR is also bigger which is a plus. The next day the head installer from Ultra Air met with my husband on site and made some further improvements to the way ducting was run.

The lower roof was also completed so we are hoping now that the slab might actually be able to dry out as it has been constantly wet in the living room area where it is not level since it was laid. Not sure if that is bad for the concrete, but one of the steel support posts has started to rust at the bottom because it has been constantly sitting in water. The base of the timber frame for the walls in that area have also been sitting in the water so they will need to dry out before gyprocking.

We also have some major ponding around the front corner of the garage since the rain started last week. It has gone from about 1 foot deep before the rain to about 2 feet deep by Saturday. Will need to check it again tomorrow to see if it has risen any higher. We have a H class slab, which means highly reactive soil, so we are really worried about the fact that soil on this side of the house is so wet and has been that way since the slab was poured. It must be exerting pressure upwards on the slab as it is saturated, and the piers won't have nice firm soil holding them in place because it is all just slush at the moment. Having that much water next to the foundations goes against all advice in the CSIRO guidelines for slab maintenance.

Facade with lower roof complete and majority of scaffolding gone

Aircon Spaghetti Junction

Aircon Intake Upstairs

Aircon indoor unit suspended from rafters

Flooding in front of the garage

Flooding at side of garage

Living room floor hasn't been dry since slab was laid

Bottom of steel support post rusting due to constantly being wet

Timber at bottom of frame is soaked

Monday, 2 June 2014

Wisdom Woes

I am not sure whether my husband and I are just fussier than most and as a result have unrealistic expectations of the quality of our build. Everytime a stage is completed during the build we get all excited and hope that this time it will be done without any stress causing issues. Then we are always brought back down to earth with a thud and are left speechless at the carelessness of the tradies when performing their work.

Our upper bricks were cleaned  last week and there appears to be not only some damage from the cleaning process, but also some poor quality mortar. We can see daylight from the inside of the house when looking at some of the brick walls because the mortar has shrunk so much it is not even attached to the brick any more. There are also lots of cracks in the mortar. We got to have a look and film the problem areas before the scaffolding came down. After reading the BCA section on mortar we are pretty sure we have sections that are defective. We have our private appraiser doing a pre-internal linings check on the 16th so we will get him to do a mortar test as well. Another thing to add to the ever growing list of fixes required.

We also got told last week that we could not have the feature steps that we signed off on and paid for, because they will not fit in our entrance way since we have the wider front door. The door will not be able to open if we have the feature platform step as on display in the Impression at Gregory Hills. So I have had to settle for a normal width but wrap around bottom step instead. Disappointing, but I don't see it as a major problem when we still have some structural issues unresolved with the frame. Come on Wisdom get your act together!

Facade with cleaned upper bricks

Mortar damage top of front pillars

Mortar damage in wall

Can see light through mortar from inside of house. This occurs in lot places. 

Cracked mortar in window sill

Chip  in mortar

More chips and shrinkage

Stacker door not sitting straight in frame causing big gap at the top.

Flooding down side of the house. This has been permanently like this since the plumber laid the pipes, despite no rain for weeks. It is about 1 foot deep but at it's worst was almost to the top of the slab (about 2ft deep). Hope it doesn't cause slab heave.

Cavity under water tank rough in. Plumbing was supposed to run beside the slab according to the plans but plumber went underneath after slab was laid. SS claims plumbing was laid before slab but we have photos of the pouring of the slab and there was was no plumbing there. We want to know if slab strength has been compromised by excavating underneath it as it has to hold a very heavy water tank.

Brick overhang from underneath.