PCI and final inspection

Posted by | Posted in Final Stage | Posted on 28-04-2011

So I have been neglecting this blog for a little bit (sorry about that, have been incredibly busy) but we had our PCI on the 14th of April and overall it went pretty well. Most of the issues found were pretty minor (scuff marks / paint chips that need to be touched up and the like, doors realigned etc), but some major things hadn’t been done yet (fencing and letterbox).

Then we had the Easter break which really just caused two “broken” weeks in succession to occur, so it’s hard to get any work done over those two weeks. I have been in touch with my contract liaison since, however, and the good news is that we have a final handover date of the 10th of May. We will need to meet up on site and go through the things that were found at PCI to check that they have been resolved satisfactorily, and then it’s off to Altona to hand over the bank cheque and get the keys!

Another casual inspection and PCI

Posted by | Posted in Final Stage | Posted on 29-03-2011

Earlier this week, we had organised with Burbank a casual inspection just to see how things were going. When we arrived that Monday morning, we pleasantly discovered a beautiful house with an awesome interior. The site supervisor was on site and walked us through how things were going.

Things that have been completed up until this very moment:

  • Tiling completed (floor and wall)
  • Heater ducts have been installed (including one being moved closer to the kitchen window)
  • Electrical has been completed – all power points, ceiling light holders, light switches and data points
  • FTTH cabinet has been installed (no hardware in it as yet)
  • Alarm system has been wired up with IR sensors and control keypad
  • Vacuum system has its cover flaps installed
  • Carpets have been laid
  • Sliding robe doors have been installed (WIR racks have been installed too)
  • Cabinetry for linen closet and pantry have been completed
  • Kitchen sink and plumbing completed
  • Flyscreens have been installed
  • Render base has been applied (not painted yet)
  • Driveway has commenced, will be completed by tomorrow

We’ve also been given a PCI date of 14th of April. We simply cannot wait until this day arrives, and we’re very excited!

Here are some pictures (the ones taken at the inspection were done at 7am, so the quality is pretty dark, sorry).


Posted by | Posted in Tiling | Posted on 06-03-2011

Just a quick post to let you all know that we’re in the middle of tiling now. The internal painting has finished (external yet to start) and the job looks great. Maria and I went to the house yesterday to have a look at how things are going. I met the tiler there, he was in the middle of doing the kitchen / meals area but we went around to have a look at how things are going. The shower tiles look great with our feature tile accent! Things are looking really good.

I only got a picture of the laundry tiles to show what they look like, as I’ve mentioned earlier our Ascent 2600 will have tiles from the front door down the hallway, laundry, kitchen, meals, rear passage (no jokes please!), bathroom and toilet. The wet areas will have tiled skirtings. All floor tiles are the same type – 450mm Augusta Beige with Buff grout.

Fixout walkthrough

Posted by | Posted in Fixing | Posted on 26-02-2011

We had a walkthrough at the fix out stage on Monday (sorry for the long delay between then and now!) and we got a good look at the house inside to see how things were progressing. It’s been going pretty well, the painters were in preparing the interior for painting and the plaster bulkhead above our kitchen cabinets were in place. The house also got a brick clean and it looks brilliant.

Naturally there still were some outstanding issues:

  • Exposed reo wasn’t fixed yet at the back – we brought a shovel with us and physically dug at the back, once the exposed reo was found the SS sprayed it with pink paint.
  • Laundry door – this was damaged before the framing stage, it’s been patched up now although was verbally promised by the SS’s manager that the door will be replaced. It’s fine now, so we figured it’s not worth chasing this one up.
  • Spouting / gutters – they are still crooked in some places. The SS and my father in law spent a good 10 minutes discussing what is right and what is wrong – the SS eventually gave in and said that he’ll get it looked at, but “can’t guarantee anything” (direct quote)
  • Fascia at the back of the garage, above external door – this is clearly crooked (sorry should’ve taken a photo of this). SS apparently couldn’t see it as an issue, and thought it wasn’t crooked. It’s clear that one end of the fascia is higher than the other; you can use the mortar lines of the brickwork as a general rule. I told him “well it’s either the fascia that’s crooked, or the brickwork”, eventually the SS agreed to “look into it”, but again “no guarantees”.
  • The back toilet window from the inside looks crooked, right side of the wooden window frame (the architrave / flashing that’s applied during the fixing stage) is about 3 mm lower than the left. Does anyone know if this is outside the guidelines? I can’t find anything specific on this.
  • Alfresco door architrave at the top has bowed on the left side by a couple of mm. The SS used a hammer and tapped it in on the spot, not sure if it made much of a difference.
  • Alfresco outside door seal rubber has bunched up and you can see the end of the mortar behind the bricks – SS said he would look into it.

