Third Visit to Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort

Off to Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort on Tuesday 18 November 2008. Our stated purpose was to put down a deposit on our new home. Our usual contact Christine was away on holiday, but told us Donna would look after us. Donna was however away sick (there is a terrible flu type thing going around). Sue had not been told we had organised to visit and check progress of our house. So it goes, but with a 300 km drive, we were glad Sue was able to organise the things we wanted to see.

Luckily Sue was able to organise us with high visibility jackets to check out the new house, and take us through the new home at Carlyle Gardens.

Home Building Progress at Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort

The roof was on and ceilings installed. The outside brickwork was all done, as was the interior plaster work. Garage door was not on, but interior and exterior walls and windows were in place. It looked like it could be taken to lock up stage within a week.

Most minor stuff seemed in order, except for one power point on our plans having disappeared. Of the power points on our original plans, all seemed in place. The three variations we had sighted in the display home and marked did not fare so well. The front bedroom was as we expected, despite the additional point not being on our original plans. Jean's office, the back bedroom, showed no sign of a powerpoint we expected and that Christine had marked on the basis of the open house display home. The outside powerpoint seemed merely marked accidently at a slightly different spot, and no action was needed. It was a little unusual in that it seemed to me that the sparkies would have had to do two wiring drops in any case, since the outside power point was close to the door, and the inside power point near the outer wall (where the washing machine was to be). I imagine someone didn't trust an outside power point being so exposed to weather, even with a waterproof outlet.

Basically very little interior fit out had commenced. Floor tiling of the main room was done, but none of the bedrooms had been tiled. It appeared the builder may not have initially noted the tiling variation throughout all the bedrooms. There were boxes of tiles in the front bedroom. No bathroom tiling as yet. No wall tiling. No plumbing fittings. Electrical and structured wiring had been pulled, but not terminated by an electrician. The kitchen and bathroom fittings and furniture were not installed (but the cabinets were on hand).

Home Completion at Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort

There were a lot of homes even further behind. With at most 30 working days (if working seven day weeks) before handover was scheduled, we really could not see the builder managing to compete the work by the 19 December schedule. If Townsville gets heavy rain, that will probably delay even some interior work. If the schedule slips more than a day or so before Christmas, lots of the tradespeople will be off on holidays. Unlikely to return until mid January, or possibly later. It would not surprise me to find we get a revised handover sometime in February.

Since we are scheduled to be in New Zealand pretty much all February, that probably makes March our earliest moving date. We can not really schedule a mover when we are uncertain about dates.

We decided we would unfortunately need to make a further trip to Townsville in a few more weeks to check progress. It certainly did not seem worthwhile to move small quantities of our stuff to Townsville and into storage until we had some certainty regarding dates.

We did get all our deposit paperwork complete. There was some minor dispute as to whether it was all there. It was, just like we said. We had been through that very carefully, as had our local solicitor. By then Jean was obviously ready to eat, and was getting a little snappy.

A cheerful recent resident told of his trials trying to get Telstra to connect a phone. Ordered in September, and still not available. It looks like multi month delays to get the phone on. I have a very bad feeling about internet access, which I already regarded as marginal due to the considerable distance to Kirwan telephone exchange.

We had lunch at the Carlyle Gardens restaurant. Quantities at lunch were larger than expected. Jean even rejected a restaurant meal that evening, in favour of me collecting a Subway salad.