Friday, June 17, 2011

Three months on

Day 303. Friday, 17 June 2011. You heard that correctly – three months. Its been three months since we moved in. It’s a long time, enough for a baby to morph from a squally scrunchy being to one with more defined features - like Mum, Dad; preferably not the postman. And for us to put the house through its paces.

Put through its paces

If houses had personalities, our previous home would be akin to “The Nest” and this one is “The Entertainer”. We have friends, neighbours and people in general – like the solar panel installer always stopping by. I do love that, coming from where we do, our sense of community is very strong. There’s always a cuppa tea and a couple of cookies to go around. Some of the more sticky ones the kids will have made, but they are in principle, still edible.

Our home is lovely – lots of light on good days and nice and warm when we need it to be. I think most choices have turned out pretty well. We might get a sparky in to get a few more plug points and to wire a doorbell. DH’s attempt at a stick on doorbell from Bunnings fell off before you could say Jack Splat, or Fells Bells or whatever.

Entrance; Apsara chillaxing

Back to maintenance, I will say our home has come up tops. Even so there will be a list for the maintenance crew when they come over in a week. Sticky doors, gaps between doors and bricks, holy plaster that literally has holes, cracks in the garage architraves, water pressure equal to a lonely tap in the middle of a Sub Saharan desert (I exaggerate), but its not too bad.

Except for the shonky porch. Yes, I’m still riding that swashbuckling horse. Took me a good three weeks to track down all the paper work Consumer Affairs wanted, and it finally went in the mail last week. By registered post no less. The last thing I want is for it to do the disappearing act and then for me to have to look all over for occupancy permits, building permits, contracts and other bits of signed papers in every nook and cranny.

I count myself as very lucky that none of them papers had squiggles on them; the curly headed toddler has taken to scribbling with a vengeance. His brow furrows with concentration as he masters one squiggle after another and then proclaims “I did it”. There goes the electricity bill and the next bit of paper was his brother’s enrollment forms for school. Nothing much escapes the little terror, walls included

Family/Dining area: looks better when there's more light

Anyhow, to cut a long story short, the papers went in. I do not like leaky porches, I think I’ve made it amply clear. Design flaws are not fun and do not make this a job well done. I’m waiting now to hear from Consumer Affairs, a stack of papers in tow. There’s VCAT next, and I will not give up unless there is an extremely good reason why a porch should be designed to leak. It’s like
  • a car that is designed not to move or
  • a solar panel that works only at night
Kind of defies logic – well mine at least, and also that of the other good folk that have emailed me on this one.

Very interestingly, the plans of the house we chose were taken off the builder's website soon after I sent in a message say we were going to Consumer Affairs about a porch that showed in the default plan but had to be paid for before we could get it. Coincidence or conspiracy theory? Hmmmm....

I wish I could just say :

“Dear Volume Builder, I’ve been a good customer. Built a lovely house, and paid a fancy amount on time every time. A leaky porch doesn’t make this house a talking point. It shouldn’t be that hard to solve a problem, even my two year old tried to seal the gaps with Playdough – and I give him full marks for trying. Let me enjoy my new house, please just fix this. The plans showed a porch -please could we have a functional one? And then I will be one very happy Vegemite, as bright as bright can be. I will sing your praises and let everyone know how great your homes are and how much you value your customers. I promise. Cross my crotchety old heart. – Signed, a cold, chilly and soaking-wet-under-the-leaky-porch-of-my-brand-new-house Mum.