Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Settlement & Handover - This Home Complete!

Very happy to report that our home is complete. We had our final presentation and settlement with our SS and customer service administrator on-site on Monday.

In return for our final payment, we were given the keys to our new home along with a folder containing all of the relevant certificates and documents and information related to our home. Knowing how difficult it actually is to coordinate and manage companies like electricity and gas distributors (eg Jemena) and their retailers, trades (plumbers and electricians), etc we really did appreciate that all of this "running around" behind the scenes was taken care of by CG on our behalf. By settlement, our gas meter had already been installed, with a gas line to the property present, we had electricity to the property and the heating/cooling company had already been in contact to arrange a date to commission the ducted heating and evaporative cooling. The electric roller door was working and we were given the remote controls to the garage door and the small bits and pieces identified at our first inspection, such as the articulation joint in the hebel and the plumbness of the vanity, had been rectified. The only item(s) we haven't checked yet are the items up in the roof space that were identified by our building inspector.

CG only install the home appliances once you have settled, so on the day of settlement, no appliances had been installed. However, we knew the electricians were booked in for the install the next day. So on the Tuesday, we went back out to watch the appliances being installed. At the same time, we also had the electricians add 2 more double power points (in the kitchen and pantry) and just paid them directly. The plumbers were also out to install the cooktop and dishwasher and another mob were present to install and connect up our hot water unit (which is connected to 2 solar panels on the roof). By the end of Tuesday, our home was complete and here are the photos to prove it.

Aesthetically, you will agree that CG have built a beautiful home. It looks like a display home; it looks fantastic inside and out and we can't wait to live in this house.

A few things to note:
- check the rangehood. Ours is an Ariston Canopy rangehood. Looks great, but it sounds like a tractor. It must be a fault with the motor because it's presently about 95dBA (decibels), which is way too loud, practically but also from an OH&S standpoint. Our SS is looking into this.
- our dishwasher didn't fit underneath the bench top. We needed to remove the cap on top (easy to do), which was not ideal. Given CG use standard appliances and bench top heights, not sure what's happened here.
- check your cooling plan. A big miss for us is the fact the standard CG cooling plan only provides for 2 cooling ducts to the entire ground floor (in the living room and rumpus room). This means the master bedroom and study do not have cooling vents. They do have heating vents, and we missed the fact there was no cooling as we thought the heating and cooling come from the same vents. Not the case. We strongly feel that CG should advise their clients of this fact and give them the option to add cooling vents where required.

A few handy tips:
- our bins went missing during the build. Remember to contact your council in this case to get replacement bins.
- remember to contact Telstra to arrange for your phone and internet connections.
- at the time, remember to put some money aside for a TV antenna. Hopefully an easy job as the cabling for the TV points should already be in place (we have 4 TV points), but you will need to organise this post settlement.
- remember to arrange home and contents insurance.
- remember to call Australia Post to redirect mail and also remember to redirect any newspaper subscriptions. Take note, Australia Post have been atrocious with their mail redirect service. Unfortunately, they have a monopoly on this service in Australia, so even if we wanted to, we can not take our business elsewhere. We found their mail redirection service (while we were renting) to be unreliable and inaccurate. We were able to prove this, Australia Post agreed they had not delivered the service we paid for and then slapped us in the face by offering us $20 compensation. Big deal Australia Post. This is insulting. If you experience the same problems with your mail not being redirected accurately, please voice your concerns and please don't settle for a pitiful $20 compensation. We hope you do the right thing here Australia Post. We hope you realise that correct mail delivery is a very big responsibility. If you can't do it right, then take responsibility for this fact. Either do it right or get out of business!

Finally, we're moving in today so fingers crossed for no rain while we shift. No doubt, as we live in this home we will note problems. Hopefully these are few and far between and nothing major. We have 3 months to identify issues which CG will address and rectify as required. We plan to continue this blog to highlight any issues that may arise over this period. Also, to detail our landscaping plans and progress.

Although we have settled, our SS has encouraged us to contact him with any issues. DL, thanks mate. You've really done a great job with this house. If you get this bloke, he's a great SS and a decent guy.

One final note. Yesterday, as we were shifting boxes, one of the CG directors dropped by in person. He wanted to congratulate us and say gday and to be honest, this sentiment really sums up why CG are different. Through the whole process, we felt they were approachable, amiable and mostly reasonable. They listened and worked with us to deliver a final product that on face-value exceeds expectations. This personal touch and attention to their client is really very different when compared to some of the other volume builders. So thank you CG and all those that played a part in the building of this home. May it stand the test of time. May it be a great home for the next 30 years.


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  2. Great blog site ! We are thinking of building with these guys and although we have built before and pride ourselves on leaving no stone unturned when it comes to detail - we have picked up so many great tips from your blog. Thanks for taking so much time to document your experience. I will be requesting D.L. if we go to contract with these guys. Please keep your updates coming ! I love the tip about the handles on the sliders ! I wouldn't have thought of that !!!