I have been very busy for the whole week. So this post will cover a lot more details/photos than usual.
#1/3 - First Set - 03 Oct (Wed)
The first set of photos are from 3/10 (Wed), after the long weekend, on Wed morning we noticed more bricks been delivered, almost blocked the front gate.
They have finished the right hand side of the house up to about half the windows height on last Friday.
This one viewed from inside the bay windows at the front. They attached a small metal thing every few bricks so that they can later nail it to the timber frames.
When I returned on Wed night, they have finished all the walls surrounding the kitchen. The wall also stopped at the same height as previous work, they probably need the scaffolding to be setup before they can continue to work on higher levels.
I saw this thing called "Alcor Aluminium Dampcourse" which they installed at the bottom of the 2nd row of bricks on every walls. Not sure whether it's for water proofing, protection against termits/white ants or something else.
#2/3 - Second Set - 04 Oct (Thu)
The next set of photos were taken on 4/10 (Thu). We both took a day off and visited our tile supplier, chose some tiles and hopefully will get the quote within a week. When we returned in the afternoon, the garage wall at the left hand side of the house was also finished up to the same height.
We also saw this steel beam been delivered. During the drawing phase, we were quite worried about my wife's shocking driving skill, so we decided to upgrade from the standard 2 single garage doors (with a brick post in the middle) to the wide double garage door. I think this beam will be installed on top of the garage door to support the bricks above it.
This one taken outside the kitchen, the meals room windows has been raised as requested. Hopefully when the air con been installed, it won't be that obvious when looking from inside. Please don't make this mistake like us -- never install your air con right under the window, it would be quite noisy and it won't look good when viewed from inside the house.
This is a closer look of the wall, please pay attention to the bottom of the wall, see if you can pick up something unusual.
This one from the other side of the garage wall, again have a look at the first row of bricks at the bottom.
Now, the answer to why I asked you to pay attention to the bottom bricks in the previous photos... Well, almost... Look at the bricks in the photo below, the left hand side ones are done on Wed and the right hand side ones are done on Thu. Can you see the difference in the mortar colour? Left hand sides are in white but the right hand sides are in grey! Look at the bottom bricks in previous photos carefully again, they were done last Friday with white mortat, and all bricks above are done on the day photo taken also have grey mortar.
The photo below is a closer look of the bottom row of bricks from front of garage wall, you can see it's a lot more obvious compared to previous ones. We thought they might have used the wrong cement/mortar, quickly checked all the packages left on site but they were all marked as "off-white" colour as we requested.
We were all in panic mode straight away, as this means all the brick work done on Thu have to be knocked down and restart again... We were also thinking about contacting the supervisor straight way and put a sign on the brick wall to ask the brick layers to stop the work the next day morning...
So did we complaint to the supervisor about this? No, we didn't... After we calmed down a bit and had some discussion, we think it's because the brick work was just done during the day and it's probably not fully dried yet. Instead of jumping up and down and lodge a complaint -- which might humiliate ourselves, we decided to wait until next morning and double check with the brick layers...
Early next morning (5/10 Fri), we spoke with the brick layers and confirmed our assumption. We carefully checked the mortar colour of the garage wall again and were very happy to see they all turned into white colour after been left over night. The brick layers also told us the mortar colour would be even more white after a few weeks... What a relief!
No wonder there's always so many arguments between owners and trades person/builders, there's indeed a huge gap between both sides regarding the knowledge/understanding of the building process...
#3/3 - Last Set - 06 Oct (Sat)
The last set of photos were taken this afternoon. If you compare with the photos in the 2nd set above, you can see that they have finished the other side of garage wall and the two posts for the front porch. The only 2 areas left without brick coverage for ground floor will be the 2 bay windows: one at the front and one at the back. It's looking better everyday!!
This one taken from the front of the porch. The main entrance door frame has been installed as well during the frame stage.
This photo shows the smaller beams been delivered this week. I believe they will be installed above all the windows to support the bricks. We paid extra for this, as we like the traditional look of having a few bricks above all windows.
Most project homes provide lots of large windows which extends the height up to the ceiling. They claimed that this will brighten up the house and it's good for you. Well, yes and no. My understanding is, too many windows actually hurts your BASIX score and they actually do it like this to save the cost of brick laying plus the steel beams above the windows as the labour cost for windows are a lot cheaper than brick laying. So, if your BASIX score wasn't that good, you might want to consider removing some windows or reduce the height of the windows and add some bricks on top like us...
2 new issues
Unfortunately, I need to mention 2 new issues I picked up today... First, about the right hand side supporting steel beams in garage as shown below, can you see any problem from the photo below?
This is a closer look at the bottom/base part of the beam... Still can't see anything unusual?
Some of you might notice it, for those who don't, it would be much more obvious by making a comparison with the "correct" one from the other side... The following photo is from the left hand side. Did you get it now? Yes, the right hand side steel beam was not bolted to the ground, what a #^@%$!@$ mistake! And as the brick layers already put some bricks on it, I wonder how are they going to fix it...
The next issue is about the bricks, we have been quite happy with the brick work so far, until this happened... Have a look at the bricks in the photo below:
Don't know where did that came from, but the 2nd brick from the 3rd row in the photo above is definitely not in the same colour as any of the other over thousands of bricks we have seen so far... As it should be located somewhere behind one of the pipes for water tank system, it might not be that obvious unless you carefully checked every wall like we did.
Yes, I know we are very fussy as this is definitely quite minor compared to the first issue. But we all need to grab every opportunity to increase our negotiation power against the builder, if you know what I mean... Again, don't know how are they going to fix it...
The brick laying stage takes a few weeks and it's quite promising to see new walls been built every day. Hope you enjoy this extremely long post and I will definitely let you know if there's any update! Cheers!