Apparently, when our first site supervisor (SS) handed over to his replacement prior to Christmas, someone forgot to order tigertails from Energy Australia. Now these are absolutely necessary for OH&S reasons before workers are permitted to work on the upper storey. Makes perfect sense to us. The power cables in the side street are quite close to our house.
The problem arose however, when the lack of tigertails meant that neither the roof nor the upper storey cladding could be installed. This then meant that the frame & more importantly the upstairs flooring, were exposed to the elements for another month. What upset us was that once Eden Brae realised their error, not one thing was done to correct it or at the very least to lessen the consequences. The flooring manufacturer's installation instructions, clearly state that if exposure is unavoidable, then all care must be taken to either :
- sweep excess water from the flooring, or
- drill holes in the flooring to drain the water, or
- cover the flooring, or
- cover the roof.
NOT ONE of these precautions were undertaken.
The downstairs frame was started on the 10 November. The upstairs flooring & frame started 2 days later.
So, in essence the house frame & flooring have been exposed for 11 long weeks. In that time we have had excessively hot days with rain. Now you can imagine the consequences of that - twisted timbers & cupping of floorboards. We have been promised that anything that doesn't meet standards will be replaced through the normal building process - it will be interesting to see if this happens - we have taken pictures of the more obvious defects that will need to be correceted before plaster stage.
We are committing to a lot of trust in the current SS, senior carpenter, EB Inspection services and the appointed certifiers. Lets see who pays attention.
The house looks decidedly 2nd hand ! The timbers have bleached & though this is purely an aesthetic thing, it adds to the neglected appearance of the site.
Neighbours have queried the state of the build, wondering what has gone wrong. It has been interesting now, to hear the negative observations & comments of passers-by. Initially, all who watched the speedy build prior to Christmas ( & there were a lot) , were amazed with the speed of Eden Brae & very complimentary - great PR for EB. We were excited & the speed of the build initially confirmed in our minds, that we had chosen the right builder. Now, we are no longer excited & no longer sure that Eden Brae are the right builder for us !
We have yet to see whether Eden Brae's quality processes actually work.
We will be looking at bringing in an independant inspector just before plastering, probably Howard K Ryan. We have learned of his expertise through Homeone Forum - an invaluable forum where a lot of information, both positive & negative, is freely traded. And a forum where a lot can be gleaned of builders' both good & bad practices.
Let's see how this unfolds.