Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hints and Tips for Practical Completion Inspection (PCI)

Final Building Inspections (Pre Handover Inspections)

Final inspections are generally carried out on new homes when construction of the entire home has been completed and all internal fittings, fixtures and finishes have been installed and applied inside the home compliant with the relevant building plans and specifications.

Around the house - thoroughly check:
  • All different types of roofing materials (e.g. Concrete and terracotta roof tiles, Colorbond steel sheets, slate etc.) have been correctly installed and fixed in position.
  • The pointing of all ridge and hip roof tiles is consistent in terms of colour and texture and there are no cracks in the pointing.
  • All fascia boards are correctly aligned and fully fixed in position.
  • All gutters and downpipes and correctly installed and adequately fixed in position.
  • There is adequate fall applied to the gutters around the house and the garage. Water should not pond in gutters.
  • There is no damage to specially coated surfaces (e.g. Colorbond roofs, gutters, fascia boards and downpipes). Note - if there are any deep scratches, dents or perforations in the surface of any of the above Colorbond building materials, the relevant manufacturer's warranty is usually deemed void (i.e. not valid).
  • All brickwork to ensure that it is level, plumb, straight, square and that all articulation joints, flashings and weepholes have been correctly placed and installed. We check that the colour of the bricks and mortar has not changed due to excessive cleaning with acid and washing with water under very high pressure. We check that the high pressure cleaning process has not blown out sections of the mortar from between the bricks. We check that all surplus mortar and stains have been fully removed from the face of the brickwork. The mortar is checked for strength.
  • All articulation joints in external brick walls have been fully sealed to prevent the ingress of moisture and rainwater in to the house.
  • All brickwork is properly placed on the concrete slab and that it does not overhang the slab.
  • There are no cracked, chipped or broken bricks.
  • There are no cracks in, chips out of or scratches in rendered surfaces or wall cladding.
  • There is adequate clearance between windows and abutting brick sills.
  • All different types of external wall cladding and lining (e.g. Hebel panels, cement sheet panels and timber weatherboards etc.) have been correctly fitted and fixed in position.
  • The gaps between all window and door frames and the abutting brickwork is not excessive.
  • There is no damage to window frames, door frames, door handles or locks and the glass fitted to doors and windows has not been scratched, chipped or cracked.
  • There are adequate draught and weather seals fitted around all external facing doors and windows.
  • There are no obvious entry points for birds that can nest in roof spaces above warm and hot downlights and start fires.
Inside the house - thoroughly check:
  • Ceilings have been correctly installed and that joints in the plasterboard are not highlighted and very obvious after they have been painted.
  • All sections of cornice have been installed level and straight.
  • All sections of the internal walls are plumb, straight and square.
  • Skirting boards have been installed level and straight.
  • All joins in architraves and skirting boards are cut straight and finished flush.
  • All relevant surfaces have been adequately prepared (i.e., filled and sanded smooth) and all tool marks and ridges on the surface of plasterboard throughout the house have been removed prior to painting.
  • The paint finish applied to all relevant surfaces is consistent in terms of both colour and texture. There are no paint run marks, paint splashed on to surfaces it should not be on and there are clean straight lines between two surfaces that are painted different colours (e.g. interface between walls and cornice / ceilings).
  • Adequacy of clearances around all doors and drawers.
  • The operation of all door handles, door locks and window locks.
  • There is no sticking or jamming of doors or windows.
  • All cupboards, vanity units and bench tops are correctly installed.
  • The interface between all basins, baths, kitchen sinks and laundry troughs and bench tops are fully and properly sealed.
  • Tiling is properly installed - level, plumb, straight and square. Grout lines are correct width and consistently the same width. All tile junctions are fully sealed with flexible silicone sealant. Tiles have not been over-cut to accommodate tap fittings, water spouts and shower roses etc.
  • Proper installation of baths and shower bases.
  • Correct installation of carpets.
  • Water pressure from all taps and shower roses.
  • Plumbing is thoroughly checked to make sure it does not leak.
  • Power points are tested.
  • The drainage flow rates out of shower bases, baths, basins, laundry troughs, kitchen sinks and toilet pans are thoroughly checked.
  • The operation of all appliances are tested if they are installed at the time of the inspection.
  • There is no damage to plasterboard (i.e. ceilings, cornice and walls), tiles, architraves, skirting boards, window frames, door frames, doors, drawers, cupboards, vanity units, bench tops, basins, baths, kitchen sinks, laundry troughs, tap fittings, water spouts, wall mirrors, window winders and locks, door locks, carpets and other floor surfaces (e.g. polished concrete) and appliances.
Inside the roof space
  • There is no damage to the roof line (e.g. cracked roof tiles or holes in corrugated Colorbond steel roofs).
  • Insulation has been properly and fully installed throughout the roof space.
  • Sarking has been correctly installed and is not torn.
  • There must be adequate clear spaces around warm / hot recessed light fittings in the roof space. There is a real risk of a fire starting in the roof space if insulation is placed over the top of warm / hot recessed light fittings.
  • The platform for the heating unit has been properly installed and access to the heating unit is adequate and a light has been provided.
  • The roof tiles have been adequately fixed to the roof battens.

