Its been just over a week now since we moved into our Persimmon home at the Pastures in Brundall. With the mix of Christmas and family things as well as the unending task of emptying packing boxes (And the continued lack of broadband) its been difficult to get some time to write up the progress we’ve made since moving day. This morning is the first chance I’ve really had to reflect on where we are from two weeks ago. So coffee in hand below is a bit of a brain dump of everything that’s occurred since moving day and the bits that are left to resolve.
Regular readers will know that we were hit and miss as to whether we’d actually get in the house by December. With our rental agreement running out and Christmas literally round the corner it was looking likely that we’d be spending December and the New Year living with family rather than living in our new home. In the end we managed to exchange just in time. We were the lucky ones, there were plenty of people (Including a few friends) who have now seen their completion dates shift out to late January and February next year (I’ve been there so I understand how annoying that is!)
On 19th December we exchanged and on the 20th we actually moved in. Me and my Father laid a floor in the new lounge on the 19th so needed the day to do it (It did indeed take an entire day and I’m still waiting for the feeling to come back to my knees)
We’ve continued to find issues since moving day, none of which I’d say are showstopper problems that really stop us living here but there are a few where what Persimmon have said, and what the resulting action taken has been are continued evidence that whilst the guys on the ground here will try and work wonders, they continue to be let down by their head office that literally doesn’t seem to know what its hands are doing…
- Broadband Install – remember a few blogs ago I mentioned how we were told we absolutely must place our broadband order by the first week of December in order to guarantee installation before Christmas. Remember how I said I was doubtful we’d get it? Remember how the broadband company sent an engineer all the way up from London to connect us? And remember how he left empty handed when he found Persimmon hadn’t completed all the ducting to the property? I remember, because 10 days in we are still without broadband. Which is a massive pain in the arse for me working in IT and having the ability to work from home taken away from me. We seem to be trapped in a bit of a loop with the whole broadband situation at the moment. The provider (Seethelight) have been let down so many times by Persimmon and having their engineers unable to install customers homes that they are now refusing to send any further engineers until their own project manager has reviewed the work Persimmon have done. Only then will they call an engineer to connect homes. In order for their project manager to do this check they need Persimmon to call them to say the works done. Once again I’m having to join the dots for Persimmon to call the broadband supplier to get them to check Persimmons work before they send an engineer to finish the install.
On an additional footnote when I said how important having a broadband connection was to my own work I was told expressly by one of the Persimmon senior guys that if they couldn’t connect by Christmas Eve that they would give us a dongle to use until broadband was installed. At the time I expressed doubts about this. Which seems to have been right as when I popped into the office on site to enquire was told that we’d have to go and buy one out of our own pocket (These dongles normally require 12 month contracts – like Mobile phones as it’s a cellular network you are using) and then claim the expense back from Persimmon. Which is completely different to what I was initially told by the senior guy. Considering we had to wait 6 months beyond our original completion date for our home to be built I’m not confident I’d be seeing my cash this side of Summer 2015, so I’ve not bothered. In the meantime we still sit without broadband or a home phone line because basic communication between Persimmon and one of its suppliers is broken and relies on customers doing the legwork for them.
- Back Garden – our back garden looks a bit of a tip at the minute. Because there has been a fair bit of rain the ground is completely bog like. As a result the landscaper we have booked to do our back garden can’t complete his prep work until Persimmon rotarvate the back garden. I’m confident this will get done once the construction team get back on site, but its not helped by point 3 below…
- The garage gutter downpipe – at the moment our downpipe from the garage gutter is about 30cm’s away from the actual downpipe drain connection. This means every time it rains all of the water from the garage roof drains down the pipe right out into the garden, and because the garden has a slope we now have the beginnings of what looks to be an impressive DIY swimming pool at the foot of the garden. This would be brilliant if:-
- We had planned for 30% of the garden to be a swimming pool
- The neighbours didn’t mind the escaping water/swimming pool flooding their back garden as well
As it stands point 3 is making point 2 in our list a drawn out affair to get done.
- In our utility room we have a waste pipe under one of the cupboards which I’m assuming was put there if we had paid for (From the expensive extras catalogue) a utility room sink. As we preferred the additional space we didn’t pay for an extra sink and now have an open waste pipe in the utility room cupboard that gives off a wonderful smell of sewage.
- The Solar Panels – regular readers will know the farce we had with the solar panels where the contractors placed them on the wrong side of the roof. It took me contacting Persimmon for them to be moved. Because the entire estate was only connected to the national grid on 19th December there hasn’t been an attempt to connect the solar panels in any of the properties on the estate yet. We were told this would be done on the 23rd So far we are still waiting and missing out on plenty of surprisingly good sunlight for December.
- Front and back door locks – extremely stiff, to the point of only me being able to do the locks on them. Which makes it difficult when both me and my partner need to go to work at different times.
- The front door privacy viewing glass is full of condensation and loose in the door. On top of this there are some pretty large gaps in the front door that let in quite the draft in the wind. Also, first thing in the morning the front door is literally dripping with condensation. I’m collecting some impressive pools of water at the bottom of the front door at the minute and I’m pretty sure point 6 and 7 are linked.
- A few other annoying little things like the downstairs toilet lock not working, the downstairs light switch to turn on the upstairs landing light doesn’t work, the en-suite shower panels are loose at the bottom of the shower cubicle and things like screw covers in the kitchen are missing which makes it look a bit shabby.
In all its not a huge list of problems for a new house but as I said some of them are common sense things that could be done very quickly whilst some of the others are annoyingly requiring me to get involved to make any progress (Like the broadband). I’m not surprised, not really disappointed even. Just wearily accepting of the fact that we still have more email and face to face conversations we need to have with Persimmon to get stuff done.
The only other thing I can think to mention is that whilst the home is very well insulated, (We’ve barely had the heating on above 15 degrees so far – even with outside temperatures below freezing) one downside of having cavity walls is the internal walls are terrible. Literally plasterboard from what I can deduce so far. Attempting to put up pictures and some light shelving has been a proper baptism by fire. My attempts so far have resulted in industrial strength rawl plugs, filler and liberal use of swear words. As a result I’m taking a trip to B&Q this evening to buy proper plasterboard rawl plugs that expand once they are inserted.
So there you have it, I’ll continue to keep you all updated on the progress we make – I’m hopeful next week should be more promising once we get the actual construction team back on site and don’t need to deal with the head office again.