Would your builder want you to see his own home?
Have you ever asked yourself that? If you’re builder would want you to see his own home?
A mechanics car never runs well, a builder’s home is never finished but apparently, a butcher always has fresh meat in his fridge.
This is one of the questions that never gets answered. Why?
Let’s take my own house.
After spending 8 months doing major restorations and renovations it still has some minor touches to finish off, but I figure because I’m entering it into the builder’s awards for 2018 that all those little bits and pieces will be finalized at least a month before the judges come and inspect out home.
In all honesty my wife made me enter it into the awards so that she knew it would be finished!
But it got me thinking that even though my house is still not completely finished, I have on a number of occasions, invited clients to my home. I am happy to show them what we have done so that they can see the same quality that they are to expect for their own home.
Even in its unfinished state, after the clients have walked through, they have trusted us to do the work on their homes.
Renovating an old home has its challenges compared to building a new home.
With a new home you have a clean palette, you can put the plumbing wherever you want, you have nice clean flat surfaces to work to.
And you don’t have people trying to live in the house while you’re trying to do the work.
You would think a builder’s own home is a testament of his knowledge, ability and his eye for detail.
It’s 4.00am, I’m in a near newly built home. It took 5 minutes for the hot water to come through. During that 5 minutes it gave me time to look around the bathroom.
I still had sleepy dirt in my eyes, because there was no hot water in the shower, I notice that there was grout missing from the tiles.
I looked even further I noticed that where the vanity met the floor they ran a bead of silicone at the junction that was so rough it reminded me of the old Banjo Patterson poem, Clancy of the Overflow ‘with his thumb nail dipped in tar’ and I thought to myself, ‘an extra two hours in this bathroom would have seen all the grout correctly installed and a proper silicone job done’.
What amazed me most of all is that they had the chance, being a new build to have the hot water service central to the home so that you aren’t wasting water.
Why am I focused on this? Because I recently did a course provided by the Department of Fair Trading in recognizing faulty waterproofing.
The biggest issue with new buildings these days is that anywhere there is a wet area, it leaks.
Now, is this because the almighty dollar makes the builder use less than capable tradesmen? Or is it because you have reality shows like The Block doing bathroom renovations in one week.
For Christ’s sake the fucking water proofing needs a good two days to completely dry! Then you can tile over the top of it. That doesn’t leave much time to do a good job with the rest.
Walking through this home, my eyes spotted other issues. Ones that the general public may not pick it up, but a good building consultant should.
The builder of the house then bragged to me that it only took him 3 months to build. My reply was ‘that explains a lot’.
Then he mentioned that he’s an avid watcher of The Block!
If you’re builder is a fan of this show, I would seriously question his quality of work.
When choosing a builder you can get all the references you want, you can even visit their showroom if they have one.
But seriously, ask if you can look at their own home and stand back and if there’s a look of fear on their face, that’s a big indication of their quality of work.
However, if they don’t blink an eye, then that’s a good indication that they do quality work.
Just remember that you would also have the ‘4am shower house builder’ inviting you over thinking everything was alright.
If you do manage to go to your builder’s house, check out the wet areas. Then turn the hot water tap on and see how long it takes to run through. Look at the little things like doors, opening and closing properly.
Ask yourself if this is the type of finish you want on your home.
** yes, on my very first blog I did mention that I was going to do these bi-monthly. Unfortunately, due to a heavy workload I haven’t had time to sit down and get this typed.