Friday, 1 April 2016

The last post.........

We are now almost two months since speaking with the after sales team in an effort to rectify my two shower screen doors and two shower screen mirrors with absolutely nothing being achieved. No return calls from MDJ, no follow up, zip!

This was the first house we as a family had ever built and to be honest we were probably a bit under prepared for the journey. In hindsight I still have to say we are happy with what McDonald Jones delivered but now would I do it all again, well i'm not so sure. We certainly hit more then a few hurdles during our journey but in fairness this can happen with any builder as we can see now with our poor neighbours and their stalled build which I might add has nothing to do with MDJ.

I certainly am of the belief that the life expectancy of a shower screen door would be expected to be longer then three years also considering it was an upgrade that we paid for. The mirrors I suggest should also be the same and should not be defective after three years. I have lost count of the number of emails and phone calls made in a polite and calm manner in an effort to have this things addressed but the only result I have achieved is lip service and nothing else. Clearly, regardless of the Australian Consumer Protection Laws and the years of Builders Warranty,  your on your own once your three month maintenance period is past in regards to faulty materials.

I cannot stress to you all enough that the relationship with your site supervisor is the key to a happy and successful build. Clean, open and honest lines of communication are the key and without them you will find the some issues we encountered. Your site supervisor needs to be all over his trades to ensure that things are completed in a proper fashion and finished to standard.

Do not make your final payment or settle before you are absolutely certain that all of your issues that may have arisen during the build have been rectified. As much as it may seem foreign you just cant rely on peoples "Word" to ensure things are completed.

Good Luck...........

Tuesday, 9 February 2016


Whilst I have appreciated all that has been done thus far with the assistance of After Sales Customer Service, things have stalled. Maintenance came out and did some caulking, resecuring of the stacker door and some other minor touch ups nothing else has happened in a long time. 

Our main issues now are that the lower aluminum rail on both glass shower screen doors has dropped causing the seal to pull away fill with water and discolor which also attracts mold as it is never dry. There is also a plastic strip/ seal on the bottom of the door to prevent water from running out underneath it however ours continually jambs and gets caught half falling out of its track. Our house is almost four years old and I would think that the life expectancy of a shower screen door would be far more then this however Stegbar seem to disagree. 

On the subject of Stegbar, they also supplied our Mirrors in both bathrooms which have both been replaced already due to the silvering on the rear of the mirror being defective. This problem has occurred again with what looks like rust forming on the edges of the mirror and is progressively getting worse. Again four years old so that's too old for a warranty repair. My parents house is over thirty years old with unrenovated bathrooms and their mirrors are perfect.  

Unfortunately now I feel as though its just a waiting game, that is McDonald Jones and Stegbar just waiting for me to give up. Its been months and months trying to resolve these issues and im growing short tempered. I have tried to be reasonable and patient but at the end of the day should I become the "Squeaky wheel"?

I have no doubt that the Australian Consumer Protection Laws will agree with the fact that a Shower Screen door and bathroom mirror should last longer then four years, I'm sure the vast majority of you all would agree too but how long should you afford the opportunity to have it repaired or as the law stated replaced if the product of item is not "Fit for purpose".

At the end of the day though does it matter what Stegbar believe as my contract was with MDJ not Stegbar and if Stegbar values the business of MDJ perhaps some "Other" pressure could be applied or favours called in?

Tuesday, 11 August 2015


After a few short emails with the after sales service team I was able to secure a meeting with one of the Maintenance fellows to inspect some of the issues we had raised. On time, polite and professional would be the best way to describe this visit, a really pleasant experience. Here's hoping the rest of the process is as smooth?

And on a side note, MASTERTON HOMES homes thanks so much for starting to pour the slab next door at 6.15AM! my three kids are ever so grateful for the early morning wake up call!  

Thursday, 30 July 2015


A short update to tell you all, well........ nothing! The business week draws to a close and I have not heard a peep from the after sales team. I thought i'd go to the MDJ website and drop a line to them from there as it was a different path to try,

"Hello, I sent an email to the after sales team last Sunday evening in regards to having a number of defects rectified under our home builders warranty. This email was read by two people within five minutes of being sent but I am yet to hear from anyone. I would like to try and afford McDonald Jones the opportunity to rectify these issues before taking the matter further. Can you please advise when I can expect some to make contact with me?"

