Slab and Frame Inspection

Posted by | Posted in Problems, Structure | Posted on 24-11-2010

So in light of the recent developments of our construction, we decided we better step in and get an independent inspection carried out. The bloke that came out on Monday morning apparently was pretty good (I was at work, so my father in law went in my absence) and picked up quite a few things:

  • Edges of the floor slab wasn’t boxed properly, so in many places (almost every corner) it has forced the frame that is attached to it to either overhang (severely, in some cases up to 80mm) or underhang.
  • Steel reo is exposed in three areas
  • The issue with the back wall is that the slab wasn’t boxed straight and hence one side of the wall is overhanging, while the other side is square. Overhangs by up to 70mm
  • Left garage wall is overhanging by about 30mm – Burbank placed a square block of wood to compensate for the gap but this isn’t deemed adequate and needs to be replaced with materials of higher durability eg. treated pine, to prevent possible future timber rot.
  • Lintel above garage door not tied properly to studs and plates
  • Another top plate in Bed 1 not supported properly

Obviously the two main concerns are the exposed reo and the dimensions of the slab pour. My father in law asked the inspector if our slab is a bad job and he said that he’s seen worse – but that’s obviously no reassurance. Writing this now has put thoughts into my head, fears that Maria and I would be paying our home loan for the next 30 years for a house that might not last 10.

I got in contact with Burbank and informed them that, despite them sending us the invoice for slab payment, we will not be paying it until the slab issues are resolved (this was before I sent them the inspection report, which only got to me this morning). After some to-ing and fro-ing about it, Burbank relented and agreed to defer the payment until the issues are resolved. I also got news today after sending them the report, that Burbank has agreed to rectify every issue identified in the inspection report, and I will be receiving copies of engineering sign-offs for whatever fix requires an engineer to look at it.

It is utterly gut-wrenching to see that your dreams have been kicked off with a false start right at the beginning. Anything but the slab is relatively easy to correct, but with the slab in the condition that it’s in right now, you know that the construction has been marred right at its core. It’s really disappointing that there are people out there that really don’t care about their job – whether that is whoever supervised (or probably just sat there and yakked off for a couple of hours), whether that is whoever was surveying (did they have a tape measure? Honestly!) or the concreters themselves.

The slab is a poor slab, and sure there may be some techniques and tricks that can be applied to make it a bit better, but the fact remains – it’s a poor slab and that will plague the back of our minds for years to come.

The frame on the other hand, is near perfect. It’s astonishing to see the difference in quality between the two stages, especially as they happened so quickly between them. For those who are following my blog and are building with Burbank (or any other builder for that matter), please please PLEASE check the quality of work for your slab and try to alert your liaison of any issues you might find.

I’d hate for this to happen to anyone else.

Comments posted (4)

G’Day George, what is the update with Burbank?

Since they have disgraced themselves so far, l hope your getting adequate answers.

Still waiting, I’m afraid.

I’ll follow up later in the week.

Hey George,

I am now kicking myself! We should have done the same. Everything moved so fast we didn’t get a chance to see the slab before the frame went up, and things just happened that we haven’t had time to think about an independant inspector! Now we’re going away for 4 weeks.. Gosh after reading your problems with your slab, I hope nothing like that has gone wrong with ours… I guess we won’t find out till a couple of years, then it will be too late…

Hoping everything has been resolved now, so they can get on with your build!
Have a great Christmas

Hey Dale,

Sorry for the late reply (something happened to my mail notifications that get sent out whenever someone comments here). I don’t think the slab issues that we experienced is something that happens often, and that’s something that Burbank had repeated to me many times during the whole ordeal, but they also mentioned that it does happen, and that it sucks when it does. Chances are you haven’t experienced what we have, but that’s no reassurance I guess. If you’re bricked up already, then unfortunately the opportunity to get the site inspected has long gone.

Everything has been resolved now, so we’re pretty happy and things are back on track. Hope you have a Merry Christmas mate!