Saturday, 27 December 2014

A fork in the road

We spent a good week tossing up what to do about Boutique Homes and the forged signatures.

We tried negotiating with them and asked them to remove the wall as a good will gesture.  Forgery aside, they had already given us 3 different measurements as the the minimum size this wall could be reduced to.  We had absolutely no confidence that Boutique Homes would get this wall right, so we figured the easiest thing would be to remove it altogether.

Boutique Homes would have absolutely no bar of this however.  In fact, they even tried telling us that doing things like that can send them bankrupt!  How often do they pay for upgrades themselves due to being caught out committing fraud that it could potentially send them bankrupt?

Either way, they were not willing to offer anything other than an apology. This was not good enough for us; on top of their fraudulent activities, it was also the way the managers spoke to us and the blase nature towards this issue that convinced us that Boutique Homes are not the builders for us.

So we've changed directions and have decided to build with Porter Davis instead.  Our new journey should be called "The road to Essex".  This is the floor plan we've chosen (Essex 27).

A few structural changes we've made/added:

  • Two way bathroom to Bed 2
  • Cavity Sliding doors to Home Theatre
  • Additional internal wall to Study
  • Grand Alfresco option

I will also be looking to have the the fridge space in the kitchen moved to the other end of the back wall as it seems really silly to have the fridge opening up onto a wall.

I can't wait to go and visit the Porter Davis 'World of Style' on Monday.

P.S. This isn't the end of the drama with Boutique Homes either.  We will be seeking advice from a Solicitor, demanding our initial deposit be refunded and reporting them to both the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).

Stay tuned.....

Monday, 22 December 2014

A simple case of forgery......

December 11, 2014 was our long awaited colour and electrical appointment.

We'd spent weeks and weeks researching ideas on our colour schemes, even taking a long trip over to Geelong just to check out a floor.  I'd marked out on a plan where I'd like down lights, batten lights, power points and light switches.  I wanted to make this day as easy as possible.

It turned out to be anything but........

It was less than 2 weeks before our appointment and we still hadn't received a copy of our drawings to view.  I emailed our pre-start consultant for a copy and thankfully she was prompt in sending them through.

The first thing I notice on our plans is that an internal wall which we had specifically asked to be no more than 350 x 350mm was in fact 360 x 470mm. We took this around to our Sales Consultant who immediately remembered our wall request and said to bring it up at the colours meeting and if they have any issues to call him about it.  He has been absolutely fantastic throughout the whole experience.

We brought it up alright, it was one of the very first things we discussed at the meeting.  When I asked the consultant about it, she grabbed out a copy of our Preliminary Works Contract (PWC) and flicked to the page with the note about the wall.  As she was doing this, I grabbed out my own copy of the PWC (a photocopy of the original document) and immediately noticed something was different.  On our copy, the note about the wall was item # 14, on her copy it was item #13....."That's weird I thought".  Reading the note on their copy, I noticed it was also worded differently.

Our copy read:
LIVING - Provide 350mm gap between Dining Elevation D Stacker Door and Living Elevation C Sliding Door.
Note: Position pending drafting approval.

Their copy read:
Note: Sliding door to be installed 350mm approx. from internal corner between Living and Outdoor Living

After I read this, I turned both copies around to face the consultant and asked her to compare the signatures at the bottom of the page.  Her face immediately dropped........

She noticed the same thing I did; the signatures were different.  It was obvious that someone had changed the note and then forged our signatures on the bottom of the page.

After that it turned out to be a weird, uncomfortable day.  The only time my husband and I had to discuss the situation was whilst the consultant had run away to 'deal' with the issue.  This had all occurred within the first 15mins of the meeting, so we decided to press on; after all, we had already taken the day off work for this, we might as well do what we came here to do.

As we were fairly organised, the day went by rather quickly after that.

Needless to say it was a very interesting conversation in the car on the way home.