Feb 17, 2007 1:19 am
I posted a new question under building standards before I saw this one. I’ve just spent the last few hours researching and reading and certainly share sympathy with anyone building in Perth (Carramar) as I am. The builder… apparently a trusted and quality family builder of 100 years experience since 1903….say no more..
They have done all that is to be expected by project builders to date.
Increased price before start.
After price increase, took 4 months to get to site. (plans all approved, block titled)
Claimed 3 extensions for time… did I mention our house is at plate height – The 1st two extensions were for unavailability of bricks. Day after letter bricks arrive, next extension period the brickie had ¾’s up…but the builder still thought the bricks were unavailable…and the last… they now tell me was a mistake??
Anyhow, despite a site meeting/ follow-up e-mail’s …that’s the builder telling me they will “look into it and get back to me” and me doing all the follow-up 4-5 days later., I received an email stating all is correct.
The problems, lintels too close to brick face and bows in face brick work.
I hope these pic's work What do you think?
Example of brickwork bow
Feb 17, 2007 10:26 am
Many thanks Perth_Euro for your speedy advice. I've uploaded my photo's and hopefully this works.
If the above links still don't work...I'm still trying to figure it all out. Here is the web address where the photo's have to uploaded too.
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.5
Feb 17, 2007 1:32 pm
Hmm looking at those I would be having a chat to the Site Superviosor, and going over the site. There may be issues down the track regarding insurance, Occupancy Certficates and also council inspections.
I would also look at an independant building inspector and also the local council; they may be rare but sometimes they can be helpful.
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.6
Feb 17, 2007 3:24 pm
I agree with Adrian - I'd defintely be having a stern chat with the supervisor....and then if needed pursuing other avenues.
Hopefully it all works out for you! Carramar is a great suburb...I've lived here for a couple of years and love it!
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.7
Feb 18, 2007 12:16 pm
I've already had a chat with the supervisor and all I got was what i call the classic "mirror and spew" approach. That is, "I'll look into it and bring it up with the construction manager."
I'm told everything is normal and my expectionss are way over the top given it's "my 1st time building!!!"....... I don't subscribe too that at all. I know people in general rate car salesman as low.....but I'd have to say.... I'd rather deal with a car salesman any day....
Anyway, I've just had a building inspection report delivered and I am in the middle of outlining all the unsatisfacory workmanship issues in a "Preliminary Notice" which I will personally serve on Plunkett Homes....oops I mean the builder 1st thing tomorrow morning.
I was hoping to work through with my concerns in person, but I don't see any option when they maintain all is correct. Another problem I have is the builder tells me they are about to install the windows....This is before the roof, electrical, plastering....
I've NEVER heard of this before and despite expressing my gave concerns re the quality of the finish for ALL the window reveals and the like, they tell me if they don't do it now, they will miss there "allocated construction days" with Jason windows and it will be nearly 3 months before they can get windows....... I'm not sure how I can deal with this one, P
As fro Carramar, we love the area...currently living close by and WERE looking forward to moving in...now it seems we will be confronted with our worst nightmare everytime I pull into the driveway... Speaking of which....you Should see the brickwork for the LH front garage wall.... It is something to be seen......
If anyone is interested... PM me and I'll send you the block details.
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.8
Feb 18, 2007 8:11 pm
Sad to hear about your issues and experiences thus far - but thankyou for posting up the images - as a first timer I find these really helpful with regards to 'what-to-look-for' as my bricks start going up this week.
Even with only half of one-row of bricks done I am already concerned about some quality issues with our construction - I will however reserve my judgement until I see some more of the bricks layed.
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.9
Feb 18, 2007 11:39 pm
Perth 1st timer.
On hindsight, here is a warning sign I think you should look for..
How long has the brickie been a bricklayer? Our bricklayer has been at the game for nearly 30 years and we were lucky to get him for our job…..apparently??.
(I think that explains why our house took 9 1/2 weeks to plate height and ALL the other houses around us took 3 to 3 1/2 weeks. And I might say... I would have been happy if he took 15 weeks if the brickwork was smick...)
Why do I say 30 years experience is something to look for... Well, due to his experience he can do it by eye... he started out with brick profiles and as our walls when up.... He went by eye.... I certainly didn't see him use...or even have a spirit level close by. I was at our block and saw a 2-hour session of work on 1 occasion... I might say I took morno's up, heaps of bottles of Gatorade as it was hot but none of the usual as he didn't drink as it was the least I felt I could do at the time.... Now I want to send a bill for ALL the morno's....
I saw a home around the corner from us being built by Commodore Homes and their brick crew was 3 young blokes who just looked old enough to have a car license. I saw them on a number of occasions checking work with a level and knocking the odd brick in the face into line and string lines THE WHOLE WAY UP.....
