Category Archives: Guest post

Guest post: The real beginning…

As well as stopping by our block nearly every afternoon to take photos for us, Emma has kindly put together another guest post.

I think this one is in perfect time. While we are excited that things are progressing with the build now, I think we both feel the excitement is somewhat tainted because we’re still practically seething that it’s taken the best part of a year!

At some point, we’ll have to take a deep breath and try to start fresh with our Site Supervisor (SS).

The real beginning…

You have a SS! Construction has started! You might even have piers by now! An absolutely amazing experience of excitement – all those months of admin seeing your dream house on a piece of paper and guess what??? It’s finally coming to life!!!

Now, the first mistake many people make is to treat their SS with the same contempt they have treated the admin staff. Or, to start asking when the build will be finished (and the slab has only just been poured!) Wowsers, you guys are a little keen.

Your SS and tradies, in general, are very different beasts to the pencil pushers (oops, sorry, skilled vs professional). Trust me, I know, my awesome hubby is a tradie and I’m an economist, you’d think we’d butt heads all the time… well, we do, but I still know to treat him differently to my work colleagues.

Now, your SS has quite a large job just in organising the tradies for your place. His task is even larger when in an estate, where he may be supervising a number of properties and juggling the limited resources he has been given. I can guarantee he’s probably not treated so well by the admin guys and is abused at least once daily by other clients, tradies or the admin people!

So, how do you start on the right foot?

Be nice to them! Don’t be overly demanding. Don’t call them daily and demand an update, or complain constantly that things are going too slowly. Remember to thank them whenever you see them. I know some people even go as far as giving their SS and/or tradies a case of beer or scotch! (I am not endorsing you do this, just telling you what I know others have done).

Why? Well, your SS can make your build go very smoothly and can hasten you through the different stages, or, if he so pleases, he can stretch it over the full amount of allocated time.

So, help them out. If you have snuck in to the site and seen something wrong, or you notice the bricks delivered are the wrong bricks… help your SS out! Tell them you noticed as you were driving past your bricks are wrong, or could he please check your tiles have been laid horizontal not vertical (might have to be sneaky about the internals).

Also, remember that at each progress payment request, you have the right to a supervised visit with your SS before payment, take this opportunity if you have the time.

I’m not expecting you’ll be best friends with your SS, but everyone knows you attract birds with honey, not sticks and stones.

One word of caution: all of the above assumes your SS is a genuine person and actually does his job. If you’ve followed all of the above and your SS still never answers or returns your calls, or runs the other way when he sees you coming, and your construction is not keeping up with others around you, DO SOMETHING about it. Call the admin people; tell them how your SS is treating you and the house. It is in the admin people’s best interest to make sure your house is done on time and to the right specs, otherwise it costs the company.

One last thing….. CONGRATS to everyone who is at this stage! It really is an amazing experience to see your dream house “coming to life”! Enjoy this time and try not to stress so much! In three to six months you will be in your dream home! 🙂

Guest post: The light at the end of the admin tunnel…

Since it feels like nothing new is happening with our build, I’d like to introduce you all to a friend of mine, Emma. Emma has recently moved into her brand new mini castle at Bunya- a Toscano by Champion.

Emma outside her very own mini castle.

Emma outside her very own mini castle.

Emma has been a wonderful help during our build. Always willing to share her experience, she has given many people the confidence to keep building (even if it is one brick at a time!).

I was very happy when she agreed to write a guest post for my blog. Here it is:

The light at the end of the admin tunnel…

So you have finally reached the end of your (nightmare for most ppl) admin stage. You’re super excited by the news construction should be starting any time now! So, what do you do before popping that celebratory drink?

Most people reach the end of admin and breathe a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, the real work is only just about to start. If you think you were micro-managing before, I don’t know what you’d call the next stage!

Before construction starts you will receive your final plans. Now, although I’m sure you are over reading your contract and plans by this stage, unfortunately you are going to have to do it again but in much finer detail. Don’t put it off and don’t rush through it as this is your final time to make changes, or correct changes made without your consent.

How do you read your final plans?

  1. Read your original plans first and note the inclusions that are standard.
  2. Read through your variations and note down the changes.
  3. Pull the final plans out and check that the inclusions and variations have been correctly written down.
  4. Any codes written down should be checked (I would suggest googling them to ensure what you picked out is what has been agreed and written down)
  5. Check the progress payment schedule does not have you paying too much upfront (many banks require a certain payment proportion per payment). Check they haven’t charged you twice (seriously, these builders will try any trick in the book).
  6. Understand your rights and responsibilities! (Yes, this does involve reading the HIA part of your building contract) if unsure of the jargon used ask a friend or seek legal advice.

Things to look out for include:

  • Changes to window sizes and positions
  • Glazing type is correct
  • BAL rating requirements have been met
  • Room sizes haven’t changed
  • Tiles- are the codes correct and are the tiles in the right spots?
  • Carpet- is the carpet and underlay correct?
  • Fittings
  • Are all the upgrades, including your electrical plan, shown on the plan?
  • Has your landscaping plan changed- are you happy with the landscape plan?
  • Your BASIX certificate- make sure they haven’t changed the size of your solar panels or your rainwater tank without your consent.

TIP: get a friend to read over your documents as you could be seeing things through rose coloured glasses due to the euphoria of finally reaching the construction phase!

Once you have filed through absolutely every last detail possible and everything is ok… you can sign the final plans and send them off, moving you that much closer to the start of your dream home!

Guest post authored by Emma. To see more of Emma’s helpful information, or to ask Emma a question, go to bungarribee.com and search for posts by Whytee.