December 27, 2022

Mid last week saw onsite construction activities cease for the Xmas holiday period, however, satisfactory progress was still achieved. Carrying on from last month, indoor activities in the first 2 weeks of the month were virtually zero, with most work being conducted outside.


Thankfully, Melbourne has experienced somewhat drier conditions for much of December, meaning that there were far fewer weather related interruptions. The bricklayer remained on-site until he finished his laying, later coming back to clean up both the walls and the site. He really did a wonderful job.

As the brickie approached his last days on-site, scaffolding went up again and works began on installing the eaves and guttering. When this was completed the rendering and faux timber were installed to complete the Eastport facade. Termite treatment boxes and conduit have been installed around the perimeter of the house and that will presumably remain ongoing until construction ramps up from mid January.

I must admit that I did have some concerns that Henley had done little work inside the house for the best part of a month. Of course there are issues that many businesses are currently experiencing related to the availability of tradies, Henley are no different.Around the middle of the month, indoor construction activities once again ramped up.


First to get moving indoors was the connection and completion of the ducted heating/cooling vents into each room and the exhaust fans into the bathrooms/toilets. Next to go in were the downlights, light switches and power points. I would estimate that these are 90% complete with only the garage appearing incomplete, along with the terminating of the wires back to the electrical switchboard.

Where November saw the carcasses for the benches and vanities installed, December saw the Caesarstone benchtops fitted along with the matching sinks.. No sign of the taps yet.

Last week the tilers arrived and appear to have completed all of the tiling , except for a single tile on the side of the bath. I’m not sure why the tile is missing but I suspect they may have been one tile short. What has been done looks to have been completed skillfully.


Overall I am very happy with the quality of the construction works so far. Henley’s contractors have been great but it is natural that in a project this size, there will be a few issues to sort through…

Concern #1.

On November 18 Henley was sent a copy of my Fix/Waterproof  stage Audit report. Though there were far fewer concerns than the previous report, there still were a few concerns. As of today, Henley has not notified me of any rectification. See the photos below

Shower base
The audit report noted that waterproofing (shown in dark purple) had potentially been compromised by tradies walking on the base with their dirty work boots. This photo showing the dirty base was taken a week before the tiles were laid. Would you expect your builder to confirm with you that the waterproofing had been rectified before laying any tiles?
Also in the audit report was that this pit/drain for the bath needs to be drained and cleaned of its rancid water, building waste and trash before the bath is installed. As of today, this has not occurred. Will Henley prove to me that they have rectified the problem before they install the bath? I'll let you know next month.

Concern #2.

During the month I had a dispute with Henley regarding rain affecting the plasterboard on the inside of my house due to Henley’s failure to weatherproof the whole house with appropriate sarking. The result of this complaint was getting sent a letter from the Henley OH&S manager attempting to block my access to site. This appeared to be an attempt to cover up quality control issues like those shown above.

Concern #3.

One of the tradies has cut a hole in the plasterboard where the kitchen’s rangehood should exit the room through the ceiling. As you can see from the photo below, it appears that one of the roof trusses is passing through the middle of where it should be. I will be interested to see the fix for this problem.

Final thoughts

Late in the month there was a decent clean up of the site. Redundant bricks and timber were removed from site most areas of the site are looking good. Last week I received the invoices for both the “lock-up” and “fix” stage progress payments which will get paid this week.

All that remains to be done onsite is the fit-off or completion stage. This will see the installation of the taps, bath, shower screens and flooring. I will organize a final building inspection when this is complete. Hopefully I can be in the house by late February, early March. Much preparatory work is being done off site in preparation to the handover. Curtains have been ordered and I’ll get a quote for a concrete driveway next week. It won’t be long now before I get the keys…

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