I did find this on their website though and thought it rather relevant,

We are committed to:
  • Being contactable - you can contact us in the way you prefer – by telephone via our main number, by telephone with a direct number for your Client Liaison Officer, by email or in person;
  • Responding to your queries by telephone rather than by email. We will always confirm the discussion by email to you for your records;
  • Responding to your request and queries within the agreed time frame even if we don’t have the answers at that time;
  • Returning every call – every day;
  • Making notes on the confidential company programme each time we deal with you;
  • Saving all correspondence confidentially;
  • Being truthful and transparent in our communications;
  • Being respectful, courteous, patient, sensitive and by providing clear and accurate information;
  • Providing you with the communication needed for an exceptional customer experience.


Concerns or Complaints

We are committed to:
  • Dealing with your concerns promptly, fairly, completely and courteously informing you of what actions we will take to rectify your concerns;
  • Providing you with a time frame for resolution;
  • Honouring all our contractual obligations in respect of your contract;
  • Ensuring no ramifications for lodging a complaint or concern.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Three and a half years into the future............

It's been a huge three and a half years since we have been in and how things have changed. Rooms furnished, lawn and gardens established, more additions to the family and so life continues. Our small semi rural suburb has almost been built out which is great so we can see the back end of trucks and construction noise and being able to just enjoy life.

In terms of our house, there are a few things we would change. We have learnt you can never have enough storage and would have loved to at least doubled the size of all built ins and linen/ laundry cupboards. We managed to purchase some gloss wall cabinets for our laundry but these proved tricky to fit as the wall studs were not evenly spaced so we were forced to sheet the wall in 16mm MDF and then fix to this to support the cabinets which ended up working great.

We have had a LOT of cracking/ splitting/ movement where our door jambs meet the architraves/ skirting to the point where the paint was lifting off the walls ten to fifteen millimetres off to the side of the architraves. Whilst cleaning our shower floor last week I found that there was a plastic tile spacer hidden in between the tiles covered by a smear of grout. It now sticks out like the preverbial!

A lot of the chrome plated radius hinges fitted to our doors have had to have been replaced as they simply leach black dust/ something all over the white door jambs. A few sections of skirting are pulling off the walls and have opened up in the corners where they have been scribed.

In our garage we have had some issue where the roller door meets the slab which has caused the slab to chip away to a few millimetres deep across the entire width of the door. At its worst it forms like a white powder which appears to leach out of the slab.

We had our hot water system fail within 12 months which was luckily repaired by Dux with little fuss. Both mirrors in our ensuite bathroom were replaced as the silvering on the back of the mirror was faulty. This also appears to be happening again, the problem being its a messy repair as the mirrors need to be smashed off as they are glued to the wall.

In regards to these issues I sent a polite email to McDonald Jones after sales service on a Sunday evening and to their credit I received two read receipts within a period of ten minutes. However that's where it all appears to end and I have heard nothing since which is very very disappointing.

A quick browse of the MDJ facebook page revealed a number of people who all seem to be having problems with getting anyone to return their calls post handover. I understand businesses get busy and i'm sure they have many, many clients to deal with but to not even have the courtesy to reply with an email saying "Hi we got your email and will contact you shortly" is really poor form.

I hope I can rectify this before I am pushed to the Department of Fair Trading to get things sorted. 


Thursday, 28 February 2013

Few Words

Our Pool was supplied by Barry Michael at "Just Pools" and installed by Steve Vote. Whilst Barry can literally talk underwater, he is a man of his word and the price he gives you is the total price right down to the last cent. Steve, Terry and his team are fantastic blokes who are true professionals at what they do. Whilst installing the pool they found a water table about two meters down which a number of other pool builders had issues with at other installs in our estate but Steve was able to deal with the problem and get the job done. I would not hesitate in the least to recommend both Steve and Barry as you will not find better or more honest people to deal with.

Barry Michael- 02 45797823,

Steve Vote- Steve's Pool and Spa Services, 0438823097     

One thing to mention...................

Never again would I have a pool installed like this whereby the shell is in the ground and the rest is up to you. At the time of instillation we paid an additional amount to a concretor organised by Barry and Steve to pour the bond beam and an additional area around the pool which was done without issue. 

