Handover was ~2 weeks ago and we are now settled into our new home.
When we arrived at our handover meeting, there was still blue tape marked throughout our home and a number of issues that hadn't been rectified.
On the assurance they would be taken care of prior to handover, we booked removalists, took extra time off work, arranged furniture delivery, etc., and at the time it all seemed easier to move in and have the problems rectified in the coming weeks.

What a mistake.

I don't mean to vent, but as a precaution to anyone in a similar situation, I advise you NOT to accept the keys to your home until absolutely every little thing is done. I'm starting to think nothing I raised at handover will be fixed until (maybe) the 3 month period has finished...

This is just a small selection of things we found unfinished or not-to-spec:
  • Painters were scheduled over the weekend but never showed up. The tiled skirting in the bathroom, toilet and ensuite has been painted really inconsistently - take a look at the pic below:
Left skirting unpainted. Right skirting painted.

  • Every corner in the hallway has been scraped or scratched - metal brackets are visible through the plaster and/or need touching up.
  • Paint to the skirting and cornices is very uneven - the grey wall colour we chose makes this very noticeable, even from a distance. Skirting paint colour is on the wall, and vice versa.
  • There was never a light fitting installed in the bathroom. We swapped the light from the laundry but how is it acceptable to handover a new home without all the lightbulbs? Another LED in the kitchen doesn't work - we were told it was replaced, and if that's true, I worry about what kind of faulty wiring might be in the roof that's caused two bulbs to break already....
  • We are missing a pane of safety glass next to our bathtub. A&L sent an apologetic letter to us, and a gift card, but I'm still waiting for it to be replaced.

  • A&L are also responsible for refitting 3 fly screens that do not fix properly - they are so loose you can slide them from side to side with space to fit your fingers in the gap. They rattle in the wind and will no doubt allow bugs to get inside - we haven't opened those particular windows as a precaution, thankfully it hasn't been warm enough!
  • A&L also didn't service our triple-stacker door - it's scratched, speckled with paint and is dented along the track. It now opens smoothly but at the expense of someone grinding the inside of the track.

  • Cabinetry in the kitchen was adjusted at PCI but they missed the most obvious door under the sink.

  • The biggest annoyance is that our front door doesn't seal shut and needs to be forcefully pulled or pushed to lock. It makes an annoying whistle every time the wind picks up and wakes us from our sleep at night. Not sure how this meets the 6-star energy rating.....

I hope these issues can be rectified soon, especially since a number of them were pointed out at PCI and should have been fixed prior to handover. We didn't have much choice to move in when we did, there certainly was pressure from PD to get it over with, but I wish we had assessed the cost of rescheduling our move first. In the long run it would have been better for us for peace of mind knowing our house was completely built to specification. We're sort-of in limbo at the moment, unsure if or when these issues will be fixed.

For anyone interested to see the list of defects I sent to my builder the day after handover please comment/message me.
Well, our PCI was this morning. Everything went relatively smooth, the Darbecca inspector was thorough but didn't find anything too upsetting; all easily rectified.
The biggest issues since plaster went up have been the straightness of the skirting (some walls are bowed) and the quality of the paint work. We've found the painters to be King Painters - they've done a number of houses in our estate, all of whom seem to say the same things about the poor workmanship. Despite having been through the house to touch-up a large number of problems, when we got there this morning many of them hadn't been fixed (the tape simply removed) or still required work. Lots of unfinished edges along skirting and tiles, huge paint drips around windows, deep scratches in the roof (probably a job for the plasterers...) and the external render is just sloppy. We've heard these painters were asked back to a nearby house several times from PCI because they just couldn't get things right, I am sorry to think we are headed down the same road.

Another issue that arose from our inspection was the island benchtop. It is tiled by ~4mm, which is noticeable (only once they said something) and likely to be a headache for our SS.
The kitchen is a big focal point in our house, and is the area we spent big $$$ to look good. Now that I know the bench isn't quite level, it'll bother me forever unless it gets fixed. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be anything in the BCA regulations about it, so that is either interpreted to mean it needs to be perfectly level (Darbecca's view) or that it totally doesn't matter (PD's view?).

It was also acknowledged the upgraded pot drawers (50kg reinforced runners) had not been installed, and that PD/Kitchen Culture don't even supply that as an option. This was confirmed by the manufacturer (Hettich) whom I'd contacted directly for confirmation - we sent them pictures of our drawers and had them confirm but for a while PD were insisting they were correct. I am curious to know how much of a refund we will get, probably not much but better in our pocket than theirs.

So now we are waiting (im)patiently for the final inspection report from Darbecca to arrive; once we send it to our SS they will be able to give us a (rough) settlement date. Finally! :D
Stumbled upon workmen applying the last coat of (coloured) render earlier this week, while they were outside working I was able to sneak inside for some more pic. At this stage our house looks 99% complete - just a few minor touch-ups, a couple of data points to move, pantry shelving to correct and we'll be done!

For the main render we chose Stepney, the facade render (also our guttering and downpipes) is Monument.

PCI postponed another week, we are still within schedule but it's coming down to the wire.
Flooring went in last week, carpet feels amazing with cat 3 underlay, the floorboards are exactly what we wanted and help make the place look a bit darker. Since the grey walls weren't as dark as expected, the flooring certainly helps.

The tiles are in and looking amazing. The quality of workmanship isn't the best, but the product looks better than expected. Our build is coming along well, less than a month to go before settlement.

The first coat of our delicious wall colour (Wattyl Siren's Call) was painted this week, we love it!
Once the dark flooring (and tiles) are installed I'm sure it'll look even better.

Our kitchen. The highlight and biggest feature (read: expensive) of our new home. We are thrilled to see the quality of the cupboards and colour of the overheads. We snuck onto site (feeling like our days are numbered -- too much theft in the estate has led to a number of properties installing cameras and overnight security. Any day we are expecting to get busted. haha!) to inspect our stone benchtop (Cat 3, White Storm) - it looks so much nicer than the old Essastone colour we picked.
I would bet the wall is crooked, and not the benchtop, but it doesn't quite fit into one corner (see pic below). I'm sure tiling will cover it, but hope it gets sealed up somehow.

 Literally the ugliest box gutter. :(

 Our delightfully swampy backyard.

We are happy to have this wall on the boundary (save on fencing!) and are already thinking of ways of incorporating it as a feature wall. (Just need the neighbours to call me back! :P)
Waterproofing was completed last week, but not quite up to standard. We are grateful Darbecca (and my siblings who work in the industry!) were able to look over it and flag a few things needing to be fixed. As always they are minor faults, and things that appear to be easily rectified.

One tiiiny regret we have is not upgrading the bathroom benchtops. The semi-gloss cabinets really make the matte black tops look cheap. Oh well 'next house' we keep telling ourselves; building a home certainly is a learning experience.

A few delays the past couple weeks as Winter sets in. Our plaster was installed about a month ago but was installed before the roofing was complete, and as a result some rooms were badly water damaged. The Darbecca report revealed a few items (dating back from the slab inspection) still hadn't been rectified, and our confidence in our BC is fading. We were told the plaster in our bedroom had been replaced, but having compared photos it is obvious the have just patched up the holes and will paint over it. Hmm. Awaiting their response (ie get written confirmation it "has been replaced") before we show them the contrary evidence, unless for whatever reason the BSS inspector said it wasn't damaged enough to warrant replacing. I just hope it doesn't swell or begin to droop, I just want to move in already!!