Overall a positive experience, although a few little things that need to get looked at. Gutters and fascia seem to be the big items on that list for me.

Here are some pictures as I know you all love looking at them.

Update: I’m posting this post on the Saturday 26th February, while the events described in this post occurred on Monday 21st February. Some things have been updated; namely the ceilings and walls have been painted (I believe the walls need one more lick of paint before it being completed), the exposed reo at the back has been fixed (finally!), and our garage door has been installed – see picture attached.


Posted by | Posted in Interior | Posted on 01-02-2011

Burbank‘s MyPlace has been updated again for us – this time, it’s the plaster stage. Maria has been really good and visiting the site every few days or so to see how the progress is coming along, and it indeed seems that plaster has been hung. We’re definitely past the lockup stage now, despite us not having a proper door between the garage and the hallway, the whole doorway has been plastered up to suffice the lockup state, so it goes without saying that Burbank would make this into a doorway again later on down the track.

I had shown one of my best mates the progress of the build on site and he noticed that on Bed 4 / Alfresco corner that the top 4 courses of bricks are leaning slightly out of angle. I notified our contract liaison about this and have been assured that this will get looked into. I don’t see it being a difficult thing to correct. Maria also said that one of her friends had swung by our construction on Sunday and saw 3 trucks and about a dozen tradies working on site. On a Sunday! In 39 degree heat! Wow!

We’re still waiting on brick acid wash (I really want to see the real colour of those fantastic Canterbury bricks), and the next thing in the Burbank MyPlace Workflow checklist is “Fix Carpenter”, which I don’t really have an idea what it is. If you know what it is, please let me know.

Apologies again for the lack of photos, now that we’re locked out the opportunity to break into the house to get any has gone.


Posted by | Posted in General | Posted on 25-01-2011

Just a short post today, informing that we have lockup. We received the lockup invoice today in the mail. I asked my liaison about ballpark timelines and she said that fixing stage is 4-6 weeks and final stage 6-8 weeks, assuming there are no other delays. With those timelines, we would hopefully get PCI between the dates of 4th April 2011 and 2nd May 2011.

According to Burbank MyPlace, we also have electrical rough-in completed.

I’ll be visiting the house tomorrow (Australia Day) and start moving some bricks into piles that we can leave at the back of the property. Burbank said that they wouldn’t touch those bricks on site clean up so that we can keep some, but I’m more concerned about brick thieves – on the Homeone forum I have read stories of subcontractors like plumbers just helping themselves (and getting caught in the process!)

Bricks Pt 3

Posted by | Posted in Structure | Posted on 19-01-2011

Maria went by the house earlier tonight and took some more happy snaps. It looks like the bricks are complete! All infills have been, well, filled; brick window sills have been placed, brick sills for under the doors have been placed as well. We could spy from the front door that heater ducts are in, and having a look around the house, our stink pipe has been topped and the gas exhaust pipe has also been installed. Coming around the back, it seems our skylight for the alfresco has also been installed!

Not long before lockup now.

Bricks Pt 2

Posted by | Posted in Structure | Posted on 16-01-2011

Okay so it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on our blog. Naturally there was some time off for everyone (including the hard working tradies) so there wasn’t much activity happening with our build, but soon into January they started up again. I luckily had 2 weeks off starting from Christmas, so I visited the build near the end of my holiday on a weekday and found the brickies at work. I waved hello to them and they waved back but were on their lunch break and didn’t seem interested to come out and have a chat, so I just took some happy snaps and then drove away.

The house is really coming along now – we just went there earlier today and it seems 90% of the bricking has been done. Burbank jackhammered the front corner of the slab just before Christmas, (after saying that they weren’t going to – a note of contention) but the concreter left some exposed reo and left it like that for the whole 2 weeks of holiday time, which is great (*sarcasm*). When we went there earlier today the concreter had finally patched up the front but we’re pretty sure that none of the small section of exposed reo at the back has been patched up (behind Bed 3). It is now submerged under the soil, and I’m going to email my liaison tomorrow about it. Some bricking left to do is the front garage, the side wall (front half), front Bed 1 where they jackhammered the slab, and the angled brick for under the windows. After that – lockup!


Posted by | Posted in Structure | Posted on 28-12-2010

I just want to get out first that I wish everyone who has come across this blog over the Christmas break a Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings. I know it’s a little late now, but where Christmas is situated in the week for 2010 makes timing a little off, also it doesn’t help when your birthday is also on Christmas Day (yay!) and spend all day at the Boxing Day sales!

