Maintenance still not finished…

Talk about a slow process! Front porch re-tiling was done last week, and they were back today to do the grout. In the rain. So now the porch is sheeted in plastic and we can’t walk on it for 2 days. Hmmm. Still waiting though for the “silicone guy” to come back and fix up our ensuite shower niche – I’ve been told a few times now by the tiling company that this would be happening – so far he hasn’t turned up.

We had to get the plumbers back out too. I’ve been phoning Sydney Water pretty much ever since we moved in, asking for them to please come out and connect our recycled water meter. And nothing ever happens. I finally got sick of waiting for them last week and lodged a formal complaint. Suddenly they were interested, called me, did some investigating, and it turns out that the pipes were installed too close together, and too low into the ground, so despite a number of attempts by Sydney Water, they couldn’t connect the meter. Would have been nice for them to tell me that in the first place! Anyway, plumbers came back yesterday, pipes are now sitting up significantly higher than they were, and hopefully Sydney Water will come back and finally fit the water meter!

The painters were back on the weekend and did all the final touch ups. So once the silicone guy comes back, I think we’ll finally be finished inside!

Now if only the rain would stop, we might even be able to get the pool finished off!

I guess Rome wasn’t built in a day…….

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Maintenance is almost done!

I mentioned in a post a little while back that we were going through the maintenance period, as a result of our 13 week inspection. We’re still waiting on a few things to be done, but we’re almost there!

So far, we have had all the fiddly little things done – repairs to nicks and chips in the walls, loose door handles, sticky pop-up plugs, rough carpet edges, etc etc.

We have had some major works done too, with some tiles in our kitchen needing to be lifted, the slab underneath needing to be jackhammered up to remove a lump, and new tiles laid. That made a hell of a mess, and I’m still cleaning up dust! We were very fortunate that we were able to get tiles in the same shade – each batch of tiles, even though they’re the same colour, always differ slightly from previous batches, but thankfully the tiles we have are a 99% match to what was originally laid. If you didn’t know, you’d never notice!

We are having our front porch re-tiled next week, from when the brick cleaning process damaged them. Thankfully this is outside so the dust shouldn’t permeate every nook and cranny of the house like the kitchen tiles did!

We’re still waiting for the driveway to be re-sealed. Not sure why but we have some large white patches that came through a few weeks after we moved in. Apparently re-sealing will fix this.

And the painter is booked to come back and do the final touchups on the repaired areas.

I just wanted to say, again, that Wisdom have been extremely helpful and accommodating throughout this process. Nothing has been a problem for them. We did have one issue regarding some damaged windows, where we had acid damage on the outside of the glass. Wisdom initially said that they wouldn’t do anything about this because it wasn’t picked up at handover. However, when we explained that it was raining on the day of handover, as well as the days before and after, and it would have been impossible to see the damage due to the rain on the windows, they agreed to have the windows replaced. I wasn’t quite so thrilled with that solution though – very generous of them, but then I started thinking about the mess, and the sheer scale of the job (we’re talking about some very large windows). So we came to a compromise – I sourced a professional glass polishing company who specialise in graffiti and acid damage removal, and they paid. The deal was that if it didn’t work, we’d pay, and they’d replace the windows. Thankfully it worked, and was a win/win. We didn’t have any inconvenience from having building work done in our loungeroom, and Wisdom surely saved money by not having to replace the windows!

So we’re almost at the end of the line as far as our involvement with Wisdom goes. Once these final things are done, I guess we’re on our own as they will have fulfilled all of their obligations.

So to Wisdom, thank you. Thank you for our amazing house, thank you for your staff who always go above and beyond and kept us in the loop the whole time, and thank you for making the building process so incredibly easy and stress-free! If I ever build again, it would be another Wisdom home for sure!

The end result

The house was easy … the pool is a bit more stressful!

Well, we have decided to build a pool. It’s not a recent decision – we signed contracts back in December. As yet, all we have is a concrete hole in the ground and a bit of plumbing. Building a house was easier (and quicker) by comparison!

We did choose to excavate 24 hours before Sydney experienced it’s heaviest rain in over a hundred years. That wasn’t such a good decision. But the weather forecast didn’t mention that the rain was going to be the heaviest in a century. It just said “possible scattered showers”. Who knew…

It was interesting to see the pool fill up rather quickly, and to then watch one corner totally collapse and cave in. That was a little bit soul destroying.

It was scary when, in the middle of the night a few days later, we heard a massive splash, and on inspection, peering into the murky water, something (still don’t know what it was) leapt out of the water, splashed back in, and then (we assume) eventually managed to scramble out, pulling more of the wall down in the process.

When the excavators came back a few days later to remove the collapsed portion of the pool, we were half expecting them to find some kind of animal. They didn’t, so it must have escaped.

And now we’re at a standstill. Waiting for concrete to cure is like waiting for paint to dry. Endless, boring… And of course we’re now in the middle of winter, so I’m not exactly motivated to get things moving again!

I can visualise the finished product, and I know we’re going to love it when it’s done. But I kind of secretly wish that we hadn’t actually started building a pool. If we didn’t, then our landscaping would be finished by now, and I wouldn’t feel like I was still living in a building site. I just keep telling myself that it will be worth it. It will be worth it. It WILL BE WORTH IT!

My advice to anyone else who is building and is considering also putting in a pool? Do it at the same time (or before) the house. Save yourself some headaches.

And don’t forget to budget for all the “other stuff” that they don’t include in contracts.

  • Removal and dumping of excavated material (they included the cost of excavating, but not taking away and disposing of the dirt. One tip quoted over $20,000 to dump the dirt!! It’s worth trying to find somewhere or someone local to take dirt before you start excavating)
  • Additional plumbing (this will be a per meter cost if you want the filter located further away from the pool).
  • Electrical (you’ll need your own electrician to connect everything to power)
  • Coping tiles/pavers and waterline tiles
  • Fencing
  • Retaining walls (maybe)

Here are a few pics of the pool progress to date…

Before the rain

After the deluge

The collapsed corner

Concrete poured – now it looks like a pool!