Saturday, September 7, 2013

Brickwork of Monet

Do you know the saying "Its a Monet -  Far away is great, but up close its a mess".  That is the perfect description for our brickwork.  Don't look too closely!

Before I even built with Rawson, I was warned by a brick cleaner that we use at work that the brick layers that Rawson used were rubbish.  I took his warning with a grain of salt, as he was generally a negative person. Maybe I should not have been so quick to dismiss his words.

I was promised from before the brick layers started that they were the best. They had completed the show homes for Rawson at Waterford County.  We thought the bricklayers were good at the start, and then they must have gotten bored or fed up with the house and then it all went down hill.

I wanted to keep this off the blog. I have always tried to be positive towards Rawson as I have a good repore with the SS and I believe that we have had a beautiful house built. I have decided to blog about this for two reasons.  One I said from the beginning that I would blog about the good, the bad and the ugly and if I leave this out, then I am not doing what I said I would.  Secondly, I have been trying to get these bricks cleaned for months!!!  I was promised that the brick cleaner would come last weekend and he did a no show and then I was promised that he would be coming yesterday or today.  Seeing it is now 4:00pm in the afternoon and we have not seen him, I doubt he is coming - so another no show.

Our bricks were finished 26th February 2013 - this is over six months since they were completed. Our bricks have been cleaned countless times since they were completed.  The last time the brick cleaner came out, which was a couple of weeks after we moved in, the only thing he managed to do was soak the garage as he brick cleaned the garage door and little else.  So after the amount of times he has been here, we either have bad brick layers or bad a bad brick cleaner - I think a bit of both.  So get ready for picture overload and you can make the decision.

When I sit in my ensuite toilet - this is the view. Tell me how the brick cleaner missed this when the scaffolding was up?

You dont have to walk too far from the ensuite - only as far as the main bedroom balcony. Looking at the balcony annoys me to no end - how are we expected to accept this???

Close up of the balcony wall

The top of the column on the balcony.  This is just over a metre high off the deck, so in plain view. This one has actually been hand scrubbed with acid, so you can only imagine what it looked like before.

The top of the column at the front of the house

The other column is just as bad, but I didn't want to break my neck getting a photo of it, so you can have a photo of the side of the column instead as that has not been cleaned.

The sill for the sliding door on the balcony - I don't think the brick cleaner ever bothered with this one. 

The whole of the sill is like this, so I guess we should accept a snow white sill.

Now time to move outside as there is plenty more to see. 

Next stop, left of the front door.  That joint is about 30-40mm thick and messy. 

Window sills for the home theatre and the 5th bedroom.  I complained about these sills from the day they were installed.  They look messy, they are crooked and they have laid bricks that are chipped and have tried to disguise them.

The brickies answer rather than removing the bricks was to wipe concrete over the dodgy joints - as then they would be less noticeable.  Five months on, it is still there and the sills are still dodgy and crooked and have chipped bricks


Check out the wall next to the 5th bedroom

Blown mortar from the amount of times the house has been brick cleaned.  The block spot just above half way up the photo on the left - that isn't a black spot, its a hole in the mortar.

The next photo is of under the kitchen splashback window.  Do you think it could do with a clean???? Maybe all the mortar on the slab could be cleaned off as well.

Above the splashback window is lovely too - neat isn't it

My favourite part of the mortar is the one that has been put between the splashback window and the first course of bricks above it. 

This mortar is done so well that is falls apart when you touch it and you can rub it out with your fingers. Yes, the black bits are holes in the mortar.

This is a good one - on the corner of the house where the mortar was blown out from the initial brick clean - lets just wipe mortar over the joint and then it needs to be cleaned all over again

Another spot where the mortar was blown out and they thought they would just wipe it with mortar.

Blown out mortar on the side of the garage. Unfortunately this isn't uncommon and I would bore you to death if I showed you the extent of it. The bad thing in, it still needs to be cleaned, so it will only get worse.

Front columns - these badly need a clean and they not only have blown mortar, but the mortar joints are uneven. 

Above the front door.  

More blown mortar joints.  A lot of the external corners on the house are like this

Look at the mortar on the alfresco.  Hmm I don't have any words to describe this one.


So there you have it. I have lots more pictures, but I don't want to bore you and I don't want to upset myself any further

The problem with the brickwork is the more you look at it the more you notice everything that is wrong with it.  It is pitiful. 

I feel let down by Rawson.  I feel let down that they would expect that I would accept the brickwork in this condition. I guess for only spending $400,000 what can you expect. 

I can tell you now, I feel that I have made a huge mistake.   I didn't get any independent inspections before we handed over or during any stage of the build.  I should have, but I trusted my relationship with my builder.  I tried not to be one of those clients, I wanted to be easy going and enjoy the process and I feel when it comes to the brickwork it has bitten me in the backside.  My piece of advise, is you are spending a huge amount of money. Protect yourself and protect your investment and make sure you are having a house that is built right. 

What am I going to do about it???   My SS is going to get a not so pleasant phone call from me on Monday. I am furious over this.  I am also going to email the Construction Manager at Rawson to voice my disgust over the state of my brickwork. 

My last resort is to go to Department of Fair Trading.  

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