Anyway, I know you all want an update on the house, so here it is: we’ve been bricked. Only the east wall has been bricked, up to approx 1.8m, from just in front of the gas connections, all the way to the back wall where the alfresco sliding door is. This occurred before Christmas, and we don’t expect any more work to be done until the tradies return from their Christmas break in the new year. So far though, we are going very, very well.

Slab issues fixed, roof and sisalation

Posted by | Posted in Resolutions, Structure | Posted on 19-12-2010

A lot has happened since my last post, so this post is a little long.

Burbank have stepped up to the mark and have addressed every issue with the inspection report, which is great news. I had a meeting with the site supervisor and manager on Friday 17th December and went through the report and had a good look around the house as well.

Things that have been addressed:

  • The biggest issue – slab extension at the back of the house has been applied. This was done in stages – rods were placed at the back wall of Bedroom 4 and the wall between alfresco and family room (where the sliding door sits) and concreted up. This concrete started to crumble a little, so it was patched up with non-shrinking bondcrete. It looks like we now have a relatively straight back edge of slab and footing.
  • The second biggest issue – all instances of exposed steel reo has been patched up, bar one at the back of Bedroom 3. For some reason, the back of the lot was backfilled right up to the slab, burying the exposed reo under dirt and mud. I had reminded my contract liaison that this needs to be addressed and had word come back saying that this is no problem, but as far as I know this hasn’t been addressed yet (it may have by the time you read this though).
  • There are a couple of instances where the guttering is a little crooked, my father in law counted three instances but to the best of my eyesight I can only pick out two. The SS suggested maybe it was the roof scaffolders that perhaps had accidentally pushed down on the guttering; he noted that the fascia is dead straight, so this is quite possible. Either way, this is an easy fix as the clips are adjustable.
  • Treated pine block has been placed at the outer front wall / corner of the garage, and had concrete applied to fix it in place.
  • Front garage lintel bracing has been redone
  • Top plate that wasn’t supported properly between 2 studs in Bed 1 fixed
  • The slab for the front wall between Bed 1 and the portico was short by approximately 10mm – this wasn’t mentioned in the inspection report, but was fixed anyway (thanks Burbank!)
  • The wall between the hallway and the garage was overhanging, this has been patched up
  • There is a minor issue with the laundry sliding door, one of the melamine-topped wood frame was split a little. Burbank offered to replace the whole door, which is great.
  • There is an issue at the front right corner of Bed 1 (near the electricity meter box), it’s one of the (rare) instances with this house build that the slab actually extends too far past the frame. When this gets bricked up, this extra jutting section of the slab will be eating into the cavity space, which could cause problems further down the track. There are two options – (1) cut the slab to trim away this section (not advisable), or (2) trim the bricks slightly before being laid here. Option 2 was chosen.

As soon as the last section of exposed reo at the back has been addressed, I can personally consider the issues with the slab resolved. It’s not going to get any better than this given the circumstances, and if the fixes that have been applied are still not satisfactory in a hypothetical sense, the only other option is to bust the whole thing up and start again. We all know that pigs would fly before that option would even be considered by the constructor! So there is no real point in dwelling in this situation further. I am happy now. Onwards and upwards.

Now for the new things!

Roof tiles have been laid! Having a look around, every single tile is spot on and in line. I can’t believe how perfect they are, capping tiles placed and the concrete used to join it to the rest of the roof (does anyone know what this is called? I came across the term earlier in the week but have forgotten it now) is colour matched perfectly and correct.

Plumbing has been done! The plumber did a great job. I could only see one small section where the plumber had to cut through the stud, and only then the absolute minimum has been cut out, which is fantastic. All pipes are routed smartly around, and no shortcuts were taken. I have seen much more horror jobs on the web, I am grateful our job isn’t one of them.

Solar panels for hot water have been installed! This is the first obvious high-tech item that has been put onto our house. Naturally after handover there will be some more high-tech gadgetry within the walls of our house ;)

We have also been wrapped! We aren’t too far away from bricks now.

I left the meeting when it finished with a smile on my face, and I am excited about building again. I am happy that Burbank has addressed the issues, and have done so professionally. Whenever I talk to anyone from Burbank though, they seem to be hung up on time (I guess since they have a hard deadline they need to stick to contractually, which is fair enough), whereas I am more interested in the quality of work. Either way, I am satisfied (and so is Maria of course, there’s a lot of “I this” and “I that” in this blog!) and am happy.