Now some three years later when this job of completing the landscaping around the pool came to the top of the list we find out that the concrete is no less then four centimetres out of square resulting in huge issues when paving around the pool not only in labour but also in cost. 

I would strongly suggest that anyone going down this path gets a price for a pool finished in its entirety to avoid this pitfall.                                             

 We decided to lay Sapphire Buffalo Turf that we had supplied from Bills Turf at Wilberfore/ Freemans Reach. Carol is the lady to chat to and they are more then helpfull with advice and guidance both before and more importantly after sale. Again I highly recommend them and they are far cheaper then buying from a nursery or garden centre,

Bills Turf Supplies
435 Freemans Reach Road,
Freemans Reach, NSW. 2756

Phone:  02 4579 6173         
Fax:      02 4579 6646


And now for one of the more challenging parts of my build, I call it the "Necessitator". Because if you want me to build that deck I will need to buy a new drop saw and maybe new cordless and a impact driver and a power saw and the list goes on. However I assure you all these are all "Necessities" that are required for a professional finish!

The deck is 9m by 4.5m and was all done in spotted gum and to be honest it came up fantastic although it was a lot of work and was pure punishment for the knees!

Finally we had some external LED lights supplied and fitted. The LED lights worked out to $30 per light and that came with five year warranty on the bulb. I wish we had found them this cheap at the start of our build as they were at $75 per light when priced against the $26 compact fluro. On the upside they are exactly the same diameter so eventually they will be a direct replacement.

The porch light in these pics is a compact fluro.

And on the Two Hundredth Day................

And on the Two Hundredth day the Gods of technology said unto the people "Thou Shalt Have Internet"! So its been a long time between posts but the pace has been constant. Let me bring you all up to speed but to do so we need to go back to the day of "Bazinga".

In the days leading up to Bazinga, we had arranged our flooring and pool for the days closely following so delaying our handover was not an option. I had taken leave from work that I could not delay any longer and had already burnt a week of it already with some issues with our SS. I got a call out of the blue from an "Independent" building inspector that had been organised by MDJ to do our final walk through with rather then our SS which I was more then happy with. He gave me a bit of background about himself, his company and that it was quite "Routine" for him to do a final walk through as a bit of QA for MDJ.

As you may be aware if you have read our previous posts there was not a great deal of issues to address as we had been having them corrected as they arose. However there we some painting issues, flashing adjustment, mortar and other cosmetic issues that we were intent or raising. As we commenced our walk through with the "Independent" it soon become aware that he was not exactly batting down the middle. It became very apparent and I might add on occasion quite rudely so that he had zero interest in anything we raised. Halfway though our inspection our SS and the painters turned up which made it even more difficult and off putting. To his credit though our SS did rectify a number of issues that the inspector was keen to dismiss.

On completion of the handover, a cheque was exchanged for keys and it was finally ours. In the days following handover I must say that our SS became a different person and any little enquiry we made was dealt with and rectified swiftly with the professionalism that we had only half hoped for during our entire build. We just wish it had been this way with him from the get go!

As this was just about the end of dealings with MDJ I thought to myself "Would I do it all again and if so would I with MDJ"? The short answer.......... Yes! Apart from some poor tradies and a difficult and poor communicating SS MDJ were people of their word.

I cannot express well enough the commitment and dedication to her clients that we were shown by our client liaison Suzz. The was not one single thing that she was not able to organise, answer or enquire about on our behalf and she truly took a huge amount of stress and anxiety out of our build. Suzz you are a credit to MDJ and even after nearly a year in our new home we still are indebted to you.

Our SS boss Mick is an old school (Note I didn't suggest you were old Mick) fellow and one of old principles and morals. You came to us at a shitty time in our build not with arguments or defenses but with a desire to solve issues and progress the build to a level not only you but also we were over the moon with. We truly appreciate the efforts and lengths you went to in helping us with our build Mick, you are truly a great bloke.

Whilst we only had a few visits and conversation with Bill McDonald, to get the owner of a company out on site actively wanting to listen and then address his clients concerns is outstanding. Thanks Bill we really appreciated your time and openness.

So whilst we were at the end of our build, we soon realised that our journey was no where near its end. Now it was our problem to organise everything else, lawns, pool, deck, other fixings inside, lights, driveways etc and the list goes on!