Finally Beaumont decided to call us back after leaving us a voicemail and then not returning our calls after that. Following our tiles appointment, the BigM had emailed through the latest plans to the team at Beaumont and there were a few areas where the selection of the tiles needed updating. Beaumont updated the selections sheet based on selections in the wet areas of the house and sent through the updated selections sheet for review which had a minor increase in costs (minor but still frustrating that the costs keep going up). We were not sure whether they had also updated the diagrams in the selection sheet, so have requested those be sent through for review as well. Hopefully they will send this through so we can approve the updates and keep progressing.
The new homes consultant finally got back to us on the costing of the staircase. BigM were able to meet us half way with the cost of the staircase which is appreciated. So again, off we went into BigM's head office to discuss the contract and updates with our CSC rep. We went through the outstanding issues again and have been told a variation (yes another one!) will be raised and sent to us within a week after the contract is signed. We also requested for our colour schedule to be updated with a few minor changes. Final review of this we suspect will be once the final plans have been approved.
An interesting development with the location of the air conditioning unit. Our CSC asked us again whether we choose for the unit to be in that location and advised us that the location (incorrect spot) where the unit is currently drawn is directly above the slab and as now that the plans have been drawn, if it's determined that the customer requested for it to be positioned there, then moving the location of the unit in the plans will cost $2000. We showed her all the multiple versions of our plans since the beginning of time and none of the plans ever showed the air con unit in it's current (incorrect) spot.
After days and days of discussions, we decided to proceed with the build (with extreme caution). It was not an easy decision due to the countless errors and oversights made by the BigM. We really hope that it's all positive from this point onwards, but only time will tell.
We went through the floor plan and marked up the errors so that the CSC could have them corrected. The final plans will be sent through to us for review and approval prior to submission to council and applying for the building permits. Next item was to go through the contract and initial/sign all necessary pages, this took FOREVER for 3 people to initial/sign 3 copies of the contract. Contract Finally Signed. We were then presented with a little suitcase on wheels to store all our building documents in.
Hopefully we will get the updated variation and plans this week, so we can progress with getting our finances organised. We don't want to give the BigM any reason to penalise us for going beyond the end date of the current base price extension period.
We received an email from our sales consultant advising that he will try to get back to us this week, however it was Thursday and we still had not heard from him. We got in touch with our CSC to ask if we could still go to tiles since the contract had not been signed yet. It was a relief to be given the green light to go to tiles. It definitely was not ideal to reschedule again, so sick of the delays.
The range at Beaumont isn't huge, especially the range of the "blue sticker" standard range. Our consultant was very friendly and had built 15 houses in the past. I can't imagine building more than once, this one time has been a nightmare already. After selecting our tiles, we waited for the consultant to put the quote and layouts together.
We were NOT HAPPY with the cost of the quote once it was all updated, the cost exceeded the BigM "Allowance" figure by ~4k. These "miscalculations" are really costing us a fortune and we are absolutely NOT paying for all of it, especially not when the builder is supposed to be the expert and know the costs of their items.
Be very careful everyone, we recommend that you come to an agreement with the sales consultant in the very early stages of your building discussions on the tolerance for the costing of any items you select. Hopefully that can help you all potentially avoid the big unexpected costs that come from their miscalculations.
Footpath is ready! It's a good idea to take photos of your footpath and concrete on the nature strip for "security" just in case there is any damage to the footpath and driveway once building commences.
Finally the first face to face meeting with our customer service consultant to discuss and sign our contract.
We had reviewed the sample HIA building contract (lots of scribble through all 48 pages of things to have clarified) and surprise surprise it mostly favours the builder.
Unfortunately there was no update on the stairs situation so we told the CSC that until we have an answer on the stairs we will not make the decision on whether we proceed or not. Tried to call the sales consultant while we were there but no luck getting in touch with him. We went through each item in the specs, the building plans, all the conditions of the contract and also the soil test report. Hopefully the rocks will not affect us.
Here are the errors we identified after the review:
- Incorrect description for overhead cupboards
- Light switch in study is still "floating" in mid air, instead of being attached to the wall
- Doors upgraded but not reflected in the building plans
- Powerpoint for fridge is not installed behind the fridge, instead it's in the cabinet next to the fridge. Um I think we need power to operate our fridge
- Split system in the wrong location AGAIN, somehow it keeps finding it's way back to the incorrect location
Less issues than previous reviews but still not quite there yet.
We were allowed to take one copy of the contract away for our review. To be honest, I think we have both gotten to the point where we are ready to call it a day on this project. 100% certain we are being mislead and ripped off at every point. Our tile appointment with Beaumont is in 1 week, doubtful we will have the above issues addressed by then. Hopefully we can still go to select the tiles.
Sorry everyone, no good news I'm afraid. I would love to report some good things but there are none at this stage. Though I hope these issues help you prepare for your building adventures.
Big M have come back and said that their estimators confirmed the price of the staircase is correct (huge price difference between the allowance and the latest cost). MAJOR OVERSIGHT. I'm sorry but this is your bread and butter, how can you possibly get it so wrong!?!? A minor difference okay I can understand that, but this is a big difference in costs.
We were also advised that they only have one item in their system and that the price of stairs with glass panes or stainless steel balustrades is the same. WHY WOULD WE SELECT THE CUT DOWN VERSION OF THE STAIRCASE (SS) IF THE COSTS OF BOTH ARE THE SAME. Please, where is the common sense? Had we of known that the cost of the stairs would be so high we would not have gone ahead with the BigM.
We sent an email to our csc expressing our disappointment in yet another price increase and another delay in this already lengthy and frustrating process. We have requested that the csc raise this issue with the appropriate person to provide us with some alternate options to address this issue.
The issue is now with the new homes consultant to look into further as he stated the item we were quoted did come from the central system.
Our CSC has been very helpful and responsive but I don't know what is the deal with the non client facing - contract and plans drafting people!?
The amended contract and plans were sent though yesterday and after spending several hours going through it, we have found 6 issues that need to be addressed by FRIDAY!! The STAIRCASE item is still incredibly incorrect and the air con unit has (again) somehow walked itself to a different location on this set plans compared to the last draft. How does the air con wonder off on its own again when its location in the previous set of plans were correct!??!?!! I do not care if you estimators think that's where it should go, I'm the paying customer and it's my house, PUT THE UNIT WHERE IT WAS SPECIFIED IN THE ELECTRICAL APPOINTMENT!! We do not want the unit above our TV for crying out loud!!
Moving on to our staircase, we selected the staircase in November 2013 and to this day after several reminders from us, the staircase is still being listed incorrectly by the Big M. They just don't seem to listen to the important things!
We very much want to be excited that we are so close and can see the finish line of this messy pre construction stage, but we have that little faith in Australia's biggest builder it's almost laughable. We are just so so close to getting over the line but Big M just keep tripping over!!
We won't pay the 5% expected from us by the Big M, especially not when they still cannot get it right. I think this weekend we'll start talking to Carlisle or Boutique again about what they can do for us.