Monaco 28 with modified Contemporary Facade

Monaco 28 with modified Contemporary Facade

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Review Paranoia

If you have followed my blog, read this review at productreview: Am I being paranoid or does it seem like someone is using my experience to write a review? Although I have been a bit frustrated, things have not been that bad so far and I would not be giving them one star. If I am right, I think that this really is a bit unfair, and says something about the trustworthiness of these reviews, both positive and negative. Actually, construction progress has been reasonable so far...

Update - that review disappeared from the site.  Do you think I was on to something or what?!?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Piers Me Off! (with pic)

Piering occurred today.  Nice to see the progress but was given almost no notice to go and verify the depths.  Watched for a while when a 3 m pier was dropped and started to think the worst regarding a variation - there was only an allowance for 50 lineal metres in the contract and I find out today there are 55 piers.  Once we assessed all of the depths it came out as 89 m, 39 m over the allowance x $80/m = $3,120 unbudgeted.  I am a bit 'piers'ed off! I reckon Fowler Homes could have predicted this.  I had a look at my Wisdom Tender and they had given a fixed price!  A definite trap for first time Builders.  If you have a site affected by fill, consider the potential for piering variations.

The concrete pump arrived before I left so the piers should be filled today.  Formwork, plumbing, reo and then lay slab - could all happen this week weather permitting and Fowler being on their game.  Here's hoping.

Piers drilled, setting up for filling

Monday, 19 March 2012

Ground Breaking News (with pics)

Just when I was planning my "2 weeks gone and we've only got a porta-loo" whiney post I get a message from my Dad to say the site scrape has been done. It must have been completed on the Friday afternoon before the heavy rain that night. Finally something of real substance. It is amazing how small the block looks already and now we are of no doubt that we will need some retaining walls :(. Quite a bit of dirt to remove from site. Didn't we get muddy too. Regardless, we are happy to see the progress. It even looks like we got the swimming pool we were after (right in the middle of the garage though)!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Construction Commenced? (with pic)

Well, well, well, we have some action:

  • Our new Fowler Homes CSO returned my call within 24 hours and told me the name of our allocated Site Supervisor
  • A silt fence has been erected at the front of our site
  • Initial survey pegs have been placed
Does this constitute construction commenced?

The fence erection occurred exactly 3 weeks after Fowler Homes received the construction certificate, and I guess this constitutes commencement of construction? This is therefore a week within what is allowed in the contract, not even taking into account all of the rain.  It is funny how excited we can get over a bit of shade cloth and a few pegs!

Again I have been somewhat concerned about the volume of negative reviews on  One nasty one today quoted a project number that looks legitimate.  I do wonder if some of the others are real customers, disgruntled ex-employees or cheeky competitors.  Surprisingly Fowler Homes have somewhat conceded some poor performance, blaming rapid growth and some incompetent personnel which they have churned.  From our perspective they have been way too slow getting us to this point, but certainly no where near as bad as some of these reviews.  Here's hoping our experience proves them wrong.

Time for a prediction - Melbourne Cup party in our new home!  Pessimistic? Realistic? Optimistic? Will Global Warming, La Nina and GFC II join forces to conspire against us? Stay tuned.