Jan 12, 2006 9:49 pm
Ive just gone through a new home building experience. Went through one of the "reputable" builders in NSW.
All I can say is I now know how backwards, arrogant and ******* the building industry and practices can be. There have also been positive experinces but in general it has been bad. I do appreciate that there are many more who have been through much worse.
To everyone in the same position as me, feel free to share the real side of the building process, good or bad.
If anyone is interested in what i have to say in more detail feel free to PM me.
It is only my first and only experience of building a new home, and i think it could have been much much worse but I would like to share with those who are interested my experience and what to lookout for and what to do diffrently.
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good2
Jan 13, 2006 7:45 am
tell me about it
Our building industry is the same. Builders are not willing to learn something that goes beyond what they are used to and most of them find it really hard to use advanced methods and materials.
Lack of craftsmanship and poor training is another fundamental problem.
We have introduced European designed joinery and people just love it. They didn't have a choice in the past and now they realize what joinery in these day is all about.
An increasing number of architects and tradespeople have come from Europe into our part of the world and this will help to bring building standards and methods into the 21st century.
Our friends used a Swiss carpenter for their exposed roof and the result is amazing
have a nice day
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good3
Jan 13, 2006 7:51 am
Its good to hear that there are improvements.
My commetns are directed at the business practices, but i am not surprised that you mention the technical expertise is not up to the highest standards.
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good4
Jan 13, 2006 2:20 pm
I'm hearing ya.
My wife and bought one of those 'House and Land' packages in the Hils District, NW of Sydney.
The list of things that went wrong it too long for the time have typing this message.. Here are a few examples..
1. We HAD to pay the final purchase price up front BEFORE we got the keys to get in.. Only when we got in an properly inspected the place did we find the things wrong with it.. Now it was our problem chase them to fix stuff.. I bet I would not have needed to chase so hard, if I had still owed them that final $20k.
2. It was impossible to speak to the so called 'Building Manager' of our house before, during or after the construction.. You could only speak to him, if he called you.. And this was very rare.. The closest you would get was the girl in their office who would pass the message on that you called..
3. We paid extra to get the house made in really nice sand stock bricks, instead of the bottom of the range junk in their plan. .. By the time they finished bricking the house there was close to 5 full pallets of these expensive bricks left over.. (I know because I photographed the house the very day they finished)... Over the next wek, all of the spare bricks were gone... How does one loose 5 pallets of expensive bricks? What made matters worse, was that the 'buliding manager' did not know where they had gone, and suggested to us that "some of the other builders might have taken them, for proping bath installations and such."
4. The construction took 5 months longer than planned. (assuming they had any plan to start with).
I could go on.. This Company is one of the big ones in that area.. One of those ones that builds lots of houses..
I am building again within the next year, and I WILL NOT be giving my business to Wincrest!
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good5
Jan 13, 2006 4:44 pm
Great post Dobly, Thats a classic, they will try every way possible to take the money off you upfront.
When you question their actions, they will come back with the classic response, Its the "industry standard".
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good6
Jan 13, 2006 8:00 pm
If you build again, try to find a building company with some European background ( there are many Europeans with building background in Australia)
Ideally you want an architect with European qualification or at least some experience there.
When it comes to building standards in Oz and NZ they are amongst the lowest in the developed world. But many builders and architect are too narrow minded to think in a different direction and they rather carry on with the same old rubbish.
Sad but thats the reality
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good8
Jan 27, 2006 6:23 am
your building disaster reflects the bad state the building industry is in ( at least some major part of it.
Common problems are:
-some builders don't know basic physics which is essential to deal with waterproofing, heat-loss, overheating, energy-efficiency, moisture, condensation and other issues.
If architects and builders would use some common sence the "leaky building syndrome"would have never happend in New Zealand. Now they continiue their business and the homeowners and the taxpayer pay for it
-narrow minded thinking is going through the whole industry, they try to stick to their same old methods and materials and ignore the rest of the world.
-poor attitude profit goes before quality
Unless the building industries of OZ and NZ get a major shake up the chances for inprovement are little
Have you used the media enough to raise you issue,? the media is a great instrument to start the "weeding"process.
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good11
Jan 30, 2006 1:49 pm
I empathise with all of your situations. However, it seems unfortunate that poor customer service and a lack of attention to detail are endemic in the Australian construction industry.
My wife and I both have design and construction background and have recently returned back to Australia after several years living and working in Europe. I agree with the comment made earlier by window expert that the quality and attitude of tradespeople in Europe is most definately different. They still maintain a culture that a trade is a craft to be proud of, it is not 'just a job'.
