Building A New House
Re: How often do you visit your site?681
Jan 11, 2020 9:51 am
Hi TeslaCyberTruck and Jo0853 There were 6 different SS one after the other, then Metricon's building supervisor finally took over personally to address the defects once they realised they could no longer bluff, bully and BS me. I used a suburban solicitor with building dispute experience for strategic and tactical advice plus checking my dispute letter drafts before I sent them to Metricon. Twice he had to send legal letters directly to Metricon, however. The legal action resulted in a time bound rectification order made be the NSW Department of Fair Trading, which Metricon breached anyway, taking an additional 5 months to complete most rectifications beyond the deadline they had agreed to following mediation. Metricon inadvertently sent me some of their internal emails about this issue which provided interesting reading about their attitudes and behaviours. Some defects i just had to ultimately accept, unfortunately. The solicitor's engagement was on an as required basis over a period of about 9 months, billing for about 10 hours at $550 (inc. gst) per hour. My investment of time and stress was also significant. Regarding a 'penalty payment' clause: When I checked the contract I was naive about the liquidated damages clause in the HIA contract, overlooking specifically how unfair Metricon's damages amount was at $30 per working day after the contract build time of 42 weeks (less rain days) compared with my rent and storage etc costs of about $1,500 per week. This low provision meant Metricon's costs of deliberate delaying tactic are minimal, which they can leverage as required to pressure customers to accept defects because they need to move in. Unfair builders contract terms and such unconscionable behaviours can be challenged in court, however I had neither the finances or the remaining energy to pursue this. Better for the ACCC or a building commission to do this.
Re: How often do you visit your site?682
Jan 11, 2020 12:21 pm
Im looking to build but dont know yet which builder, and the advice from friends about Contract Build Time has been one of the most useful pieces of info I have gathered so far. A friend said to start with $500 per DAY and let them negotiate no less than $250per DAY to cover rent/storage/inconvenience etc.
Re: How often do you visit your site?684
Jan 11, 2020 6:47 pm
Sorry to read of your problems, Norfolk. The industry has political support from industry and unions through lobbying. My architect made mistakes, the builder is making mistakes and so do I and I just keep paying. I tried to be smart, got my own floor plan ($1,000, TAFE designers charge $750), soil report and contours and earthworks quote and got quotes from three builders.
The advantage of getting quotes with your own floor plan is that things are a bit more competitive; one builder dropped $10,000 once he was told he may be out of the race.
How often do you visit your site?685
Jan 11, 2020 11:31 pm
Any private consultants (independent building inspectors) you would recommend or have heard good things about that service the Melbourne area?
I used David Seville of Seville inspections for my additional inspections and for meetings on site with the builder when I felt I was hearing BS or was not being heard. I have recommended him many times since.
Building expert/Branko and company Darbecca are 2 others that have very good reputations as being thorough and knowledgeable. There is a list that a forum member has helpfully compiled with a few more recommended consultants.
Re: How often do you visit your site?687
Jan 12, 2020 11:27 am
I tried to be smart, got my own floor plan ($1,000, TAFE designers charge $750), soil report and contours and earthworks quote and got quotes from three builders. The advantage of getting quotes with your own floor plan is that things are a bit more competitive; one builder dropped $10,000 once he was told he may be out of the race.
Hey domwild - which 3 builders were your final 3 and which one did you end up selecting?
How does one get 'own floor plan' who does one go see? Does that mean we can go see a volume builder and they will build as the TAFE student(?) has drawn it up? Or when using a volume builder are you stuck with the floor plan they put in front of us?
Re: How often do you visit your site?688
Jan 13, 2020 10:24 am
Any good building inspectors in Perth, which can be recommended? I am still hesitant using inspectors as the builder can still disregard the reports.
Hey domwild, we used BCIWA for a practical inspection after the event. Unfortunately we didn't realise that the bank didn't do any checks as part of the progress payments.
The chap they sent was very thorough, picked up on all sorts which we're still waiting for remediation/defect fix!
