Sunday, August 12, 2012

Asbestos Surprise


Rule number one of building a home - NOTHING ever goes to plan!
Rule number two of building a home - Make sure you plan for the unexpected!

This innocent looking pile of rubble was asbestos that was buried deep in the backyard. In fact, 24 tonnes of the stuff, and that's not what you would have expected or could plan or budget for.

The demolishers didn't find it until the job was pretty much completed, so I thought I was in the clear. Couldn't have been more wrong.



One of the advantages of working for a building company are the little tidbits of information they give you that's seemingly small and insignificant, but can end up being priceless in the long run. One thing they did tell me is to put something in the contract to cover the costs if there's any buried asbestos found. So we agreed that if there was any asbestos found, it would be removed at the same rate as the rest of the asbestos in the house. There was a small amount in the roof of the patio that we knew about and that was removed first, so bringing the equipment back to remove the second lot could have cost a LOT more without this clause.  The guys at work also told me a lot of companies will add this in as a variation at a much higher rate, so it was something I was very aware of and very grateful for the advice.



Other little hints they gave me was to ensure that the builder can inspect the site to ensure it is clear to their standards to start building BEFORE the demolition equipment is removed from site. They have had instances where the demolishers are long gone and they have come to site to start building and the big (heavy) concrete pillars have been left in the ground. They had to charge the client $10K to get rid of it. So that clause was definitely in my contract and luckily the builder was very happy the site was clean and ready to start building.

Sadly the additional cost, minimised as it was, comes directly out of my decorating budget. Sigh, here goes that replica sideboard I wanted for the dining room.

Anyway, that's just another little hiccup on my building journey. I got over it and am moving on.