Thursday, 31 May 2007

[Tips.002] Ask you builder not to fasten/fix the skirting boards if you are installing timber floors latter

Everyone likes to have timber floors in her/his new house. Problem is, project home builders charged a lot for that. So far, we haven't seen many owners installing timber floor with the builder. Most of them just leave the floor as it is, and then install timber/carpet or other floor coverings after hand-over, and that's what we planned to do as well. After a few discussions with some new home owners, we found a common problem - the skirting board.

Project home builders always fasten/nailed the skirting board and have it painted before the hand-over. Unfortunately when the flooring people tried to install the timber floors, the skirting boards need to come off, otherwise the edges under the wall won't be covered properly. And yes, that could easily damage your brand new wall - also don't forget that it's every single wall surrounding the area you are installing timber floors!

Yes, there's another option - to install an extra edging in front of the skirting boards. Well, you then get an extra layer under every surrounding wall. Personally, I don't think that looks good, but it's one possible solution.

We also tried to ask the builder to leave the walls as it is and don't install any skirting board in the whole house. Guess how much credit for that? Less than $350! Yes I am not joking. They charge you arms and legs for any variation, and only give you peanuts if you ask for any credit. That's how these project home builders make money...

Finally, the last option is the recommended one: ask the builder not to fasten/fix the skirting boards. Just use a few nails to "tack" it (tacked skirting). Unfortunately not many builders are willing to do that. Domaine, Clarendon, Bellmarch all said no. Our builder has no problem with that, but even though we have been talking about this since day 1, we made a big mistake - we didn't get it written into the tender!! When we latter discovered this, they want to charge us $400 for that. We fought very hard for it, but as all drawings are done and approved, colour selection also almost done, we can't do much about that.

This is another lesson we learned - try to get everything covered and negotiate the price with the sales at the beginning. When it comes to the colour selection or latter stage, you are already hooked and lost most of your bargain power. The sales are more willing to negotiate as they are trying to get your business.

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