Our rebuild modified Vienna 42 with Fowler

Our rebuild modified Vienna 42 with Fowler

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Week 7 (Friday Mar 30 __Thursday Apr 5)

1) Planning

* Friday Mar 30: form-work with steel and waffle pods (part 1)
* Sat Mar 31: form-work with steel and waffle pods (part 2 to complete)
* Mon Apr 2: slab
* Tue-Wed Apr 3-4: retaining wall
* Thurs Apr 5: frame delivery

2) Jobs couldn't be done on the schedule:

* Internal plumb was on Mon Mar 25 while it was scheduled on Tue Mar 26
* Formwork with steel and waffle pods were scheduled on Wed and Thur Mar 28-29 but postponed on the following days  due to the contractors' new job

* It rained on Wed Mar 28 adding 8 days on the building duration

Pictures update
Dirt mountain was removed and timber work + internal pipes were done

On Mar 27, Steels were laid outside the site which is not right location for our construction materials

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

W 6 _D5: Painful variation so far

I have roughly written about our known and unexpected variation in the previous posts. As I red the link for Fowler Homes review ( http://www.productreview.com.au/r/fowler-homes/217957.html#comment) , I have reorganized that  not only me but others have also suffered such "variation". Therefore, I would like to write in details about our variation issue so possible Fowler Homes customers can be better aware of their tenders and provisional estimation.....

1) excess soil removal 

Ok, Fowler can't give us an exact number of soil removal. But Fowler can roughly estimate our soil removal as it is not top secret at all providing that  they have a contour survey  and they have a plan for cut and fill on our site.

a) excess soil from our site cut: 5 loads= 60 tones
b) excess soil from our underground rain water tank:  7 loads= 84 tones. The hole size for such tanks are clearly known in advance so that the estimated excess soil is not difficult. 
c) excess soil from our Drop Edge Beam (mainly) and piers (lightly): 10 loads= 120 tones

*In total, we had 22 loads of soil removal = $5,5k  variation cost

2) extra piering

As I previously wrote, we have to pay about $4k for extra piering as  Fowler located our underground rain water tank around the zone of influence.

The below reasons show that Fowler really got us down in this tank issue:
a) The simple rule is people always avoid to locate their tanks around the sewer line as if the tank is within 2.6m area from the sewer line, then $4k-$6k extra piering is required.

b) Fowler did locate our tank in the zone of influence, this fact is definitely not impressed but Wisdom homes also did the same  for their clients. However, the difference is Wisdom homes have advised their clients about extra piering while Fowler did NOT advise any single word.

Wisdom customers only suffered a delay as Wisdom homes applied again (at Wisdom cost) for another location of the tank providing that their customers don't accept such extra piering

c) our extra piering is $4k

***** our variation for excess soil removal and extra piering is $9,5k

3) The underground rain water tank cost

a)  Fowler charged the tanks at $17,3k + crane cost which Fowler have yet advised.

In the previous post, I wrote the tank cost for $21k.  Actually, the tanks fee is $2,2k design + $20k tank= $22,2k + GST. However, Fowler did provide credit for their standard tank at $6,3k +GST.

b) other builders charge much cheaper from $11k - $15k including crane cost. Only AVJenning charged a bit more expensive.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Week 6 (Fri, Mar 23 - Thurs, Mar 29)

1) Completed piering and digging Drop Edge Beam

2) Timber formwork will be on Monday, Mar 26.

* Need to catch up with SS to confirm for H-class slab, dirt removal date and internal plumbing date

* I hope the site will be drier than last Fri, Mar 23 though we had two light showers on Sun, Mar 25

3) Internal plumbing
I really hope SS will re-organize the wet area for us. We won't have a drama here.

4) Arrange still and waffle pods

5) Slab
We hope we will have a slab before it rain again.

Other notes for Week 7
* Frame delivery will be on Thurs Apr 5
* Retaining wall building will be on Tue Apr 3-Wed Apr 4

** Mon Mar 19 was rain hence adding so far 7 days on the build duration

Friday, 23 March 2012

Our wonderful SS and second excavtion after piering

After a very painful "paper work" journey of 18 months, I'm very conservative and get well prepared for another tough construction journey. However, I have gradually and pleasantly recognized  our SS has so far been very professional and a man of his work .

