I am a SAHM who does work from home occasionally, dedicated to raising 3 Godly, independent, healthy children. Loving the home building process though it is not without challenges. I have fairly free reign over the creative aspect of the project...just not the financial side!
Apart from a post to show you our newly laid waterline tiles, I thought I would update you on the latest decisions we had to make on the pool.
A few weeks prior to Christmas, I was surprisingly informed that there was an extra cost to be incurred. The backwash pipe allowance in the contract is for 6m but we would need about 30m to reach the sewer gully. To extend, it would cost about $1200. Upon baulking at paying that, it was suggested that we change to a centrifugal filter - no backwashing required, with Concept picking up the extra $50. Great - signed off on it.
Fast forward to January when our landscaping team asked how we were going to remove waste water from the pool in the case of days of heavy rain. Not sure? was my answer. The Finishing supervisor suggested hooking up a hose, carrying to the stormwater absorption pit and dumping in there. The Director of Concept suggested just letting it overflow and evaporation will do its trick. Neither solution sat comfortably with me at all.
Tim Hayward and his boys suggested getting a plumber to do the pipework as they could not see how it could possibly be $1200 worth and requesting the original filter in the contract. Done! We had a plumber by that afternoon ($250 plus the pipes which are yet to be invoiced) with the job completed.
Well done Hayward Landscaping - not something in their brief but took it on willingly.
I sent an email to Concept Pools informing them of the work completed (installing a gully on the boundary shaft and raising it to the new ground level; run a line to the new gully) so imagine my surprise when I then received the contract variation from THEM for over $1000 to complete the work. Now having sent them photos, I hope that we receive the correct filter to install.
Whilst we have been away for a week, the landscapers returned to work and have been busy. We have a new back boundary fence (which we gifted to the neighbours), we have some travertine paving, we have rendered retaining walls and we even have our pool coping in place. There is a back story to that one.....
I sent an SMS to Concept Pool supervisor as a reminder to book in the next stage for mid January when they supposedly returned to work. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a reply back to say that they were expected on site the very next day! Shortly after I received an SMS asking me if the waterline tiles were on site ready to be laid???? Ummmm, NO! I wasn't under the impression that I needed to source them though I did know that they and many other items were not in the contract price eg. coping pavers, pool equipment, solar heating. PANIC! I was away on holidays and didn't really cherish the idea of coming back to Sydney to source tiles. No idea what I needed or where to get them at short notice. I was called back and told 'not to worry' - the coping could still be done and that it would not hold up the construction. I would need to go into the office next week and select a tile which then could be ordered for me. Crisis averted but where on earth is the management process for this company?? All it would have taken is a courtesy email or phone call to ask me to select my tiles. Even if it was all clearly explained to me (which it wasn't), it was 18 months ago that we signed up with the company and so much has happened since then.
Following the no-show on Friday, I contacted the owner of Home Option Gallery. HOG have a display room where various companies (such as Concept Pools) can provide fittings and finishings for Eden Brae Homes. Not knowing where to turn and having spoken to Alan before, I gave him a call. Today, we had a discussion surrounding the issues and he promised to find out what was going on. Within an hour, I had an SMS letting me know that they would be on site to do the plumbing on Thursday or Friday. I won't hold my breath. The rain we have had this evening might delay them another 2 weeks (hint of sarcasm to be noted) What puzzles me is that on Monday December 2, I was given an estimated date of Friday December 6. Without more than 2-3mm of rain hitting the ground, it has now blown out to a week later???
A big thankyou to HOG for listening to me and validating how I am feeling about the situation. Here's hoping that we can all work towards a solution ie. a completed pool!
So it seems getting Eden Brae involved does net results from Concept Pools. Within 30mins of finishing my phone call with EBH Management, I had a phone call from the Finishing Supervisor that I have been trying to contact. (He should be able to get to us sometime next week, weather depending.) Thank you for following up, EBH. I was at my wits end with them.
A great segue into how FANTASTIC Eden Brae have been post build. The level of service has been nothing short of fantastic and we aren't even at the 13 week maintenance period yet. All the issues I highlighted in an earlier post have been addressed and today I even had new fans installed to replace the ones that had been acid washed by a tradie. I have never been made to feel that I was not important or to 'move on' as my house was finished as you often hear about the building experience.
And today saw our home turn from cool white to warm white. Yay! What a difference it makes to the feel of the house. So much cosier. The sparkies also installed an extra downlight for us, fixed the motion sensors and put the new fans in place. Yet to come back with the stair lights that they didn't have the globes for.
This morning also saw a guy from New Fidelity come out to double check on our requirements and our cabling for the media room. All looks good to go ahead with a tentative install date of 11/12/13
* 70” Sharp HD TV
· Custom programmed New Fidelity Smart Remote control system (with colour touch screen) that allows equipment to be controlled through joinery + charging cradle
· Monitor Audio wall mount speaker package – 4 x white cube wall mount speakers with matching subwoofer in white – centre speaker will sit on joinery
· Wall mount brackets for above speakers
· Denon Home Theatre Receiver
· Apple TV
· Internet switch for media room
* Humax Digital TV Recorder with ICE TV
Can't wait to watch some movies and great sporting matches in this room.
I have had replies from a couple of previous clients of Concept Pools.
I didn't realise that was who you used. We used them too as they had a
relationship with our builder as well. We didn't know what we didn't
know and our pool was not free from issues and required some intense
management to get finalised and fixed.
That being said, we have been using and enjoying the pool for a while
now! It is frustrating that one spends all that money and still have to
deal with frustrations and oversights. I can't remember names but they put the wrong gemtex
inside our pool! I rang them during the install and they wouldn't admit
it was wrong- then finally agreed it wasn't what we ordered and said
that it was a more expensive product do we should be happy!! We weren't
and made them change it, then the pool was leaking and other
frustrations .....I have gotten over it all now but it wasn't delivered
on time and had issues all along the way!! We didn't know we needed to
ask for the fountain to have a switch inside, weren't offered options
for filters and the light positioning is terrible. We didn't know and
weren't asked where we wanted them and of course once we saw where they
were it was too late to change!! Wasn't happy Jan!"
"Don't like to say it but "I told you so!" You should be happy with the end result though."
Seems like I am in for a battle to get things finished. Another day is another day without ANY communication from them despite messages asking for a call today. Not sure what to do or where to turn??
I have been asked by a few people about my experience so far with Concept Pools, specifically if I would recommend them. Publicly, my answer is that the jury is still out on that one.
I would change the way I went about the whole process. In my naivety and desire to make things easier on myself, I made the assumption that engaging the services of Concept Pools would be a good move. Concept have an office at Home Options Gallery and build the pools for Eden Brae's display homes so I thought there was a link there between the two. Nothing could be further from the truth as confirmed in an email from the owner today. I went with Concept thinking that the two companies would help to make the process smooth and didn't even shop around for competitive quotes.
I have found the people I have dealt with to assume that I have knowledge on pool building and get frustrated with my questions; I have found communication delays to be less than desirable either by email or phone call; I am unsure about the quality of the build as to date I only have a concrete shell; I have been asked to keep Eden Brae management out of my email correspondence (I CCed one into my last one) as it has 'nothing to do with them'; I was told before signing that it would take a week to finish off the pool once the house was completed. I was not told that 'week' would be over stages with long gaps due to situations outside their control from other companies. One week is now in an ideal world, according to them;
So to date, we are still waiting for the Finishing Supervisor to contact the landscaper to schedule a time to start his work laying pipes. We were expecting that to be done about 2 weeks ago.
Read this and make your own decision about whether you would use them. I'll keep you posted.