Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So Close, Yet So Far – Chasing Paperwork (Part 1)

Our block, ready and waiting.
(Marked by the blue and white
Ventura Homes sign.)
So close, yet so far. If there were one saying to define the home building process, this would be it. We are close to starting site works, so close, but still so far because of the windy road and unexpected pitfalls.

Thankfully, these pitfalls are not insurmountable, just annoying. Today’s essay, covers the joys of applying for building permits.

Knowing that any visit to the council is never straightforward, I called ahead to ask for confirmation on the supplementary paperwork/certificates required in addition to the application. Coincidently, the Contracts Administrator from Ventura Home did this also. Both she and I had come to the same conclusion. Things were looking good.

On the 20th September, I visited the Wanneroo Council offices to submit our application. Low and behold, our application was rejected - at the front counter! The certificates I had attached had the wrong name, and two were missing. Arrghh!

Apparently, a site classification report carried out by the builder may not be submitted to council as part of your site works application. This sounds a little bit odd, because the contents would be the same despite the client name written on it.

In order to satisfy council we had to have the site classification report transferred into our name. Who would have thought that changing a name on a report would incur a $55 administration cost?

Tip: If you require a change of name on your site classification report, the builder i.e. the original client of the report must arrange this.

I can understand the above restrictions, however annoying they are. What I struggle to understand is the reason why we need to supply the additional report – a retaining wall detail. I would have though that whether or not a garage wall sitting on top of an existing retaining wall is structurally sound would be part of the construction application, not a site works application!

The final thing missing was a letter from Ventura Homes outlining the extend of our involvement in the building of our home. This, I understand perfectly. What I do not understand is why no one told Ventura or us about this!

Today is the 4th of October, we find ourselves waiting for our updated site classification report, retaining wall detail and letter from Ventura. I am hoping that we will be able to submit our application to council next week.

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