I'm very much impressed that he is very brave and professional to change his planning as the new circumstance is coming up  to make the most efficient solution for us and Fowler over our first  5 weeks journey.

This is the second time he did change his own big plan to make the best solution for us and Fowler.

On last Friday (Mar 16) noon, he advised us that we would have second excavation before piering because our site was not leveling anymore due to the installation of the underground 15000 liters rain water tanks. However, we suffered a very heavy rain on that Friday night. As a sequence, our site again had several "lake" and very muddy as our soil is red clay (active clay). If that  plan (piering after second excavation) was carried out, our muddy site would be messy again after piering and then we would need the third excavation. Hence, on Monday (Mar 19) he immediately changed his Mar 16 plan  that we will have the second excavation after piering. As a result, we have very beautiful site condition, we couldn't be happier.

Piering in several places are still very wet today

Second excavation has made our site really beautiful

After  piering and particularly digging for Drop Edge Beam, we "got"  a very huge mountain of soil

 This dirt "mountain" will again cost us a fortune!
Our site cost has painfully broken our pocket. We have know as we were in the tender stage that our site cost certainly would be expensive including unfixed price for dirt removal, retaining wall and extra piering. However, the extra amount of these 3 items are actually further  beyond our estimation. Furthermore, we need to pay for unexpected jobs including crane cost for the underground rain water tank and extra piering for the tank location in the zone of influence

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Piering on muddy site and under the rain

It is the first time since we accepted the tender in September 2010, we didn't  want to have a progress in our home project/site.

As I saw very muddy on the site, particularly on the holes and then it was raining, then the machine was broken, then another machine was called up..... I really did wish they would cancel piering today.

The below pic showed it was very wet and muddy

The below pic showed we had the second machine to dig the hole as the first one was broken

 However, Fowler's contractor_structural engineer Robert came and measured up all the holes and assessed that the most important factor for good piering is correct level and the muddy is not a matter. I must trust Robert to make our life comfortable.

But I really angry with Fowler as we need  to pay extra $4k piering due to the tank location around the sewer line.  I couldn't understand, in another word, it is really unbelievable  why Fowler did not locate our tank in the front yard or driveway while our front setback is 11 meters. 

Our painful site cost for the tank  is $21k + $4k + crane cost

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Week 5 (Friday, Mar 16_ Thursday, Mar 22)

W5_D1_Friday Mar 16

We did complete the water tanks job as on the schedule.

So, we now feel a bit relax about water tank issue. I'm very much impressed about the Plumber, he is reliable and professional. Hope that Fowler have many contractors like their Plumber.

W 5_ D2_ Sat, Mar 17

It was raining_ Adding so far 6 days on building duration

Roughly, the plan for the remaining of Week 5 

1) Mon, Mar 19 : get the date for light excavation. Hopefully, it will be on the next day or next 2 days
2) Thursday- Friday, Mar 22-23: build the retaining wall 

My check list:
1) confirm the plan for piers and plumbing and other preparations for slab which is supposed for 8 dry working days.
2) confirm with SS about re-organize the wet area
3) confirm with SS about cold water tap behind Fridge space
4) inform SS about the schedule for retaining wall building 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

W4_ended_ underground water tank was installed

I just noticed although my blog is still my dairy to document what has happened to our build, recently my blog much more writing about my checking list. What is a beautiful change!

To day, two water tanks were installed by cranes. On the bottom of these two holes, gravel were laid. Then, two water tanks were put into these holes, then concrete was made to fix them firmly in to the holes.

These two tanks really look very big. They are actually bigger than they look in those above pictures.Our site cost has already dramatically increased due to the tanks cost. Furthermore, we also need pay a lot more for extra piers due to these big underground tanks.
* Tomorrow  plumber jobs:
1) back  filling of the  tank
2) laser grade site
According the the plan, each above-mention job will take 1 day to complete. Hopefully, they will finish on Sat.

* Tomorrow my check list:
1) when the tank job will be completed?
2) the more important: when will they do leveling the area behind the tank for us?
3) I know we will have 2 level in the rear yard: the alfresco level up to the tank area and the higher level which will based on the level of existing wall around sue line .
But I'm still confused about how should I connect these two areas
4) The most important: request to draw the the tank's location on the Plan for the record
5) how to use the  the lid and the pile

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

W4_D5_good day_ digging for expensive water tank

The plumber is a  reliable and experienced guy. The dirt needed to remove is again less than the estimation.  

