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Footings Variation Received

I haven't posted for a while, simply because nothing has happened. It's been 9 weeks since we signed the building contract and today we received the engineers soil report and footings design.

The quality of the documentation and exactly what we were to do with it left a lot to be desired. I'm a professional engineer and I've got to say the drawings and report were thoroughly confusing to me, I'd hate to think how someone with no technical background would interpret them. The financial impact is an additional $1000 for footings (we had allowed $10,000) and another $500 for a site survey because there are no marker pegs on the site.

On the variations schedule there were 9 points and I had to ring up and get clarification on each one. The two that concern me the most are the level the council has chosen for the house. It means that retaining walls are now required around the whole block. Bummer. The other thing that bothers me is a cryptic mention of 'rock encountered' in one of the 5 bores taken on the site during the soil test. The contract variation just says 'owner to take note that rock encountered during soil test'. On asking this means that we *could* end up being charged more for the site to be cleared.

Our responsibilities duing the whole process are quite vague as are the order in which things are to be done. If I hadn't phoned the builder I would have had no idea that it is our responsibility to remove all soil from the site after they have levelled it out. I also am very unclear as to when we can have the retaining walls installed. To me it makes sense to have them done after the block is levelled and before the foundation is layed to allow access to front end loaders and so on. However, the person I spoke to on the phone at the builder suggested we don't put down the retaining walls until after the house is built.

This doesn't sound right to me.


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