For our first Australian house we lived and worked close by and visited every evening.
During our latest build it was 40km away so I only visited once or twice a week.
Many builders will tell you that you are not allowed to visit the site for OH&S reasons, unless the Site Supervisor accompanies you. There are two reasons for this:
- If you have an accident they have evidence that you have been told not to be on the site.
- They would prefer to get on with the building with the minimum interference from you.
I didn’t let this stop me from visiting although I have got a construction industry site card and I understood I was there at my own risk.
I think that in the early stages you only that its more important to keep a close eye on things if you have made a lot of changes from a standard design or you are having a house built to your own design.
If you are using a standard design the Site Supervisor and the Tradies will generally know what they are doing. When there have been lots of changes to the design they may lose the plan/or forget and revert to the standard design.
Later when it comes to fit out you need to keep more of a watch on things. A couple of examples from our last house:
- The wrong laundry trough was initially fitted and had to be ripped out.
- The wrong kitchen tiles were delivered but we spotted them before they were fixed.
As an absolute minimum you should do an inspection when each stage payment is claimed.
If you spot what may be a problem it can be best to be tactful and ask questions in such a way that the Builder has a chance to explain what is going on. If you are not convinced then its time to do some research.
Best thing to do is also get to know your Builder.Build a good relationship first (also see ‘Working with your Site Supervisor’)
If the Builder get’s annoyed and is impossible to talk to you should contact the Housing Industry Association and/or the Master Builders Association for advice.
How often did you visit your build?
For more posts about quality see Gettting It Right