Share our trials and tribulations as we build our new home - a custom Dominico by Fairmont Homes NSW

Friday, October 14, 2011

Stuck in the Middle With You

We got a call from our builder Thursday mid-morning to let us know that the house being built next door has dug up the footpath at the front of their block, along with lots of earth, to lay their driveway and so very kindly dumped it all on our land!

Considering the builder, Champion Homes, has been refusing to answer our previous calls or emails about the ongoing problem of them using our block, leaving rubbish on it and leaving the temporary fence open, this called for more drastic action. A very professionally-worded but clearly p*ssed off fax, including clear photos of bob-cat tracks going from our neighbour's block to ours, copies of unanswered emails and the threat of legal action, seemed to illicit a quick response. They have promised to clean up the debris on our block from their build, but honestly, given their reputation, I'll believe it when I see. I have demanded an exact time and date, which I am yet to receive, and my parents have kindly agreed to be our representatives when it happens.

And can you believe it gets worse? The neighbours who have just purchased the existing home on the other side seem to have pruned and removed plants from not only their side of the fence, but ours as well. Then to top it off they left the green-waste "hidden" amongst our garden! At the very least this is disrespectful and at the worst illegal. I can't even chalk this up to a misunderstanding because the boundary-line is clear and the fact that they've tried to hide the evidence on our block is damning. People will never cease to disappoint me. I mean, if they wanted to clear the garden up a bit, all they had to do was contact us through council or our builder (who's sign is on the temporary fencing at the front of our block), just as we did with our other neighbours, and we likely would have agreed. The fact that they then left the rubbish on our block is, in my opinion, just disgusting.

So, our Thursday evening was spent taking photos of the block (which is 45mins from where we currently live) and our Saturday will be spent having a talk to our neighbours (or at least leaving a stern letter in their mailbox).

But as you know there is always a silver lining. It's a bit hard to find ours, but I believe it's the re-assurance that we have chosen the right builder, Fairmont Homes NSW. If it weren't for Daniel checking on our block (as he often does after visiting their other site in the area) and taking time out of his busy schedule to take photos for us when he saw the carnage, we might have realised the problem too late (perhaps after rain washed away 'the evidence'). Also, after letting the owners of the home being built know about our plight (and that we don't blame them), they gave me call and I got to know them a bit better. We had a lovely chat and they told me about the dramas they themselves have had with Champion Homes and gave me a brief introduction to the street. (I don't feel it's my place to discuss the dramas our neighbours have had with Champion, but may I please tell you that I would not wish building with them upon anybody!).

Anyway, here are the photos of the block from Thursday evening:

The pile of concrete and earth on our block:

Tracks across our block:

Some more incriminating tracks (hmmm...i wonder who did it?):

Some of the green-waste scattered in our garden:

Our Builder's sign on the temporary fencing at the front of our block:

A flock of cockatoos grazing in the golf course across the road (I always seem to manage to have a bird photo or two don't I..?):
Thanks Mick for taking a 'happy photo' for me in all the depressing ones.

On a positive note, we found a sink we really like for sale at Bunnings! After checking if we can supply our own sink and that the builder can't get it cheaper, we will be picking it up from Bunnings on Saturday (along with a sausage sandwich I bet!). You can check out our sink by clicking here. We like that it actually manages to tick all of our boxes. No mean feat considering I wanted a laundry-sized sink in the kitchen (to be able to hand-wash my large baking dishes and platters easily) and Mick wanted a secondary sink and drainage tray. And it's on sale!

We're also in the process of getting quotes for wiring our Family Room up for surround-sound speakers and a HD projector, in the continuing effort to turn it into an awesome Media Room. We're also looking into raising the floor at the back of the room to create a 'theatre' effect. We'll also make the window at the rear smaller so we can make the room nice and dark, and now that we're getting skylights in the Meals Area, we can afford to lose the light. Then after we recuperate costs, we hope to be able to actually install the projector and surround-sound system, along with a media unit, some recliners and plantation shutters to complete the transformation. Below is a photo of what we aim to achieve:

On the home-front, tiling in Mick's unit begins Monday. So this weekend will be a "mixed-bag" between preparing the unit, picking up tiles and a sink and confronting our neighbours. As always, we'll keep you posted...

Edit: Council rangers have said that Champion Homes have commissioned a work order to remove the debris. We'll have a cruise by the block sometime soon to check that it's been done. We also spoke to the neighbours on the other side last weekend. They explained that they're new in the country and have been taken advantage of by a dodgy landscaper who has obviously been the one who left the green waste in our garden and our neighbour claims that they didn't know about it. We will give them the benefit of the doubt, after all we don't want to start WWIII, but I hope that we don't have any further issues.


  1. Sorry to hear about the trouble your having with the neighbours...grr. Hope it all goes well.

  2. Thanks SS. Hopefully it's all sorted now. But it's never smooth sailing when building a house.