Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Pool

More Pictures and Plants to follow.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Time For An Update.

It has been a long time between posts.
We have settled in to our beautiful house, but there is always something more to do. Our theatre room is up and running with an X10 D.L.P projector and the most comfortable couch in the universe.
Recently we have tiled the Alfresco area, installed a hot tub and cafe blinds. This has made this area extremely usable in any weather.
The front yard is finished and the back is well on its way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Well we are at the very exciting stage now. We had our PCI last week and were very impressed with how our PD SS handled the inspection, he agreed to pretty much all our requests. We had our independent inspector there at the same time as well and the SS handled that quite well too. Although I am sure the SS would have been happier without the inspector there. Our wonderful inspector - Andrew Forrester of Armaggedon Property Inspections (plug plug!!) - assured us that in his opinion the house was very well constructed, apart from some plaster issues. I can't say how pleasing that was to hear. It appears our money has been well spent after all!

It was a bit of a marathon effort though and we were there for over four hours going thru the issues. We had a very comprehensive list ourselves which helped ensure we didn't miss any of the little things. Most of our problems focused around the poor plaster but our SS has ensured us it will all be fixed by our handover tomorrow!
The other issues outstanding included
- painting
- crooked doorway arch
- crooked mirror
- broken door handle
- crooked power point
- very poor finish on all the grouting edges to showers and laundry tiles
- poor finish to the woodwork around the foyer
- broken base to front door
- unstable SS ballusters (some needed to be replaced with longer ballusters and needed to be glued in). Have to say our SS picked this up himself, we didn't even notice - thanks N
- very poor plaster to roof of foyer void - SS suggested we live with this for a while and he will come back at 3mth review and fix ALL of it. (..and yes, we believe he will come back)
...and a few other minor issues.

..and yes, by the time we finished the house did have the multicoloured measles! Pink for plaster, green for paint.

In the last week we have also had the fencing completed by Mick Anthony who has done a terrific job. Great price, great workmanship and prompt service.

We have also organised the window furnishings which will be installed on Monday. At this point we would have to thoroughly recommend Interlux Designs in Berwick. They are so helpful and professional with great supportive ideas and a very prompt service. We had the measure on Monday and they are going to fit a week later! You couldn't ask for more.

Carpets are booked for Friday and Saturday (Glendale Carpets Hallam) and antenna for tomorrow afternoon (All Aussie Antennas). There seriously is SO much to organise!

And finally, just to make things interesting we had a bit of a stress out today when the bank incorrectly posted our final cheque in the mail instead of letting us pick it up today at the bank. After a quick check of the mail box by our dear neighbour, we realised there was no cheque in sight! Of course it was then back to the bank for both of us with our grumpy faces on. After first being told we could get a replacement cheque in, wait for it, 10 DAYS!!! common sense prevailed and we were given a replacement cheque. You really don't need that the day before settlement. Our advice is to make sure you organise your final cheque two weeks before handover. We left 9 days but this obviously was not enough time!!

So it is one more sleep and dream home here we come. It seems to have been a very long wait and we are so glad it is coming to an end.

Will post some pics tomorrow when it is officially ours!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Certificate of Occupancy

Had a call from our administrator on Friday to let us know we have the certificate of occupancy. Yippee! Will take this to the Bank together with Insurance notice so we can organise final bank cheque for PD.

We went by the house on Friday and found it was left open, again. This will be no surprise to those who are building, the tradies just don't seem to care if they leave the houses unlocked do they? At least it enabled us to get inside and have a look again. We were able to note the electrical fit off is now complete and the lights all work. It was very exciting going around and turning on all the lights. We have already noted a couple of silly light switch placements! We will do better next time (did I just say next time? I must be mad). Couldn't understand though why some of the downlights gave off yellow light and some white light. Regardless of the colour, they all seem very dull and do not light up nearly as well as we expected??? Will have to look into this as I suspect the globes are low quality.

Have included a couple of pics of the bathrooms below

The Brady Bunch bathroom upstairs between bedroom 2 and 3.

Our ensuite bathroom.

During our look through we also noted the missing light from the upstairs study is still missing, despite notifying our SS of this a few days before the sparkies were to come back!

PD have been busy and have also installed the alfresco fan and completed all three bathrooms, including the bath connection. Remind me again why I wanted three bathrooms to clean!
I even tested that the bath was hooked up properly as my sister built with PD and had a massive flood the first time she used the bath! Pleased to report all in working order.

We have a bit of a query too regarding the door handles, they have space for four screws but PD have only used two screws and the powder room door handle is already falling off? Any ideas?

And finally, a pic of the portico tiles and render.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

We have stairs!



Yes folks - PD have been true to their word and have fixed our stairs. We are really happy as it makes a huge difference to the entrance and is as we had pictured it should be. The above before and after shots show the difference - and don't forget all the wood had actually been painted in off white subsequent to the "before" shots above which made the old version look even worse. Thanks PD for fixing this.

DH had a site inspection yesterday - a bit like a pre PCI with the SS. The meeting actually went for 2 hours and the SS walked away with a list as long as your arm of things to be fixed such as:
- problem with the gutters and downpipes, the SS too was somewhat surprised at how bad they were. The plumbers have let him down badly but will have to come back to fix their shoddy work!
- missing and misplaced lights
- bad plaster
- incorrect size mirror
- incorrect glass in the bathrooms
- dented window frames
- fixing roof tile gaps
- splitting alfresco door panel
...just to name a few.
Went by today to meet with driveway contractor to get a second quote and noticed they have already replaced alfresco door so good to see such a quick start.
Started packing old house and OMG what a nightmare to be doing it again so soon. I thought I had thrown out enough junk with the last move and would love to know where it has all come back from! We are trying to follow DGs advice and be ruthless when packing - maybe he could explain that to the kids?!? I am sick of the "Oh Mum, I can't possibly do without that" or "I might play with that again". Ugh!
I can feel a bourbon coming on......

Friday, January 30, 2009

Long awaited update

The news is not good I'm afraid and yet not unexpected also.
PD are behind in their expected work schedule with the slow progress since the start of December continuing.
Our SS arrived back from holidays today to declare work had not progressed as he had hoped during his leave and there was no way PD could complete our home by our scheduled PCI inspection date. In addition, the heat of the this week has slowed everything down (us included I must admit) AND they are experiencing a delay in rectifying our staircase.

So despite our Administrator's very definite " We are PD and we never miss a PCI date", we have been informed our PCI date will be delayed at least a week.
Must admit, we have no problems with weather related delays and do not expect the tradies to work in such extreme heat. However, if PD had worked just that bit harder during the last 8-10weeks, all would be completed by now.
Lets hope they can stick with the new PCI date of 12.2.09 and handover on 19.2.09 or we may well be without a home as we have to move out of the rental by 26.2.09! Fingers crossed.

AS for the progress that has been made on the job during the last 4 weeks:
- downpipes have been completed in the last couple of days. Unfortunately there are a few faults that will need to be rectified. Photos to follow in next post.
- Tiling has been completed. We actually met the tiler and were able to ensure our shower tiles were layed diagonally (like we had requested). This was lucky as apparently now that the various PD depts have merged, all shower bases must be layed "horizontally" in accordance with the Prestige layout! Something for the Lifestyle people to keep in mind.
- Plaster has been added to alfresco and garage roofs but cannot be stopped until the weather drops below 35 degrees.
- Heating and cooling ducts in.
- Electricals have been fitted but some lights are in wrong spot and some are still missing. Will take this up at PCI.
- Have received final invoice from PD - of course.
- Have received driveway and fencing quotes.
- Have ordered a couple of couches.
- Have ordered the carpets.
- Site has been cleared and house has been cleaned - well sort of anyway.
And to top it all off, the rental we are staying in is now up for sale so we have to keep the house spick and span and be ready for inspections, photos, etc. etc. Gotta luv it. Hopefully next post will be better news.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

We have PCI scheduled

We can't believe it! We have had a call from our administrator and received the holy grail of all letters - our PCI is scheduled for 5.2.09 and handover a week later!
Have to say my DH was sceptical - there is a hell of a lot to do before then and we cannot see how PD can get it all done in time. However, when this was mentioned to our administrator she said she has never missed a date yet and handover WILL go ahead on 12.2.09.

So - OMG do we have some work to do now. I thought I might write myself a list and share it so those who have handover ahead of them can double check / add to this list. The list goes something like this...
- driveway quote (if anyone can recommend a contractor in SE Suburbs that would be great)
- finalise fencing and gates
- insurance
- curtains quote (and organise temporary paper curtains)
- notify carpet supplier of date
- gas and power connection
- telephone connection
- confirm final payment with bank
- aerial
- order couches for theatre room and lounge room
- clothesline
- obtain permit for extended crossover
- letterbox
- seal garage floor prior to moving in
- purchase paint for feature walls
- finalise list of items to check for PCI

A bit to do but all manageable.
Will let you know how things progress and whether PD meet their target. Either way, very exciting times.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year

Just a quick note to wish everyone a happy new year. Hope you have all enjoyed the break.

