Friday, 31 July 2009

[NextHouseToDo.001] Starting a To Do List for Future House

I have heard lots of not-so-nice stories about owners having all sorts of argument or dispute with builders. Luckily our experience with our builder has been quite positive so far. Yes, we did have some problems in the past (who didn't?), if you have been following my blog, they have all been settled in the end. And if there's a chance for us to build another house, God knows when..., we are quite happy to use the same builder again.

So, after moved in to our hour for about 14 months, I think it's time to start looking at how to think, and "dream" about how can we improve the process/design for our future, hopefully possible, but don't know when,... second house. I would like to cover all the things I can think of, not necessary only limited to builder/construction related stuffs.

Hopefully all my readers can also kindly share your experience with me, and with your permission, I would certainly like to post it in my blog to share with everyone. Let's all learn together to make the extremely complicate house construction process easier and better for everyone!

The first thing I can think of is to understand more about the area, neighbours and council.

If you are going to build the first 2 story house of the street, you will surely get more resistance than the 2nd or 3rd one.

I also heard that if you just bought the house and decided to knock down and rebuild straight away without living there for a while and know the neighbours, the chance of getting complaints/objections for your application from neighbour would be much much higher. Which is quite true.

I was looking at one of the streets where there's currently a few new houses been built from our council web site last week. I was quite surprised to know that one of the application took almost 3 years due to lots of neighbour complaints, change of design, council requirement not been met, ...etc. One of the neighbour even hire a professional architect to write a 3 pages report detailing lots of problems of the application, which is quite amazing.

I guess in the end, you probably can get your application approved some way some how, after lots and lots of paper work, changes and phone calls, since it's your land/house any way. But just imagine the impact to your life, the stress, extra cost/time, and lots of others if your application get delayed for a long time.

So my first thing on the list will be to do a lot of homework to know the area well, and make sure you visit the council web site and study some of the current development applications to get a bit more understanding of the process and the council's requirement.

Monday, 20 July 2009

[Progress.157] 3rd update on the leaf guard problem

Another update on the leaf guard problem, we did have a quick on-site meeting with Ben from Allcoast GutterGuard and when he was here, surprisingly, the first thing he asked was if we have any flooding issue after the leaf guard been installed? I also specifically ask him if the edges of the valley area (highlighted in red below) be sealed and he confirmed normally it won't be unless there's special requirement from the client --- which we did ask for it but it wasn't done.

After some checks on the roof, he concluded that the quality of the work was really bad and the only way to fix it properly would be to rip the whole thing out and re-do it again. Which he will have to talk to ABC Seamless first...

Our leaf guard was installed on 21/1 and 22/1. If you have been following my blog, you might remember in >this post I mentioned about an unusual minor flooding at our alfresco during a heavy hail storm on 21/2.

After he left, we checked their brouchure and as highlighted below in green, it did mention about heavy rain water. Ben must have noticed some problem with the installation to ask the question.

We also noticed there's a cracked tile at the front, on top of the bay window area after the leaf guard installation. Confirmed with our builder's maintenance area, the most likely reason for roof tile in that location to crack would be some inexperienced person accidentally stepped on it, definitely not hail storm or some sort of extreme weather....

Another piece of interesting information: one of the letters we received from them was dated 15/5 (highlighted in blue below) but it was posted on 28/5 (see envelop far below, highlighted in red), and it's about Gutter work (highlighted in green), asking for payment within 7 days otherwise there will be legal action...

We surely don't want to have the whole thing removed and reinstalled again, as it would definitely cause even more damage to our brand new gutter and roof tiles. If you look at that brochure above again, the area highlighted in yellow says "We guarantee it or your money back", this is what we are working on now, let's see how it goes...