We did dig 3m deep and 8m width. It really looks like a little (much deep) pool for two water tanks

We still left over dirt. Hopefully, JD will help to remove it very soon. I just was unhappy with their communication but VERY happy with their price and work quality.

That dirt is supposed to use for fill the tank. Hopefully, that amount will be right estimation, otherwise we have  more dirt to remove

Tomorrow jobs:
1) install the tank
2) fill the tank
****3) decide which level of the area behind the tank should be our best choice

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

W4_D4: the second time dirt moving

Finally, we have our earthwork/action for the second time since the site start. Actually, our fill is removed after half month on the site.

The below is a moment that the fence was opened for "action". We really wish we should have more frequently opened site fencing from now on.

The JP concretes said there would be three big truck for us but  only  two big trucks were on the site.

The truck drivers were very fast, they helped me to keep the sandstones. But I don't think they put full dirt on their 4 loads.

The below pictures are our site a bit clear. Yes, we now have a very good access for the plumbers and crane. In another word, the first job in the planing was DONE

Tomorrow is the first day of the underground water tank "course": we will dig for the tank. We hope SS will keep his promise to locate  the tank a bit 3m further to the rear yard.

Also, it is estimated to remove 16 dirt loads. We really hope we will actually have 12-13 loads as today it is estimated 6 loads but in fact it was 4.5 loads (actually it would be good 4 loads if they made the trucks full).

I also need to ask plumber for helping leveling a bit rear yard

Friday, 9 March 2012

W4_ D1: soil removal and plumber apointment

1) Very nice weather day but our site still have several *lakes*...

2) Wednesday is so far earliest date for soil removal. If so, the plumber appointment should be on Wed and Thur...It means we suffer a delay ....What is a time waste on the good weather...

3) The difficulty for organizing soil removal has come from the SUDDEN change of building planning dated Mar 7 (2 days ago) and rain....Our clay is too wet and muddy so that the removers can't empty their trucks...  

After 3 weeks , we just have sitecut and changes of the plan. That achievement certainly is not impressed at all.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Week 4 (Friday, Mar 9 - Thursday, Mar 15)

The planning has changed. Our new plan now is-
1- owner to remove fill
2- plumber to dig tanks, owner to remove fill on same day, tank install (1-2 days)
3- back filling of tanks (1 day)
4- laser grade site (1day)
5- pier holes to site followed by slab install (7 working days)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Sumary of what has happened and rain days since our site start on Friday, Feb 17

Week 1 (Fri, Feb 17 ~ Thur, Feb 24)

Weather: all six days were good for construction
Action: site fence, small rock delivery, peg-out.
Plus: we were really happy with SS, he always responded to our request within hours. 
Minus: a real action on the site was still away!

Week 2 (Fri, Feb 24 ~ Thur, Mar 1) 
Weather: Feb 24, 25, 27 and 28 were good
              Feb 29, Mar 1 were rain ==> plus 2 days on build duration
Action: excavation
Plus: we suffered a re-schedule on excavation, but it was still within planning
Minus: the weather (Feb 28) was just perfect but we couldn't do piers which was booked a week ago. What was a waste our 1 valuable dry day!

Week3( Fri, Mar 2 ~ Thur, Mar 8)
Weather: Mar 2, 3 and 8 were rain  ==> adding so far  5 days on build duration
               Mar 5, 6 and 7 were good
Action: nothing

Site cut on Friday, Feb 27

We were so happy that our dirt  was finally moved for a new journey.

Actually, our site cut was booked on Saturday, Feb 25 but the contractor couldn't make it as they did not finish their Friday job. We thought it was fair enough as SS did also make 2 days for excavation which was in fact done within 4 hours.

The excavators  are really good boys! 

We had 73 tones of clean clay to remove!

I thought we had a beautiful site cut

But I'm not sure if  the excavator did perfect job for us  as it seems they did dig a bit much dirt from our existing retaining wall which has made our neighbors concern. However, I hope it is still okie or easily fixed!