Our pre-plaster inspection was conducted today and it was comforting to hear that the build is looking quite good. Most of the items listed in the frame stage inspection report and defects list had been attended to. The exceptions were:
1. Concrete floor slab rectification: incomplete in some parts and unsatisfactory in other parts. Disappointing to have pointed out areas of the slab where the steel reinforcement is still exposed; areas where the slab is still ‘honeycombed’; and lengths along the slab where the soil has not been sufficiently cleared away to properly inspect the integrity of the slab. Further rectification works will be required.
2. Engineering design issues: New Home Inspections rightly noted all design issues that varied from the engineering report. We had previously gone through this report with our SS. A few items noted have not been rectified as required based on the engineering report. Our SS gave us the reason for this, suggesting that many engineering reports are generic and over engineered, and that some items on the report were simply not necessary (eg using 2 TSX studs instead of the 3 recommended in the engineering report). Our SS went on to explain that the engineer confirmed in writing that the work completed was sufficient despite said work being different from that described in his original engineering report. We have been advised to obtain these written confirmations and will seek to obtain these from CG.
The other major area of concern is a hebel issue, similar to that experienced by other CG clients (js19 has made comments about this previously). In short, our understanding is this. Unlike bricks, hebel (aerated concrete) is porous. Therefore it is not advisable to but concrete or paving up against the hebel cladding. This would create a direct interaction between the two materials which would allow water to reach the hebel cladding. The alternative is to finish the concreting/paving beneath the hebel. Problem here is that this will then expose the bottom finish of the hebel panels and render and in many places, the damp proof course. This is very unsightly and really not satisfactory either.
We had a good chat with our building inspector who suggested preferred methods to rectify this issue. These will be detailed in his report and we are hopeful CG will implement these suggestions immediately, especially since all their houses are built using hebel. Once again, our building inspector was really informative, knowledgable and clearly an advocate. We appreciated the time he spent on-site with us today describing his findings and explaining how best to address issues.
We will let you know about the other items in the pre-plaster report once it is complete.
A quick side note. While on site today we also noticed that the insulation had been installed throughout the house; throughout the roof and also in all external walls. There were at least two places that were missed – above the master bedroom and along the entry passage near the laundry/study wall. These places, you could clearly see into the roof cavity above. They should be plugged up with insulation too, and we believe this will be an item in the pre-plaster report anyway.