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.