Sunday, 11 March 2012


We have the keys ................................................

Monday, 5 March 2012

Final Inspection

Today I received a call confirming our final inspection walk through was happening at 2.00pm this Thursday. Hopefully Stegbar sort out the wardrobes by Wednesday and the painters can address the few outstanding things left over. The sparkys need to come and install a couple of conduits to run out to the private sewer system and that's about it.

I will keep you all posted!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The 11th Hour

The construction fences are down and the port-a-loo is gone which can hopefully only mean one thing and that is it's nearly over! Our biggest hold up is waiting for Stegbar to come out and replace our built in robes which is due to be done by Wednesday. In between now and then we need to really finish the "finished" painting which is still lacking in a few places. I saw that the doors all appear to be finished really well except for the last foot which has only been roller finished and the difference in the painted finish is enormous. The poor plasterers who are fantastic blokes and have been back far too many times courtesy of other trades will again need to come back and repair some more small patches. We have a bit of missing grouting to be completed and more grout to be cleaned out of all the floor drains. There is also some painted plaster that really needed to be sanded BEFORE being painted!

It seems all of our electricals have been sorted out with the exception of two light switches. One I have given up on but the other located in the main bathroom will still need to be addressed as the gyprock it is fastened to is not secure and needs to be repaired courtesy of our second fix sparkys. I also got a letter last week from the electricity supplier defecting some electrical work between the main and the house and this has also been passed up the chain to sort it out.

I'm beginning to feel tired and with tiredness becomes impatience. As I have now commenced my leave as we had planned to hand over last week perhaps I may need to get out there with the stock prod and keep things moving along at a sufficient pace.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Almost a Home???

Today was the first time I had been to site and honestly felt that the end was finally in sight. Our bathrooms are all complete with the exception of final paint finishes. Our kitchen has been repaired with the exception of some small issues with one of the plinths which will be addressed early next week. A number of door jambs need to come out and be replaced due to some splitting issues and that should be completed by early next week.

Some realignment of the front fascia was needed after we had one of our brick pillars redone and this may have been completed late today. It's all now starting to come together but we just need to keep knocking down some of the other smaller issues to tidy things up.

We managed to get a few quotes for the driveway and need to book in our trades to have our flooring installed but again we need to sort out some firm dates first.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Deja Vu

Today saw the completion of our wet area floors after being redone due to some tiling errors. From first glance they appear to have been done really well and I am quite chuffed with the finished product. It will be nice to see them when they are all cleaned up so here's hoping they will look even better. We have had all of our skirting completed and now only have a few of the architraves still to be replaced. Our new laundry tub is in and our other replacement bit and pieces have been ordered and are due to arrive early next week.

Our last brick window sill was also completed today and appears to be much better then the last attempt and a number of our small mortar defects have also been rectified. If all goes to plan apparently the construction side of things should be completed early next week with only painting matter to then be addressed.

The list is getting shorter which is great to see, but we still have a little way to go yet.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Treading Water......

And so we are back from the darkness and hopefully moving ahead with no other mishaps as we look towards the light at the end of the tunnel. We had some issues that we appear to have overcome and fingers crossed we will not incur any more. I don't really want to dwell on the issues other then to say they were with contractors and their standard of work. When these issues were raised with MDJ they were dealt with and are presently in the process of being rectified.

Our column has been redone and looks far better then the former. The windows sills are predominantly complete with one still a work in progress. The wet area floors are nearly done and are a vast improvement on the original. The pantry door has been replaced and the front door repaired. Today saw the installation of our glass splashback and to be honest it looks "Shit hot"!

Hopefully over the next few days we will see a lot more progress.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Our Darkest Day

It is with a heavy heart that I advise I am unable to further update the blog on the progress of our build. We have encountered  issues with the build this year and today has been the lowest point of our entire journey.

We have raised these issues and are awaiting a reply.......

Monday, 30 January 2012


I got a call today from the Region Construction Supervisor who was kind enough to update me with whats happening at the build. It turns out the the floor tiles in our ensuite were running out of square and by the time they made their way into the toilet they were quite noticeable. As a result a meeting was had onsite today with the head tiler and the floor will be coming up later in the week. There is also some rectification to be done in the main bathroom as there was a mix up with the floor and wall tiles surrounding the bath. The brick pillar out the front of our home and a number of the window sills are also to be taken down and redone due to some problems with the finish of them.

Our electricians rang this morning to make an appointment with us to come back and replace all of our power points and light switches as they had mistakenly installed the incorrect ones. They sounded a bit surprised when told any time was suitable as we are not in as yet! As a result they will also be turning up later in the week to rectify this and the issue with a number of the switches being way too close to the architraves.

Our fly screens are on and the air conditioning has been installed so there another couple of things off the list and here's hoping things keep moving along steadily.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The silence is deafening..............................

It's been over two weeks since I heard anything from anyone at McDonald Jones! What's happening people.......

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Meeting........

Early last week I received a telephone call from the owner of McDonald Jones Homes Mr Bill McDonald in regards to the issues we had noted in our blog. Our conversation was not that of what we had raised but more that he and his team were committed to addressing the issues and resolving any concerns we may have had. As a result a meeting was scheduled within the next two weeks for both he and the Senior Construction Supervisor to attend our site.

