Friday, 28 October 2016

Tender or not to Tender?

I was dreading our tender appointment.  So much to go through in one day.  I had already advised them we would not sign on the day.  We would need to take the documents home to digest the document before signing and paying our deposit.

 The day before Tender appointment our Building Co-ordinator rang to advise there had been an issue with our documents. Although the Hillside 34 now exists on their computer system there was some sort of a glitch and our plans are still incorrect. She advised to go ahead with the appointment because a lot of the costing would be accurate but we would not be able to sign until the plans were correct.

There were only a couple of surprises at our Tender presentation:


The presenter said ‘When you get your driveway done you would use this drain’ and I said ‘You mean when Porter Davis do our driveway’. She said 'Porter Davis won't do your driveway'.  Ahh that isn't what is in our sales quote...  She advised us that Porter Davis do not do Driveways unless it is a house and land package. I opened my sales quote and showed her that 90m of category 3 exposed aggregrate driveway had been included in our quote at a cost of $12,500. As it was included in our quote which was part of our decision making process to go with Porter Davis I don’t see how they can remove it now. It must be an option otherwise our Sales Consultant would not have been able to add it. She went on to tell us that they will not do such a large driveway because they do not want to insure it. Hmmm that gives me faith in their building practices. I told her I wasn’t happy with it and it would need to be followed up. At least we do not have to sign today. After our meeting our Building consultant told us that was odd and she would follow it up for us. I hope she can give us some favourable news.


We specifically asked our sales consultant if colorbond downpipes were included and she told us they were and wrote it on our plans. Our tender document did have a cost against the colorbond downpipes. I queried this and she said they were not included. I told her we were told they were and showed her our plans where our sales consultant had written colorbond downpipes. She told me the sales consultant would have written it on the plans so it is included as a cost in our tender. It isn’t a huge cost but that is not the point. I left it on the day but I will query it with our sales consultant.


I am very passionate about waterproofing as we have had issues with a previous house where it rained in our kitchen from faulty waterproofing in our bathroom. It was a long drawn out process to claim through the house warranty and we were still out of pocket considerably to get it rectified.  Because of this we are paying extra for Porter Davis to provide waterproofing to the CURRENT Australian Standard rather than their "Alternative Solution" which uses a previous level of Australian Standards. So needless to say I am surprised they have taken the maintenance clause from their alternative solution and included it as a note at the end of the tender document. I am not sure if it is on all tender documents but I am not happy.

I am happy to use a bath mat as we do this already. I’m happy to remove excess water after showering as we do this as well. These are reasonable requests. I am not happy that we are expected to :

Maintaining any sealing system including waterproof membranes, caulking, shower seals, silicon adhesives, penetration seals, wall and floor junction seals etc, so that they are waterproof and and achieve the required seal. Sealing systems should be inspected and replaced(as necessary) on a regular basis. Maintainance should occur at a minimum of every 12 months and may need to be increased if aggressive shower cleaning agents are used.

Given the issues we have had with our bathroom I am very weary of this clause. How do you maintain a waterproof membrane? How do you inspect the waterproof membrane? How do you perform maintenance on a waterproof membrane every 12 months? Surely to do this you would need to remove the tiles and more than likely damage the membrane in the process. Do Porter Davis expect us to replace the membrane and tiles every 12 months? Surely they can build bathrooms to stand up to the 10 year structural warranty? Needless to say this will need further discussion as it isn’t reasonable to expect this.

Our appointment did not last very long as they did not need to go away and make the required updates or discuss any of the issues today. Both our presenter and our Building Co-ordinator were lovely and although we had a few issues they listened and agreed to look into it. It was agreed they will work on our Tender document and we will review the documents mid October after our holiday. Contract signing has been cancelled until Tender completed. Luckily our land does not title until February 2017 so we are not yet in a hurry.

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