Practical Completion Inspection – 12 Hints
Here are some hints for your PCI Inspection
  1. Don’t go too fast. There is no need to rush, you have spent a lot of money and it’s your chance to get things fixed so take your time.
  2. Look at things from a different angle. It’s easy to miss things below eye level, when you are standing. In each room sit on the floor (or a camp stool) and have a good look around at that level. Sit on the toilets and shut the door.
  3. Take your shoes off and walk round in stocking feet then you can feel any problems with the floor.
  4. Fill the basins, sinks, and bath to the overflow level and then check for leaks.
  5. Run the showers and check they drain.
  6. Flush the toilets, check they are securely fixed to floor and don’t leak
  7. Make sure privacy locks on toilets and bathrooms work
  8. Test all the power points and light switches. Make sure that where you have several switches on one panel the layout of switches is logical
  9. Make sure all the lights and power points have been fitted
  10. If you have any sensor lights make sure the delay and sensitivity is correctly set. We had one in a wardrobe in our current house that went out if you stayed still for 5 seconds.
  11. Check for rough edges on the edges of paintwork from paint drying in lumps/drips particularly window sills. Those rough edges can catch your curtain fabrics and pull threads.
  12. Making sure ALL of your concerns are noted down on paper, legibly and not skipped over. There may be some things where your SS will just say “Oh, that always gets done before handover”. Make sure it is written in the PCI list anyway. Unless it’s in the list, it may not get done at all.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Blinds and Shutters

Blinds Plus: Plantation Shutters and Blinds

We decided on what blinds to have in our house, we are having Basswood Plantation shutters in between the Rumpus and Family cut out and PVC Venetian Blinds to all the windows in the house. 

We obtained quotes from different companies. We also got the quote from Blinds Plus who installed the fly screens for the house through Metricon. The quote from Blinds Plus was cheaper when compared to other companies, so we decided to order the shutters and blinds with them. So they have been ordered now, hopefully they will be ready close to the time when we move in.

Here is what we have ordered in Black Walnut.

Week 34 - Fence Down

(19 August 2013 to 24 August 2013)

Monday 19 August 2013: Fence Down

Finally the security fence is down, we can see the full exposure of our house.

Fence Down
Front View 
Tuesday 20 August 2013: Termite Protection

Our termite protection was installed today. It runs around the entire house and lasts for three years. 

Termite Protection
Termite Treatment
Wednesday 21 August 2013: Vacuum House

Drove past the house in the afternoon and saw a lady cleaner vacuuming the house.
The only thing outstanding now is the kitchen and Butlers pantry splashback. I was told that they will be laid today, but no sign yet.

Friday 23 August 2013: Practical Completion Inspection

Very excited today!

Received an email from CSC that we will have our keys by 11th September 2013, in two weeks time. After 34 Weeks!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Things to Do before Handover

I thought I might write myself a list and share it so those who have handover ahead of them can double check / add to this list. 

- Driveway quote
- Insurance
- Curtains and Blinds Quote 
- Telephone and Internet connection
- Confirm final payment with bank
- Clothesline
- Letterbox
- Driveway and Retaining Wall Quote
- Notify Australia Post and redirect mails
- Order Bins from Council
- Advise the Sydney Water Corporation
- Advise your local government & Electoral Office
- Notify the post office and haven the mails redirected
- Get the address of vehicle and Drivers Licence changed
- Arrange for house and contents insurance
- Notify bank, employer, schools, Medicare etc.,
- Purchase paint for feature walls
- Removalist Quote
- Get Quote for Landscape
- Electrician for Downlights and other light fittings
- Finalise list of items to check for PCI

I think that’s it

Friday, August 23, 2013

Week 33 - Carpet & Boards In

(12 August 2013 to 17 August 2013)

Tuesday 13 August 2013: Floor Boards In

Finally they have started with the floor boards upstairs and Rumpus Room. They were laying the Rumpus Room today. As mentioned, we went with laminated boards instead of carpet.
Rumpus Room
Rumpus Room
Wednesday 14 August 2013: Floor Boards & Carpet Laid 

The floorboards were completed today and the stairs were carpeted as well...very excited as it is getting closer.  

