Monday, 4 March 2013

Post-Handover Maintenance Issues

Having had a few nights now in our new home, there are some things we'd like to point out and a few tips we thought we'd share.

1. The night of handover (last Wed), we noticed damp carpet upstairs but could not see where water was coming from because our first floor lights did not work. In the morning, we noticed the smoke alarm was dripping water and so called CG. Electrician attended and after climbing into the roof space, found the evaporative cooling unit (Brivis) to be leaking, which in turn flooded the smoke alarm and this was causing the safety switch to trip. Brivis has since attended and confirmed that there's nothing wrong with the unit and suggested that sometimes water can spill during the commissioning of the heating/cooling. As long as there are no more leaks or water in the roof space, we're happy. TIP: after your AC has been commissioned, run it immediately for the whole day at a high fan speed - this will test if there are any issues like a leak or a faulty unit.

2. You'd imagine when the house is handed over that the electrical would all be wired up and ready to go. We did. This is why we organised for Telstra to attend on the Friday to connect our fixed phone and internet.. Neither of these guys could get anything inside the house working, cause basically, the electricians had not run the wires. Again electricians attended and lucky the Telstra internet guy was a gun and was able to get our modem working and WiFi established. Phones were still playing up, and we only just managed to connect our fixed line phones today after the electricians returned today to finish their job.

3. Ditto with regard to TV. We organised Australian Antennas to attend  to install the TV antenna. This guy could get us perfect reception next to our hot water system (yes, that's outside the house, where there was a cable feed), but nothing inside the house because the coax cables that should have been laid had not been. The electricians fixed this after a few hours, but they should have been done in the first place. We hope the cables serving our pay TV points have been laid ready for pay TV. Although, since we're not planning to subscribe to pay TV just yet, we wont know this until some point down the track.

4. The Ariston wall canopy range hood (RHC6IX) is very noisy. Plus ours was faulty and a guy needed to come out and replace the motor. It's still extremely noisy, and our SS is seeing what can be done about it. TIP: use good quality ducting with high performance range hoods.

5. Our washing machine was stopping mid cycle and still full of soapy, dirty water. There was also a leak coming form somewhere. The plumbers attended today and were quick to identify and then solve the problem. The small nodule under sink where the waste is connected, usually comes out of the shop blocked at this point. You need to drill this block out so the waste water can actually travel and escape out. If not the waste water has no where to go and creates a feedback loop which essentially flags to the machine there's a problem and the machine stops its wash cycle.

6. Carpet: where carpet meets floorboard, the carpet is tucked in neatly against a metal trim. Problem is that the nails (that the carpet is held down by) can be felt here when walking with bare feet. These have already drawn blood and will need to be rectified. Our SS is already on top of this.

Things we like about this product and things we'd do differently:
- the toilets are a great shape and design (with soft close seats and lids - so the kids can't slam them down)
- the shower heads are very good and the tap fittings are good looking too
- the handles on the sliding doors are too large and make it difficult to hang roller blinds inside the architrave. Would have been better to go for smaller handles; would make for a neater blind installation
- kitchen flows really well and the butler's pantry is the best idea
- we have a much better idea about where power points should have been placed and the ones that are useless because of their present position versus the best location for furniture
- absolutely should have had a data hub. In fact this is what we wanted and what we thought we would get, but it was never reflected in the contract
- feature walls look great, bulkheads and voids look great and the glass splash backs are  a feature

No doubt as we live in this house and use it's space and features, we will come to know more about it; what works and what doesn't, the good and the bad, the way it feels and makes us feel. We will keep posting our thoughts, tips and suggestions.

Blinds should be installed on Thursday. Likewise, our driveway works are due to commence on Thursday too. More about the people and businesses undertaking these works for us. So the house is built, and now comes the time to dress it!

Finally, this is the sight that greeted us yesterday morning. This is the view straight out of our first floor windows. A really low pass by a fleet of hot air balloons. An amazing sight really. We wonder what this house would have looked like from above. Maybe we need to book a hot air balloon flight and cross our fingers the winds blow in the right direction!


  1. Congrats on your new home! Looks fantastic - hope all the problems are sorted out!

    Re: frame/slab inspection - CG have advised they get NHI to do this inspection & they would provide us with a copy of the report. Were you offered that? Just wondering if we need to get KM at NHI to do a separate one for us or if all the info should be covered in the CG one. We have been advised we need to arrange our own pre-plaster etc

  2. Something like this was mentioned. We still paid NHI to do our frame inspection. Peace of mind that we would control the inspection and the reporting and that KM would be working for us rather than just be another part of the CG process.