Building A New House
Dec 07, 2019 10:10 am
We have just finished a build with a "high end" building company who pride themselves on customization, maximising sun orientation and listening to customers. The architect retired soon after the contract was signed and therefore some of the items given him in the brief were not carried over, a lift was installed that on the first floor opens onto a staircase, (the sketches for a builder initiated variation order that changed the door opening were inaccurate and showed lots of room between the left door and the opposite wall - not accurate), appliances and other items (never actually listed to us) that were delivered exactly when and where as requested to them were stolen from the site and we were initially requested to pay their excess for this, only 2 batteries of a sump backup unit were installed and this was only noticed when we organised a pump service and then heard that the installing electrician had actually told the site supervisor that 2 batteries were missing but nothing would have been done unless we picked it up, and so on and so on. Too many other issues to list.
-Be prepared to monitor what goes on (even though site supervisor said we were not to be on building site without him and then he was always busy elsewhere - good way not to pick up problems),
-Have everything in writing
-Employ someone independent to do site inspections at critical times - several important issues were picked up for us and even now we are waiting for a poorly draining shower base to be repaired
-consider an independent interior designer to go over the internal plans and layout; simple changes can make an enormous difference.
-Read the contract and specs over and over again even though pressure is being put on you to sign a contract (and we thought that the build was meant to take about 18 months, translate that to more than 2 1/2 years!!!)
-If you see shortcomings in the design homes, then remember that is the standard that the build is based on, in contrast to any verbal assurances - "oh your build is customised!"
-do your own inspection with camera and notebook before the final handover inspection. After picking up stacks of things, we only noticed a scratched pane of glass (greater than building standards allow) a couple of days later and were told that it must have happened after the inspection. yeah, sure! They will not fix it.
We are disillusioned and frustrated but hope a) to never make the same mistakes again (just different ones) and b) empower others to avoid these pitfalls
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