Living Room
View from Master Bedroom
Stairs Carpeted

The SS has placed Blue dots all over the house....

Blue Stickers by SS
Thursday 15 August 2013: Splashback Tiles

Received a phone call today from Di Loreno advising us that the splashback tiles we selected is out of stock and to come and reselect the tiles for the kitchen and Butlers pantry.

Saturday 17 August 2013: Reselect Splashback Tiles

So went off today to select the splashback tiles for the kitchen and Butlers Pantry. Our original tiles were polished porelain with same colour grout and the required quantity is 2.2 sqm, which costed us $150 for the tiles, grout and laying.

We tried to get something close to our selection, but as there was not many for selection, we decided to go with the feature tiles, which is $45 for 300x300 sheet. The quantity required is 25 sheets (25 sheets x $45 less Builders Allowance $33 per sqm (2.2sqm = #72 and labour for tiling $189) which came up to $1091.20.

Previous Splashback Tile:

DInterno Moka 60x60cm Porcelain Polished Floor Tile
Splashback - DC6060 Moka Polished Porcelain

Current Splashback Tile:
Feature Tile - Splashback

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Week 32 - Bathroom Fit Offs/Power on

(05 August 2013 - 10 August 2013)

Tuesday 06 August 2013: More Fit Offs

The bathrooms are complete now. Today Towel Rails, Toilet Roll Holders were fitted off.
Well not much left to do now. 

- Kitchen Splashback
- Paint Touch Ups
- Internal Clean
- Installation of appliances on Handover
- Carpet to Stairs
- Floorboards to upstairs and Rumpus Room.

Towel Holder 
Soap Holder
Towel Rail
Toilet Roll Holder
 Something has happened to the mortar in the bricks - does not look good, not sure if this is normal, will raise this with the SS.

Thursday 08 August 2013 : We have the Power!!!!

Yes, we have the power in our house. Electricity is working, we had organised with Vaccaro Group for the connection on 27 July 2013. They charged us $590.

Front Entry
View from Front Entry
Rumpus Room
View from Dining

Week 31 - Windows Cleaned

(22 July 2013 - 27 July 2013)

Monday 22 July 2013: Windows Cleaned

Today saw a Lady on site cleaning the windows. She was busy cleaning the dirty and messy windows. I noticed some the windows were sparkling clean. The protective plastic has been peeled off.

Guest Room Window
Cleaners in the House
Windows Cleaned

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 30 - Shower Screens/Mirrors In

(15 July 2013 - 20 July 2013)

Friday 19 July 2013: Shower Screens/Mirrors Installed

 They have started installing the shower screen and mirrors in the bathrooms. 

Shower Screen in Powder Room

Ensuite Mirror
Mirror in Power Room
Powder Room Shower
View from Dining
Ensuite Mirror

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Week 29 - Electrical Fit Offs/Floor Tiles completed

(08 July 2013 - 13 July 2013)

Tuesday 09 July 2013: Lights and Fixtures

Today, the electrcians were there to start the final fit offs and finished today. The electrical sockets and switches had been fitted off. They have installed standard bayonet light fittings and these will be replaced with energy saver down lights, Smoke Detector, Heat Combo.

Electricians at work
with Pillar Lights
Master Bedroom Beadhead Lights
Step Lights
Niche near the Power Room
Smoke Detector
Balcony Lights
20 Downlights - Promotion from Metricon
Cable for CCTV Camera
Waterproof switch & Gas point in Alfresco
Waterproof Switch & Hot Water System line
Clipsal 3x2 Heat Combo
Wednesday 10 July 2013: Tiling Commenced

The tilers were busily working today. The main floor tiles has started.

Tile Preparation
Tiles Layed yet to be grouted
Family & Dining
Family Tiled
Friday 12 July 2013: Tiles completed

After two days of tile laying, the tilers returned to finish of their work. The tiles are grouted and is complete, yet to be cleaned and I must say I am happy about it.

Front Entry
Tiling completed & covered
Kitchen from Family
From Dining
Butlers Pantry & Laundry
Front Entry
Guest Room
Front Entry
No shoes permitted sign on the Front Door
Guest Room Entry
A few things left to do still;

- Carpet to Stairs
- Floor Boards Upstairs
- Shower Screens, Mirrors
- Accessories - Toilet Roll, Towel, Soap Holders
- Fly Screens
- Paint Touch Ups
- Internal Clean
- Installation of appliances on handover.