Friday, October 23, 2009


Nothing much to do now.. the contract with all variations has been sent off to ANZ for a final valuation and (hopefully) approval. And yet another copy of the FHOG application signature pages.

Then we wait .. we've been told that the land won't be ready until December now, so looks like it'll be a while before we see any action.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Building inspection

I just had a chat with someone I know who is a building inspector, who I am planning to have inspect my house when it's built next year.

What he recommended was:

  • If we have a raft slab, have an inspection after it's been setup but before it's poured. He said we might need to write this into the contract that we need to inspect before pouring. But this is not so important if it's a waffle pod, because those are easier to get right, whereas the majority (he may even have said all) of raft slabs have problems. He needs the builder to provide engineering plans for this.

  • The next important stage is frame - this needs to be inspected before it's covered up.

  • Lockup and Fixing stages are not so important, as most issues here can also be picked up during a final inspection. However he gives a discount for these inspections if Final is also done, for the same reason that most issues found will be the same ones.

  • For the final inspection he suggests I walk around with him and we inspect at the same time.

The other thing he mentioned is "workmanship", which he says is typically not included in a contract. He said it's much better if you can get the builder to include a workmanship clause in the contract, which I have not unfortunately. The problem with not having such a clause is that if the builder does a shoddy job that still passes the standards, they can say they have fulfilled the contract..

So what I have done is asked my builder what kind of slab we actually getting, as the contract specifies "raft/waffle pod slab".

If you're wondering what on earth a waffle pod is, check

Friday, October 2, 2009

Questions answered

We have finally gotten responses to the questions asked almost a month ago. Apparently the first email we asked them in went missing, so it was only 2 weeks later that things actually got started. Anyway, here they are:

  1. Splashback cannot be provided above the window due to the configuration of the Kitchen. You would have joins in the glass which will look untidy and attachment to the plaster wall above the window is not guaranteed as there is no architrave around the window for the glass to sit on.
  2. If we heightened the Kitchen window then the bottom of the rangehood would need to be raised also. We can heighten the window providing the overhead cupboards are continued across the front of the rangehood and we provide a Baumatic 700mm GE87000U undermount rangehood. Cost would be $310

Both questions are in relation to the kitchen window, which is same as in the picture in the previous post (taken from a display home). I'm not entirely convinced that these things are impossible, but I guess they are trying to protect themselves from having to maintain something which may be problematic.

In the end we have left the kitchen window at the original size of 514x2398, leaving a gap of around 140mm between the top of the window and the rangehood and cupboards. Since they can't install splashback there, we will need to find some other way to protect it.

The other thing we finalized was having a note added to the contract to specify that the kitchen bench will run behind the range and into the window reveal. Although they have told me that this is standard, I am suspicious that when it comes time to build, they will not do this and tell me it has never been standard! This is what the benchtop is supposed to look like: