Xmas Party at Carlyle Gardens Townsville

Xmas party at Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort, Townsville, during our fourth visit to Carlyle Gardens on Tuesday 16 December 2008. Our house was due to be complete on Friday 19 December 2008. How close has the builder got it?

Why Visit Carlyle Gardens?

We have a scheduled completion date of 19 December 2008 for our new house at Carlyle Gardens Retirement Village, Townsville. That is three working days before Xmas. Traditionally building contractors take a break from around that date, often for several weeks. So we figure the builder at Carlyle Gardens will be very keen to get completion (and get a final payment) before that happens. However if weather or scheduling problems happen, then the completion date will probably slip by several weeks rather than several days. On our third visit, in November, neither the project manager nor the sales folk could be sure the builder would hit the deadline. It was just too close to call.

Just to complicate things, we are already committed to being 300 km away on the completion date. Either we need to get the key a day early, or put it off until January. Either way, there is no way we can expect to be able to move anything into the new house until after the New Year. Plus we can't book a mover until we have a firm date, and January does not look like a good month to get fast bookings. January is also the middle of the wet season. No way to even be sure the roads are open, let alone it being good weather for moving.

A visit to Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort for a Xmas party three days prior to scheduled completion might give a much better idea of when we could reasonably expect access. Not that we particularly care about that date (we would have been happy with several months hence, when the weather is better), but we can't really organise other things before we know about access.

Carlyle Gardens Xmas Pool Party

The Prime Trust sales staff at Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort had sent us invitations to this Xmas Pool Party. They even catered it with snacks and pizza through the Ball & Wicket restaurant.

The party was intended for new and potential residents of Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort, mostly those in Stage A of Carlyle West. This is across the bridge from the original areas. This was a way of meeting potential future neighbours. I thought it would be a great way to get an idea of which things were likely to be a problem, based on the comments of those who had already started moving in. I managed to talk to folks at each table.

Complaints about getting a Telstra phone connection. Some home utilities connections not completed. Hot water with switches off (we were told the hot water systems have a pump). Power wiring with reversed connections (must take my tester with me). Ovens left on after being installed. Each is easy to check, now we know that we should check.

Donna from sales really tried hard to get the pool party going, and was joined in the pool by a handful of attendees. The party didn't actually liven up a lot during the singing of Xmas carols, also led by a lively Donna. A certain resistance there. I found it amusing.

Alas, the inspection of the home we were to lease had not been arranged. Must have overloaded the list of things to do when we talked by phone about that. I think I will have try to restrict phone calls to one item per call, despite my dislike for any phone call. It is better for each side. The inspection was organised for noon tomorrow.

Carlyle Gardens Home Inspection

We did find that the bridge between Carlyle East (the original Carlyle Gardens) and Carlyle West (The Far Side) was pretty much complete, except for Ergon needing to complete moving a power cable underground. We took some photos of the rear of the house from there.

Inspection time. This time the tiling variation was actually in the bedrooms. Well, the grouting still wasn't complete, and the tiler was still working on the front room. Actually there were builders working in most rooms. However the two extra air conditioners in our bedroom variation were not installed (nor even had wiring as far as I could see). Jean's extra power point was also not in. So once again we had to ask whether the September variations were go, or no go.

The tiling of the back porch was done (still wet, as that was in the morning). This time the ceiling fans were all in. Some fluorescent downlights not installed, but the wiring was now visible. The kitchen was mostly in place, except for cabinet hardware and whitegoods. Some bathroom screens still to install.

The driveway was in (poured the previous day, we gathered). Hot water heater and external air conditioning units not yet in, but some of the boxes were there. Overall, the house was a long way further along, even if it was very recent work. However, ready in two days? Not likely. Ready by Xmas? Three extra days make that possible, but still unlikely.

The builders are only off work until 5 January, a much shorter break than I expected. The lawyers are off for several weeks. Our sales person is off until 12 January. So it doesn't seem worth looking at getting much done before mid January in any case.