And in reply to the topic thread, we went to site at the weekends averaged monthly as the walls went up, then fortnightly as stuff was getting installed. We still missed things though
Re: How often do you visit your site?689
Jan 14, 2020 5:43 am
Any good building inspectors in Perth, which can be recommended? I am still hesitant using inspectors as the builder can still disregard the reports.
Hey domwild, we used BCIWA for a practical inspection after the event. Unfortunately we didn't realise that the bank didn't do any checks as part of the progress payments. The chap they sent was very thorough, picked up on all sorts which we're still waiting for remediation/defect fix!
Thanks for sharing the details about Ashley Coleman's company BCIWA
Re: How often do you visit your site?690
May 14, 2020 8:42 am
NewChoice Developments (Perth) has it in the contract not to enter the building site without the manager, which is absolute rubbish as the manager has other things to do. It looks like builders try to avoid scrutiny by the owners.
As a pensioner I go there as often as possible and have found one problem with the cavity insulation and have taken photos to prove the point. Just to stop any complaints it might be best to go there after hours or on weekends, where there is no trade on site and to take photos.
Re: How often do you visit your site?691
May 21, 2020 7:59 am
As a pensioner I have the privilege to look at the site nearly every day and how owners can trust builders to not cut corners beats me. So far I have noticed:
1 The cavity insulation was supposed to have spacer biscuits inserted every second wall tie, not done until I complained. The supervisor said it does not affect the R-value - wrong, the R-value reduces from R1.8 down to R1.2 as given in writing by the supplier.
2 There are 10mm tie-down rods inserted into the brick work to stop the roof flying off. At the moment they are still not connected to any beams.
3 The ceiling in the garage has been installed, but the insulation has not been put in, now instead of pushing it in from inside, it has to be added in from the outside with the associated problem of reaching; a minor point.
4 A carpenter had a look at the rafter span in one section and he did not like it. I asked the supervisor what sort of a roof loading gets used to calculate rafter profiles, but did not get any answer so far. One hopes the supplier of the materials uses appropriate software to calculate strong enough rafters given wind and roof loadings.
Re: How often do you visit your site?692
May 21, 2020 8:27 am
domwild Its not the site supervisor's job to check workmanship is to standards. It's great you understand this and are performing this function at pre-linings stage before all these defects get covered up and hidden.
Re: How often do you visit your site?693
May 21, 2020 4:05 pm
@domwild Its not the site supervisor's job to check workmanship is to standards. It's great you understand this and are performing this function at pre-linings stage before all these defects get covered up and hidden.
What? It is very much a site supervisors job to be inspecting work to ensure it is up to standard. It’s their employers name and reputation that is on the line if they don’t and that’s without insisting the potential cost of work that isn’t to standard. And the sub contractors are working to them not the home owner.
It’s the home owner or their representative responsibility to check that the site supervisors work is up to standards.
Re: How often do you visit your site?694
May 21, 2020 6:27 pm
In a perfect world you are correct. This is the perception a volume builder will 'sell' you.
Unfortunately the (usual) reality is the volume builders’ low cost business model means they don’t effectively resource site supervision. Lowest cost sub contractors only do the minimum what they can get away with because they know their work is not checked – the SS has no time for this, most new home buyers don’t know, and regulatory or contractual enforcement is not viable because its too expensive, time consuming, and risky for home owners.
Here is some information I found about the SS role that has helped me to understand:
Australian suburban house building: industry organisation, practices and constraints (RMIT 2011) Page 35
3.3.1 Supervisors role
Supervisors of detached housing construction will usually be responsible for the construction of up to 15 houses at any one time. These houses will generally be in limited geographical area so that they can move around and inspect work at a number of houses each day and initiate contracts or otherwise deal with contingencies. Their work starts when they are given a set of plans for the construction of a new house. The first step, if it is a ‘customer house’ is to contact the client who is buying the house and talk about how they will be kept informed about building progress and the way they can monitor progress. Typically, clients are given access to digital photos uploaded by the supervisor onto a web site.
The supervisor is then responsible for organising the building process leading to a completed house. A list of responsibilities typically used by volume builders is the following:
Deliver building construction projects within the agreed budget, client specification, quality and timeline.
