Monaco 28 with modified Contemporary Facade

Monaco 28 with modified Contemporary Facade

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Almost Done (with heaps of pics)

I notice that home building bloggers often go missing for a few months around handover time, and I can now tell you why - I have been busting my bum to get the place to full completion so that I can sit back and really enjoy it.  A few more things to do, but we are approaching the summit and the view at the top is pretty sweet.

Home Theatre recliners

Home theatre unit - Stars Wars on Blu-Ray with my 5 yr old was a classic!

Charcoal Tasman Block Wall, NZ Purple Flax, Cycads, Grass Tree

The facade, fence in Decowood Western Red Cedar to come this week

Dry River Bed - I love Lucky Stones

Kitchen and Dining from stairs

Bed 2 with view of gardens through shutters

My favourite view

Bed 1

Through the entry void


Ensuite double shower

Main bath

Upstairs living room

Family and Dining through to back yard

Family Room (I love that brick wall and TV unit)


Back area

Kitchen view to back yard

Living room from stairs

Study (damn iPhone camera exposure!)
I have some comments to make on build speed and quality but I will save these for another time.

I hope you enjoyed the pics as much as I have enjoyed creating the look.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hello Baby!

Baby #3 arrived today with some drama but fantastic excitement, joy and love. Just happened to be Baby #1's 5th birthday too - what a fantastic thing to share with your brother. A day to forget any of life's dramas and remember what is really important. I could not be happier if my boys can experience a life at least as good as mine.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Action Stations

After my Sslllooowwww... post I fell for another round of 'email the customer a schedule but then don't actually do anything' for another week.  I had been managing our side of the build all the way through to now but this was the straw that broke the camel's back - my hormonal 8.5 mth pregnant wife went coco-bananas with 20+ sobbing, ranting phone calls to the SS, CSO and Fowler Homes Reception.  Finally the next day (Friday) she got through to someone who was covering the sick Construction Manager who was shocked by her story, admitted that there were things going on in the office, our SS had been lying about progress and he would not be with the company much longer.  She was promised a call from the CM on Monday. On Monday she had to threaten to call the owners to get a call back from the CM.  He too was very apologetic, confirmed that the SS was leaving and that he would do his best to get the project to PCI within 2 weeks. He sounded very overwhelmed. More hollow promises???

Today my wife ran into our future neighbour.  She asked what the hell had happened because after witnessing months of no action at our site, there had been tradesmen climbing all over each other in the past week and a half. FINALLY!

Received notification yesterday that SS has left and we have been allocated a new SS.  Hate to see someone sacked (if that is what happened).  But as per Fowler Homes' tag line - 'you deserve the best' - and we were getting far from it.

In this period we have seen doors hung and handled, architraves finished, splashback, painting, cupboard fitout, basin splashbacks, plumbing finish off, mirrors, partial shower screens, internal clean and commencement of flooring.  Still to go - under stairs door, ensuite shower screen, finish grouting, install bath and spout, finish flooring, brick rectifications, finish painting, driveway.  By Friday? Maybe not... but at least they are having a crack.

A real shame that we had to reach meltdown point before we could get any progress.  I am hearing negative rumblings from many, many sources.  Fowler Homes will not be in NSW's top 20 builders for long if they cannot improve their completion rate and response to customers.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Two and a half weeks have passed since my ultimatum with the Site Supervisor.  I told him that I had faith that he could deliver and that I would not need to escalate my concerns. I was lying, and my true feelings were correct.  Initially there was a promise to finish within 4 weeks.  By the end of Week 1 there was ZERO progress and the promise was diluted to a defects inspection at the end of 4 weeks.  By the end of Week 2 we had benchtops and plumbing, but not the promised plaster touch-ups, painting or shower screens. Mid Week 3 we gain have ZERO progress. A total of about 1 days work done in 12. Way to ramp it up!!!

Like your pet dog cowering in the corner after tearing out your flower beds, my SS stopped returning my calls.  No choice today but to try to get in contact with his boss.  CSO has promised to pass on my concern and I will get a response tomorrow. Just like I will have my home at the end of October?!? I wonder if they can deliver a phone call on time!

Looks like we have been suckered into a big rush to the 90% progress claim stage and then foot off the gas, leaving us on 90% mortgage, full rent and no prospect of being in our home when our baby arrives.  A competitive tender at the start, but Fowler Homes are now costing us big time.  Sales people tell you a six month build time but that is just to get you to sign on the dotted line. Dirty, dirty, dirty.  Couldn't sell the place for what we have paid so far.

Are they competent enough to sneak it in before the contract period? Probably not.

If you are building with Fowler Homes, don't be expecting to be in your home until they are in the brink of paying you liquidated damages at the end of their bloated contract period - 41 weeks for us, could be longer for you. 10 years ago houses were being finished in 13 weeks. What has happened?

If you are thinking of building with Fowler Homes, don't. The value proposition represented in their tender will be blown to bits when they take a year to finish. I'm certain you can do better else where.

My wife is telling me she is going to picket the display homes (8.5 months pregnant). I hope we get a decent response tomorrow because I'm afraid she means it.