Having had a walk through that home, which our supervisor says I can't do as I'm trespassing and I need a work site safety card...which I since went and got (Blue card).... and the brick work is what I would say as PERFECT... As for the trespass, I told him I'm sure if I called Commodore Homes Office to point out I thought that job was excellent compared to my job...and confirm this in writing,,, I didn’t think they would entertain I was trespassing! .... The owners should be very pleased with that job..
Our supervisor tells me Plunkett homes is held in higher regard than Commodore Homes.... certainly not in my books.
Another is when you feel there is a problem and the brickie says he will speak to the supervisor, try and follow up on this… I have since learnt a number of issues I had, more to do with bulkheads that we had paid for, on our plan but not the brickies… the supervisor says the brickie NEVER raised those issues with him.
This was made difficult for us, as the office staff at Plunkett Homes won’t give out the supervisor’s number as they say the supervisors do not have training in speaking/dealing with clients. Therefore all concerns need to go through the office…. MMM, I’ll tell you about that… I’d send a details email requesting, then pleading, then demanding a reply, and they would send me 3 or 4 lines of “lip service” after a week or so.
If you haven’t started or done so… take heaps of photos with date stamps and start a “running sheet” and record the outline of conversation when you speak to them. I have a separate diary and record thing like weather…daily… and when stuff is delivered to site.. (We are lucky being very close by)
This will help…For example, I got a 10-day extension notice from Plunkett’s stating the bricks were unavailable… The date of their letter the bricks arrived on site the next day…. After the expiry of the last date of the extension, they sent another one for another 10 days… At THAT point, ¾’s of the bricks were LAID.
As you may tell, I am now well and truly burnt by them… hold no faith what so ever with the rest of our construction (I will certainly report if things do change) and now I am VERY passionate about this and will happily share my experience and things learnt so others hopefully don’t have to go through this.
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.10
Feb 19, 2007 12:29 am
Another problem I have is the builder tells me they are about to install the windows....This is before the roof, electrical, plastering....
I may have got the wrong end of the stick here...but I thought the windows were installed before the bricking? Certainly, ours went on after the frame & roof were up (& the roof tiled) but before the building wrap & subsequent bricking. Electrical & plastering were after the bricking. And the architraves for the windows went on around the time the plaster was fixed.
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.11
Feb 19, 2007 12:39 am
Perhaps not... when I mean windows....I mean the glass..... sorry for the confusion, having reread (and I know the typo's are there....I'm puching the keys on the keyboard as I've been typing these posts... note...may need new keyboard by weeks end...LOL), I can see how it may look that may... Having said that, I certainly hope your glass didn't go in before the plastering....
Our window frames are in, but they want to install ALL the glass before the plastering..... I certainly haven't heard of that before and all the plasterers I've spoken to said if they pulled up at a job and saw the glass fixed, they would just move to another job as it's too hard..
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.12
Feb 21, 2007 1:11 am
MMMM...well it will be 7 weeks this Friday and our home would have be sitting there with no work since the poor brick work has been completed...sorry I should say no knew work having been done.
I had a problem with a bulkhead in the laundry that should have been square…. As we paid extra for it…. It was built as a raking bulkhead. So I raised this With our supervisor and he said he would get it fixed.
Well I’m pleased to report he was true to his word and I’ll describe how it was fixed…. I saw the new lintel dropped of the other day and it had a measurement written on it (4000mm – 4mtrs). The solution was to involve taking out the shorter lintel that flowed into the bathroom and replace the whole lot with one lintel.
You would have thought…. before it was ordered…. that it should have been checked to make sure it will fit…… After all…this was fixing a problem that was already there…
I’m no builder but I can read plans and clearly see the space between the walls is 4070mm ….not counting the fact the lintel will have to be supported by brick…. otherwise it will slide down the walls…LOL.
So…my theory was as a long-reach brick is 90mm wide…the lintel needs to be supported on both ends…. and according to the makers installation specifications…. the lintel should sit 10mm from the edge of the brick… My maths isn’t that great…but by my calculations….90mm twice makes (both ends) 180mm, minus 10mm twice makes 20mm. So I figured the lintel should be sitting on 160mm of brick (80mm each side), therefore as the replacement lintel ordered was 4000mm to fit between 4070mm of internal wall measurements, plus 160mm to be supported by the bricks, I made the lintel TOO SHORT by at least 230mm.
No worries though, cause my builder, Plunkett Homes, has the perfect solution… They cut on site….. I wonder how hard that would have been… and weld a piece onto the existing piece to make it fit…. I wonder if they also got a refund for the 2 metres or so that was left over. Now rather than knock a couple of brickies out and replace in correctly in one piece and rebrick the bricks in….
