I can’t believe I was so foolish as to think that getting our DA approved (over two weeks ago now!) would signal the start of the actual building phase of our renovation project. In fact, we are really no closer to starting the work than we were before.
The builder came to see us a week or so ago. He wants clarification on the conditions of the DA before he will give us a final price and take out a homeowner’s warranty certificate.
We cannot collect the DA until we have a homeowner’s warranty certificate. Anyone spot a problem here?
Basically, the builder is convinced that council will require a 100mm step-up to the living room slab. Apparently in new buildings, the slab is raised 10cm above ground level to ensure the bases of the walls are not soaked in water in case of flood.
Well, the council has not said they require this. They’ve inspected the site and were satisfied with the level of waterproofing (there is drainage EVERYWHERE on our block – it was previously owned by plumbers – and the house is at the top of a hill, so the likelihood of a flood is somewhere around one in 400 gillion.
I mentioned this to the builder. He said he wants the council to put it in writing that the step up is not required. I told him I thought it would be reasonable to assume that if it wasn’t listed as a condition, then it was not a condition. He didn’t seem to understand this. So, no progress till we get confirmation from council.
And of course they’re not going to give it to us. It’s ridiculous to ask them to confirm that something not listed on the DA is not a requirement. It would be just as stupid if I called and said, “The DA doesn’t say we need to install one of those wind direction thingies with the rooster on top. Can you please write a letter confirming we don’t need one?”
So anyway, I figured they’d never agree to waste time writing a letter to say that an unlisted condition was indeed not a condition. I decided to email them about my dilemma and hope that their response would count as a written confirmation. Alas, they have not replied and I suspect they won’t.
Meanwhile, the builder absolutely insists on an engineer’s report even though council didn’t think it was necessary and neither did the architect. And, to make me extra happy, he’s decided that he can’t simply increase the height of the existing walls. Nope, he says he has to knock down and rebuild.
He gave us a big spiel about how it’s not possible to just add height to an existing wall – would have been way more convincing if he hadn’t previously told us it WAS possible.
Meanwhile, it’s been two weeks since we contacted the mortgage broker and she’s yet to come back to us with any advice or options.
So I am doing absolutely nothing about anything for the moment. IF the mortgage broker gets back to say we can actually borrow the money we need, I might start chasing the council and the builder and the bloody engineer, but until that point I am just over wasting time and energy on this stupid project.
We are currently 19 weeks into this saga with nothing to show for it besides a depleted bank account.