Monaco 28 with modified Contemporary Facade

Monaco 28 with modified Contemporary Facade

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Big Setback

I have not posted for weeks, because no major progress has been made. Over 5 weeks ago I inspected the house and found that the wrong tiles had been laid in the Bathroom, Ensuite, Laundry and Powder Room.  They actually went ahead and finished the last 10% of the job after I told them it was wrong (a bit presumptuous that we would cop it!).  Fowler Homes' tiling sub-contractor Abruzzo Ceramics had called me the week before and said that they would call me again so that I could meet the tiler and advise exactly how I wanted the tiles laid... but they didn't ring me back.  Turns out that the Tile Selection Officer failed to designate matte finish, and polished were ordered and laid. The polished finish changes the colours, particularly the cream which turned a yucky yellow. Plus polished tiles on the floor are just plain dangerous in wet areas. And we paid a massive variation for the tiles that we chose.

The resolution options offered were:

  • Abruzzo would lay more tiles elsewhere at no charge - we did not want more tiling
  • Abruzzo would refund us some money - we chose to build because we wanted to choose all of the finishes and we were not happy with what had been laid
  • New tiles were to be laid over the wrong tiles - floor heights and wall thickness would have been massive and looked stupid, again, this is a new house, not someone's dodgy reno!
  • Demolish the rooms and start again - this includes re-sheeting the walls, water proofing, screed... This was the only option we could accept, at massive impediment to the building schedule
What a massive cost to them!

Basically nothing else could continue because the vanities, plumbing, electrical, painting and flooring can't start until the tiling is finished.  I cannot for the life of me understand how it could take over 5 weeks to resolve.  We are now 7 months into construction (and 17 months since signing on for a tender) and we would probably be in this week had it not been for this. We have paid all but the Final Progress Claim so we are paying nearly full mortgage plus rent. We also have Baby #3 due soon.  Any apologies from Fowler Homes? Did they snap to it, pull out all the stops to resolve it quickly.  No freaking way! Is this the performance of a good building company?

I am going to have a look this afternoon.  If the tiling is not completed I will be forced to depart from my Mr Nice Guy persona and start firing some rockets. Fingers crossed things start moving now.

My brother in law has just paid a deposit on a block of land and is starting to look for a builder.  Am I suggesting he uses Fowler Homes?  I wish I was typing 'yes' right now, but unfortunately it is a 'no'.  Here's hoping that they can change my opinion between now and the end...

UPDATE 6/10 PM: Went to the house and 6 painters were hard at it on a late Saturday afternoon. Tiling had been finished, vanities and laundry tub were in, downpipesd installed.  This was probably about as good as I'd hoped for. Luck changing?


  1. "Am I suggesting he uses Fowler Homes?"

    I'm right with you on this but with EBH. Would have loved to recommend them to others, but just cant do it.

  2. Hmmm, his most likely is EBH! What does he need to be wary of? Are you in yet?