Living in the house

It’s been a while since I posted. To be honest the last few weeks of the build just left me feeling completely deflated and over the entire thing so I wasn’t in the mood to post any updates.

We’ve been in the house for a few weeks now. We love the space and are really happy with the layout we designed and all our selections. It’s still really disappointing though when you look around the house and see the poor quality of work on a lot of things. It’s just not how a brand new house should be finished by a team of so called “professionals”.. I use that term loosely.

Here’s a few examples of the “quality” workmanship we paid for.

We are still waiting for our shutters to be installed which should be in the next few weeks, so once that it done I will take some better photos to post.

Our driveway is under construction at the moment and will be poured on Friday/Monday which will make a huge difference to the front of the house. No more having to get out of the car in the dirt! Our retaining walls at the back are now also complete so next up there is the back fence then we can get started on a bamboo screen on the top tier and some turf.


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Bathrooms + Electrical Underway

Last week saw the bath and toilets all installed. The bath installation meant getting yet another hole cut in our laundry ceiling because the plumbers had never actually plumbed the bath in even though we had told our supervisor numerous times. The supervisor asked them to go check a few weeks back and they said it was fine. It appears we were right!

Electrical kicked off on Thursday afternoon. All the downlights and powerpoints/light switches are in. Unfortunately they couldn’t do anything in the bathrooms yet as the ceilings are going to have another layer of gyprock so the cornices sit lower and cover the tops of the tiles (which aren’t straight). They still have quite a bit of stuff to do outside too. One of my kitchen pendants is also not hanging straight. Hopefully I can get that sorted out.

The gyprocker should be back (for about the sixth visit) sometimes this week. He has a fair bit of stuff on his list to get sorted. Tiler was there yesterday ripping down the kitchen splashback tiles (some of which were laid upside down and therefore didn’t line up!). The gyrocker will also have to redo that whole area before it can be retiled.

One coat of paint has been done but we still need another coat plus the girls feature walls to be done. There is paint on literally every surface. All over the tiles (as you can see in the photo of the bath), on the kitchen cupboards, all over the glass on my glass doors plus on the bricks. I think my five year old could have done a tidier job.

Not sure when the bricks are going to be redone around the front door. The list of stuff to be fixed just keeps growing and growing. Who knows when we will finally get the keys.






The good, the bad and the ugly… and over contract

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted and it’s been a bit of a rough trot. Kitchen is now in (except for kickboards and the back of the island bench as these will go in after flooring is complete to avoid needing beading/scotia).

Tiling is sort of done in bathrooms and laundry. We had a meeting with our Site Supervisor last week in regards to quite a few things we weren’t happy with in the hopes it can be dealt with now rather than later. Tiling was one of them. Quite a few of the tile that have been cut to meet the ceiling cornices are not even and particularly on the grey tiles it really stands out. Our Supervisor has agreed to rectify this by replacing the cornices with a new cornice with a lipped edge which should sit just over the edge of the tile and hide the tops so it will look straight. Another big problem is with our tiled splashback in the kitchen. Quite a few tiles have been laid upside down which means the pattern doesn’t line up properly. It also hasn’t been tiled right up to the window like it should be. They will all need to come down, probably be re-gyprocked and then done again.

There was quite a few bits of sloppy carpentry which should hopefully all be rectified, then comes one of the biggest issues.

Brickwork. Around our front door it looks terrible. I went to the show home to take a photo of how it looked there and it was like chalk and cheese. I showed the sales consultants and they were embarrassed by the finish of some of the things I showed them. Our Site Supervisor has agreed to get them to re-brick this section but of course the brickie is on holidays for two weeks.

Painting was due to start today but when I went out to let the painter know to also paint the leftover skirting boards so we can install them after handover, there was no one there. I can’t see him being finished by Monday like he was supposed to be now.

By my calculations we are now about 2 weeks over contract. At the start of the week our Supervisor said we were still about 5 weeks out from handover. Unfortunately Clarendon’s liquidated damages are only $15 per working day so not exactly a huge incentive for them to hurry up and finish! It’s a stupidly low amount particularly compared to some of the other builders paying $50 or $100 per day!

All we can do now is wait and hope everything gets fixed properly the first time and we get these keys soon.


Now for some photos..


Bricks + Upper Roof Complete

Some good progress since my last post with the bricks completed on 14 April and the upper roof complete on 27 April. Fascias, guttering, eaves, some downpipes and whirlybirds are also installed.

I was hoping by now the cladding would also be on so the external paint could be done and upper bricks cleaned once the scaffolding comes down. Our SS has been on holidays and is back tomorrow so hopefully then I will have a better idea of when to expect the next wave of work.

Bricks – half way there

We are now about half way with our bricks. The lower floor is pretty much complete except for the sections where there is a drop edge beam. They couldn’t go any higher there without scaffolding, which was delivered yesterday. Hopefully they don’t muck around getting the scaffolding up and they can get cracking with the second floor bricks.

Once the bricks started we found a few issues with the slab. The draftsperson had actually left a bit of slab off the slab plan (always handy!) so they have had to add more concrete to the pillar at the right hand side of the garage. The concreters measurements must have also been out as the right hand corner at the front we have 30mm overhang on one pillar, and then 30mm underhang on the other! Our SS wasn’t concerned and said it would all be fixed where needed.

The brickies seem to have done a pretty good job so far and we are happy with our brick selection, especially considering it was just in the standard range of bricks.

Now for some photos..









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A couple of days ago we received a USB stick from Clarendon with some of their colour/selection options included. Unfortunately most of it was just supplier brochures so you have no idea of what is actually included.

One thing where they DID actually show what was the standard/upgraded ranges was the bricks. Bricks are supplied through Austral and I was pleasantly surprised that there was a decent range that came as standard.

Today we loaded the girls up and went to the display centre to check what the bricks looked like in real life. Let’s just say the images provided were very misleading. At the end of the day we were quite happy with a couple of colours and got local addresses of houses that had been built in those bricks.

There is a new range of bricks called the Wilderness range which we really liked. The range comprises of 3 colours, all very dark which is what we were after. The leader at the moment is called Blackbutt which doesn’t really have any tonal colours in it whereas the other two colours have hints of maroon and brown. Unfortunately there aren’t any houses built locally in the other colours yet so when we head to Sydney next Friday for our contract we will suss out if there are any down there we can look at.

Below is a closeup from Austral of Blackbutt.



Above is a house built in Blackberry which is one of the other colours in the Wilderness range.