Nov 25, 2020 10:15 am
Recommended, but watch costings and check and recheck documents and build quality.
After an architect had drawn up a floor plan (with mistakes), I contacted several builders for quotes and New Choice obliged with a free quote. Dealing with Nick was a pleasant experience as he knows the building process and can be negotiated with, but it is the costing department which needs watching and here are a few examples:
A quote for a garage window was requested and a cost of $165 accepted, but then a variation asking for an additional $667 arrived, which should not be on plus the window was not put into the position as requested.
A 15A power point in the garage should cost $185 and it was my mistake to mention charging a possible electric car; the quote exploded out to $460. After receiving an apology I changed over to a 10A power point for $57.
Other builders were quoting for lockable meter boxes and New Choice in the standard specification just mentioned "meter box". When I mentioned "lockable" to Nick, costing came back with an extra $200! Nick had to sort that one out.
The company likes to forget that according to the standard specification each room has one "free" double power point, so check and check the VO (variation) documents and plans.
The architect did not call the large free area in front of the living area "alfresco" and as the standard spec. only offers a free light point for an alfresco area, you have to negotiate that.
After Nick you are being handed to the prestart lady. At the prestart meeting a power point was picked in a bedroom. At the final plan that power point had been taken out and moved to the opposite wall, so it pays to check and check before you sign. As is common in the building industry, any variation after all plans have been signed off results in an extra $350 charge.
Pavers need to be supported by a concrete strip unless butting up to a wall, but was not done next to a plastic drain causing the pavers to tilt.
After prestart you are to communicate with a "buffer" as you do not get the mobile no. of your designated building supervisor. You also do not get the mobile no. of the “buffer", which may lead to delays.
According to the contract, access to the site is only possible if accompanied by the manager. Forget that! As with every build, it is essential to check the building progress every few days when access is possible with trades in attendance and to take photos of problem areas, which must then be emailed to the “buffer”. You cannot assume your verbal messages to the “buffer” were passed on timely and correctly to the supervisor and later emails may not be answered when faults are discovered requiring a complaint to the Building Commission.
At the handing over of the keys, I was told to collect all the warranty jobs for six months and to submit them at the end, but refused to do so, as after six months the warranty period is expired. An attempt was made to get me to sign six months earlier that all the warranty jobs of the six-month warranty period have been cleared up! You are being told not to complain about cracks of the cornice (cove) at the ceilings as settling is possible and that a termite inspection every year is recommended.
Despite the problems I experienced I can still recommend this "Italian/Australian" company as the building industry generally seems to operate like that. Building your home is a frustrating experience as architects, builders, trades, councils and owners all make mistakes due to the complexity involved and reading this forum, productreview and whirlpool forums have prepared me for problems.
The mainly foreign tradesmen have done a good job and I will report further once we have moved in. The contract gives the company 300 days (ten months) for completion, but the actual build only took from March to October or seven months.
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