Complete call forward documents for each job prior to site start.
Raise building variations in conjunction with the construction manager and client.
Manage and effectively assign construction projects to completion.
Coordinate the order and delivery of construction materials to the building.
Coordinate the attendance of required trades persons, subcontractors etc. to the building site.
Liaise with internal and external stakeholders to resolve issues or conflict should it arise.
Ensure that all workers on site comply with legislative requirements and follow company specifications.
Contribute to a safe working environment by ensuring the OH&S policy is adhered to at all times.
The process used by the supervisor to complete ‘call forward’ documents is different for each of the three different types of contracts, supply contracts, supply and install contracts and subcontracts. Supervisors arrange subcontracts directly with tradespeople.
Typically, supervisors will have a well-established network of tradespeople that they use as subcontractors. They are constantly in touch with these tradespeople allocating them new jobs by issuing ‘call forward’ orders and keeping them informed about upcoming work.
Supervisors constantly seek to maintain a network of subcontractors who they draw on to work on sites. Based on past experience, they try to ensure that this network only includes tradespeople who they can rely on to complete work on time and meet quality standards.
Most supervisors will have previously been tradesperson, most likely a carpenter.
Supply and supply and install contracts are ‘called forward’ by the supervisor but are routed through head office. In other words, there is no direct contact between supervisors and supply and supply and install contractors. For example, a supply order for concrete that will go into a floor slab will be ‘called forward’ by the supervisor using the Framework or ClickHome workflow software. The supply order will become a part of a stream of concrete call forwards going through the head office to a concrete supply company. The supervisor will have directly engaged the concreter as a subcontractor who will lay out the slab and be ready at the appointed time with a gang to pour the concrete and complete the slab.
Following the issuing of call forwards the supervisor follows up to ensure that the work is done and that it meets quality standards. These standards are of two types:
First, construction work has to meet the requirements of the building regulations and associated Australian standards (eg. Victorian Building Commission 2007). At key stages in the building process a registered building surveyor will check off adherence to building regulations and standards. If the building survey finds faults, then improvement notices will be issued.
Second, the supervisors are responsible for ensuring that work meets the quality standards that the volume builders set themselves. These standards relate primarily to the ultimate presentation of the house to the purchaser and market reputation for high quality work.
Re: How often do you visit your site?695
May 21, 2020 6:42 pm
Inspecting the work of the subcontractors is still very much the supervisors job.
And yes I am very well aware of what happens when either they don’t or don’t give a flying F.
Just look up some of my posts and you will see the issues I’ve had.
That said I take part blame because I wasn’t here to inspect and didn’t employ someone to inspect. But that doesn’t change the fact it was the supervisors job. Each issue has cost me a lot of angst and cost the builder a lot of money to fix.
I will never ever use a volume builder ever again. And would never recommend anyone use them. Though of course I realise that without them housing in general would be a lot more expensive.
Re: How often do you visit your site?696
May 21, 2020 7:39 pm
Safer to take the view Norfolk has described and assume volume builders SS won’t check.
Sounds like we all had similar experiences and were let down by the amount of ‘supervision’ vs simply coordinating trades at the early crucial stages.
Re: How often do you visit your site?699
May 21, 2020 9:18 pm
Maybe a good question to ask the builders' sales consultant is how much time the site supervisor will spend on your site each week. Better still get minimum site hours written as a special clause in the contract and require the SS to show the call log in his 'clickhome' workflow software or allow provide geotracking reports...
Re: How often do you visit your site?700
May 22, 2020 8:45 am
Norfolk had us all worried with his statement re responsibility, but he is a realist and shows us the duties of his/hers for upt to 15 builds. In my case the supervisor has not told the truth, but I managed to get evidence beforehand. He has not given me his mobile, so like in the navy, he is using a "buffer" and she may even forget sometimes to pass my complaint on. I do not think he has ever replied directly to any of my complaints/suggestions, the best I can hope for to be told by the buffer she has passed it on.
I believe to go to the Building Commission early early to get a $600 refund for flawed cavity insulation installation may set a precedent, that I am not to be trifled with?? Wish me luck.
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