We had a call from our SS this week to let us know what we knew already - not much has been happening but the tiling should continue this week.

He said we are experiencing delays due to the plumbers not coming back to finalise the flashing on the garage and alfresco. Come on plumbers - come back you are holding everybody back.

Once this is done, the plasterers can then come back to finish the plaster and this then enables the electricians to come back. Once this all happens things should then move along fairly quickly - I guess we will believe it when we see it. SS says he has booked in all the fit offs but doesn't expect PCI until mid Feb09.

We visited the site the other day and found the back window was open. Of course this is bad security as we had problems with this window before with the break ins and DH had placed a piece of wood to stop this from opening. Seems someone had removed the wood. On the plus side, we were able to gain access ourselves and check some of the "progress". All painting is done and looks terrific. Very happy with our colours except for overall kitchen view. Seems all a bit dark so we may have to touch this up ourselves when we move in. Will just live with it for a bit and then make a decision.

Unfortunately the biggest disappointment is still the plaster. It really is a lousy job with problems still existing, some minor and some major. The most disappointing thing is the major ones are the same major problems pointed out by our independent inspector weeks ago. Must admit we don't understand why PD don't just rectify these issues as they arise. At this late stage, the issues raised about the frame have now become plaster issues that of course are now painting issues! Lots more work for PD to fix now?? PCI will be interesting.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The tale of the amazing administrator

Once upon a time there was a little house to be in the burbs that had a nice little stockpile of tiles set aside for the summer. Then one day, the big bad tile company came and took the tiles away. The little house was devastated - "Oh no, those tiles were perfect, what am I to do now?".

The little house then had an idea! It made a wish and presto - along came the amazing administrator. The amazing administrator waved her magic wand and made those tiles reappear.

Of course, then everyone lived happily ever after (in the little house) with their perfect tiles and had nothing but happy thoughts for the magical powers of the amazing administrator. other words "D" has gone above and beyond and found our missing tiles. Thanks heaps "D" you have saved the day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our faith has been restored

Happy to report some good news. We have amicably resolved our staircase issue with PD, thanks to the efforts of "T" and thankfully some good, old fashioned common sense from all involved. Our staircase will proceed as planned and our SS has advised the alterations shouldn't hold up the build too much as he can work around them. Thanks for all your support and helpful hints with this issue. ..and thanks to PD for resolving the issue so professionally.

Slight prob with the tiles now unfortunately. We all know Urban Earth has been discontinued but our administrator had assured us she had some of the last stock put aside for our use. Unfortunately, now the time has come to lay the tiles, it seems someone has taken the last of the Urban Earth - no special little stockpile for the Gang! So we may now have to find a replacement tile. Our administrator is on the job trying to find exactly where National Tiles have lost our stock pile. Has anyone seen it?

That's all for now really - other than our SS has told us the internal scaffolding was put up today to finish off the plaster work in the foyer.

Will post some pics once we can get back in the house.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A slow couple of weeks

Did Christmas start early for PD in the East? It certainly has at our place with pretty much no one on site for the last two weeks. Of course when the rat's away the mice will play and I guess it is just the fall out from our SS being away for a week.

Although we have had no tradies on site, things started moving again on Thursday when we had a site meeting with the Construction Manager to discuss the staircase issue. It was terrific that PD sent out a senior manager for us to discuss the issue with. However, we seem to have differing views on what we paid for and what we have received so far. As it stands now, "T" has taken the issues back to the office to consider and will work out where we go from here. Hopefully we will hear back from him tomorrow?

Friday saw a call from our SS with a plaster update. Unfortunately more bad news there as he is very unhappy with the standard of the stopping up. He said he spent two hours marking up all the faults. Two hours - that sounds scary. Glad he is on top of the issue and hope he can bring it up to a reasonable standard. Of course this means more delays because the painting will be at a standstill until he is happy with the plaster. On the good news front, he believes the tilers will be working over Christmas so we may make up some ground there.

We also saw someone on site yesterday and it appeared to be the plasterer? He was not due back until Tuesday - obviously wanted to make an early start.

We were able to take a couple of pics on the phone to show the painting. Ceilings are white of course and walls are Reiki....

My slideshow