True to his word, yesterday I received another call asking me to site for a walk through with both Mr McDonald and the Senior Construction Supervisor which we completed today. To be brutally honest I really didn't know what to expect as both my wife and I are first time builders and we really didn't want to fall into the trap of being too pedantic with some of the issues we had raised. I also didn't know what if anything we were walking into after some of the horror stories published on the renovation forums.

As you all may recall very early in our build we had a slight mishap with our frames which was addressed in no small part by Mr McDonald so I had had some previous dealing with him and found him to be a straight shooter who cut straight to the point. Well today was no different and I must say that both Mr McDonald and his Construction Supervisor's professionalism and dedication to their customers could only be described as outstanding. We spent a good hour walking through, discussing issues and working out solutions to the things we had noted. There was not one single thing that either of these men batted an eyelid too and we were left in no doubt that we would be delivered a polished, well finished home.

I wonder how may other building/ construction companies the size of McDonald Jones would have the owner of the business contact you personally to address issues then come to site and spend the time understanding and addressing your concerns? My guess....... not many at all.

We were of no illusion that with a build of this nature there would always be some issues along the way, accidental or otherwise. However as a wise man once said to me during this journey "Don't judge us on our faults, judge us on how we fix them" they have so far risen to the challenge and given us a firm undertaking that all of our concerns will be addressed.

To both Bill and Mick, thanks gents we truly do appreciate your assistance, assurances and dedication to bringing us a home not just building us a house.

Sunday, 1 January 2012


I must apologise for the substantial lack of photos recently however there have been a few issues that have been niggling me for a while now that we are getting to the final fit out of the build. These issues tend to be more in the "Quality" of the work being done and I am really starting to feel that the finishes of our home will be no where near the finishes in the display homes that drew us to MDJ. Am I wrong to expect that our home should be finished as well as the many many MDJ display homes we have visited?

I am hoping that all of these issues can and will be rectified and as MDJ are now closed for the holidays I don't want to vent to much but honestly I don't know how much more miscommunication and poor craftsmanship I can deal with. I find it so disheartening to see good work damaged by tradies who just don't seem to give a shit, well, except for one but that's another story.

Our polished porcelain floor tiles in our ensuite are running +20mm out of square and as a result there is a 10mm bed of grout on one side of the wall and none on the other side.There are other issues in the main bathroom but they have been addressed with the SS and will hopefully be sorted.

A number of our light switches have been screwed on using bugle head screws rather then the proper fittings and they don't appear to be fixed to the wall plates. Some of these switches have been fitted so close to the architraves the sparkys have literally dug or more accurately "Gouged" out the side of the architrave to fit the cover plate. Other switches have been fitted off centre to the wall and stick out like the proverbial. We had an incorrect outdoor power point installed and when we queried it were told that it was only put on for "Testing purposes" yet is has been screwed into the exterior brickwork.

On a number of architraves the paintwork is splitting, on our laundry cupboard door jamb three large holes have been drilled into the jamb then filled with glazing putty for god knows what reason. This jamb is also split around these holes and I fear may be another case of "Don't worry the painters will fix it".

An issue that raised it head earlier in the build was the stacker doors when installed were not packed out between the reveal and the stud which allowed the reveal to flex. This now results in the paint splitting between the reveal and the architrave and will result in more wasted time to fix correctly as it should have been done in the first place.

We upgraded our pantry door and door handle during colour selections and saw that the carpenter has fitted the long handle to the centre of the door and it looks ridiculous. Nearly every MDJ display home we went to had this door and handle fitted and all were much higher. As it is a timber door it will be impossible to move the handle as you will see former holes in the door so more time waster waiting for a new door. The front door looks to be delaminating and as a result has a blister beneath the veneer, not MDJ's fault but it should have been picked up and rectified not just painted and left as it was. There is paint all over the hinges, lock and our $1000 door handle.

We had some skirting installed and then removed as it was supposed to be left off so we could fit timber floors. When this was removed a number of the walls were damaged then roughly repaired and panted. On some sections it appears it wasnt even sanded, just painted over and left.

There are issues with the brickwork and I really hate to think how these will be addressed. There is cracked mortar around the main pillar out the front, the majority of the window sills have humps in them with the worst being at the front of the house. The brickwork around our front entry way also leaves a lot to be desired and we are missing a flashing on the roof that will allow water penetration to the eaves. There are issues around a rear window that was changed from a door as there is a gap on one side of more then 30mm so you can see well into the cavity. Even with a moulding or flashing there, it will look odd as there is nothing on the other side.

The one thing that has made this difficult period bearable is our CLO Suzzanne. Honestly Suzz you have been fantastic and I cannot praise you high enough for your commitment and customer service. If I was to every start a company you would be the first person I would poach!

There are a number of other issues but I'm sure by now you get the picture and understand my concern. I just want every person in the process to treat this house like their own and frankly it just isn't happening.

If we continue down the path we are presently travelling PCI will be a very long day.