Hence since returning to Australia we have started our own housing business, looking to try and put clients back at the top of the priority list.
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good12
Jan 30, 2006 2:15 pm
it is nice to see that there are people like you who understand the need for change!
I hope that you will stay strong with your new approach. Don't be afraid to do things differently even if they tell you "that not how we do it around here".
The reason they tell you that, because it goes beyond their ability.
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good13
Feb 10, 2006 1:07 pm
Well i'm not at the same stage as newhome - at the start of the process actually. I've read the posts so far in shock My wife & i just this week went out to Kellyville (Homeworld) to look at the homes offered by so called reputable builders.After reading newhome's post now i'm not so sure.
We are still undecided which way to go - project home or design our own and get a builder to build it.
This is going to be a huge investment for us and don't want to pay good money for a sub standard house.
Any advice you have newhome would be appreciated.
I'm staying tuned.
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good14
Feb 10, 2006 1:56 pm
Its a hard decision, in hindsight I think i still would have gone with a bigger builder for some of the reson mentioned by burned. I think going with a "reputable builder" will mean there is a floor to how bad it can turned out, but it will never be fantastic.
Going with a smaller builder you could end up with a really good one or one that goes down the drain.
The advice i can offer is be a harda$$ on the builder from day one so they dont take advantage of you and question EVERYTHING they do and dont let them pull the "i been in the industrry for a million years, i know everything , you dont, thats how its done" BS on you.
Every price they offer, just dont accept it first go, every paymetn they demand upfront, refuse until the work has been done. every claim they make or everything they try to sell you, question them.
every progress payment, shold come with an inspection if possible.
dont trust anyone of them. btw, check if the builder is a lsited comapny, if it is, their sole reason is to make money, and not necessarily in it for long term
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good16
Feb 13, 2006 9:56 pm
Interesting thoughts on project homes. I've had four built over a number of years and I must say I've been generally pleased with them, perhaps I wasn't so discerning then! A few problems happened but nothing that wasn't resolved to my satisfaction.
One builder offered to pull down an entire wall because the brickie hadn't blended the bricks properly. I'm not so sure that would happen today 'though.
I'm now building a kit home as an owner builder and what can be revealed about that process doesn't bear thinking about.
You can read about the problems on my page at http://www.spin.net.au/~shamash
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good17
Feb 14, 2006 7:15 am
The important thing is do not let them take advantage of you.
Sure there will be good homes built to a high qualkity. But when there are problems, they WILL NOT volunteer and own up, as an owner you have to pick out the problems, they will get away with anything they can unless you pick up the problems.
They are very unporfessional "professionals" if you know what I mean.
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good18
Feb 15, 2006 6:32 pm
We have just started building, choosing to go witha project home, but one that has been significantly altered to fit our fairly difficult block, and our design whims
That part of the process was wonderful, the builder couldnt do enough to help us design and re-design the plans, over and over, all for no fee, and all before I had signed anything making a commitment to them, so I could have at any point just walked away and owned them nothing.
Now we have signed with them and are expecting the footings for the slab to go down next Tuesday (21/02), and things are a little different. No major problems, but getting hold of the supervisor even at this early stage is a trick, and getting any sort of information out of them is difficult too.
I think partly this is because of the increased workloads the companies are now under (especially here in Perth), 1 supervisor is managing many more projects (not comforting).
We have covered ourselves as much as possibly, by always getting independent quotes for everything the builder has charged us for as a comparison and we will spend approx. $1000 for 5 on-site inspections by a independent company to ensure the building is meeting standards and is being built according to the plan (money well spent as far as I am concerned). I'm not paying a cent to the building company until the independent inspection comes back as "All OK".
So, fingers crossed from here on in.
The blog of my home being built: http://glint-bladesong.blogspot.com/
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good19
Feb 15, 2006 9:24 pm
Did you write into the contract that progress payments will depend on the independant building inspectors report? No need to answer but if not the building reports may not cut any ice if problems occur.
I've found it's virtually essential to make contact with the site supervisor any way you can. Keep trying and make yourself available at any time to discuss issues. Once something has been built they will be very reluctant to start over,
Re: New Home Owner Experience - not good20
Feb 16, 2006 7:40 am
good point issitoq, in the next contract i sign i will defnitely try to include that one in there.
maintaning contact with the supervisor is also a very good thing to do, becuase having a good relationship with the supervisor maybe the only thing stopping your house from being crap as you can hold them accountable for it.
another point i would like to mention is always leave yourself 1 week to make a decision on everything, big or small, becuase in the process i went through, every decision was set up so that it had to be made on the day, this included the going over the contract and signing it too.
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