Feb 17, 2020 7:02 pm
Hi there, we are building with a volume builder and it's a standard rule that an owner isn't allowed on site during construction unless one of the builder's personnel is on site. This is due to OH and Safety reasons.
We had our site cut last week so we went over the weekend to see the progress. We definitely just stayed outside of the premise and took some photos.
As I have a question with one item, I then sent this photo to our new home coordinator to confirm. I then received a warning letter about "Unauthorised Site visit". I have explained that we didn't access the site and we just took photos from the council's foot path.
Can anyone please clarify this? Does it mean we cannot even go to the location to have a look? Or as long as we are outside the temporary fence of the build we are okay to visit?
Re: Site visit2
Feb 17, 2020 8:48 pm
Read your contract
There should be a clause which is included on all std MBA Contracts..unless modified by builder?
Owners access to site
Designer,Engineer (Civil,Const & Envir),Builder,Concrete & Masonry Contract.Struct Repairs
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Re: Site visit3
Feb 17, 2020 9:43 pm
If you are on the footpath outside the temporary fence then you and anyone else is allowed to be there.
Keep visiting the site to keep an eye on progress and the quality of work and raise any concerns with the builder.
If you know your neighbors, you can also check out your site from their side of the fence.
They either think you went inside the fence or want to discourage you from visiting.. but go as often as you can.
If you want a tour inside the fence you should arrange that with the site supervisor.
Re: Site visit4
Feb 18, 2020 9:18 am
The HIA contract contains a clause that says you may have access to your site at reasonable times with reasonable notice. In my case that ‘reasonable’ was about once per week in the later stages of the build, in the company of the building manager. The builder will not want you inspecting in the early stages and finding defects that they can cover up or pressure you to accept at PCI. I recommend visiting as often as you can, take multiple photos and document everything the site supervisor says to you.
Re: Site visit5
Feb 18, 2020 1:12 pm
As per Consumer affairs this is reasonable access:
Your client (the homeowner or their agent) automatically has rights to visit the building site.
They have these rights even if they sign a contract otherwise (for example, a contract that limits visits to business hours only).
By law, the builder must allow the owner and/or the owner’s agent ‘reasonable access’ to the site during construction (section 19 of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995).
What is reasonable will depend on the situation. For example:
As long as it is reasonable then you have a right to visiting your site.
By what you've mentioned above you haven't crossed the line, maybe set up an on-site meeting to discuss?
Re: Site visit6
Feb 18, 2020 3:43 pm
Has anyone ever heard of any serious repercussions from 'unauthorised' site visits?
It seems most builders are keen to keep owners away and put strict conditions in the contract, but wondering if anyone has been sued for breach of contract or some other enforcement/penalty from a builder.
The only thing that stopped me inspecting so far are locked doors I cannot open.
Re: Site visit7
Feb 18, 2020 4:25 pm
Thank you all for your response and for the information. This is very helpful. And yes, we were just outside the temporary fence and took photos from the foot path but our builder has immediately sent us a letter about unauthorised access. I have now replied to them to explain that we didn't go inside the fence and let them know to confirm with me first before sending us the notice.
I will regularly visit the area (outside the fence) but if I need to go inside I will book a time with our site supervisor. Definitely we need to see the progress of the build.
Re: Site visit8
Feb 18, 2020 4:32 pm
Site supervisors have a universal builders key. The locks are later re set by using the unique owners key at handover. I know of some customers who have been loaned this key by sympathetic and disgruntled site supervisors and have copied it to quietly gain convenient access to check the workmanship.
Re: Site visit9
Apr 24, 2020 6:26 pm
On the same topic of site visits. Our (3rd) Metricon Site Supervisor (Victoria) has advised that due to COVID no site visits are allowed until final inspection although the build continues. They will not provide us permission to attend onsite after hours or weekends when no other trades are present. Is anyone else building with Metricon facing the same restriction.
I don't find this a reasonable response as measures can be taken to visit the site with site supervisor to ensure everyone's safety. It sounds like more of a convenient excuse but for what end I am not sure.
Appreciate if any other Vic Metricon owners can share their experience with being allowed onsite at the moment.
I have escalated this to Consumer Affairs however have not had a response yet.
Re: Site visit10
Apr 25, 2020 6:09 am
Jriz Metricon’s refusal to allow customers reasonable site access for inspection is a breach of the building contract. This practice is opportunistic in the current environment, aimed at limiting their potential costs of rework and expediting their cashflow from your progress payments. They know typically delays and disputes are due to defects identified during the build stages that they have not been able to hide or bluff owners about. Metricons approach here is not recommended nor supported by their industry association, the HIA, or the state and federal governments. I suggest you send Metricon’s state manager and your nominated office contact (check your contract) a formal letter by registered mail and email demanding reasonable access to inspect at appropriate times as per the contract, with appropriate COVID-19 OHS procedures per HIA and Victorian Government guidelines. Give them 3 working days to respond before taking appropriate action.
Re: Site visit11
Apr 25, 2020 7:59 am
Thats insane, perhaps they have something to hide... My partners last house was built with Metricon andfrom his personal experience he will never ever build with them again. There were so many issues with the final build and not 1 single plaster wall inside was straight, the internal beams were bent like bananas. Personally, if you can get an independant building inspector once frames up and again before handover.,i 2ould highly reccomend it.
We arebuiling a new house now (not a volume builder) and i have been taking stage stage photos and i will continue to do so from the temp Fencing. I wont go in and touch and move stuff obviously but i couldnt see why your builder had an issue with visiting tbe site..
Best of luck
Re: Site visit12
Apr 25, 2020 10:31 am
Agree, i had the same crooked frame defects on my Metricon Build. Best to identify a crooked frame and other major issues before the fixing stage. If you leave such inspections to PCI thats too late to practically fix it according to NCAT, VCAT and QBA, even before considering your own extra costs. This is what the Metricon and your site supervisor seek so they don't have to fix defects, with you forced to accept them.
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