I’m talking no more than 8-12 from the top courses… They use the wooden strips that are packed within the brick packs.... too hold the lintel up in the correct height… I can see though… that this meant no bricks needed to be taken out so maybe that makes less delay for me….NOT.
I’ll post a pic of this… as it needs to be seen to be believed, but I left my camera at work.. In the mean time, here is another pic of the quality joint of face brickwork.
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.13
Feb 21, 2007 8:03 am
Those last pics - what is that mortar for? I'm no builder (and never built before) but isn't mortar supposed to be between the bricks - not on top of them? And it looks like a pretty cruddy job at that - it's cracked away from one side already.
It's a good point you make about the older trades-people doing things out of experience, but creating a problem if they aren't exact. Then again, young tradies may lack the skills for a quality look... so maybe a happy medium would be good. I don't know if I'd like a first timer (like me - ha ha) working on my home... well, without supervision and mentoring anyway.
Please keep us up to date - it's making for interesting reading, especially seeing as we may be in the same situation in a few months!
Second Time 'Round
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.14
Feb 21, 2007 5:21 pm
I certainly hope your glass didn't go in before the plastering....
Yep...all the window frames had the actual glass installed - the windows get delivered complete. And every other builder in the vincinity (& there is a lot of building going on at the moment) was the same.
Why is the plastering too difficult if the glass is in the window frame? Sorry - that probably has a really obvious answer but I'm quite intrigued as to the differences in building style...eg I hadn't realised until reading a thread on here the other day that some houses are completely bricked (including internal walls) - no timber frames used at all. So maybe it's just a difference in "the way things are done"?
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.15
Feb 21, 2007 5:29 pm
Hi guys - we had our windows (glass included) installed as well with framing - as did all of the houses in the estate.
Must be a Vic builder thing?
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.16
Feb 22, 2007 6:19 am
I noticed that Amber and epiphany are in Melbourne and Beaner is in Perth,so the reason in the different scheduling is probably due to the Vic houses been brick veneer and the Perth houses been solid brick.In brick veneer the carpenters install the windows and in solid brick the frames are installed by the bricklayer as they build the walls.I'm not sure if it is a terrible problem if the glass is in before the plasterers start Beaner.In my experience the windows can be protected (masked and covered by plastic etc)quite easily.Also,I've never seen a bricklayer work with his eye only.In fact I've never seen a bricklayer on a site without a level so you are one in front of me Beaner.I hope you get a better result with the other trades.The work over your way is starting to slow so maybe the cowboys will be out of the game soon.Regards Terry
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.17
Feb 22, 2007 10:40 pm
It must be an eastern States thing..... very inetresting.
I guess the difficiult for the plasterer in this case is they have to set and rule off all your window reveals bby eye. That is, 1 person has t hold a rule 10mm up from the window edge (or drive dutch pins into your brick work....... big pins...big holes....ouch.
Whilst another person rules off the window edge..... Can be done but slower more difficult...
How many people are there in your plasterer teams???
Without windows, the plasterer can do the job by himself. They clamp the box rules into place on both sides of the brickwork...something you can't do when the windows are in place.....
I'm by no means suggesting its a defect to do so... My concern is if it is..... for example a 3 man team... Someone mixingn cement... and two putting in on the walls... When one stops to help the other......with all the other issues I've experienced... I hold grave concerns for any attention to detail..
Did anyone see your plastering teams working whilst doing windows???
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.18
Feb 22, 2007 10:51 pm
That is a good point, I didn't consider the possibility of brick veneer homes...where the process....dry wall plastering is entirely different to wet wall plastering.
Another issue with wet wall plastering is when the plasterer has to the window head with brickwork over the top of the window.
The window head reveal has to have the mud pushed on HARD. With glass fixed, there is little room for error of the trowel hitting and cracking/breaking the glass.
Another is....with the building boom still somewhat in effect in Perth... I reckon there is be a difficulty in getting a team for the job...as they can still pick and choose... So why would they do a job that is harder to do...for the same money....
In short they wouldn't... they'll simply drive to another job where the glass is not fitting.... That’s my thought anyhow..
Re: Thoughts on Construction Quality to Date.19
Feb 23, 2007 8:27 am
Hello Beaner,Yes,you are probably right about the reasons for the methods used over your way.The window company would never come onto site to do the glazing here even if it was solid brick (but 99% would be veneer) We don't have the same shortage of trades as you and everyone has to "work in"to a certain extent and we also know each other personally so try to keep things flowing without too much bickering on site.In an ideal world the company would give the plasterers a bit more money for the slow going but I know this probably wouldn't enter their heads as the gap between management and production is about as big as that joint in the brickwork you posted the picture of.I look forward to seeing more progress pics of your house.Regards Terry
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